Diamond Miller and Maryland questioned the foul calls in their 86-75 loss to South Carolina in Monday’s Elite Eight contest.
Both Abby Meyers and Faith Masonius fouled out of the game, while Shyanne Sellers and Diamond Miller both found themselves in foul trouble. Overall, Maryland committed 26 fouls to South Carolina’s 12.
And if you ask Miller, she says it feels like “all the fouls were going one way.”
“So we were really physical because apparently they were getting all the foul calls,” she said after the loss. “That just shows we have heart, we have grit, and just because they’re taller doesn’t mean we can’t bang. If y’all didn’t see that we were banging today, I don’t know what could show you that.
“Clearly we needed to be more physical, I guess, on the offensive side because every time they hit us, nothing was called.”
Maryland coach Brenda Frese called the second quarter a turning point. Despite Maryland holding a 21-15 lead after the first quarter, foul trouble soon set in, forcing Miller and Sellers to the bench.
“You felt like you were coaching with one arm behind your back,” Frese said of the second quarter. “When they were calling so many of them, you were kind of just juggling who you had on the bench and back and forth, and it kind of felt like that all game. You’re just trying to see who you could keep in the longest.
“But that second quarter was costly, the amount of free throws. We’re typically a team that gets to the free throw line 20, 25 times. We only got there 15 times, and it was five after half. They got there 26 times. Just difficult trying to kind of figure out who you could keep in there that wasn’t going to get into foul trouble. We tried to mix up our defenses to keep us out of it, but they were able to exploit it from both ends.”
Meyers tried to take on more of the scoring load with both Miller and Sellers sitting in the second quarter to avoid more fouls, but then she found herself racking up fouls.
“I don’t think the style of the game changed. We were playing physical the entire time, and it was unfortunate that I guess I put myself in that situation to have those fouls called against,” Meyers said. “It’s just frustrating when that happens when you try to stay on the court to help the team, but you can only do so much.”
Despite any issues Maryland had with the officiating, Miller placed responsibility for the loss on the Terrapins. But she also said her team still has a lot to be proud of.
“At the end of the day, I can’t dwell on what the refs call,” Miller said. “I’m not going to say the refs lost us the game. That’s not what I’m saying by any means. I mean, they out-rebounded us, as we kind of expected, let’s be honest. But they out-rebounded us, and they got more second-chance points. And it was our second quarter. They beat us 23-9. Nine points in one quarter is tough to come back from.
“I think we fought hard today. Supposedly we’re undersized, but we just lost to the defending reigning champs by 11 and other teams that had bigger posts than us are getting blown out by 30. I don’t believe in moral victories of any sort, but I think we fought hard,” she continued. “They’re big. I’m going to tip my hat to them. I usually don’t do that, but they’re big, and I think what was our downfall was just how big they were in the post, and the second quarter, of course.”