With about two minutes to go in this top-ten matchup, Diamond Miller made a layup to put No. 9 Maryland within striking distance of No. 6 Indiana, who held a slight five-point lead. The Terps then needed a defensive stop to keep their come-back bid going, but instead, Yarden Garzon knocked down a massive three that would ultimately sink Maryland’s chances.
The Hoosiers defeated Maryland 68-61 in a very close game but ultimately disappointing for the Terps, who felt they let one get away with uncharacteristic mistakes.
“Obviously, not one of our better games. It was really an off night by a lot of players. Anytime you see a negative assist-to-turnover ratio, we’re not sharing the ball and not trusting the process. Credit to Indiana, I thought they were the more physical team for 40 minutes,” Coach Brenda Frese said.
Several of Maryland’s big-name scorers struggled offensively as the Terps only managed to shoot 36.8% from the field.
Abby Meyers and Shyanne Sellers came into this game as two of the top three scorers for Maryland, but they only managed nine points each. Meyers shot 3 of 12 from the field, and Sellers was 4 of 10.
Miller scored a game-high 19 points, but she struggled on the offensive end for much of the game. She was held to five points until late in the third quarter, and she ended up shooting 5 of 13 from the field in the game to go with five turnovers.
Miller did catch fire late in the game, scoring 12 fourth-quarter points and fueling the Terps’ comeback bid, but it turned out to be a little too late. She also made an impact on the defensive end all game, recording three steals and being a nuisance to the Hoosiers.
“The first three quarters were rough to say the least. In the fourth quarter, I was doing anything to help my team out. Obviously, I started too late. I need to show up for these types of games. At the end of the day, we have to learn from this one, and this one hurts. So, I am really mad right now,” Miller said.
Brinae Alexander was a bright spot on the offensive end for Maryland. She scored 15 points, including some timely buckets to keep her team in the game.
“She was huge. Brinae can really shoot the basketball, and I thought she played with a lot of poise and confidence. We needed every one of those 15 points with some uncharacteristic off-nights that we had from the rest of our starting five,” Frese said.
Both teams struggled with turnovers in what was an uncharacteristically sloppy game for both teams. Indiana gave the ball away 19 times, and Maryland turned it over 16 times.
Both teams also struggled to knock down free throws at times, with Indiana having an especially rough go of it. The Hoosiers went 12 of 21 from the charity stripe, allowing Maryland to stay in the game all the way to the end.
Indiana’s physicality in the paint was what ultimately won the game. They outscored the Terrapins 32-18 in points in the paint and outrebounded them 37-29.
“It was a really physical game. I don’t think we adapted at all. They were the more aggressive team, and we didn’t handle it well. We’ve got to be tougher,” Frese said.
Sydney Parrish and Mackenzie Holmes were key players for Indiana. Holmes recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Parrish led the Hoosiers with 18 points, knocking down three shots from three-point range.
The first quarter was a tight affair with neither team able to put much space between themselves and their opponent. Maryland led 20-19 after one quarter.
The Hoosiers started to heat up in the second quarter, and Parrish caught fire. She led all scorers in the first half with 13 points on 5 of 7 shooting.
Indiana went on a 9-0 run to open up a lead fueled by their tough defense. They held the Terps scoreless for over five minutes in the middle of the quarter.
Alexander finally made two important layups to end the scoring drought toward the end of the quarterm but the Hoosiers took a 35-27 lead into the half. Indiana outscored Maryland 16-7 in the second quarter.
“The second quarter really hurt us clearly. In conference play, if you have a quarter like that, then it’s typically going to get you beat,” Frese said.
One key to the Indiana advantage was how they controlled the paint. They outscored Maryland 20-6 in paint points in the first half, and outrebounded the Terps 18-11. Maryland had no offensive rebounds which killed their ability to create second chances.
The game was back and forth for most of the third quarter, with the lead staying where it was until Maryland went on a mini-run late in the quarter to cut the lead to five. Maryland ended the third quarter in striking distance with the game at 45-40.
Their pesky defense was key to this run, with the Terps forcing 12 turnovers in the second half.
Marland finally tied the game up with a little over six minutes to go in the fourth behind a 10-2 run, which Miller played a huge part in. However, Indiana responded with a 9-0 run to take back the lead.
Maryland managed to cut the lead back to five, but Garzon’s three on the next possession forced the Terrapins into fouling mode, and the Hoosiers were able to knock down enough free throws to put the game away.
Two of Indiana’s best players, Grace Berger and Parrish, both picked up four fouls with over six minutes left in the fourth quarter and their coach elected to leave them on the floor. However, Maryland couldn’t take advantage, and both players played key roles in securing the Hoosiers’ victory.
“Shame on us for not taking advantage of that,” Alexander said.
Maryland will continue Big Ten play at home on Sunday against Rutgers.