It may not have been Maryland women's basketball guard Kristen Confroy's milestone 3-pointer, but it was an important one.
The senior drained a triple with 3:37 remaining in the first quarter of Maryland's 72-54 win at Rutgers on Sunday. Her 199th career 3-pointer at Maryland gave the Terps, who were trailing by one point, a lead.
From there, No. 10 Maryland never trailed and pulled away for its second win over Rutgers in the past 10 days.
"[I'm] really proud of our team," coach Brenda Frese said. "We knew coming in here with only one loss at home [for Rutgers], it was going to be a tough, physical type of grind-it-out game. We just came in with great poise and composure."
Confroy reached the 200 mark with 1:16 left in the second quarter, becoming the second-ever Terp to make that many 3-pointers. She joined former guard Kristi Toliver with that distinction.
The Solon, Ohio, native's moment came just over a minute after her own strip-and-score gave Maryland (22-3, 11-1 Big Ten) a 10-point advantage for the first time in the contest. After an edgy start to the game, it was the first signal the Terps might pull away from the Scarlet Knights (18-9, 6-7).
Guard Eleanna Christinaki scored a game-high 18 points, while forward Stephanie Jones and Confroy added 13 and 12, respectively.
Rutgers guard Kathleen Fitzpatrick's buzzer-beating 3-pointer made it a three-point game after 10 minutes. Christinaki, however, opened the second quarter with six straight points for the Terps in a run, aided by Confroy, that provided all the energy they needed.
The Terps outscored the Scarlet Knights, 21-8, in the second quarter, finishing the half on a 13-1 run.
"Our defense picked up and we got a lot more aggressive," Frese said of the run. "Our steals, we were pushing … being able to steal to score. I thought our intensity on the defensive end really picked up."
Rutgers inched closer in the second half, outscoring Maryland 17-12 in the third quarter. The Scarlet Knights held the Terps to 3-for-11 shooting from the field in the frame. However, in the final stages, Rutgers couldn't break through.
"We just keep finding ways to grind out, find ways to win with our defense as well as sharing the basketball," Frese said. "Just continuing to try to keep getting better and better."
Guard Kaila Charles put the clamps on Rutgers guard Tyler Scaife, who entered Sunday averaging 19.5 points per game yet managed only 10 against Maryland. However, as the Terps' leading scorer, Charles fell victim to foul trouble and only scored 10 as well, which put the onus on others to contribute.
The victory was Maryland's seventh in a row, and it put the finishing touches on an unbeaten three-game road stand. As the team navigates through the final stretch of the regular season, Frese thinks they're better than ever.
"February defines a lot of teams," Frese said. "I think you go one direction or the other. I feel like we're February fresh."