With 45 seconds left in the half, forward Angel Reese and guard Diamond Miller raced up the court looking to end the Terps’ nearly quarter long scoring drought.
Reese waited too long before passing the ball to Miller and Wolverines guard Leigha Brown forced a turnover, summing up the Terps first half struggles.
Despite turning up the defensive pressure in the second half, their halftime deficit was too much for Maryland to overcome. Consequently, No. 11 Michigan (15-2, 6-1 B1G) trounced No. 8 Maryland women’s basketball (12-5, 4-2 B1G), 69-49.
“The last two games we felt like we’re getting in some kind of rhythm,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “[We are] still searching for our identity. The good thing is it’s only January.”
Michigan earned their first ever win at Xfinity Center, snapping the Terps 31 straight home game victories, which was the second longest active streak in Division I basketball.
Michigan now cemented their spot in second place in the Big Ten standings after the Wolverines huge win.
With the loss Maryland falls to 1-5 against ranked opponents.
The Terps also played with heavy hearts on Sunday as Frese’s father, Bill, passed away hours before the game from a long battle of cancer at age 89. Frese still coached tonight’s game.
“What else was I going to do?” Frese said. “I felt like this is where he would want me to be.”
Michigan dominated defensively, slowing down the pace to fit the Wolverines style of play. The Wolverines limited the Terps to 10 offensive rebounds in a category where they lead the Big Ten, averaging 15.8 a game.
“They really prevented us from getting into our rhythm and our flow and that really showed,” guard Katie Benzan said. “We have to go back to the drawing board and find out how to counter that now.”
The game opened up as back and forth in the first quarter, with the Terps shooting 8-14 from the field, but Michigan pulled ahead on a 9-2 run in the middle of the first quarter and never looked back.
The Terps did a good job limiting Wolverines forward Naz Hillmon’s production early on. The Terps held Hillmon without a shot attempt in the first quarter, but that let other players add to the scoring column.
Wolverines guard Maddie Nolan torched the Terps in the first quarter making three threes in the quarter, draining every open look the Terps interior-focused defense gave her. The team as a whole shot 5-7 from three in the first quarter despite ranking second to last in the Big Ten in three point attempts. The Wolverines finished with 10 threes.
“I mean great teams are going to have more than one great player,” forward/guard Chloe Bibby said. “I think our rotations were late tonight … and they punished us for 40 minutes.”
Brown added 15 points and four assists. Hillmon finally made her first basket four minutes into the second quarter and finished with nine points, eight rebounds, two blocks and one steal adding to the Wolverines’ thorough dominance.
The Terps came out flat, turning the ball over 13 times in the first half limiting their ability to score including three turnovers off bad passes in the first quarter. The Terps added seven more turnovers in the second quarter.
The Wolverines defense smothered the Terps all night holding the team to 49 points including only three in the second quarter.
Guard Ashley Owusu was held without an assist until the team’s final basket of the night, passing the ball to guard Taisiya Kozolva who made a three pointer.
No Terps reached double figures tonight as Reese and Bibby led the team with nine points apiece.
In the third quarter the Terps finally broke their 10 minute scoring drought that began in the previous half, with 8:51 left in the third quarter when Miller sank two free throws.
The Terps finally made their first field goal since the beginning of the second quarter when Reese converted a hook shot with eight minutes left in the third frame.
Nolan continued to rain threes in the second half, adding two more early in the third quarter and one more in the fourth. All of Nolan’s points came on three pointers.
Next, the Terps will look to rebound in Columbus, Ohio against Ohio State on Thursday at 6 p.m.