Maryland women’s basketball lands two transfers

Coach Brenda Frese shouts instructions to her team during Maryland women's basketball's 66-51 win over Indiana at the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis on March 7, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Maryland women’s basketball announced the addition of transfers Katie Benzan and Chloe Bibby for the 2020-21 season on Wednesday.

The 5-foot-6 Benzan was a three-year starter at Harvard but announced in August that she would leave the program as a graduate transfer prior to her senior season. She is immediately eligible to play.

“I chose Maryland because of the program’s commitment to excellence on and off the court,” Benzan said in a statement. “I was struck by how nice everyone was, from Coach [Brenda] Frese and the staff to each and every girl on the team. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity.”

[Read more: Maryland women’s basketball assistant coach Shay Robinson leaves for same post at Ole Miss]

Benzan, a guard, was one of the Crimson’s most decorated women’s basketball players. She was a three-time First Team All-Ivy League honoree and averaged 13.7 points, 3.3 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game in three seasons.

Benzan is also the program’s all-time leader in career three-pointers made with 287, and ranks sixth in assists per game, seventh in points per game and 14th in total points scored in school history. She set a single-season record as a junior with 103 triples made.

At Maryland, she’ll join an already strong point guard lineup of Ashley Owusu — the Big Ten Freshman of the Year — and Channise Lewis, who missed her junior season with a torn meniscus.

“Katie is a proven winner and possesses all the leadership qualities you would want on your team,” Frese said in a statement. “She will bring a tremendous amount of experience and maturity to our team.”

[Read more: For Blair Watson, this season was the culmination of a journey back from a knee injury]

The 6-foot-1 Bibby, a forward from Australia, comes from Mississippi State and entered the transfer portal on April 6, one day after Bulldogs head coach Vic Shaefer left for the same job at Texas.

She’ll help bolster a Maryland frontcourt recently depleted by the transfers of forwards Shakira Austin and Olivia Owens.

“I’m so excited to begin this new adventure at the University of Maryland,” Bibby said in a statement. “With the passion [Frese] and her staff have for their players, fans and the game, I feel truly blessed to have this opportunity to be a part of such a great and competitive program.”

After playing mostly a reserve role as a freshman, Bibby showed positive development in her second season with Mississippi State. She was averaging 11.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game and shot 45 percent from outside the arc before tearing her ACL.

As a junior, Bibby started 31 of 33 games but struggled to regain her pre-injury form, averaging 7.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

“Chloe is another proven winner that will bring a ton of intangibles to our program,” Frese said. “Her experience in the SEC and internationally will be invaluable to our young team.”

Benzan and Bibby will join forward Angel Reese, the No. 2 overall recruit in the class of 2020 and Maryland’s only incoming freshman, in College Park next season.

In addition to Austin and Owens, the Terps lost four seniors from last season — forwards Kaila Charles and Stephanie Jones and guards Blair Watson and Sara Vujacic.

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