MINNEAPOLIS — Maryland women’s basketball trailed by just one entering the final quarter of its semifinal matchup against Nebraska.

But the Terps committed back-to-back turnovers and didn’t score its first points of the frame until more than three minutes in. After outscoring the Cornhuskers in the third quarter, Maryland fell flat when its first lead of the second half was finally within reach.

The Terps lost, 78-68, ending their Big Ten tournament run after being outscored 18-9 in the game’s final 10 minutes.

“I just thought we were right there,” Shyanne Sellers said. “But we just didn’t make a shot when we needed to push over that hump. I feel like if we would have grabbed that lead, we probably would have never looked back.”

Nebraska drew Maryland’s attention to the paint, where Alexis Markowski attacked early. But halfway through the first quarter when the Terps were focused on limiting layups, guard Jaz Shelley went to work behind the arc, making three of her four attempts in the first 10 minutes of Saturday’s semifinal.

The Cornhuskers’ duo scored 15 of their team’s 25 first quarter points, more than the entire Terps squad.

[Maryland decimates top-seeded Ohio State, 82-61, advances to Big Ten tourney semifinal]

Maryland clamped down on Nebraska’s offense in the second quarter, moving closer to a man-to-man defense with Bri McDaniel guarding Shelley. But even with more assertive defense, Shelley and her team continued to make threes, shooting 66.7 percent in the second frame.

Nebraska made 10 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes, the same amount it made in the entire game against Maryland in their regular season battle.

“I thought she was the difference in the first half and the [10] threes they made,” coach Brenda Frese said.

Maryland found its stride on offense and made 10 of 13 attempts and 87.5 percent of its free throws in the second quarter. Faith Masonius and Sellers led the way after doing the same Friday. The pair tallied 23 of Maryland’s 40 first half points after scoring 40 of its 82 points against top-seeded Ohio State.

Bri McDaniel drives to the basket during Maryland women’s basketball’s 78-68 loss to Nebraska on March 9, 2024. (Rohan Pandit/The Diamondback)

By the end of the first half, the Terps shrank the Cornhuskers’ lead from 13 to seven points. When the two teams last met, it was the third quarter where Nebraska pulled away, outscoring Maryland by eight points.

To avoid a repeat of the regular season, the Terps continued their defensive strategy from the second quarter, playing aggressive on outside shooters and sending help on defense when necessary. It resulted in holding Nebraska scoreless for nearly the first three minutes of the second half.

[‘She’s our MVP’: Faith Masonius’ balanced outing guided Maryland to Ohio State upset]

The Cornhuskers shot 35.3 percent in the third frame and made just one three-pointer as their success from beyond the arc simmered, allowing Maryland to outscore them 19-13. Shelley scored just two points and missed a trio of threes after her hot start.

Bri McDaniel swerved through the defense and arced her body up toward the basket, finishing the layup to tie the game for the first time midway through the third quarter. She finished with 10 points and fouled out with four minutes to play after logging zero in Maryland’s quarterfinal upset of the Buckeyes.

While the Terps fell behind again, they remained close thanks to Brinae Alexander’s scorching stretch. She made three baskets, two of which were three-pointers.

Alexander, who scored 19 points in the quarterfinals, didn’t attempt a basket until 18 seconds were left in Saturday’s game.

“I think they were face guarding me. They were very worried about me,” she said. “They knew that if I got threes off, it would open up the floor for us.”

Allie Kubek was the only Terp to score for more than eight minutes of the fourth quarter.

Even with Nebraska’s late scoring drought and second half shooting woes, Maryland failed to complete a comeback. It made just 21.4 percent of shot attempts to close out the tournament-ending loss.

Shyanne Sellers looks away during Maryland women’s basketball’s 78-68 loss to Nebraska on March 9, 2024. (Rohan Pandit/The Diamondback)