With just 21 seconds left in the game and Baylor down by four points, Jaden Owens drove the ball to the basket needing a bucket. She took a slight bump and looked for a foul but the referee instead called travel.
Diamond Miller then knocked three free throws down the stretch to ice the game and give Maryland a 73-68 victory.
Miller was electrifying for the Terps on the day finishing with a career-high 32 points to lead all scorers and 10 rebounds.
“Once I got settled in, I could see the floor and the basket seemed like the ocean, to be honest,” Miller said.
“Diamond is by far the biggest competitor I’ve ever played with. She really came out and put us on her back. You can’t really stop her. She has her up and under and she can finish anyway around the rim. She’s definitely a lethal weapon that any person wants to have on their team,” Abby Meyers said.
Meyers also played a big part in the win. She scored 13 points and drained three shots from downtown. She also pulled down 10 rebounds.
Maryland struggled to hold on to the ball and had 19 turnovers on the day. However, they also managed to force 10 turnovers on the other end including several key moments toward the end.
The Terrapins used their size advantage to outrebound Baylor 43 to 37. The Bears did have 18 offensive rebounds though which led to 17 second-chance points.
“We needed every single one of those rebounds on the glass. That was a big key for us,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.
Baylor attempted 12 more shots than UMD but the Terps were more efficient shooting 46% compared to 36% for the Bears.
Another major reason for the Baylor loss was their inefficiency from the free throw line. They were only 12-22 from the charity stripe.
The turnover problems for the Terps started early. The pesky Bears’ defense forced seven turnovers in the first quarter.
Baylor was able to get their shots off but they were inefficient shooting 26.3% from the field for the quarter.
The first quarter ended with Baylor leading 13-12 despite Maryland shooting the ball at a far more efficient rate.
Brinae Alexander got involved early on the offensive end and led all scorers in the quarter with five points.
In the second quarter, Maryland switched to a zone at times and varied their defensive strategy which forced the struggling Baylor shooters into attempting even more outside shots.
Baylor shot 23% from the field in the first half and was 1 of 17 from behind the arc.
One bright spot for the Bears was freshman Darianna Littlepage-Buggs, who had a double-double in the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Maryland started to catch fire as the game went on and shot 66.7% in the second quarter.
The Terps went into the half with their largest lead of the game at that point up 36-26.
Owens started the second half by knocking down a three off of a kick out following a Ja’mee Asberry drive. Owens then immediately forced a turnover leading to another bucket.
Baylor blitzed the Terps to start the half with a 9-0 run to put themselves right back in the game.
Miller finally stopped the bleeding by knocking down both free throws following a rough foul.
The Bears stayed hot though and shot 47.1% in the third quarter.
Sarah Andrews was a key player who turned it on for Baylor. She scored 21 of her 25 points and drilled all four of her threes in the second half.
“She’s a tremendous scorer. She can hit the three when she really gets going and then she’s so hard to guard downhill,” Frese said.
However, Maryland still led 53-47 after three quarters, largely due to the clutch play of Miller.
Maryland started out the fourth quarter with two straight threes from Meyers and Elisa Pinzan and another bucket from Meyers to push the lead to 14 points, their largest lead of the game.
Both teams exploded from long range in the fourth and they traded threes back and forth. They combined for six threes in the quarter.
Maryland managed to keep just enough distance between them and Baylor to see out the rest of the game.
With 1:17 left in the game and up by four points, the Terps secured two huge offensive rebounds following missed shots. They were able to run the clock all the way down to 30 seconds before Baylor regained the ball.
“We talked about this game being a battle of wills and it was huge to get the ball, to be able to take it back out and extend the time on the clock. That’s a mentality to go get it on the glass and we were really focused,” Frese said.
Following the travel call on Owens, Maryland hit their free throws and secured the victory.
They will face off against DePaul in their next game as part of the Fort Myers Tip-off.