This time, the 12th matchup proved to be the one No. 8 Indiana would break through against No. 6 Maryland women’s basketball. In its previous 11 meetings against Maryland, Indiana had never won. On Sunday afternoon, though, the Hoosiers got their first Big Ten victory against a team that has dominated the conference since joining in 2014.
The Terps found themselves in a fourth-quarter hole, but a late run and a clutch shot from junior guard Ashley Owusu brought the game to overtime. Despite Maryland’s momentum, it couldn’t piece it together in the extra period. Maryland’s cold shooting, a theme all game long, continued when it mattered most. The Terps were unsuccessful on each of their seven shot attempts from the field in overtime as they managed just two points.
Maryland’s two points in the overtime period weren’t enough to knock off Indiana and it fell 70-63 in Bloomington, Indiana, on Sunday. With the loss, Maryland moves to 10-4 on the season and it is 1-4 against ranked opponents this season.
Good things usually happen when Owusu gets free in transition. And a minute and a half into Sunday’s contest, the junior guard found a wide-open Angel Reese under the basket; the Baltimore native logged Maryland’s first seven points and the game’s first block.
Without using a substitute for the first four minutes, Maryland head coach Brenda Frese rolled with her trusted starting rotation of Owusu, Reese, graduate guard Katie Benzan, redshirt junior forward Mimi Collins and graduate student forward/guard Chloe Bibby.
At the 5:52 mark of the first quarter, Frese called Faith Masonius’ No. 13, and the junior guard immediately scored a layup.
The next player on the bench for Maryland was junior guard Diamond Miller, who has slowly been working her way back from a knee injury. The all-conference player logged 21 minutes against Coppin State, her first appearance since Nov. 21 versus Baylor.
“I just had to get back for my teammates,” Miller said after the match. “But also listening to my body. My body felt pretty good today.”
For her points of the game, Miller received a full-court pass from freshman Shyanne Sellers, who heaved a rocket to her teammate, who had gotten behind Indiana’s defense.
After 10 minutes played, Maryland was up on Indiana by three points, but the Hoosiers held the Terps to just one three-point attempt in the quarter. And outside of Reese’s eight looks on target, Maryland attempted just five shots in the first frame.
It was a sloppy start to the second quarter for the Terps; through the first five minutes, the No. 6 team in the country committed four fouls and three turnovers.
“I think they sped us up,” Frese said. “Took us out of a lot of our actions. They’re a tremendous defensive team and the ball kind of stalked a lot.”
In the span of a minute and a half, the visitors gave the ball away three times, and Indiana made them pay, much to the delight of the home faithful. After the third turnover led to a breakaway two, Frese called for a quick break with the Hoosiers up four.
Even after a six-foul, seven-turnover second quarter that saw Maryland outscored 19-12, the Terps went into the half down just four, thanks in part to 6-for-12 shooting from the field.
It wasn’t a sparkling start to the third, either. The team missed four of five shots but got things going with Reese in the post. However, on the other end of the court, seventh-year player Ali Patberg, who finished with 18 points, knocked down three consecutive baskets for her side.
With a little over five minutes remaining in the third, Masonius, after stealing a pass, had her knee buckle after planting on the left side. The third-year player had to be helped off the court by members of Maryland’s coaching staff. Masonius typically is Frese’s first player off the bench, so a potentially serious injury would hurt the depth of a team that has had health issues all season long.
After the away side won the third quarter, 16-12, the two teams went into the break level at 45. Reese, seven points, and Miller, nine, were the only Terrapins to pencil their names on the scoresheet in the third frame.
Indiana started the fourth with seven unanswered points, punctuated by a Mackenzie Holmes two, which prompted another Maryland timeout. The Hoosier’s top player finished the affair with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Also for the hosts, Aleksa Gulbe put up a 17-point, 10-rebounds double-double.
Nearly four minutes into the final period, Maryland finally made a bucket — an Owusu steal led to a contested layup that Indiana smartly did not foul on.
With her team down nine, Benzan hit a big three — her first of the afternoon — to cut the lead to six. It was only Maryland’s second deep ball of the contest. Minutes later, Bibby hit the third.
A late 8-0 run for the Terps made it a one-point game, but Indiana guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary went 1-for-2 from the line to edge the Hoosiers ahead two. Owusu then tied the game at 61, and the home team was unable to ice the game as the fans inside Bloomington Assembly Hall were treated to an extra five minutes of overtime.
I think Indiana did a great job scouting [Ashley],” Frese said of her star point guard, who finished with 10 points, one assist and seven turnovers on 4-of-13 shooting from the field. “I thought she actually got a lot more aggressive in that fourth quarter. She’s so talented. Just being aggressive and getting downhill to make plays, whether it’s for yourself or for your teammates.”
Maryland’s scoring went cold in the final overtime frame as it was 0-for-7 from the floor in the extra period. Indiana outscored the Terps 9-2 in overtime to capture the seven-point win.
Coming into the afternoon, Maryland had been averaging just 10 turnovers per game. Sunday afternoon, the Terps finished with 19. What’s worse: the visitors made just 21 field goals compared to the giveaways. On the other end, Indiana turned the 19 turnovers into 14 points.
“There was a lot of unforced turnovers that we had,” Miller said. “We just need to execute better. I think we had like 19 turnovers, which is a lot and that could be buckets if we took care of the ball.”
Three things to know
1. Maryland was back in action after a long period of rest. Playing in its first game since its Dec. 21 road game against Coppin State, No. 6 Maryland traveled to Bloomington for a top-10 matchup with an Indiana team that, coming into the afternoon, had lost just two games and was undefeated through a pair of conference fixtures. Indiana was Maryland’s fifth ranked opponent of the year, but it was the fourth time that the Terps fell to a ranked team.
2. Angel Reese picked up where she left off. For the seventh time this season, Reese cracked the 20-point mark, and it took less than 30 minutes to do so. Coming into the game against Indiana, Reese was averaging 18.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. In the first quarter alone, the second-year forward/guard put up 11 and two. Reese was a factor and Maryland’s best player on the court when all was said and done as she finished with 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting and 12 rebounds.
“I thought [Angel] had a really hot start for us,” Frese said. “I thought she was very aggressive in that first quarter.”
3. Diamond Miller was very dynamic. With Owusu dropping to the bench in the middle stages of the second, Miller worked on Holmes and hit a spin-around two. On the next play, she intercepted a looping pass for an uncontested lay-in. The Somerset, New Jersey, native did a little bit of everything Sunday afternoon; she collected 17 points, four rebounds and four steals in the loss. However, Miller’s five turnovers and 4-for-11 shooting put a dent in Maryland’s efforts on Sunday.
“Diamond was terrific for her second game, truly back,” Frese said after the game. “To be in that kind of form and give us what she was able to do with her heart and soul.”