Notre Dame women not immune to a home upset at the buzzer, 74-72, to Maryland
SOUTH BEND — 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.
"She was spectacular, wanting the ball at the end of the game and making plays for us, but really doing it within the offense," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "It's a tremendous team win."
It was the 15th lead change of the game.
"I just wanted to take the last shot because I didn't want them to get another possession," Miller said. "Worse come to worse, we were going to go to overtime, but I just got to my spot and shot it."
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.
"She's kind of that silent assassin," Frese said, "and she did a phenomenal job with 24 points and 10 boards. We didn't have an answer for her."
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, which included setting up Cintron's game-tying layup in the final minute off of a sideline in-bound pass.
"We found a way in a late-game situation to make plays and execute, which I was really, really pleased with," Irish coach Niele Ivey said. "But defensively, we just have to show better effort for 40 minutes. I felt like Maryland was tougher than us this evening, and that's something that we have to grow from, take this lesson and move on."
Maryland: The Terrapins picked up their second win of the season over a ranked opponent ahead of their upcoming Big Ten opener. They're now 2-1 against top 25 teams. Frese believes that her team's tough early schedule, which included an 81-56 loss to No. 1 South Carolina, prepared them well to face the Irish in South Bend on Thursday.
"This is a place where it's really, really difficult to come in and get a win," Frese said. "I think our schedule clearly has given us a great advantage just to feel so confident and prepared now as we continue to play so many great teams."
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.
"To be honest, we know how important and invaluable she is," Frese said of Miles. "She sets that tone for them. I thought that was a pretty big x-factor for us to be able to get her in foul trouble as a result of us being aggressive."
Stat of the night
Maryland held the Irish to a season-low 72 points as a result of Miles' foul trouble and Maryland's transition defense. Notre Dame scored just nine fastbreak points.
"They're a different team in transition," Frese said, "but I thought we did a phenomenal job even on misses being able to really slow them down."
The Irish entered the contest tied for sixth in the nation averaging 90.0 points per game.
Queens of the Challenge
The Terps stole not only a win from the Irish by virtue of Miller’s last-second shot, but also the honor of closing as queens of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which was wrapping up its final planned year.
Notre Dame, which joined the ACC in 2013, would’ve improved to 8-1 in Challenge games with a victory, good for the best record among any women’s or men’s program in the event, but instead closed at 7-2.Maryland — which also owns the distinction of being the only school to represent both leagues in the event — moved to 13-2 on the women’s side, including 6-2 in the Big Ten on the heels of 7-0 while representing the ACC, all under Frese.
Florida State also finished 13-2 with its win Thursday at Wisconsin.
“I didn’t know that,” but a tremendous compliment to be able to hear that,” Frese said of sharing the best all-time mark in the event. “We’ve loved this Challenge, the competitiveness, the games.”
Next season starts the ACC/SEC Challenge, announced earlier this week by the two leagues and ESPN.
“It’s disappointing obviously that ESPN wants to take a great game like (tonight’s) off,” Frese said, “but I know for us we’ll be able to find other great teams that want to continue to play against Maryland and be in those battles.”
The women’s ACC/Big Ten Challenge began in 2007, while the men’s started in 1999.
Duke easily owns the best percentage among the men at 20-4.
Mila back in town
With roughly 60 family, friends and ex-Washington High teammates on hand to cheer her on, Maryland freshman guard Mila Reynolds was back in her hometown.
Reynolds played just the final 2:32 of the first half and missed her lone shot, but grabbed an offensive rebound in order to get that attempt.For the season, she has appeared in all but one of the Terps’ nine games.
Her numbers are solid relative to her playing time. Across 48 minutes, she’s at 12 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist. She’s 5-of-10 from the field and 2-of-2 at the line.
Reynolds became the first South Bend product to face the Irish at Purcell since St. Joseph graduate Madeline Raster did so for Harvard in November 2018.
That day, Raster was a senior making her 85th consecutive start, but wound up being inadvertently kicked in the head by ND’s Brianna Turner as the two players dove for a loose ball with 17 minutes to go.Raster missed the rest of the Crimson’s 103-58 loss as well as the next three games, but returned to earn All-Ivy League second-team honors.
On the UConn
Facing Connecticut is tough enough under any circumstance, but now the Irish will have to face their fellow perennial power on the heels of a loss when the No. 3-ranked Huskies visit Sunday afternoon.
UConn (5-0 entering Friday’s game against Providence) has already beaten three top-10 teams this season, each by at least seven points.
“This is super painful, super hurtful,” Ivey said of Thursday’s loss, “(but) we have to learn, have to grow, have to take this experience and move on. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work that we need to do in the next 48 hours, but … get ready for UConn. With a schedule like we have, (a loss) is not something you can hold on to.”
The Huskies will be visiting Purcell for the first time since December 2018 given that ND’s planned home matchup in 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic.
Overall, the Huskies have taken 11 of the last 13 meetings, with ironically Notre Dame’s two wins over that span being the 2018 and 2019 national semifinals.
The Irish have not won at home against UConn since their triple-overtime victory in 2013, with the Huskies prevailing in each of three visits since.
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. 20 Maryland 74, No. 7 Notre Dame 72
MARYLAND (7-2): Masonius 1-5 0-0 2, Meyers 3-10 0-0 6, Miller 11-21 9-11 31, Pinzan 1-2 0-0 2, Sellers 6-15 5-6 17, Alexander 3-8 0-0 8, Briggs 3-7 0-0 8, Cooke 0-0 0-0 0, McDaniel 0-1 0-0 0, Reynolds 0-1 0-0 0, Totals 28-70 14-17 74
NOTRE DAME (6-1): Watson 4-8 2-4 10, Westbeld 4-9 0-0 8, Citron 8-14 4-4 24, Mabrey 3-11 0-0 7, Miles 6-9 1-1 14, Ebo 0-5 1-2 1, Bransford 3-6 2-4 8, Marshall 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 28-62 10-15 72
|Notre Dame||13||19||23||17||— 72|
3-Point Goals—Maryland 4-16 (Masonius 0-2, Meyers 0-3, Miller 0-3, Pinzan 0-1, Sellers 0-1, Alexander 2-4, Briggs 2-2), Notre Dame 6-17 (Westbeld 0-2, Citron 4-5, Mabrey 1-7, Miles 1-3). Assists—Maryland 11 (Miller 5), Notre Dame 18 (Miles 7). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Maryland 41 (Miller 12), Notre Dame 37 (Citron 10). Total Fouls—Maryland 15, Notre Dame 17. Technical Fouls—None. A—3,131.
Tribune Staff and Associated Press contributed to this report