No. 13 Maryland women’s basketball responds strongly to halftime deficit, defeats No. 18 Ohio State, 77-72

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

The Terps entered the second half trailing 39-34, but made sure to quickly erase the deficit. 

Guard Diamond Miller immediately tipped the Buckeyes inbound pass to start the half and got the ball. Miller then drove to the basket for an easy layup. 

The Terps added four more points to complete the 6-0 run, some Angel Reese free throws and a bucket allowed them to retake the lead at 40-39, their first since the closing minutes of the first quarter. 

A strong second half and boisterous crowd powered No. 13 Maryland women’s basketball (20-6, B1G 12-3) to a, 77-72, victory over No. 18 Ohio State (19-5, B1G 11-5). The win extended Maryland’s winning streak to a season high eight wins. 

With the win on Thursday, the Terps moved firmly into second place in the Big Ten standings. 

The Buckeyes opened on a 4-0 run but then Maryland went on a 9-2 run to take the lead capped off by a Chloe Bibby three pointer. 

Reese did not start and entered the game late in the first quarter, but made her mark on the rest of the game. She scored in the paint and was all over the court, as she finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds to secure her 15th double-double on the season. 

“Just being ready when my number is called,” Reese said. “When I came in I just wanted to keep the same energy up in the team.”

Buckeyes guard Taylor Mikesell, an ex-Terp, returned to College Park for the first time since she first played for Maryland and scored eight first quarter points for the Buckeyes to help build a 19-12 at the first quarter break. 

Mikesell continued to torch the Terps adding eight more points in the second quarter including two three pointers. Frese’s former recruit finished with 29 points and five three pointers. 

With three minutes left in the second quarter, Miller earned an and-one opportunity after she was fouled on a layup that energized the crowd and got the Terps within five points. 

Miller finished with 18 points, the second most on the team. Her play on both ends contributed heavily to Maryland’s comeback effort. 

“The response out of the locker room at halftime,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “It started with Diamond setting the tone on the defensive end with big plays.”   

The Terps entered halftime trailing 39-34, but the team’s start to the second half inspired momentum through the rest of the game. 

“What I’m most proud of right now is just their response,” Frese said. “They never quit and they kept fighting.” 

Three minutes into the second half, guard Katie Benzan received the inbound with little time on the shot clock and thrusted up a three. Benzan made the shot and tied the game at 47 points. 

Everything started to collapse for the Buckeyes in the second half as they picked up seven fouls, including a technical on the Buckeyes head coach.

Reese went 9-10 from the free throw line and converted the most critical charity stripe opportunities that put the Terps ahead for good. The team as a whole converted 19 out of 21 free throws to secure the big victory.

The Terps have a quick turnaround as they travel to Ann Arbor on Sunday to face No. 9 Michigan at 3 p.m.