Maryland women’s basketball announced its conference schedule for the 2023-24 season on Thursday as it prepares to compete for the program’s seventh Big Ten regular season title.
In addition to a tough nonconference slate, the Terps face another loaded Big Ten schedule. Maryland has road games at Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan, but avoids a road trip to Iowa.
Two days separate the Terps’ home contests against the Hoosiers and Hawkeyes, with Maryland tipping off against Indiana and Iowa on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, respectively. The two games could be pivotal in deciding the conference championship.
Maryland tied for second in the conference last season with a 15-3 league record. The Terps finished one game behind regular season champions Indiana, equal with Iowa and three games ahead of fourth-place Ohio State.
Brenda Frese’s squad won three consecutive conference titles from 2019 to 2021 and have claimed six regular-season Big Ten crowns since joining the conference in 2014.
But the conference has gotten notably stronger in recent years. Iowa rode star guard Caitlin Clark all the way to the national championship game last year and defeated No. 1 seeded South Carolina in the Final Four. Clark returns as the favorite to repeat as the Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year, but top Hawkeyes forward Monika Czinano graduated.
Unanimous all-Big Ten first-team forward Mackenzie Holmes also returns to Indiana this season. The Hoosiers lost star Grace Berger to the WNBA but will once again be a conference contender.
Other programs on the rise include Ohio State, Michigan State and Illinois. Each team tested Maryland last year and will host the Terps this season.
With a nonconference slate that features road matchups against Connecticut and South Carolina, there will be ample opportunities for Frese’s team to add ranked victories to their resume.
Last season, Maryland finished with nine wins over ranked teams, including five over top-10 opponents. To claim the conference title once more, the Terps might have to repeat or exceed that number.