The Maryland women's basketball team has been operating under a theme summarized by a simple five-word phrase, according to forward Stephanie Jones: "Work plus rest equals success."
Facing a grueling final stretch of the season with a thin bench, the No. 10 Terps still feel as though they're in midseason form heading into a contest against a hot-and-cold Purdue squad on Thursday.
Between graduation, transfers and injuries, the Terps (22-3, 11-1 Big Ten) are just nine players deep. But coach Brenda Frese has seen them fight adversity and believes they're primed for a successful final run of games.
"With this group, I just think of the word, 'resiliency,'" Frese said. "All the hits that they've taken, between injuries, transfers, people thinking that this team wasn't going to be able to be successful this season — all they do is keep coming back for more."
Purdue (16-10, 7-5) has had an inconsistent season — the Boilermakers lost to Indiana, which is right beneath them in the standings, on Monday, but they defeated then-No. 13 Michigan on Feb. 1.
While the Terps defeated an Ohio State team that was ranked higher than them on Jan. 22, they've also experienced their own trip-ups, so they know Purdue is not to be overlooked.
After Purdue, Maryland closes the season against Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska, three of the conference's top five teams.
Guard Kaila Charles said the final few games will likely challenge Maryland, but its focus is solely on the Boilermakers.
"We don't look ahead, we take it one game at a time," Charles said. "I just know, if we stick to our principles and play Maryland basketball, we'll get through it. We've just got to stick together."
However, the team's harsh schedule has taken its toll, even in the buildup to its game against Purdue.
The Terps' last three games haven't been in Xfinity Center, and after welcoming Purdue to College Park, they return to the road for two more away games over the next week. After the Terps defeated Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Sunday, Frese said it may be the toughest season-ending sequence she's ever faced.
"[The final stretch] has already started," Jones said. "We've just got to keep it up and just know that it's not over and everybody's still coming for us to try and beat us."