PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) — Laurin Mincy scored a season-high 24 points to lead No. 8 Maryland to a 71-59 win over 24th-ranked Rutgers on Thursday night for the Terrapins’ eighth straight win.
Maryland (14-2, 5-0 Big Ten) blew an 18-point first-half lead before pulling away midway through the second half.
The Terrapins have now beaten three Top 25 teams on the road in conference, also collecting wins over No. 17 Nebraska and 23rd-ranked Minnesota.
With Maryland leading 50-48, the Terrapins scored 16 of the next 20 points to take control. Mincy, who grew up about 20 minutes from Rutgers, had six points during the spurt. Her layup made it 60-50 with 8:38 left. Rutgers couldn’t get within nine the rest of the way.
Kahleah Copper scored 16 to lead the Scarlet Knights (12-5, 3-3).
This is the first meeting between the two newcomers to the Big Ten, who both joined this season. The two women’s basketball powers rarely have played recently with the last matchup coming on Feb. 15, 2009. Maryland won 67-47.
Maryland jumped out quickly on Rutgers, scoring the first 10 points. Rutgers got on the board and trailed 11-5 before the Terrapins went on a 14-2 run to open up a 25-7 advantage. Mincy and Lexie Brown hit back-to-back 3s to cap the burst.
Rutgers trailed 37-24 with 5:40 left in the half before going on a 12-3 run to close to 40-36 at the break.
Maryland: While these two teams have played 32 times in their history, this was only the third meeting since Brenda Frese took over as head coach of the Terrapins in 2002. … This was Mincy’s first game in her home state of New Jersey. She grew up and went to school in Newark.
Rutgers: Coach C. Vivian Stringer is four wins short of matching Penn State’s Rene Portland for Big Ten victories. Stringer won 169 when she coached Iowa and has three with Rutgers. … Briyonna Canty saw her first action since being sidelined with a bone bruise in her right knee against Indiana on Dec. 28. She finished with eight points.
During Maryland’s game-changing run in the second half, both teams got a little bit chippy. Canty was called for a flagrant foul and on the next possession and Mincy was called for an intentional foul for wrapping up Copper on the break. The officials quickly settled things down and there were no flare-ups the rest of the game.
CHAIRWOMAN OF THE BOARDS
Brionna Jones had 12 points and 14 rebounds for Maryland. The sophomore finished three short of her career-high for rebounds set earlier this month against Purdue when she fouled out with just over a minute left.
Maryland: Hosts Illinois on Sunday
Rutgers: Visits Wisconsin on Sunday