INDIANAPOLIS — Chloe Bibby drifted to the three-point line after setting a screen and found a momentary window of space. She caught a pass and squared up for an open 3-pointer, one that could’ve cut the Maryland deficit to just three points early in the fourth quarter.
Instead, Bibby’s shot drifted too far to the right, missing the net, the rim, and the backboard before bouncing off the black hardwood out of bounds and into a row of cheerleaders. Bibby pointed and tapped her chest in the universal signal for “my bad.”
“My bad” was the common refrain on Friday afternoon for Maryland women’s basketball. The Terps lost, 62-51, to Indiana in the opening round of the Big Ten tournament as their offense deserted them.
Maryland shot 0-of-12 from behind the arc and made just 31.4 percent of its shots in the team’s first and only game in Indianapolis. It’s the first time since the 2018 NCAA Tournament that Maryland didn’t make a single 3-pointer.
“To go 0-12 from the three-point line is a painful stat to look at,” coach Brenda Frese said.
The loss marks the first time since the Terps moved to the Big Ten in 2015 that her squad won’t at least make the title game of the conference tournament. It also puts Maryland’s chance to finish in the top-16 and host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament in jeopardy.
A team that was third in the Big Ten in three-point percentage coming into the afternoon at 36.5 saw that figure drop to zero. A team ranked eighth in the country in points per 100 possessions scored a pitiful 25 points in the first half.
Katie Benzan, one of the best shooters in the nation, took a season-low two three-point attempts, both of them contested heaves with under a minute left as Maryland tried to will a hopeless comeback.
Indiana’s ace defender, Nicole Cardoño-Hillary, took the Benzan assignment for most of the game and pestered the senior, hounding her as the Maryland guard tried to find a hint of air to get off a shot but couldn’t. She failed to score, going 0-5 from the field.
“We’ve got to be able to find a way to get Katie more shots,” Frese said.
The Hoosier defense keyed in on all of the Maryland shooters. Indiana coach Teri Moren told her players to not get sucked in and instead protect the arc against a sharpshooting squad like Maryland. It was a sound strategy, especially as the Terps drove into the paint but failed to kick out to open shooters.
“We were driving the lane with four people and we didn’t find the open person,” Bibby said. “So that’s things that we have to go back and we got to work on.”
The Terps finished with just nine assists compared to 14 turnovers. Maryland’s usual stalwarts struggled, as Benzan, Bibby, Shyanne Sellers and Diamond Miller combined for just 12 points and shot just 6-of-36 from the field.
Despite all that, with just under six and a half minutes to go, the Terps found themselves with only a five-point deficit and a chance to salvage the afternoon.
Their defense did its job, holding Indiana without a field goal for the last 4:57 of the game.
It was their offense that failed them, as the Terps went scoreless for over five minutes — a usually bright unit had its flame extinguished far too early.