Miller scores 23, No. 10 Maryland tops No. 13 Michigan 72-64

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Diamond Miller scored 23 points, and No. 10 Maryland closed the first quarter with a 13-2 run and led the rest of the way in a 72-64 victory over No. 13 Michigan on Thursday night.

Abby Meyers contributed 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (17-4, 8-2), who won for the 10th time in 11 games. Lavender Briggs scored 14 points and Shyanne Sellers added 13.

Maryland gained a measure of revenge after losing twice to Michigan last season – including a 20-point rout in College Park.

Leigha Brown led the Wolverines with 16 points.

Michigan (16-5, 6-4) led 13-9 in the first quarter before a three-point play by Miller started Maryland’s big run. Briggs and Faith Masonius made 3-pointers during that stretch.

The Terps pushed the lead to 16 in the third quarter before the Wolverines were able to chip away. Miller sat for a bit with four fouls, and Michigan cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines still wasted too many possessions with turnovers to mount much of a comeback.

Michigan ended up with 24 turnovers, and Maryland had a 25-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

Miller fouled out with 2:19 remaining, but even after those two free throws, the Terps led 65-57 and had little trouble holding on.

Michigan lost for the second time in four days against a top-10 opponent. No. 6 Indiana beat the Wolverines 92-83 on Monday.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: Whether it was against Maryland’s press or in their half-court offense, the Wolverines turned the ball over too much to score consistently. This was a lower-scoring game than the loss to Indiana, but the margin ended up being similar.

Maryland: While Miller clearly led the way, the Terps had plenty of offensive contributors. They also held Michigan to 13 points below its season average entering the game.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Wolverines have appeared in 48 straight AP polls, and although a two-loss week could certainly drop them, the quality of their opponents could save them from a substantial plunge.

Maryland is tied for 10th with an Iowa team that beat No. 2 Ohio State on Monday night. Now the Terps can boast an impressive victory of their own.

UP NEXT

Michigan: The Wolverines play their third game of the week when they visit Minnesota on Sunday.

Maryland: The Terps host Penn State on Monday night.

 

Meyers, Sellers help No. 20 Maryland past No. 6 UConn 85-78

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Abby Meyers scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half, and Diamond Miller made a huge 3-pointer in the final minute to help No. 20 Maryland hold off a depleted Connecticut team in an 85-78 win over the sixth-ranked Huskies on Sunday.

Shyanne Sellers added 19 points for the Terrapins (9-3), who won for the first time in eight meetings against UConn. The Huskies (7-2) lost for the second time in three games despite 25 points from Aaliyah Edwards.

Maryland led 80-76 when Miller connected from beyond the arc with 35.8 seconds left.

UConn has been without former national player of the year Paige Bueckers, forward Dorka Juhasz and highly touted freshman Ice Brady. The Huskies also lost leading scorer Azzi Fudd to an injured knee in a loss at Notre Dame last weekend, and point guard Nika Muhl was hurt during a win over Princeton on Thursday night.

Lou Lopez Senechal has had foot problems. She played Sunday but picked up three fouls in the first half.

The Huskies turned the ball over 14 times in the fourth quarter against Princeton, and that was a problem again Sunday when UConn had 22 turnovers to Maryland’s five.

The Terps had their own issues offensively – Miller went 0 for 7 from the field in the first half. UConn erased a 12-point deficit in the second half, but with the game tied at 62 in the fourth, Meyers threw in a wild left-handed shot while being fouled. She missed the free throw, but the Terps rebounded and Sellers made a 3-pointer.

That five-point trip started an 8-0 run.

BIG PICTURE

UConn: The Huskies can take a lot of positives from this game. Turnovers were a problem, but when they did hold onto the ball, they did an impressive job working for good shots. UConn shot 53% from the field on the day.

Maryland: The was a big win for the Terps, and it’ll probably look good on their resume no matter how much injuries have hampered UConn. Meyers and Sellers did a good job leading the team offensively while Miller was struggling, and Miller closed strong to finish with 17 points.

UP NEXT

UConn: The Huskies now have a bit of a break, which they could clearly use. Their next game is against Florida State next Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Maryland: The Terps play at Purdue Fort Wayne on Wednesday.

Zeigler, No. 7 Tennessee hold off No. 13 Maryland 56-53

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NEW YORK — Zakai Zeigler scored 12 points, including a key 3 late in the second half as No. 7 Tennessee held off No. 13 Maryland 56-53 Sunday in a Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational matchup.

Tennessee (9-1) led by as many as 18 points in the first half before Maryland pulled within two points in the final minutes.

Tyreke Key scored nine points and Julian Phillips had six points and 10 rebounds for the Volunteers. Tennessee began the game allowing just 51.2 points per game, third fewest in the nation.

Jahmir Young scored 18 points while Hakim Hart and Donta Scott had nine apiece for Maryland (8-2), which has lost two straight.

Tennessee shot 11 of 39 (28.2%) in the first half, but led 34-17 as the Terrapins made only 3 of 24 (12.5%), missing 20 of their final 21 shots before the break.

Down by 16 in the second half, Maryland unveiled a full-court press and forced three turnovers during a 12-0 run.

A 3-pointer by Key ended the burst, but the Terrapins scored the next five points and pulled within 48-46 on a pair of free throws by Ian Martinez. Maryland got within two again at 51-49 when Martinez hit one of two free throws, after which Ziegler hit his 3-pointer with 3:05 left.

Hart had a layup for Maryland, which then forced Tennessee into a shot clock violation. The teams combined to miss their next five shots before Hart scored a second-chance layup with 24 seconds left to cut the deficit to 55-53.

The teams traded empty trips, with Young missing a potential game-tying floater. Key made one of two foul shots with seven seconds left and Young missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer.

BIG PICTURE

Tennessee: guard Santiago Vescovi had seven points and seven rebounds in his return after missing two games with a shoulder injury. . The 17-point first half by Maryland marked the fourth time this season the Vols allowed fewer than 20 points in a half.

Maryland: It was the second straight subpar shooting game for the Terrapins, who shot 49.3% from the field during their 8-0 start but have shot just 35.5% in the last two games. . The 18-point deficit was the biggest of the season for the Terps.

UP NEXT

Tennessee: Visiting Arizona next Saturday for the first time since 1998.

Maryland: Hosting No. 14 UCLA on Wednesday night – the Terrapins’ third game against a ranked opponent this month.

No. 20 Maryland upsets No. 7 Notre Dame at the buzzer, 74-72

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Diamond Miller scored 31 points, including the game-winner at the buzzer, to lead No. 20 Maryland to a 74-72 victory over seventh-ranked Notre Dame on Thursday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Irish guard Sonia Cintron’s layup had tied the game with 15 seconds left off before Maryland held for the last shot. Miller hit a contested mid-range jumper just before time expired to give the Terrapins a victory over a top-10 opponent. It was the 15th lead change of the game.

Miller also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with five assists. Shyanne Sellers added 17 points.

Maryland (7-2) picked up its first win over Notre Dame (6-1) since 2007.

Cintron’s double-double led the Irish with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Notre Dame’s leading scorer Olivia Miles got off to a slow start on Thursday due to foul trouble. She scored 12 of her 14 points in the final 15 minutes of the game to go along with seven assists and two steals.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins picked up their second top-20 win of the season ahead of the upcoming Big Ten opener.

Notre Dame: The Irish have had issues with foul trouble this season, a problem that persisted on Thursday. Miles played just 25 minutes, including the majority of the fourth quarter, due to picking up her fourth foul late in the third quarter.

UP NEXT

Maryland: Returns to College Park for the program’s Big Ten opener Sunday against Nebraska.

Notre Dame: Stays home to host No. 3 UConn Sunday.

No. 1 South Carolina eases past No. 17 Maryland 81-56

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Aliyah Boston was solid as usual, and she’s just one of the post players No. 1 South Carolina can send at an opponent in waves.

“We pass the bus test,” coach Dawn Staley said. “We do do that.”

As impressive as the Gamecocks may look when they disembark at the arena, they’re an even bigger challenge once they take the floor. Boston had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Zia Cooke added 18 points to lift the defending national champions to an 81-56 victory over No. 17 Maryland on Friday night.

Shortly after the Indiana Fever won the WNBA draft lottery – with the 6-foot-5 Boston expected to be the No. 1 pick – the South Carolina star led her team to a fairly routine victory in its first real test of the season. The top-ranked Gamecocks held off a gritty Maryland team that was playing without its own potential lottery pick. Diamond Miller was out with a right knee injury.

Abby Meyers scored 21 points to lead Maryland (1-1), but aside from her ability to score from the midrange and beyond the arc, the undersized Terrapins had a tough time offensively. Perhaps no stat summed up this game better than the Gamecocks’ 11-0 advantage in blocked shots. South Carolina also had a 40-20 edge in the paint and outrebounded Maryland 55-32.

“We’re going to get better from this game,” Meyers said. “It is November. We’ve got a long season ahead of us, and it’s great experience for all of us.”

South Carolina was playing its first of four consecutive road games, and this win makes it almost certain that a Nov. 20 clash at Stanford will be a 1 vs. 2 matchup.

Maryland packed its defense into the paint to deal with Boston, and the Terps were down just six at halftime, 32-26. The margin was still in single digits in the third before South Carolina (2-0) went on an 11-1 run to lead 56-39.

“I saw a lot of really positive things,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought our kids did a great job executing the game plan. You just saw, the third quarter it got away from us, obviously because of the depth that they had.”

Kamilla Cardoso, the Gamecocks’ 6-7 reserve, scored a pair of baskets during that run, sandwiched around a 3-pointer by Cooke. Cardoso finished with 13 points, and 6-foot-4 Laeticia Amihere had 10 points and eight rebounds.

BIG PICTURE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks showed good patience on the road – at times Maryland was practically daring them to shoot from the perimeter instead of working the ball inside. South Carolina did make enough 3-pointers (eight) to make the Terps pay for leaving shooters open.

“We figured out, just extra passes, extra ball movement, making sure that we were crashing the boards,” Boston said. “I think we used that to our advantage tonight”

Maryland: The Terps played a scrappy game, forcing 20 turnovers, and for a half, this was a pretty encouraging performance without Miller. Meyers, a star at Princeton last season, is one of a handful of transfers Maryland brought in as part of a roster makeover. She scored 14 of the team’s first 17 points to help the Terps keep it close for a while.

“Maryland’s going to be pretty good,” Staley said. “I thought Diamond not being in the game, they lose an experienced player.”

FOR BG

Staley was wearing a shirt with a No. 42 on it in honor of Brittany Griner, whose lawyers recently revealed that she had been sent to a Russian penal colony to serve her sentence for drug possession.

“I’m just trying to keep a positive outlook on it and keep her name out there,” Staley said.

MILESTONE

Boston tied Tiffany Mitchell for the program record with her 103rd consecutive start.

UP NEXT

South Carolina: The Gamecocks return closer to home when they play at Clemson on Thursday night.

Maryland: The Terps host Fordham on Sunday.

Purdue back near Big Ten top? Portal makes predictions tough

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Purdue Boilermakers are coming off a 29-win season in which they were ranked in the AP top 10 from wire to wire, including the No. 1 spot for one week in December, and drew a No. 3 seed for the NCAA Tournament.

Still, they finished one game shy of first place in the conference, lost to Iowa in the Big Ten Tournament final and were upset by upstart St. Peter’s in the Sweet 16. That didn’t sit well with coach Matt Painter or anybody else associated with the program.

“We thought we had a team that could do more damage than it did. As a coach, you take sole responsibility for that,” Painter said in Minneapolis at Target Center, where the conference took its basketball media days this year. “I thought we should have won our league. I thought we should have won our tournament. I thought we should have gotten to the Final Four. We didn’t.”

While the Boilermakers have lost first team All-Big Ten guard Jaden Ivey and stalwarts Trevion Williams and Sasha Stefanovic, they’ve still got a team headlined by the 7-foot-4 Zach Edey – one of three unanimous picks for the 11-player preseason all-conference team – that ought to be able to contend for the conference title again.

These days, with the transfer portal doing heavy business, picking the favorites is even more of an inexact science. The Boilermakers were pegged for fifth in the Big Ten preseason media poll.

“You have some people that are being picked in the top half, and 70 to 80% of their guys didn’t play for them last year. Normally when that’s the case, they don’t get picked in the top half,” Painter said. “You’ve got a good chunk of some of these guys that have had really good careers so far so it’s easier to gauge, easier to say this guy averaged 16 points in another high major conference, he’s going to be successful here. Having that experience of success together is still important.”

FRESH START

Kevin Willard took over the Maryland program after 12 seasons at Seton Hall. A longtime resident of New York and New Jersey, Willard revealed some of the discoveries he’s made since moving down the Atlantic coast. The first thing to stand out to him was the quality of recruits playing in the Terrapins’ backyard – including the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.

“High school basketball, AAU basketball in the DMV is by far second to none,” Willard said. “It’s kind of cool being there because you get first dibs on a lot of kids that obviously we couldn’t get before.”

The first player Willard signed upon arriving in College Park was 6-foot-6 swingman Noah Batchelor, a native of Frederick, Maryland, who played last year at the IMG Academy in Florida. He also picked up a graduate transfer in guard Jahmir Young, a product of DeMatha Catholic High School in the D.C. suburbs who averaged 16.7 points per game over three seasons at Charlotte.

But Willard knows there’s no such thing as building a fence around the state.

“You’re never going to keep all your local kids home,” Willard said. “Fan bases love saying that. If you keep everyone home, then you’re not going to be able to play everybody and everyone is going to get mad at you anyways.”

His steepest learning curve might actually be in the dining room.

“You’ve got to know how to eat crab cakes. I’m learning how to crack crabs and eat crabs. It’s a new thing for me. Very hard,” Willard said with a laugh. “You’ve got to split the middle, take the legs off, go through the whole process.”

THREE-PEAT IN JERSEY?

Rutgers is aiming for a third straight NCAA Tournament berth, a streak the program has never before accomplished. Coach Steve Pikiell’s returning players accounted for 64% of the team’s minutes played last season. Key among those players is fifth-year guard Caleb McConnell, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year.

There’s also a significant homecourt advantage the Scarlet Knights have developed in recent years at the 8,000-seat building now known as Jersey Mike’s Arena, enough to warrant attention in a conference with some of the country’s most imposing gyms for visiting teams.

When Indiana’s Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson were mulling over the most raucous road-game scenes, they mentioned usual suspects Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue. But also:

“Rutgers is pretty lit,” Thompson said.

“Yeah, Rutgers is awesome,” Jackson-Davis said.

Pikiell praised the fan base for the environment.

“I think they really like our guys and respect how they play,” Pikiell said. “They play with a little Jersey grit and excitement and enthusiasm.”

DAD JOKES

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery again has two of his sons on the roster, with sixth-year forward Connor McCaffery back for one more ride in a reserve role and fourth-year forward Patrick McCaffery returning to the starting lineup.

There are downsides to playing for dad, of course. Connor told on himself for feeling “a little bit more comfortable talking back” to the coach than anyone else in authority. Patrick cited the pressure that comes from the family name and the unfounded assumptions of nepotism around status on the team.

The good outweighs the bad, though, like being part of a true family environment. Then there’s the credibility that Connor has built up through so much time in the program.

“We think alike,” Connor said. “My suggestions and points a lot of times are on the same page. He gives me the freedom to audible plays and call plays.”