COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) – Diamond Miller and Maryland may peak at just the right time.
At the very least, the Terrapins are showing why they were ranked in the top 5 at the start of the season – and what threat to them if their key players are really healthy right now.
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Miller scored 24 points, and fourth seed Maryland used a 19-0 win that spanned parts of both halves to win 89-65 over 12th seed Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday. Angel Reese added 21 points and Ashley Osusu scored 20 points for the Terrapins who came up to Sweet 16 10th time under coach Brenda Frese.
Maryland (23-8) faces Stanford or Kansas in the next round. The Terps were ranked fourth nationally at the start of the season, but injuries and a lack of depth have kept them from reaching that potential. Still have time.
“We are thriving at the right time,” says Miller. “We are all 100% healthy and this is how we are expected to play. We are not expected to play it any other way. So this is what you’ve all been waiting for. ”
Kendall Spray scored 17 points in the first half but none in the second half for FGCU, and the Eagles (30-3) were unable to track them first round win over Virginia Tech with another win.
Spray, who is fourth on the career list for 3 points, made five first-half goals for FGCU, but the Terrapins withstood that. After Spray’s three-pointers put the Eagles up to three, Maryland scored the final 11 points of the half to take a 47-39 lead.
Miller then made a warm-up to start the second half and put Maryland into a 10th lead. Her reverse header made it 53-39, and Reese took the lead with a couple of free throws. .
“Just incredibly proud and happy for this group. It hasn’t been an easy year,” said Frese. “I just mean the way we fought, especially in both of these games, but against a Florida Gulf Coast team was really good. I knew that coming here would be a tough job, obviously they weren’t needed. “
The Little Eagles brought a special style to this tournament, relying heavily on 3 pointers and using good distance to pave the way for the occasional 2s. The Terrapins, however, are sporty enough to cover all, and Maryland comfortably plays in a high-paced style though not too deep.
FGCU coach Karl Smesko said: “They have very good pressure on the ball and they switch a lot of things. “They are of great length in many positions.”
Miller, who has missed much of the start of this season because of a knee problem, is taller than anyone on FGCU’s roster at 6 foot-3. She also deals a lot of damage from the outer ring, dealing three 3s in the first half.
In addition to all of her points, Miller contributed 9 rebounds, three assists, three steals and a strong blocked shot.
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Owusu missed a few games for a long time, but she’s back now too.
“We’ve been through a lot this season, and we just came together at the right time,” said Reese. “I don’t think this team has folded.”
Ashley from Angel.
– Maryland Women’s Basketball (@TerpsWBB) March 20, 2022
FGCU: The Eagles are a dangerous team, but today, they face a possibly quicker opponent. Sweet 16’s first appearance for the FGCU will have to wait.
Maryland: Terps seem to be hitting their stride. They turned a close match into an impressive one.
“I really think Maryland with everyone healthy is a four-caliber Finals team,” Smesko said.
Smesko said he appreciates the atmosphere – even when playing a very difficult road game.
“I still think that’s great for basketball because it’s great to have so many people. That crowd was great tonight. To have such a fee-based environment is a great experience to be a part of,” he said. “But certainly, on the women’s side, it’s very difficult for middleweight leagues to make it to the round of 16, largely because you don’t usually get a neutral court game to go to 16. You will. to play on someone’s home turf. “
Maryland heads to Sweet 16 in Spokane, Washington. Stanford and Kansas fought Sunday night for the right to face Terps.
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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/20/miller-scores-24-terps-roll-past-florida-gulf-coast-89-65/ Miller Score 24, Florida Gulf Coast Scoring 89-65 – CBS Baltimore