Shyanne Sellers and Abby Meyers shine, Maryland women’s basketball downs Penn State

Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Big-time players step up in big-time moments, and that’s exactly what Shyanne Sellers did for Maryland at home. 

Penn State had battled back and cut down a huge Terps first-half lead to 17 points entering the fourth quarter when Sellers knocked down two pivotal threes. Sellers’ spark swung momentum back to the Terps and gave them a lead that would prove insurmountable for the Nittany Lions. 

Maryland defeated Penn State, 87-66, behind a strong team effort. 

“I think the sky’s the limit. Obviously, we’re playing pretty good basketball right now. Obviously, there’s things we can work on. I think we’re trending in the right direction, and I don’t think our best basketball has come yet,” Sellers said. 

Abby Meyers led all scorers with 24 points. Sellers (15 points) and Diamond Miller (14 points) both scored double figures. The Terps’ bench broke out for 26 points, revealing a renowned depth that’s developed.

Miller had started slow offensively early in games at times this year – that was not the case in this contest, as she came out attacking from the onset. She scored 10 points in the first half on 4 of 6 shooting, including a spectacular trick layup that had the crowd going crazy. 

“I think this team has really taken it to heart that they want to punch first and be ready to go from the tip,” Coach Brenda Frese said. 

Makenna Marisa was at the center of everything Penn State did offensively, and led them in scoring with 23 points. However, she shot the ball inefficiently, particularly in the first half, going 7 of 20 from the field in the game. 

In contrast, Taniyah Thompson was very efficient, scoring 17 points on 7 of 9 shooting. She was a big part of Penn State’s comeback attempt in the second half. 

Maryland outrebounded Penn State 36-28, slightly unusual for the often undersized Terps. 

Both teams turned the ball over a fair amount, with Maryland having 20 turnovers and Penn State giving the ball away 19 times. However, the Terps were much more efficient at turning their takeaways into baskets on the other end. They scored 31 points off turnovers, while the Nittany Lions only had 17.  

“When we’re able to turn teams over, our defense to our offense really allows us to get going, and I thought that’s really where we made the biggest difference,” Frese said. 

The Penn State offense was dysfunctional early on, and struggled to make shots. There was a lack of movement by the Nittany Lions on the offensive end, and they shot only 24.1% from the field in the first half. 

Meanwhile, the Maryland offense came out absolutely on fire. They shot 13 of 17 from the floor in the first quarter to jump out to a 29-9 lead.

“It’s really important for us to come out and punch first. Obviously, setting the tone with our defense is a really big staple for us this year,” Sellers said. 

The Terps’ offense grinded to a halt in the second quarter and they only managed two points in the first six minutes of the quarter. Despite an over five-minute drought from Maryland, Penn State was still unable to cut significantly into the lead. 

“The great teams aren’t always going to be able to make their shots. They’re going to go through little slumps during the game, but they’re able to stay consistent on defense and prevent runs,” Meyers said. 

With about four minutes to go in the half, Meyers got a jumper to go and Maryland’s offense got back into rhythm after the long drought. The Terps went into the half leading 41-18. 

Maryland tried to give their stars some rest in the third quarter but this opened the door for the Nittany Lions to mount a comeback. 

Penn State came out in the third with a renewed focus to spread the ball around on the offensive end. 

This proved effective and the Nittany Lions scored 31 points in the quarter, far more than they did in the entire first half. They shot 73.3% from the field in the quarter and didn’t look remotely like the team from earlier. 

Penn State fought back and cut the lead to 66-49 going into the fourth quarter. 

Shyanne Sellers then hit two pivotal threes at the start of the fourth to put Maryland back in control and steal away the momentum from the Nittany Lions. 

“We were disappointed in the third quarter and knew we wanted to make sure we didn’t play back-to-back quarters that way,” Coach Frese said. 

The Terps held on from that point and secure a fifth straight victory. 

Maryland now faces a tough stretch coming up with two ranked matchups against No. 6 Iowa and No. 10 Ohio State later this week.