Welcome back to The Diamondback Sports Digest. Every week, we send you a rundown of the latest Maryland athletics news.

While most students were back home over break, winter sports were in full swing. It wasn’t always to the Terps’ benefit, as Maryland men’s and women’s basketball both face uncertain postseason outlooks.

In our first newsletter of the semester, we’ll update you on Maryland men’s basketball’s recent upswing after a poor start to the season, women’s basketball’s pair of crushing losses, wrestling’s third-ever Big Ten victory and more.

Maryland men’s basketball finally wins a close game

Maryland men’s basketball fell to 0-5 in one-possession games after narrow losses to Minnesota, Northwestern and Michigan State by a combined eight points earlier this month. But the Terps finally triumphed in a close game at Iowa on Wednesday.

Jahmir Young provided the late heroics that have become common during his short time in College Park, making a game-winning layup with less than two seconds left to lift the Terps to a two-point win. 

Men’s basketball reporter Eli Cohen had the game story, while I dissected Young’s importance to the Terps during one of the best individual scoring seasons in recent Maryland history.

Maryland’s win over Iowa was its second quad one victory of the year after coach Kevin Willard’s squad knocked off then-No. 10 Illinois on Jan. 14. 

The Terps notched their fourth win in six games on Saturday with a 73-51 blowout of Nebraska. I recapped one of Maryland’s most complete performances of the year.

Maryland women’s basketball loses its composure and star in back to back games

Maryland women’s basketball looked set to secure its second straight victory — its first win streak since mid-December — with a sizable advantage over Michigan in the second half on Wednesday.

But the Terps blew a 15-point halftime advantage and eventually fell to the Wolverines in overtime. Maryland then fell by 36 points to Penn State on Sunday and lost Shyanne Sellers, its leader in points, assists and rebounds, to injury.

Women’s basketball reporter Sam Jane recapped Maryland’s loss to Michigan, while Olivia Janik dove into another Terps collapse after halftime and Maryland’s first defeat to Penn State since 2003.

The Terps have qualified for 13 consecutive NCAA tournaments but can ill afford many more losses as they sit at a precarious 12-8 with a losing record in conference play. Maryland men’s and women’s basketball haven’t both missed the NCAA tournament since the 1986-87 season.

Maryland wrestling sees success, struggles in conference play

Maryland wrestling had to wait seven years after its first Big Ten win to secure its second — a narrow win over Purdue in February 2023.

The Terps didn’t have to wait as long for their third win in the conference. They prevailed in a more dominant fashion against Northwestern on Jan. 14 in a 29-15 victory. Wrestling reporter Michael Stamatos had the recap from a rare Big Ten triumph.

While Maryland was able to secure another conference win early in the season, it has still been dominated by the Big Ten’s best. The Terps have been blown out by Michigan, Ohio State and, most recently, No. 1 Penn State on Sunday.

What you missed over break

  • Maryland football finished its 2023 season with a dominant victory over Auburn in the Music City Bowl in December. The Terps continued their steady climb with a third consecutive bowl win, but they’re still seeking more after another season without a breakthrough victory.
  • Maryland gymnastics started its season 2-1, with wins over West Chester in the Terps’ season opener and Rutgers in their Big Ten opener before a loss to Minnesota on Saturday.
  • Maryland men’s basketball secured its first recruit of its 2024 freshman class in four-star guard Malachi Palmer.
  • Maryland football secured a key flip and offensive line depth on National Signing Day in December.
  • Check out our best stories of 2023.

Stat of the week

Maryland women’s basketball gave up 112 points to Penn State on Sunday — the second-most points an opponent has scored against the Terps in program history. South Carolina’s 114 points earlier this season broke the previous record of 111, which Virginia set in 1991.

Game of the week

Maryland women’s basketball will host No. 5 Iowa and reigning AP player of the year Caitlin Clark on Saturday night at 8 p.m in one of the Terps’ biggest games of the season.