Faith Masonius wrestled for control of the ball with Lexus Bargesser but was overpowered by the Indiana guard, who passed it up the floor to an open Mackenzie Holmes.
The Terps scrambled but couldn’t chase down Holmes, who passed the ball to Yarden Garzon for an open layup. The Hoosier bucket restored Indiana’s 13-point lead after the Terps cut a 22-point halftime deficit to just seven points in the final frame.
Maryland women’s basketball’s aggressive third-quarter comeback put it in position to overcome its poor first half, but the Terps fell short as they struggled to find offensive consistency without their starting point guard in an 87-73 loss to No. 10 Indiana.
“After halftime, I saw the fight that we have and the resiliency, so that’s super positive,” coach Brenda Frese said. “This team hasn’t quit fighting.”
The defeat was Maryland’s third in a row, marking the first time the Terps have lost three consecutive games since 2018, and its first loss to Indiana in College Park.
Jakia Brown-Turner led Maryland with 22 points, while Mackenzie Holmes had 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers.
Shyanne Sellers missed Wednesday night’s battle after sustaining a knee injury against Penn State on Sunday. The junior was listed as questionable but did not dress Wednesday night. Without Sellers, the Terps lost their leader in points, assists and rebounds.
Maryland struggled to run plays on offense in the first half, allowing Indiana to pull ahead by more than 20 points. But Frese’s team entered the third quarter with energy and a sense of urgency.
The Terps focused on their strengths: forcing turnovers, running in transition and drawing fouls to get back into the game.
The result was a 17-7 run that shrank the Terps’ deficit to 12 points about halfway through the third quarter. They did all of this with precision, making nine straight field goals and shooting 76.9 percent from the free throw line in the frame.
Foul trouble hampered Indiana and Maryland in the third frame. Both teams reached the bonus with more than three minutes left, and Hoosiers coach Teri Moren sent Yarden Garzon to the bench after she tallied her fourth personal foul.
Indiana’s foul trouble continued to hurt it. With three seconds left in the third quarter, Julianna LaMendola fouled Bri McDaniel, sending her to the line. McDaniel made both free throws to cut the Terps’ deficit to just nine entering the final frame.
Indiana refused to let Maryland charge back any further after Frese’s squad cut the lead to seven. The Hoosiers held the Terps scoreless for nearly three minutes, ending their hopes for a comeback victory.
Maryland scored just 14 points on 33 percent shooting in the final frame after its explosive 29-point third quarter on 75 percent shooting from the field as the Terps’ offensive struggles that plagued Maryland at times in the first half returned.
Sophomore Bri McDaniel stepped into the point guard role for the Terps with Sellers out. McDaniel has slowly taken on point duties throughout the season after asking Frese for the opportunity after the team’s loss to UConn in November, but this was the first game where she was expected to run the floor for the entire game.
“I feel like I could have did a little bit better, but it’s the first game as being the point and just got to come back to practice and work on it and be better for the next game,” McDaniel said.
It didn’t last that long though, as two first-quarter fouls led to Frese subbing McDaniel out and relying on Masonius to be the Terps’ floor general.
The Hoosiers were also shorthanded. Sydney Parrish missed her third straight game with a foot injury. But even without the senior guard, Indiana started the game with a 14-2 run, thanks to 4-for-7 shooting from behind the arc.
Frese called timeout, and her team went on a 6-0 run after returning to the court. But Indiana started the second quarter the same way it started the game, scoring eight consecutive points to build its lead to 18.
The Hoosiers’ length on both sides of the ball made it difficult for the Terps to mount a comeback. With three 6-foot-3 players, they easily rose above Maryland defender’s outstretched arms to make layups.
Indiana made seven of nine layup attempts in the first half and shot 78.6 percent from the field in the second quarter, giving the No. 10 team in the nation a 22-point lead at the half — one that was large enough to stave off a Maryland comeback as the Terps dropped their third straight game.
“That first half was just on us, I think it was more about our energy, not effort, which is something that we try to pride ourselves with,” Brinae Alexander said.