Good luck stopping Diamond Miller.
That’s the mindset Maryland had with 15.8 seconds left on the clock, tied at 72 with No. 7 Notre Dame on the road.
The No. 20 Terrapins inbounded to Shyanne Sellers, who took four dribbles, her eyes locked on Miller, who posted up Sonia Citron at the top of the key.
The senior guard caught the ball with six seconds left, but she looked relaxed as the precious seconds ticked off the clock. Miller crossed over, used a screen, and as time expired, she faded left, balancing on one foot, and fired.
DIAMOND MILLER 🥶Her 31 PTS & game-winner helped No. 20 Maryland take down No. 7 Notre Dame in South Bend. pic.twitter.com/5N7wkiPppf— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) December 2, 2022
DIAMOND MILLER 🥶Her 31 PTS & game-winner helped No. 20 Maryland take down No. 7 Notre Dame in South Bend. pic.twitter.com/5N7wkiPppf
The senior watched the ball fell through the net as the buzzer sounded. Then she turned to the crowd of Notre Dame supporters and put a finger to her lips.
“Shhhh,” she motioned. Be quiet. This is my game.
Maryland 74, Notre Dame 72. Diamond Miller played the hero for the Terrapins but the villain for the Irish faithful, who she silenced with one play.
“Even if you know it’s going to Diamond, you probably have like a less than 5 percent chance of stopping Diamond,” Sellers told the Washington Post after the game.
Miller made the play look easy, but the off-balance shot had a high degree of difficulty.
First, time is expiring. If she misses, the game goes to overtime on Notre Dame’s home court. Second, she’s off-balance. Going left and shooting off your left foot is extremely awkward and unnatural.
Yet Miller made the play look routine.
DIAMOND MILLER31 points12 rebounds5 reboundsGAME WINNERHEY NOTRE DAME 🤫 pic.twitter.com/MnKyW7vE1T— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) December 2, 2022
DIAMOND MILLER31 points12 rebounds5 reboundsGAME WINNERHEY NOTRE DAME 🤫 pic.twitter.com/MnKyW7vE1T
Her game-winner put an exclamation point on what turned out to be a signature game for the senior. Her 31 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals propelled the Terps to an upset, something they needed after falling to unranked DePaul a few games prior.
“I really knew how important this win was for us,” Miller said. “It’s a great motivation builder, knowing that we beat the No. 7 team in the country.”
The shot, and the victory, come after a season of chaos surrounded Miller and Maryland in 2021-22. She battled injuries, playing in 22 games and posting 13.1 points and 4 rebounds per game, a decrease from her 17.3 points and 5.8 rebounds the year prior.
Overall, the Terps underperformed in 2021-22, losing to Stanford in the Sweet 16 after starting the year ranked No. 4 in the country. Then, in the offseason, Angel Reese and Ashley Owusu – the team’s top two scorers – opted to transfer, leaving Miller to pick up the pieces.
So far, the senior has delivered, leading her team in both points (19.2) and rebounds (7.6).
Kevin Durant and Steph Curry giving that respect to Diamond Miller pic.twitter.com/6N5G66kwsf— Maryland Terrapins (@umterps) December 2, 2022
Kevin Durant and Steph Curry giving that respect to Diamond Miller pic.twitter.com/6N5G66kwsf
And the basketball world is taking notice.
Her buzzer-beater against Notre Dame garnered praise from NBA greats Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.
“Aye Diamond Miller, u a killer for that Dirk fade at the buzzer, good win Terps,” tweeted Durant, comparing the shot to longtime Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki.
Curry took to Instagram, commenting: “She cold!!!!!”
As for those nearer to the program, coach Brenda Frese found herself impressed but not surprised with the way Miller handled the pressure in the last seconds of the game.
“It was a set for us, and she executed it to perfection,” Frese told reporters. “That’s what your all-American, your senior, your fourth year in your program is supposed to do. I have so much trust in Diamond. She wants to make those plays. And it’s a big moment, and I love the fact that she knew time and score.”