When the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins lost to now-No. 4 Indiana on Jan. 12, they responded by beating now-No. 18 Michigan in their next game against a ranked opponent. And when they lost to the incredible Caitlin Clark on Thursday, they responded by absolutely dismantling the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes 90-54 on Sunday afternoon at XFINITY Center in College Park. It marked the largest of margin of victory ever for the Terps against a Top 10 opponent.
Maryland (19-5, 10-3 Big Ten) has refused to let losses pile up, instead keeping itself within striking distance of a No. 2 or perhaps No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Sunday’s win was particularly huge considering it came against a Buckeye team (20-4, 9-4 Big Ten) that was previously No. 2 in the nation and was still undefeated while playing with its best player, Jacy Sheldon, who returned from a lower leg injury that had kept her out since Nov. 30.
Diamond Miller’s 18 points in the third quarter helped turn a 12-point halftime lead into a 25-point lead entering the fourth and the Terps led by at least 23 throughout the final frame. Miller, who has stepped up in every ranked game this year, finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and three steals. Shyanne Sellers added 19 points, nine assists and three swipes and Abby Meyers was good for 22 points, six rebounds and two blocks so that Maryland didn’t really need anyone outside its big three to contribute much.
Diamond Miller is one of the best players in college basketball:— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) February 5, 2023
Averaging 25.4 PPG against ranked teams
Give her the respect pic.twitter.com/AePpWZB1E7
Miller was 11-of-16 from the field, while Meyers was 9-of-15 and 3-of-7 from downtown. Sellers was 7-of-7 at the line.
The Terps won field goal percentage 52.3 to 33.9 and made the same amount of threes as Ohio State (six) in 11 fewer attempts. They also took and made 10 more free throws, finishing 16-of-18 at the stripe (88.9 percent). Against one of the best teams in the nation at forcing turnovers, Maryland was able to keep it reasonable with 15 miscues. Meanwhile, it turned the Buckeyes over 24 times. The Terps won points in the paint 48-28 and second-chance points 20-9.
A Cotie McMahon layup at the 5:03 mark of the third cut Ohio State’s deficit to 12, making it an even frame up to that point. But Maryland would go on a 7-0 run from there with a Miller layup, a Miller three (she was 1-of-1 in the game) and two Sellers free throws. The Terps led by at least 17 the rest of the way.
After a Rebeka Mikulášiková mid-range make that cut it to 61-44 at the 3:50 mark of the third, Maryland answered with an 8-0 run to make it an overall 15-2 run to end the frame. Miller converted on a 3-point play to make it 64-44, Meyers later scored inside to make it 67-44 and Faith Masonius closed the quarter with a layup.
The fourth was loads of fun for Maryland, as they cruised to the statement victory. Early in the frame, Masonius threw an alley-oop to Meyers, who, after catching the ball, had to completely turn her body in mid-air before finishing with a layup. Another exciting play came when Bri McDaniel chased down what would have been an easy Buckeye layup in transition and swatted the ball out of bounds off Ohio State. It was a hustle play like that said everything about a Maryland team that answered its coach’s call to play better defense after giving up 96 points to Iowa.
The Terps came out strong, leading 5-0 and 7-2 early. With the scored tied at 7, they went on a 14-0 run featuring 10 points from Meyers. She first made a catch-and-shoot three to make it 10-7. Then, after an offensive foul on the Buckeyes, Lavender Briggs finished strong in the paint with her off-hand to make it 12-7. A deep three from Meyers made it 15-7 and on the ensuing Ohio State possession, Taylor Mikesell stepped out of bounds. The Buckeyes then fouled Brinae Alexander as she was bringing the ball up, sending her to the line, where she made two free throws for a 17-7 advantage. Sellers made a backcourt steal on the ensuing possession and got it to Meyers for an easy layup that made it 19-7 after one. A Meyers layup 16 seconds into the second frame closed the run and made it 21-7. The Terps led by at least eight the rest of the way.
Sheldon was held to five points and one steal in her return. Taylor Thierry had 21 points, seven rebounds and three assists in defeat.
Maryland was a No. 3 seed in ESPN’s Friday Bracketology; Ohio State was a No. 2 seed.