Following a hot first half for Maryland, Indiana came out of the locker room with confidence, ready to take the lead. As the momentum shifted toward the Hoosiers with five and a half minutes to go in the third quarter and they closed the Terps’ lead to two, sophomore forward Faith Masonius was fouled under the basket.
Off the inbound, sophomore guard Diamond Miller started to drive to the basket but instead stepped back and kicked the ball out to senior forward Chloe Bibby who was behind the arc as she sank her second three of the night.
Bibby’s three started a 7-0 run for the Terps that lasted almost two minutes to help Maryland grow their lead.
In their first matchup against a ranked conference opponent of the season, the Maryland women’s basketball team came out strong, and although it wavered, it topped No. 19 Indiana, 84-80.
Off the tip, sophomore guard Ashley Owusu took the ball down the court and passed it to senior guard Katie Benzan who stepped outside the arc to sink her first three.
“We were just ready to play,” said Bibby. “We knew that Indiana was going to be a tough team, and I think it all started in our warm-up when we were hyped and we were locked in early and that really just helped us follow it into the first quarter.”
Indiana tried to answer but couldn’t convert their shots into points. Redshirt sophomore forward Mimi Collins came down with the defensive rebound and passed the ball to Benzan who hit another three-point shot off the fast break.
The Terps were looking for their third conference win of the season and they came out hot striking first with back-to-back threes in primetime.
Maryland was 4-for-4 in field goals and went on a 10-0 run to start the game forcing Indiana to call a timeout less than two minutes in.
Out of the timeout, Indiana answered but Maryland could not be stopped. On the offensive end, they continued to shoot successfully and defensively, the Terps forced four turnovers in about three minutes as Indiana went on a scoring drought that lasted the same amount of time.
To finish the first quarter, the Terps shot 71% from the field, went three-for-five from behind the arc and lead the Hoosiers 23-9.
Owusu finished the first ten minutes of the game with eight points and two assists.
The second quarter started off slowly for the Terps as neither team scored until about two minutes in and the first points of the period went to Indiana.
Sophomore forward Faith Masonius answered with a jumper but the Hoosiers continued to keep up with the Terps’ pace. With five minutes left in the quarter, both teams made three of their last three field goals but Indiana continued to score when Maryland could not.
Indiana hit a jumper and a three to cut the Terps’ lead to nine and force Head Coach Brenda Frese to call a timeout.
After checking out of the game due to foul trouble, Owusu came in out of the timeout to sink a jumper but Indiana pressed on making seven of their last nine field goals as Maryland was in a two-minute scoring drought until Owusu snapped it with a three.
“I thought it was a terrific response coming out of the locker room,” Frese said. “Specifically I thought Ashley really commanded being out of foul trouble and being able to make some big plays.”
Although Indiana came close, Maryland maintained their lead 41-29 as they headed into the locker room at the end of the first half.
In the first twenty minutes of the game, Owusu led the offense for the Terps with 13 points while Collins led the defense recording six boards.
“I’m just taking what the defense gives me and I am not predetermining what I am going to do with the ball,” said Owusu. “ I’m just staying alert and aware of what’s going on.”
But as Indiana’s confidence grew, they continued to fight throughout the entirety of this top 20 matchup. Less than two and a half minutes into the second half, Frese called another time out as her team was outscored 8-2 and the Terps’ lead was cut to six.
As the momentum shifted toward the Hoosiers they went on a 10-0 run lasting almost three minutes to close Maryland’s lead to just two points until Masonius was fouled under the basket.
After the inbound, Miller passed the ball out to Bibby who hit her second three-point shot of the night to start the 7-0 run that allowed the Terps to build their lead once again.
Although Indiana continued to push and made it a one-possession game in the last four seconds, the Terps held on to their lead and finished the game with four players in double-digit scoring. Miller and Owusu led the team with 20 points each, Bibby had 15 and Benzan had 12.
Three Things To Know
1. Diamond Miller delivered in the fourth quarter. Miller scored 11 of the Terps’ 23 fourth-quarter points. The sophomore guard shot 4-for-6 from the field last ten minutes of the game. More than half of her points came in the fourth quarter and she led the team in scoring.
2. Personal fouls are still a problem for Maryland. In the second quarter, Owusu and Miller each had two fouls. The two sophomore guards lead the team in points averaging 18.4 points and 17.9 points per game, respectively. When they checked out of the game is when Indiana went on their run in the second quarter to narrow the lead. When Miller and Owusu are in foul trouble, Maryland is not at their strongest on the court.
“When [Owusu and Miller] were in foul trouble I thought that was a huge shift in the second quarter when we lost them due to the foul trouble,” said Frese. “Then we were mixing it up between the man and zone to be able to kind of protect the lead that we had until we could get them back.”
3. The Terps wanted to show they have the potential to win the conference. Despite being the reigning Big Ten champions, in the conference coaches preseason poll, Indiana was the favorite to win this season with Maryland predicted to come in second.
“Indiana was picked to win the big 10, we took that personally,” Owusu said. “We have to take every game personally just like that and come out every game of the season and play the way that we played today.
The Terps knew this would be a tough game with the Hoosiers coming off a three-game win streak. They came out strong but fell behind in the second half as the Hoosiers cut the lead all the way down to two. However, they continued to fight and play together to come out on top.
“You could see the fight in the intensity of both teams wanting to win this game,” Frese said. “But I think the key was the resiliency of our team to be able to make late-game free throws and make the plays that we had to make, to be able to come away with a win against a great Indiana team that was picked, quite honestly, to win it all.”