It was all too familiar for IU women’s basketball as they traveled to College Park, Maryland, Tuesday night to face-off with the No. 14-ranked Terrapins.
The game almost completely recreated the scene six days prior when IU was in Ann Arbor, Michigan, against the then-ranked No. 23 Wolverines.
The biggest similarity between the two games is that IU had the lead to begin fourth quarter and couldn’t close it out in the final minutes, losing both games by five points or less. This one was 74-70.
IU started out the game down with an early turnover, which IU Coach Teri Moren was having none of as she called a timeout when her team was down 4-0.
Out of the timeout, senior guard Tyra Buss responded with a layup and a three to even the game at five. Five would be the deficit for the Hoosiers at the end of the first quarter, 18-13.
After falling behind 22-16 to start the second, IU responded with a 7-0 run led by Buss to take its first lead of the game.
The Hoosiers got up to a four-point lead in the second, but it all got cancelled out after Maryland’s freshman guard Channise Lewis drained a three at the buzzer to tie the game at 33 into halftime.
In the third quarter, it looked as if the No. 14-ranked Terrapins were going to run away with it after they got their largest lead of the game at 48-40.
Senior forward Amanda Cahill and freshman guard Jaelynn Penn, the two-leading scorers in IU’s previous game against Ohio State, weren’t finished lighting the Terrapins up from beyond the arc.
The two sparked an 8-0 run featuring a 3-pointer from each and a layup from Cahill to even things up at 48.
With 1:12 remaining in the third, Buss and freshman guard Bendu Yeaney joined their teammates in the three-point party as they each hit one to close out the third on a 6-0 run, taking a 56-52 lead into the fourth.
The difference between the Michigan and Maryland games was that Cahill fouled out against Michigan, but the Hoosiers had Cahill the entire time versus Maryland.
She proved effective as she put up 18 points on 7/12 shooting, grabbed nine rebounds, and dished out three assists in 39 minutes of play.
But it didn’t matter as down the stretch in that game. No matter how many baskets Cahill hit, the Hoosiers went cold in the last two minutes and 25 seconds, going 0-6 and getting outscored 5-0.
What looked to be a promising turnaround after the 72-54 blowout win against Purdue turned into a three-game losing streak, two of which IU had a chance of winning at the end.
Those two potential wins were Michigan and Maryland.
What could have two more wins in the Big Ten — and two wins against ranked teams — instead has the Hoosiers at 1-6 in the Big Ten and 8-12 overall.