The Maryland women’s basketball team entered Thursday night’s Big Ten opener against Illinois on a nine-game winning streak. Over the course of that stretch, the Terps surpassed 100 points three times and beat opponents by an average margin of over 38.

Instead of offering a more imposing challenge than No. 15 Maryland’s nonconference foes, the beginning of conference play provided much of the same.

Maryland dominated the Fighting Illini from start to finish, winning, 100-65. The Terps extended their unbeaten run to 10 games following a 2-2 start to the season and reached the century mark for the third consecutive game.

After a seven-day layoff over the Christmas holiday, coach Brenda Frese was impressed with how her team found a groove.

“I wasn’t sure, coming off of the break, what we were going to look like in terms of a rhythm,” Frese said. “But I thought we set the tone with our energy. Right from the tip, we were ready to play.”

Spotty shooting and a handful of turnovers led to a sloppy start from the Terps (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten). But things quickly clicked, especially for guard Kaila Charles, and Maryland won the opening frame, 26-11.

Charles, the team’s leading scorer, notched 10 points and six rebounds in the first quarter, orchestrating a 17-5 run that essentially put the Fighting Illini (9-6, 0-1) away with nearly 30 minutes still to play.

The Terps were relentless from there, continuing to pile on the points while forcing numerous turnovers and contested shots from the Fighting Illini.

Frese labeled Charles as the player who “makes us go,” and pointed to her effort on both sides of the ball as a factor in Maryland’s victory.

“When we lock in and bring that energy and effort, you see us play our best games,” Charles said. “Today, we were just locking in our defense and trying to force turnovers and score off those turnovers by pushing the ball and pushing tempo.”

One minute into the second quarter, guard Blair Watson attempted a full-court lob pass that appeared out of Charles’ reach. However, Charles accelerated, caught the ball before it went out of bounds and quickly scooped a pass to trailing forward Stephanie Jones for an easy layup.

Charles’ hustle on the play personified the high-energy approach Maryland adopted. She finished with a team-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds and six assists. Watson chipped in with 22 points thanks to six 3-pointers.

Maryland has seven players averaging over 10 points per game, and Thursday again illustrated the squad’s ability to spread out scoring, with five players hitting double digits.

The Terps also grabbed 20 more rebounds than the Fighting Illini, more than doubling their average rebounding margin this season. Forward Brianna Fraser collected nine on Thursday, and said rebounding played a big role in springing Maryland’s offense.

“We go in with a mindset of being aggressive and boxing out,” Fraser said. “It’s a big part of Maryland basketball. We try to rebound and run, that’s what we do.”

Though scoring and rebounding have played a large part in Maryland’s success this season, Frese said another high triple-digit performance wasn’t the most impressive aspect in what she believed was an all-around strong showing.

Her squad forced 16 turnovers and blocked six shots, putting together what Frese said was a strong defensive outing.

“Third straight game with 100 points for our team, so we’re really able to grow but I’m really excited defensively,” Frese said. “To be able to hold them to 65 points and 35 percent from the field, we just did a lot of tremendous things to be able to build upon after our first Big Ten game.”