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Maryland women’s basketball loses to Australia, 76-69, in World University Games quarterfinals

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After cruising through pool play, the Terps had a wake-up call.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Bridgeport Regional-Maryland vs Oregon David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Following its dominant pool play performance, Maryland women’s basketball came up short in the World University Games quarterfinals on Friday, losing 76-69 to Australia.

Tori Jankoska led Team USA with 17 points, but all of them came in either the first or fourth quarter. Kaila Charles finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Brianna Fraser was the only other Maryland player in double figures with 10 points.

Baylor rising senior Kristy Wallace led Australia with 22 points, and Alex Wilson contributed 17.

Although Australia only outshot the Terps 41 percent to 37 percent, they had a tremendous advantage on the glass. They out-rebounded Maryland 54-32, including 20 offensive boards. Darcee Garbin and Lauren Scherf combined for 34 rebounds, which is more than the Terps had as an entire team.

Maryland still forced 21 turnovers, but they didn’t matter as much since Australia got the rebound on nearly half of its missed shots.

The Terps jumped out to a 21-13 lead in the first quarter with tough defense and three-point shooting. Both Jankoska and Confroy hit two threes in the quarter, with Jankoska hitting one from approximately deep in the Pacific Ocean. Australia had eight turnovers, and never looked comfortable on offense.

The second quarter was a different story, with Australia outscoring the Terps 23-12 to take a 36-33 lead at halftime. Maryland shot just 29 percent and had a lot of quick possessions, and couldn’t keep Australia off the boards on the other end of the floor. Australia had nine offensive rebounds in the second quarter, which is as many as the Terps had total.

Australia finally started to heat up in the third quarter, and Maryland struggled to keep up. Australia shot 50 percent compared to the Terps’ 33 percent and had a 56-45 lead going into the final frame. Unlike the first half, Australia was able to get in a rhythm on the offensive end, while Maryland continued to struggle to find open shots and move the ball.

The Terps went on a 6-0 run to open the fourth quarter to cut the lead to five, but Australia followed with a 10-0 run to put the game out of reach. Maryland continued to fight, cutting the lead to four with a minute left, but Australia hit enough free throws to move on to the semifinals.

Maryland still has two more games left, but has been eliminated from medal contention. Team USA will play Canada at 5:30 a.m. ET Saturday.