Maryland women’s basketball fell at XFINITY Center Wednesday for the first time since Dec. 2022, losing to No. 18 Ohio State, 84-76.
Here are some takeaways from the Terps’ defeat.
Early foul trouble cost the Terps
Maryland sent Ohio State to the free-throw line 30 times, and it was some of the Terps’ most important players committing the fouls.
Shyanne Sellers and Allie Kubek played just a combined 10 minutes in the first half, with Kubek staying sidelined for the entire second quarter. Sellers played just four minutes in the frame.
Headed into the final quarter, every Maryland starter had multiple fouls. Sellers was visibly frustrated throughout, only playing 27 minutes, well below her average of 31.6 minutes a game.
With Riley Nelson out for the season, Maryland’s depth is already slim, and it showed in the form of fatigue, especially in the fourth quarter, during which the Buckeyes pulled away.
Bri McDaniel continues to look like the Terps’ best player
McDaniel has been on a tear to kick off the new year.
She averaged 18 points a game over the first three contests of 2024, and once again impressed against the Buckeyes.
The sophomore finished with 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting, her third straight game in double digits, the longest such streak of her career.
While she was a problem scoring in the paint all night, she also contributed in other facets of the game, recording six assists, four rebounds and three steals in 37 minutes.
Her form as of late is exactly what this team needs coming into the middle of January. With Sellers garnering much of the opponents’ attention, McDaniel has proven that she can be a high-level playmaker on both sides of the ball.
Can the Terps compete with ranked opponents this season?
Last year’s team came within one game of the Final Four, beating nine ranked opponents along the way. It was known that this year’s squad almost certainly wouldn’t match that success this season without the likes of Diamond Miller and Abby Meyers, but not many expected the Terps to be 0-4 against ranked opponents at this point of the season.
They’ve been outscored by a combined 98 points in the four defeats.
The first three losses all came very early on in the year, so question marks surrounding the team were reasonably limited. But with more than half of the season now gone, head coach Brenda Frese’s squad has to show a lot more with March slowly approaching.
In just a few weeks, Maryland welcomes No. 14 Indiana and No. 2 Iowa to College Park in back to back games. What happens in those games may just dictate the rest of the season.