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McDaniel’s big afternoon leads Maryland women’s basketball past Purdue, 88-66

Bri McDaniel scored a career-high 25 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

Bri McDaniel (24) something second half.
Cal Tobias/Testudo Times

Sunday afternoon against Purdue, it wasn’t Shyanne Sellers who carried the load for Maryland women’s basketball. Instead, two other contributors left their fingerprints all over the contest.

Those players were Bri McDaniel and Jakia Brown-Turner.

McDaniel scored 11 of her career-high 25 points in the third quarter, helping the Terps to regain momentum after a quick Purdue surge. Meanwhile, Brown-Turner had a season-high 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting.

“[McDaniel] gives us another ball handler...someone who can get downhill,” said head coach Brenda Frese. “Another weapon from 3-point range, so that’s huge as well...obviously, she’s an elite defender for us.”

Both performances were instrumental in Maryland’s dominant 88-66 victory.

Early on, Maryland faced difficulties on the offensive end. In the opening four minutes, the Terps only managed five points on 1-of-5 shooting. Adding to their challenges, they committed four turnovers in the same time span.

However, a trend that has emerged over the past few weeks is Maryland’s ability to overcome these slow starts. In the subsequent four minutes, the Terps made three of five shots from the field and elevated their defensive intensity, securing three steals.

The first quarter could be characterized as relatively sloppy, with both teams combining for a staggering 13 turnovers. However, this could be attributed to the Terps’ persistent aggressiveness around the basket, earning them seven free throws in the frame alone.

The first minute and a half of the second quarter could easily be deemed the Terps’ best stretch of the season. Initiating a 7-0 run, they shot 3-for-4 from the field, connecting once from downtown. This surge was a direct result of their two forced turnovers.

Brown-Turner emerged as the primary catalyst behind Maryland’s early separation. She scored 14 points, grabbed six boards and maintained a perfect 6-for-6 clip from the field in the first 14 minutes.

“I love that Jakia [Brown-Turner] is staying the course. I know she’s been disappointed in her play,” Frese said. “She’s a really talented player and we need her to be able to knock down those shots.”

By halftime, the Terps had widened the gap to 13 points against the Boilermakers, a significant increase from their mere three-point lead after the first quarter.

But the visitors weren’t finished just yet.

Much like the run that Maryland had to begin the second quarter, Purdue erupted on a 10-2 surge in the first two and a half minutes of the third quarter. While it went 4-for-5 from the field, the Terps struggled, going just 1-for-4.

“I knew Purdue...their third quarter is their best and our third quarters are [our] worst. We were really tuned into it,” Frese said.

Not only did Maryland answer back, but it actually widened its lead from the start of the third quarter to the fourth frame. To end the third period, the Terps were nearly unguardable, going 9-for-9 from the field.

“I like the personal responsibility when we called the timeout. I thought we were able to change [momentum],” Frese said.

The fourth quarter simply did more to illustrate Maryland’s best offensive showing in Big Ten play so far this season, as it scored 20 points to reach its highest scoring total since its 99-51 victory over Towson on Dec. 12.

Overall, the Terps hit eight three pointers and went 32-for-58 from the field in the contest.

Three things to know

1. Riley Nelson exited the game early. The Terps’ promising freshman hit the deck after diving for a loose ball midway through the third quarter. After being immediately tended to by the training staff, she was unable to put any weight on her leg and was helped off straight to the locker room. She did not return to the game.

2. A game of turnovers. In the first half alone, both teams combined to commit 28 turnovers. Maryland used it to its advantage, notching 17 points off of 15 Purdue turnovers in the first 20 minutes, whereas the Boilermakers managed just five points off of 11 turnovers by the Terps.

3. Shyanne Sellers reached some impressive milestones. The Terps’ leader and consummate star needed just 12 points to reach 1,000 points in her college career. Sunday, she did just that. She also hit the milestone of 300 career assists, dishing out five helpers.

“I had no idea that I was even close,” Sellers said of reaching the 1,000-point mark. “But obviously we just have a lot more do. I think that’s just something that’s in the books.”