With No. 17 Maryland women’s basketball tied with Fordham at 59-59, Diamond Miller rushed into position to receive a pass from Elisa Pinzan as the clock ticked down in the third quarter.
Miller rocketed the ball into the basket from behind the three-point line to give her team the lead to end a tumultuous quarter.
Maryland held onto its lead after Miller’s bucket throughout the fourth quarter where the senior continued to contribute, finishing with 22 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
“We needed her,” Brinae Alexander said. “She played hard, she played well and I was happy to have her back.”
Led by Miller in her return from injury after missing Friday’s game, the Terps pulled out with a close 83-76 win over Fordham to bounce back from their 81-56 loss to No. 1 South Carolina on Friday.
When the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the third quarter, Maryland was holding onto its lead by a thread, and its momentum was draining.
What was once a 15-point Maryland lead was eradicated as Fordham took a one-point lead with less than a minute left in the quarter.
While the Terps picked up their offense in the third quarter with 28 points, holes in its defense kept the game close. Maryland gave up open looks behind the arc to the Rams, allowing them to make seven three-pointers in the third quarter alone.
It wasn’t the first time coach Brenda Frese’s squad fell victim to a quick Fordham run.
While the Terps were up double-digits in the second quarter, Maryland struggled to remain in control and allowed Fordham to go on several runs that kept the game competitive.
“Their offense is ahead, they know where the ball needs to go and did a terrific job,” Frese said. “You can see we’re still learning … each other.”
The Terps went from leading by 14 points to just one at halftime thanks to a 20-7 Fordham run in the second quarter. A duo of three-pointers and a fast-break basket from Fordham put Frese’s squad on its heels.
The Terps’ fast-paced offense helped them in the first quarter but hurt them as the game progressed. With the Rams closing in, they rushed their offense and took uncalculated shots that gave their opponents defensive rebound opportunities.
Maryland had zero offensive rebounds and zero second-chance points in the second quarter compared to five in the first. Fordham tallied seven second-chance points and six points off rebounds to close the gap.
But in spite of its consistent struggles in containing Fordham’s offense, the Terps pulled through. A pull-up three-pointer courtesy of Lavender Briggs forced a Fordham timeout with three minutes remaining, and a driving Miller layup stretched the lead back out to double-digits moments later.
Fordham fought back in the final minutes, but it wasn’t enough. Maryland found free-throw opportunities in the closing moments of the game, allowing the clock to expire with the Terps on top.
“I guess it just shows how resilient we are,” Miller said. “We knew runs were going to happen but we can’t let that rally us up and we just stayed composed and trusted our offense and defense.”