clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Maryland women’s basketball dismantled by Penn State, 112-76

The Terps’ struggles continued in a convincing road loss.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Maryland women’s basketball desperately needed to rebound after a heartbreaking overtime defeat against Michigan on Wednesday. But against Penn State, the outcome was not particularly close — and not in a positive way.

While the Terps shot 43.8% from the field, the Lady Lions proved unstoppable. They shot a remarkable 61.5% from three-point range in a 112-76 demolition of a struggling Maryland squad.

With the loss, the Terps fell to 4-5 in conference play, firmly placing their postseason hopes on veritable life support.

“We had no answer, whichever defense we were in,” said Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. “Credit to [Penn State], I thought, you know, it was probably one of the best games I’ve seen them play.”

Maryland took almost three minutes to score its first basket. In that span, Penn State embarked on a 7-0 run, capitalizing on open looks and executing a patient offensive strategy. The Lady Lions converted four of their initial five shots.

For the Terps, generating offense proved challenging. They connected on just two of their first seven field goal attempts, struggling around the hoop. Penn State dominated the boards, out-rebounding Maryland 8-3 in the first five minutes.

“I thought our first quarter was disappointing, especially with a lot of the missed free throws we had and layups,” Frese said. “I thought we dug ourselves in a really big hole.”

The closing moments of the first quarter didn’t offer much relief for Maryland, either. It concluded the frame without scoring in the final 2:05. Penn State frustrated Maryland’s guards, managing to secure a last-second basket by double-teaming Shyanne Sellers on the perimeter and forcing a turnover.

However, the start of the second quarter marked a shift in momentum. The Terps initiated an 8-0 run, while the Lady Lions endured a near-three-minute scoreless stretch.

“I thought, you know, our second quarter we started to settle in a little bit more,” Frese said. “I thought Jakia [Brown-Turner] did everything she could for us, especially when [Sellers] went out.”

The quarter was a productive one for Maryland, shooting 10-for-18 from the field and 3-for-7 from three. Despite this, Penn State impressively regrouped to conclude the frame. It went 8-for-13 from the field, with former Terp Ashley Owusu shining by dismantling both Maryland’s interior and perimeter defense to accumulate 12 second-quarter points.

The Terps faced challenges cutting into Penn State’s 13-point halftime lead. Major defensive issues persisted throughout, with Maryland providing little resistance at every juncture on the court. Heightened size in the lineup made perimeter matchups nearly impossible for some of the less agile Terps, and Penn State capitalized by shooting a scorching 5-for-6 from beyond the arc in the frame.

The fourth quarter unfolded in a manner consistent with the preceding three periods. The Terps were once again outscored, this time by a margin of 33-16. At one juncture, they endured a stretch where they made just one of 11 field goals.

The most recent instance of Maryland surrendering 100 points in a game occurred in its 76-114 defeat against then-No. 6 South Carolina on Nov. 12. It did so again on Saturday in a convincing defeat.

“We’re going to have to move on to the next and put a great plan together as we go, you know, back home,” Frese said.

Three things to know

1. Sellers was injured. In the latter part of the second quarter, Sellers went down, clutching her knee. She required assistance from two Maryland trainers to leave the court and did not return.

“When we when we lose her, you know, it’s tough, but it’s important for us to keep playing for her and and hopefully she’ll be back,” Brown-Turner said.

2. Free throws separated the teams. In the first half, Maryland and Penn State posted remarkably similar field goal percentages. The Lady Lions only made two more shots and one additional 3-pointer compared to the Terps, despite holding a 13-point lead at halftime. So, what was the differentiating factor?

The key distinction lay in Penn State’s aggressive playing style, which resulted in it earning 10 free throws in the first half, of which it successfully converted nine. In contrast, the Terps only secured six free throws and managed to make just one.

3. Unfamiliar territory for the Terps. The last instance of Maryland accumulating this many losses in a single season was the 2021-22 campaign, where it experienced nine defeats. Presently, the Terps stand at eight losses with nine regular-season games remaining, already surpassing the total number of losses in the 2022-23 season (seven).