No. 20 Maryland upsets No. 7 Notre Dame at the buzzer, 74-72
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — 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.
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.
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