Maryland upsets No. 4 Ohio State 82-61 in Big Ten Tournament to seize familiar spot in semis

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shyanne Sellers had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead Maryland's upset of fourth-ranked and regular-season champion Ohio State 82-61 in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.

Brinae Alexander and Jakia Brown-Turner each scored 19 points and Faith Masonius added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Terrapins (19-12), who delivered the type of statement performance that ought to push them toward the safe side of the bubble for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

“I'm telling you right now: The Maryland team you see in March is not the same team you see at the beginning,” Sellers said. “I think we just proved that.”

Maryland will play Nebraska on Saturday afternoon, the ninth time in 10 years the Terrapins have reached the semifinals. Nebraska and Michigan State took the court for their quarterfinal game right after the Terrapins finished avenging two regular-season losses to Ohio State.

Maryland owned a 55-31 rebounding edge and a 19-5 advantage in second-chance points on the way to its first win this season against a ranked opponent.

“To finally get over that hump today when it matters most in the most time of pressure is a testament to these guys,” coach Brenda Frese said.

Rebeka Mikulasikova scored 16 points and Taylor Thierry had 13 points for the Buckeyes (25-5), whose quest for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament took a hit. Ohio State has lost two games in a row.

“Maryland played a great game. They were really prepared. They played like a team that might have needed this to get in the tournament, and we played like a team that showed up as the No. 1 seed and everybody was just supposed to lie down,” Buckeyes coach Kevin McGuff said.

Maryland beat Illinois on Thursday after entering the bracket as the No. 8 seed, the first time the Terrapins played in the second round of the tournament since joining the league nine years ago.

With second overall WNBA draft pick Diamond Miller now with the Minnesota Lynx and injuries factoring in, the season was a grind. After going 137-20 in conference play over their first nine years in the Big Ten, the Terrapins lost nine league games — more than the three previous seasons combined.

The Terrapins nonetheless brought real potential to make a run this weekend with three graduate starters — Alexander, Brown-Turner and Masonius have 16 years of college experience between them — and a third-year star in Sellers.

The native of Aurora, Ohio, whose father, Brad Sellers, played for the Buckeyes and in the NBA, shot 9 for 17 from the floor and injected a spark into her team at the most pivotal moments. She sank a pullup jumper at the second-quarter buzzer for a 38-30 halftime lead.

Ohio State's full court press never fazed Maryland. The Buckeyes instead were flustered by the physical play in the paint — often voicing their frustration by the foul calls and non-calls that went against them. But the rebounding disadvantage is what really did them in.

“We looked like a volleyball team out there for half the game, just batting the ball around,” McGuff said.

Jacy Sheldon, who had a quiet 10 points, eight below her team-leading average, was called for a charging foul late in the third quarter. Sellers hit a jumper on the other end. Then Cotie McMahon was hit in the face during a scrap for a rebound with no whistle, setting McGuff up for a technical foul after a fast break 3-pointer by Alexander gave Maryland a 15-point lead. Sellers sank both free throws to make it 61-44.

McMahon, who had 12 points and nine rebounds, finished 3 for 17 from the floor. The first team All-Big Ten player missed her first seven shots, at one point covering her face in her hands in disbelief after she couldn't get a one-handed leaner in the lane to fall.

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AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball