COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland was uncharacteristically sloppy with the ball in a vital Big Ten matchup against Nebraska, leading to the Terrapins' lowest offensive output of the season.
Nonetheless, Maryland had enough depth and made crucial baskets down the stretch to put away another conference opponent.
Lexie Brown scored 14 points to help No. 5 Maryland extend its winning streak to 15 games with a 59-47 victory over No. 19 Nebraska on Sunday.
Brionna Jones had 12 points and 9 rebounds for the Terrapins, who are riding their longest winning streak since going 16-0 to start the 2011 season. Malina Howard also finished with 12 points for Maryland (21-2, 12-0 Big Ten).
"It was a real slow start for us, but credit Nebraska and how they came out" Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "Obviously, we didn't help ourselves with the turnovers in the first half. It was nice to see the second half. We were finally able to get some stops."
Nebraska (17-6, 7-5) was playing without junior guard and leading scorer Rachel Theriot, who missed her second straight game with an ankle injury. Theriot, a first-team All-Big Ten pick last season, is averaging 16.5 points per game.
The Terrapins clung to a four-point lead at the break, but got off to a quick start in the second half. A pair of free throws by Jones a layup by Howard provided a 36-25 cushion with 17:58 remaining, forcing Iowa to call timeout.
"Our guards did a great job of getting the ball into the post," Howard said. "We were open and posted really hard."
A layup by Jones provided the Terps with their first double-digit lead, 41-31, with 14:07 left. Nebraska struggled to make shots and was just 10 of 31 (32.3 percent) from the field in the second half.
This allowed Maryland to maintain the lead and five straight points by Brown gave the Terps a 48-37 lead with 5:53 remaining. The Cornhuskers could not cut into the margin and Maryland continued to pull away.
"Our biggest points come from transition and we didn't do that today," Brown said. "We really get back to that mindset of locking down so we can rebound and run."
Nebraska did not attempt a free throw until 3:26 left in the game when Hailie Sample pulled the Cornhuskers to 54-40.
Tear'a Laudermill scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half for Nebraska. The Terrapins also won the first matchup, 75-47, on Jan. 3.
The Cornhuskers took advantage of some early Maryland mistakes and Chandler Smith hit a jumper to provide a 22-21 lead with three minutes left in the half.
The Terrapins responded with a pair of layups by Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Howard to retake control. A jumper by Brown in the closing seconds provided a 29-24 lead at the break.
Maryland was 13 of 23 (56.5 percent) from the field, but committed 13 turnovers that led to nine points by Nebraska.
"Right now, we are struggling with scoring," Nebraska coach Connie Yori said. "So, we've had to depend alot on our defense. I thought we were able to hang in there because we didn't let them have any big runs. Their starting lineup is clearly the best in the Big Ten. I think Maryland has a chance to make a really deep run in the NCAA tournament. I think they're really good."
Nebraska: Laudermill, a senior, went over the 1,000 mark for her career. She is one of 13 active players in the Big Ten to reach that mark.
Maryland: With six games remaining, the Terrapins will look to become first team to go unbeaten in the Big Ten since Purdue finished 16-0 in the 1998-99 season en route to a national championship.
PICK UP THE INTENSITY
After committing 13 turnovers in the first half, Maryland had just three after the break. Frese said the team simply focused better in the second half. "We've got to be able to lock in for a better 40 minutes," Frese said.
Nebraska hosts No. 16 Iowa on Thursday.
Maryland hosts No. 21 Rutgers on Tuesday.