When discussing the Big Ten’s landscape this season after practice Tuesday, Terrapins women’s basketball coach Brenda Frese used her team’s opponent Saturday as an example of the conference’s depth.

Indiana traveled to Evanston, Illinois, on Sunday to face a Northwestern team that was 8-2 at home and ranked in the AP Top 25 earlier in the season. Ten days earlier, the Wildcats had knocked off then-No. 5 Ohio State, handing the Buckeyes their first conference loss of the season.

Northwestern’s impressive resume at Welsh-Ryan Area counted for little against Indiana, though, as the Hoosiers exploded for 91 points and picked up a seven-point win.

“It’s the strongest I’ve ever seen [the conference] from top to bottom,” Frese said. “There is no night that you can have an off night. Teams come at you for 40 minutes.”

Indiana still resides in the middle of the Big Ten standings, but Saturday afternoon at the Xfinity Center, the No. 5 Terps will give the Hoosiers the same attention as the rest of their conference foes. With the conference slate nearly halfway over, the Terps have their eyes set on replicating last season’s accomplishments.

“It’s a lot more balanced this year; like, you just see so many upsets,” said guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who leads the Terps with 18.1 points per game. “Anybody can win on any given night.”

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That wasn’t the case a year ago for the Terps, who ended their first-ever season as a member of the Big Ten with an 18-0 record and won the conference’s regular-season crown. Three games later, Frese’s team claimed the Big Ten Tournament title.

While there were some close calls during that stretch — they held off Minnesota, 77-73, last January and squeaked past Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament final — the Terps escaped the conference unscathed, earned a No. 1 seed and advanced to their second straight Final Four.

This season, though, the Terps’ possibility of running through the conference undefeated again quickly vanished.

In just their second Big Ten game of the season, the Terps suffered a home loss to No. 9 Ohio State on Jan. 2. It marked their first loss to a Big Ten school since 2007.

“With the success we had last year, we know that makes a big target on our back,” center Malina Howard said. “We got to bring it every single night.”

Walker-Kimbrough said the team must be even more focused on the road, as traveling long distances and playing in tough environments could pose distractions the Terps wouldn’t experience in Xfinity Center.

In fact, Frese preaches that her team needs to be 10 points better on the road than at home. As Walker-Kimbrough puts it, “anything can happen at the end of the game,” so the veteran coach pushes her team to create that separation.

So far this season, the Terps have done this effectively, amassing a 5-0 record on the road in conference play and outscoring their opponents by an average of 20.8 points per game during that stretch.

“Sometimes, [Frese] said the refs kind of favor the home team at the end of games,” Howard said. “So I really think that’s the biggest thing — just trying to make sure you have a big cushion so at the end of the game, the team can’t come back on you.”

Howard also credited the opponents’ fans for creating an energetic atmosphere. The Terps (18-2, 7-1 Big Ten) enjoy playing in front of large crowds, she said, but they prefer to do it at Xfinity Center, as they average about 4,800 fans per contest.

That’s where they’ll be Saturday against the Hoosiers (13-8, 5-4), who are one of seven teams with a winning record in conference play and have won three straight games.

For the Terps, it’s another roadblock in their attempt to remain at the top of the Big Ten.

“Top to bottom, you see a lot of upsets,” Frese said. “Home, road games, doesn’t matter. I mean every game is precious.”