On Friday, January 21, the Maryland Terrapins (15-3, 2-2 ACC) reawakened their beloved mantra coined by the 2006 national championship team, "Overtime is Our Time," with a thrilling 77-75 overtime victory on the road against the University of Virginia Cavaliers (11-9, 0-4 ACC).
The Terps and Cavaliers began the first half in heated battle, with neither team able to maintain a solid advantage. The Terps led by four points with 11:34 remaining, but the Cavaliers quickly quelled the Terps' momentum with a 3-pointer by junior Whitny Edwards to bring the score within one point.
A later 3-pointer by freshman Ataira Franklin - who recorded a career-high four 3-pointers in the game - put Virginia ahead 25-24 with 5:04 remaining in the first half.
However, the Terps soon retaliated with a 10-2 run prompted by subsequent fast break layups by junior guard Kim Rodgers in the final 4:36 to capture a 34-27 lead at halftime.Rodgers, who led the Terps in scoring for the first half with 9 points, demonstrated a valuable dedication to pushing the tempo for Maryland, earning 6 of her 9 points from fast breaks.
To begin the second half, the Terps secured a ten point lead, 49-39, with 13:50 remaining as a result of a 3-point play by freshman Alyssa Thomas, who led the team with a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds.
However, the Cavaliers soon resuscitated their offensive energy, generating a 10-1 run in under three minutes to tie the score at 50, led by freshman Jazmin Pitts who scored 8 points in the surge. The Cavaliers then proceeded to obtain a 7 point lead, their largest of the night, with 4:57 remaining.
Despite fighting against the clock and an uproarious crowd, the Terps appeared composed and fiercely determined, and engineered a 7-1 run in the final 1:50 of regulation to force the game into overtime.
Sophomore Diandra Tchatchouang, who had not scored since the 16-minute mark, had perhaps her best performance of the season in the final moments of regulation and in overtime.
With 1:33 remaining, Tchatchouang hit a layup to pull the Terps within 3 points. As time on the clock threateningly elapsed, Tchatchouang buried the Terps' only 3-pointer of the night with 14 seconds left to tie the game, 69-69, and grant the Terps a chance for victory in overtime.
The Cavaliers scored first in overtime with another layup by Pitts, but 4 points from Thomas, a crucial jumper by Rodgers, and decisive blocks by Tchatchouang gave the Terps an edge.
In the final seconds, the Terps' seemingly indefatigable defense forced a shot clock violation by the Cavaliers, awarding possession to Maryland with 13 seconds remaining.
Junior Anjale Barrett then secured the ball on an inbounds pass and sprinted past Virginia's press in a fitting manifestation of the Terps' improved conditioning to dish the ball to Tchatchouang for the winning layup.
"This team has worked very hard in their conditioning level to kind of get a breakaway moment like that," said Maryland head coach Brenda Frese. "So just a great decision by [Barrett]."
Junior Ariana Moorer attempted a final 3-pointer with one second remaining, but it rimmed out.
The Terps outscored the Cavaliers 8-6 in overtime and made 4 of 7 shots, in stark comparison to the Cavaliers' 2-10 shooting.Tchatchouang proved productive under pressure, scoring 7 of her 9 points in the final 1:33 of regulation and in the final seconds of overtime. Tchatchouang also demonstrated her defensive strength, blocking a career-high 6 shots.
Junior Lynetta Kizer posted 16 points for the Terps and rectified the Terps' previous struggles from the free throw line, where she shot 8-9.
The Terps outrebounded the Cavaliers 52-42, led in especially key moments by freshman Alicia DeVaughn, who grabbed 7 boards and earned all of her 3 points from offensive rebounds and subsequent free throw opportunities.
DeVaughn also secured an essential defensive rebound in the final two seconds of regulation to prevent a Virginia put-back after a missed jumper.
In a game with 10 ties, 12 lead changes, and a dramatic, well-executed finish, Frese declares she is proud of the Terps' grit.
"I really felt like we grew up tonight as a young team," said Frese. "A lot of adversity, foul trouble, a very physical game, getting ourselves behind, and then just keeping our poise and composure down the stretch. Just big plays, a lot of players on our team who wanted to step up and make big plays at the right moment. Very proud to be able to see that."
The Terps take on No. 10/11 North Carolina on Sunday, January 23, at Comcast Center. The Terps and Tar Heels tip off at 5:00 p.m.