Maryland fans got to their feet as the seconds ticked down on the clock inside Xfinity Center. As the final buzzer sounded, they stayed on their feet to give a standing ovation for the Terps, who finished the game with their largest margin of victory over a top-10 team in program history.
The team stayed on the court, singing along as the marching band played the Maryland fight song before exiting the court to massive applause from their second-largest crowd this season.
“We always say that they’re our best sixth man so it was important to have them today and we really strived to get them out today, so it was a really huge deal,” Shyanne Sellers said.
No. 8 Maryland women’s basketball obliterated No. 10 Ohio State in its annual pink-out game Sunday afternoon, 90-54 in a bounce-back win after falling to No. 6 Iowa three days prior.
The Terps built their lead gradually across the four quarters to finish the game with their largest margin in a Big Ten matchup this season.
After collapsing under the pressure of Caitlin Clark and Iowa on Thursday night, Maryland’s defense came out swinging against Ohio State. The Terps prevented the Buckeyes from scoring for almost three minutes to open the game.
[Maryland women’s basketball’s defense torn apart by Caitlin Clark, Iowa]
When Taylor Thierry attempted to go for a layup in the paint, Brinae Alexander got in space and forced Thierry’s shot to go wide, landing on the other side of the basket where Elisa Pinzan was waiting to nab the rebound.
The Terps limited passing lanes and forced bad shots early and often. The defensive pressure led to seven Buckeyes turnovers and a second scoring drought to close out the first quarter lasting more than four minutes.
The Buckeyes finished the game with 24 turnovers and scored just 7 points in the opening frame.
While Ohio State’s offense picked up in the second, scoring 23 points in the quarter, Maryland maintained its lead with improved shooting and more points in the paint.
Diamond Miller zig-zagged around the Buckeyes’ defense to receive an inbound pass from Sellers midway through the second quarter. She lunged toward the hoop and made the layup while drawing the foul, converting the ensuing free throw to boost the team’s lead further.
[Caitlin Clark drops 42 as No. 6 Iowa beats No. 8 Maryland women’s basketball, 96-82]
Miller led the Terps’ scoring in the second quarter, making all four of her shots to finish with nine points. Collectively the team shot 62.5 percent from the field and 100 percent from the line in the frame to preserve its lead, going into the half up 42-30.
When Maryland returned to the court after halftime, Miller continued to be the offensive spark for her team. Despite the pressure from Ohio State’s defense, Miller continued to charge at the basket and draw fouls.
The senior guard positioned herself next to the basket for a pass; when she caught the ball, Miller heaved it into the net, bumping into a Buckeye guard and drawing a foul for another and-one opportunity. She made her free throw, helping her finish the quarter with 16 points. At the end of the game, Miller had 29 points and 10 rebounds.
“They were very aggressive towards me, and I guess I just showed them what aggression is,” Miller said of her third-quarter performance.
Miller’s ability to draw fouls helped the Terps get into the bonus with more than five minutes remaining in the third quarter. Three Buckeyes finished the quarter with four fouls, forcing their hand on defense.
By the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, Maryland had a 30-point lead over Ohio State, a team that was undefeated for the first 19 games of the season.
“If you want to dominate games, if you want to win games, we have to compete for 40 minutes,” coach Brenda Frese said. “So this is a great start.”