Maryland women’s basketball’s final possession against No. 8 Indiana, fittingly, ended on a turnover. A moving screen by Mimi Collins capped off a two-point offensive performance in overtime for the Terps.
Coach Brenda Frese’s squad didn’t make a single field goal on seven attempts in the last five minutes of Sunday afternoon’s game, as they were outscored 9-2 by the Hoosiers in a 70-63 road loss.
The win is Indiana’s first over Maryland in 12 matchups since the Terps moved to the Big Ten.
“I thought the better team won today,” Frese said. “I thought the team that was more experienced, veteran leadership showed through.”
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 45, but the Hoosiers would explode to an early lead off a 7-0 run, forcing Frese to call a timeout. Maryland would counter, ratcheting up their intensity with a full-court press, a move that sparked a 10-1 run to close out regulation.
Ashley Owusu scored seven of her 10 points in the fourth quarter, including a layup with under a minute in regulation to tie the game at 61. She overcame a slow start, shooting just 1-of-6 in the first three quarters with six turnovers to power the Terps late in the game.
“I thought Ashley got a lot more aggressive where we needed her to get to, you know, in that fourth quarter,” Frese said. “But, as your floor general, one assist, seven turnovers, that’s an area that I know she prides herself on is taking care of the basketball and making plays for teammates.”
The entire team struggled with taking care of the ball in the game, finishing with 19 turnovers and allowing 14 points off those mistakes.
“They sped us up, took us out of a lot of our actions,” Frese said. “I mean, they’re a tremendous defensive team and the ball stopped a lot… we’re better when the ball is moving and we’re… driving and kicking and making plays for each other and the ball got stuck a lot.”
The Terps kept the game close despite those turnover issues and Owusu’s performance due to another stellar game from Angel Reese.
She scored a game-high 22 points, 11 of which came in the first quarter. She added 12 rebounds and three blocks, including one resounding rejection of Mackenzie Holmes.
“She had a really hot start for us,” Frese said. “I thought she was very aggressive in that first quarter, I thought she fatigued out.”
At halftime, the Hoosiers led the Terps 33-29. The Maryland offense ran efficiently, shooting 52 percent from the field, but struggled to generate free throws and three-pointers, with only three shots from the charity stripe and no makes from beyond the arc in the first two quarters.
The Terps also committed 11 turnovers in that time, five of which came from Owusu. Those miscues sparked a late-half run for Indiana when the game was tied at 27. A pair of errant passes from Diamond Miller on back-to-back possessions went the other way and ended in buckets both times.
“They were pressuring us 94 feet the whole time, but I think it was mainly us,” Miller said. “There [were] a lot of unforced turnovers that…could be buckets if we took care of the ball.”
Miller came off the bench in just her second game from injury and played 32 minutes, finishing with 17 points and four rebounds. She caught a full-court feed from Shyanne Sellers in the first quarter for her first points, but she’d create her own scores from there.
With under a minute left in the third quarter, she knocked down Maryland’s first three-pointer of the game, crossing over her defender and stepping back to create space. She scored nine third-quarter points. That, along with Reese’s seven, accounted for all of the Terps’ points in the frame, one they would leave tied.
Faith Masonius left the game midway through the third quarter after falling to the ground and clutching her left knee. She did not put any weight on her left leg as she was helped off the court.
Frese did not have an update on her status after the game.
That injury hurt Maryland’s energy, as Frese said, the team was tired, particularly in overtime after the effort it took them to come back in the fourth quarter.
Going against Indiana, who Frese said was in “March Madness shape”, exposed that.
“We’re just getting Diamond back and then we lose Faith in this game so you lose your energy,” Frese said. “There were a lot of elements, I think that’s the reason why there’s no reason to panic.”