With just under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, No. 20 Maryland women’s basketball took its first lead since the opening frame. The Terps battled their way down the stretch to an even ballgame with six ticks left on the clock.
And for the second time in their past three games, they won at the buzzer, with sophomore Shyanne Shellers knocking down the long-range three.
For most of the game, it looked like the Terps were going to fall to 0-2 in Big Ten play, but big-time buckets down the stretch allowed for Maryland (8-3, 1-1 Big Ten) to scrape and claw its way to an important 77-74 victory.
Here are some takeaways from the win.
600 career wins for Brenda Frese.
Frese added yet another milestone Thursday in her illustrious career as Maryland’s head coach. With today’s thrilling victory against Purdue, she became the 19th active NCAA women’s basketball coach to eclipse the 600-win mark.
Directly after the win, the hero in Sellers said, “Every day she’s pushing us to be better, so there’s no wonder why she has 600 wins.”
Already the winningest coach in Maryland history, she holds a record of 543-142 at the school. Before Maryland, she coached at Ball State and Minnesota for a total of three seasons.
Frese has led the Terps to a 142-21 mark in conference play since entering the Big Ten in the 2014-15 season.
She is looking to lead her squad to an incredible 14th conference championship and a 19th NCAA Tournament appearance in her 21st year at the helm.
“I’m just super humbled,” Frese said. “I’ve been so fortunate to have the bulk of these wins here at Maryland, a place that’s been really special and really good to our family. But behind those 600 wins, I haven’t made a basket. I haven’t scored a point. It’s these players who have put themselves in position to be able to have 600 wins. I’ve been really fortunate to have great people that I get to work with every day that put countless hours in behind the scenes.”
Abby Meyers heard her coach’s message.
After Meyers’ two-point outing in last Sunday’s loss against Nebraska, Frese said, “Abby needs to do more.”
For her first time as a Terp, Meyers came off the bench Thursday night, and it fueled a fire in her.
“We had a conversation and she knows this is not permanent and it was more kind of to jump start her and I love how she received it ... she was sensational,” Frese said.
From her first touch, it was clear she was on it. Meyers had seven points after the first quarter and the hot hand was hers all night.
She finished the evening with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go along with six boards. After two straight games with single digits and finding her way into the doghouse, the Princeton transfer clutched up, and her late kick-out to find Sellers for the game-winning shot was the icing on the cake.
“It’s just a lineup change at the end of the day and it’s not necessarily how you start the game, it’s how you finish it and for me, it’s just about trusting the process and to keep working and keep doing my thing within my role,” Meyers said.
This team has a flare for the dramatic.
While there’s been more bumps in the road than people are used to seeing, Maryland’s found some magic within, and Sellers’ buzzer-beater was the team’s second game-winning shot in the past week.
Nothing has come easy for this newly-formed Maryland team, and with a very tough early schedule that has forced Frese’s squad into some blunders, the Terps have found ways to come together late in games.
“I think our schedule has helped us that we’ve played such a tough schedule. I think we don’t even flinch now when we’re in these really competitive environments and games,” Frese said.
Against a top 10 opponent in Notre Dame last week, Diamond Miller shushed the Irish out of their own arena, and Sellers did the same to the Boilermaker fans Thursday night.
The final play might have been designed for the red-hot Meyers, but a smiling Sellers was happy she got the final shot.
“I should always be ready. Just in case something doesn’t go according to plan because that tends to happen — nothing goes according to plan. But yeah, I knew that everyone’s gonna be in the right spot the right time. I had to make sure that [Abby] had an option just in case something didn’t go right. So I’m happy that she passed me the ball,” Sellers said.