COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP)Diamond Miller was having a rough day shooting when she let a 3-pointer fly in the final minute with her team up by four.
”I would leave me wide open too if I kept missing the way I was missing,” the Maryland star said.
She didn’t keep missing. Instead, Miller’s 3-pointer helped the 20th-ranked Terrapins secure an 85-78 victory over No. 6 Connecticut on Sunday. It was Maryland’s first victory in eight tries against UConn, which is depleted by injuries right now but still nearly pulled off an impressive road win for coach Geno Auriemma.
”Obviously, he’s a Hall of Famer, the best to ever do it, and you never know how much more time,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ”Just to be able to do it here at Maryland on our home court with these guys … one that I’ll always remember.”
Abby Meyers scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half, and Shyanne Sellers added 19 points for the Terrapins (9-3). 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.
”Credit them. They made some big shots, big 3s that went in that really were back breakers,” Auriemma said. ”But I couldn’t be prouder of my team in how we represented ourselves out there. I think it was a gutsy, amazing performance.”
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.
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.
”It’s Connecticut. There’s no `atta girl’ for doing well and not coming back with a win,” Auriemma said. ”But except for on the scoreboard, there were a lot of wins out there today for us.”
Maryland: The was a big victory 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.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Both teams played only seven players. UConn only made one substitution the whole first half – Ayanna Patterson replacing Lopez Senechal after her third foul.
Edwards played the full 40 minutes for the Huskies and Meyers did the same for Maryland.
”A few seconds into the second quarter, she asked for a sub, and we were in foul trouble and I looked down, and I brought her over,” Frese said. ”And I said, `Yeah, no.”’
Auriemma was coaching three days after his mother died, and he spoke about her after the game.
”Isn’t every mom a coach in some ways? Doesn’t every mom have a team at home, that they have to try to guide through different phases of their lives?” he said. ”I think I watched and I paid attention and I listened and I saw how she treated people and how she was on a daily basis, the impact that she had on other people.”
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.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25