Midway through the fourth quarter, Michigan was right in it.
A pair of layups from sophomore and senior forwards Naz Hillmon and Kayla Robbins cut Maryland’s lead to seven, and with shots finally falling, the Wolverines looked poised to stage a comeback.
But on the other end, Terrapin guard Taylor Mikesell buried the game’s first 3-pointer, sinking a dagger into Michigan’s comeback hopes and propelling Maryland to a 70-55 victory.
For the second consecutive game, Michigan managed to hang tough with a top-15 team for most of the game but ultimately faltered down the stretch. While the Wolverines struggled to put together a late run, the Terrapins capitalized off their mistakes and found an offensive rhythm to close the game out.
“I thought we were trying to get some stops, so we were switching some defenses on them,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico. “They were able to get some offensive rebounds down the stretch that really hurt us … and then they were able to get some threes off the offensive rebounds.”
Both teams came out flat offensively to start the game, scoring just five field goals each in the first quarter. Sophomore guard Amy Dilk was the primary contributor for Michigan, scoring seven of the team’s 14 first-quarter points, including a key free throw that kept Maryland’s lead at three at the end of the quarter.
But in the second quarter, Terrapin guard Kaila Charles took control. The preseason All-American opened the quarter with a pair of layups and continued to dominate into halftime, tallying 13 total points before the break.
Though the Wolverines didn’t have an answer for Charles defensively, they found their own offensive spark from Robbins. Her five second-quarter points all came at a crucial juncture late in the quarter. After Maryland stretched its lead to nine and appeared to be running away with the game, Robbins answered with a three-point play and a layup to cut the deficit right back down to four. She finished with 16 points on the night.
“Kayla Robbins is playing with a lot of confidence,” Barnes Arico said. “Any time she comes home to Maryland, she just does a tremendous job, and once again tonight, she was all over the place and really impressive for us.”
After a quiet start, Hillmon put up strong numbers in the second half. She helped keep Michigan in the game with her twelve second half points, including a pair of fourth quarter layups that stopped the bleeding on two Terrapin runs.
But in the end, Charles’ 23 points and 11 rebounds — seven of them offensive — were too much for the Wolverines to overcome.
“I thought Kaila Charles had an exceptional night really offensively rebounding the ball and that’s kind of what pushed them ahead,” Barnes Arico said. “They were able to get some shots late, so it was a great game until the fourth quarter, and then they were able to pull away.”