By ERIC OLSON
AP Sports Writer
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – Kaila Charles scored 19 points, eight of them coming when Maryland broke open the game in the third quarter, and the No. 9 Terrapins beat Nebraska 81-63 Tuesday night for Brenda Frese’s 500th win as a head coach.
The Terps (14-1, 3-1 Big Ten) have won two straight since getting upset by Rutgers on Dec. 31. The Cornhuskers (7-8, 2-2) have lost two in a row after winning their first two conference games.
Nebraska came back from a 10-point second-quarter deficit to close to 45-43 in the third. Charles then put back Stephanie Jones’ miss in the paint to start a 16-6 spurt to end the quarter.
The Huskers cut the lead to seven, but the Terps used a 15-2 run to make it a 20-point game with 3 minutes left.
Taylor Mikesell hit four 3-pointers while adding 16 points for the Terps and Jones finished with 13. Blair Watson added 12 points, and reserve Channise Lewis scored nine points in one of her best games for Maryland, which improved to 10-0 all-time against the Huskers and 4-0 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The teams played on even terms in the first quarter. Nebraska missed seven of its first eight shots in the second, but Maryland wasn’t much better, and the Huskers were able to close to 37-33.
Hannah Whitish and Nicea Eliely had nine points apiece and Kate Cain had 10 rebounds for the Huskers. Freshman Kayla Mershon had all of her season-high seven points in the first half to keep Nebraska within range.
Frese is 443-120 in 17 seasons at Maryland, where she’s led the Terps to one national championship and three Final Fours. She also has been head coach at Ball State and Minnesota and is 500-150 overall.
Maryland: Charles continues to be the most consistent player, having scored in double figures in all but one game, and Mikesell is living up to her billing as one of the top 3-point shooters coming out of high school last year.
Nebraska: The Huskers held a 38-37 edge on the boards against one of the nation’s top rebounding teams, but they continue to have difficulty finishing around the basket.
Maryland hosts Michigan on Saturday.
Nebraska hosts Rutgers on Sunday.