MINNEAPOLIS — In Maryland women’s basketball’s regular-season matchups with the Big Ten’s best, the Terps would often keep the game close for three quarters, fighting valiantly before ultimately falling.

But on Friday, Maryland authored a different outcome. The Terps blended a patient offensive approach and a stellar defensive gameplan by coach Brenda Frese to take down top-seeded Ohio State, 82-61, in the Target Center. The win was Maryland’s first over a top five opponent since 2014, per the team.

Maryland advances to Saturday’s Big Ten tournament semifinal, where it’ll play fifth-seeded Nebraska at 2 p.m. EST.

“We just took down the number one seed … we didn’t beat them just by a possession. We put our most complete 40 minute game together,” coach Brenda Frese said.

A defensive adjustment guided the Terps to victory.

Frese mixed in zone defenses in the first two matchups between the schools but almost exclusively used a person-to-person scheme on Friday. The switch paid off. The Buckeyes shot a season-worst 35.9 percent from the field and notched their second-lowest scoring total of the season.

Ohio State’s elite press defense is among the reasons it entered Friday leading the Big Ten in turnover margin and steals per game.

[When Maryland women’s basketball’s stars struggled, its supporting cast stepped up]

But the Buckeyes’ inefficient offense gave them fewer opportunities to set up the press. Maryland (19-12, 10-9) Big Ten) held No. 1 seeded Ohio State (25-5, 16-3) to just 37.5 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from three in the frame. The Terps shot 62.5 percent from the field and ended the frame up eight.

Jakia Brown-Turner kickstarted a 14-2 run with an and-one layup, a corner three and an assist on a Brinae Alexander three. Alexander knocked down another triple and Faith Masonius knocked a layup to put Maryland up seven.

Brown-Turner played an extremely efficient game. After shooting 5-of-15 against Illinois Thursday, she responded with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Alexander also played well, making five threes and scoring 19, giving Sellers and Brown-Turner much-needed spacing to drive inside.

Sellers struggled in both regular season games against her hometown team, averaging just 9.5 points per game. On Friday, she played one of her best games of the year.

She scored a team-high 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting and added seven assists and eight rebounds. At the end of the first half, she drilled a buzzer-beating mid-range jumper. She also played strong defense against speedy guard Jacy Sheldon.

“I just feel like we’re just peaking at the right time,” Sellers said.

Shyanne Sellers shoots during Maryland women’s basketball’s 82-61 win over Ohio State on Mar. 8, 2024. (Rohan Pandit/The Diamondback).

[Maryland comes back to beat Illinois, 75-65, and advances to Big Ten tourney quarterfinal]

Sheldon, who entered the game with the sixth-most three-pointers in the Big Ten, went 0-for-5 from three and scored 10 points.

Forward Cotie McMahon also struggled. Maryland limited her to just five first-half points on 1-of-9 shooting. She finished 3-of-17 from the field. After Maryland’s home loss to Ohio State in January, McMahon said that the Terps looked worn down on the defensive glass. Frese remembered the comment.

“Cotie had her way both times. The first game she challenged and made it personal about our rebounding,” Frese said. “I think this team really put a statement together on the glass when she told us we looked tired. This team has a lot of heart in the locker room.”

Maryland’s focus on those two stars meant it left Celeste Taylor open. Taylor torched the Terps for 20 points in the last meeting but went just 1-of-7 from deep on Friday.

Ohio State cut the Maryland lead down to three midway through the third quarter.

The Terps responded with a 21-5 run that pushed its lead to 19 and ultimately decided the game.

“For us [on offense] it was looking up, passing the ball up, staying composed, seeing what was open,” Faith Masonius said.

The conference’s top team refused to go away, scoring eight straight points before Sellers made a layup to send Maryland into the final 10 minutes up 13.

Sellers, Alexander and Brown-Turner delivered in the final frame with 15 combined points, snuffing out any comeback and sending the Terps into the next round.