Women's Basketball

Michigan topples second top-10 team of the season, dominating No. 8 Maryland

With less than a minute left, sophomore forward Whitney Sollom jogged onto the court. The 36 seconds she played on Sunday emptied the last of Michigan’s bench against No. 8 Maryland. The last two years, the 11th-ranked Wolverines have had plenty of opportunities to clear their bench against the Terps, but this time Sollom’s entrance was for a completely new reason: Michigan won the blowout.

The game was poised as the biggest Big Ten test for the Wolverines. For so long, Maryland has been the measuring stick for Big Ten programs, and a constant reminder of just how far growing programs like the one in Ann Arbor had to go. To forcefully topple the peak of that mountain in the manner Michigan did on Sunday put the program one step closer to where it wants to be: the top.

The 20-point victory came from both surprising and unsurprising avenues. A team that prides itself on its staunch defense held the sixth-highest scoring offense to 49 points, nearly 35 points lower than its average. And then an offense built from the inside out instead became supported by arcing 3-point shots from Maddie Nolan and well-timed daggers from a supporting cast.

At every moment of the game, Michigan proved it was the better team. In the second quarter, with the game still very much in the balance, the Wolverines committed three straight turnovers, but after a quick three from Chloe Bibby, they forced Maryland into an even worse stretch of four straight turnovers.

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