Diamond Miller zig-zagged through Arizona defenders and hooked her arm up toward the rim of the basket for her third layup in less than two minutes to close out Maryland women’s basketball’s dominant third quarter.
Miller finished the third quarter a perfect 6-for-6 from the field with 13 points, helping the Terps take a commanding 19-point lead entering the final frame after trailing by one point at halftime.
She led her team in points, rebounds and assists with 24, seven and six, respectively, as Maryland downed Arizona 77-64 in what could be her final home game as a Terp.
“Of course I’m biased, but I believe this is one of the best colleges to ever go to,” Miller said. “I feel like every top player should come here. You’re going to play with a wonderful coach who lets you thrive in who you are.”
After four years at Maryland, Miller led her team to its third straight Sweet 16 appearance with a dominant performance in her potential last game at Xfinity Center. As the only returning starter for this year’s team, she became the team’s top-scorer and a leader on the court.
[Maryland women’s basketball surges past Arizona, 77-64, and into Sweet 16]
But the journey hasn’t always been easy for Miller, coach Brenda Frese acknowledged. Her freshman season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. Then a knee injury limited her junior season and ultimately culminated in surgery last April.
“The journey of her knee injury and having to battle through that to having the game that she just finished with to leave Xfinity here with, so [she] just has matured in so many ways,” Frese said.
Frese added something that’s made Miller’s senior season different is increased trust in her teammates, which led to more passing and assists from her. Miller averaged three assists per game this season, the most in her time at Maryland.
Her passing abilities were on full display against the Wildcats in the round of 32.
Miller dribbled toward the basket, drawing the attention of three Arizona players near the end of the first quarter. Rather than driving in for her typical layup, she glanced over her shoulder and launched the ball behind her to Brinae Alexander, who made the three-point basket that helped the Terps finish the frame up 17-8.
[Breezing through Holy Cross let Maryland women’s basketball rest and relax]
“She had some really great passes tonight that really helped us to be able to widen that gap, and she’s really learned how to trust everybody around her,” Frese said after the game.
When Miller exited the game with less than a minute left with the rest of the graduating players, Maryland fans gave her a standing ovation while she and Frese embraced on the sidelines.
“Four years goes by so quickly and then when it’s your last home game you’re like wait, what does that mean?” Miller said. “It was definitely a surreal moment.”
While she could be done playing basketball in College Park, Miller has the opportunity to lead Maryland to its first Elite Eight appearance since 2015 with a rematch against Notre Dame, after her buzzer beater in December gave her team a 74-72 victory.
“It’s definitely going to be exciting to play them again, and we’re going to watch film and scout on them, and we’ll be prepared,” Miller said.