No. 15 Maryland women’s basketball drained nine 3-pointers en route to its commanding 88-51 victory over IPFW Wednesday. The Terps concluded their final nonconference matchup in style with 20 assists and four players scoring in double figures.
Maryland finishes with an impressive 9-2 nonconference record and has a break before welcoming Minnesota to the XFINITY Center on Dec. 30.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
The Terps’ aggressiveness led to an electric showing from 3-point range.
The Terps hadn’t played a game since their marquee 85-78 victory over then-No. 6 UConn on Dec. 11. Maryland took advantage of practices by building chemistry with a roster featuring nine newcomers.
“We loved it as a coaching staff, we were able to put some really productive practices under our belt as a team and really work on a lot of things,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “I think you were able to see us switching up a lot of our defenses, just all things that we wanted to continue to keep repping as we go into conference play again.”
Maryland got off to a fast start against IPFW, as it was ultra-aggressive during the onset of the game. But it was its performance from deep that stole the show in Wednesday’s matinee.
The Terps finished 9-for-16 from behind the arc and were efficient at penetrating the defense to generate open looks for shooters.
Four of Maryland’s starters recorded at least one 3-pointer, as guards Shyanne Sellers and Abby Meyers cashed in two apiece from distance.
While the starters were making their presence felt, an experienced player off Maryland’s bench continued her recent hot streak from three.
Maryland senior guard Brinae Alexander continues to be a spark plug off the bench, as her three 3-pointers paved the way for her 13 points. The Vanderbilt transfer chipped in eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks to her impressive performance. During the Terps’ current three-game winning streak, Alexander is shooting 45% from three on 9-for-20 shooting.
With conference play on the horizon, Maryland will look to build on this dazzling performance in hopes of winning its seventh Big Ten regular-season title since 2014.
Shyanne Sellers showed out versus a familiar opponent.
When Frese confirmed a matchup with IPFW during the 2022-23 season, Maryland sophomore guard Shyanne Sellers knew she would get the chance to compete against her older sister.
Sellers’ sister, Shayla, a senior guard at IPFW, and Shyanne, competed in front of family and friends at Gates Sports Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“We’ve been talking about this game all year, so it was kind of fun that it was already here. And just seeing us be on that same court again,” Sellers said. “We haven’t been together since like 2019 on the same court. So it was just a really cool experience. I’m just glad everyone got to experience it.”
The Maryland guard played with a great amount of confidence, as she was decisive in her strong drives to the rim. Sellers led the Terps with 18 points after going 7-for-13 from the field and draining two of three shots from 3-point range.
The Sellers sisters guarded each other for much of the game, and Shyanne’s defensive instincts sparked a comical conversation between the two.
As the third quarter began, Maryland got into its routine 1-2-2 press with Shyanne at the top of the zone.
Shayla Sellers received the inbound pass and attempted to drive past Shyanne. The younger sister slid her feet with the intention of drawing an offensive foul. Shyanne was called for a blocking foul that elicited an entertaining dialogue between the siblings.
“It was very fun to play against my sister. [Shayla] said that I was a flopper when I got that blocking call and that was just simply not true,” Sellers jokingly said. “We had a little banter like I told you guys would happen.”
After playing with each other during decorated careers at Aurora High School in Ohio, Shyanne took a one-game lead over her sister in official head-to-head matchups.
Faith Masonius’ contributions may not always appear in the box score, but her impact on the game is evident.
The game of basketball records plenty of stats, but Maryland senior forward Faith Masonius’ contributions go beyond a simple stat sheet.
Masonius is operating as an undersized big, but her ability to play “winning basketball” is evident anytime she takes the floor.
The New Jersey native sets strong screens, battles for rebounds and barks defensive commands similar to a quarterback at the line of scrimmage.
Despite scoring only two points on Wednesday, she collected four steals as the Terps forced 19 turnovers in their lopsided victory over IPFW.
“You look at four steals she had for us in limited time. We wanted to have that opportunity to rest her here. She’s taken the bulk of so many minutes here in our nonconference,” Frese said. “She just does so many of those unsung hero things, keeps our defense together, and so many intangible plays on both ends of the floor that don’t show up on a stat sheet.”
Masonius is coming off a torn ACL from last January and has been gaining confidence every game. The Terps’ No. 13 has started all 13 games and been instrumental in the outcome of a few games this season.
It was Masonius’ screen that created separation for guard Diamond Miller to drain a game-winning buzzer-beater at No. 7 Notre Dame on Dec. 1.
Masonius and the Terps will use the Christmas break to recharge, as a competitive Big Ten slate awaits.