Maryland women’s basketball emerged with a hard-fought win over Michigan Thursday in College Park.
The No. 3 Terps (18-1, 6-0 Big Ten) were tested for most of the game and didn’t take the lead for good until the end of the third quarter. Michigan went 9-for-22 from three-point range, but Maryland offset that by outscoring the Wolverines 54-26 in the paint.
Brionna Jones paced the Terps once again, recording her ninth straight double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds. The senior made 12 of her 16 shots and also had three blocks in 31 minutes. Maryland blocked 10 shots in the game and got rejected just twice.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Kaila Charles added 17 and 16 points, respectively. Walker-Kimbrough chipped in eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals.
The Terps withstood a mid-game assault from Katelynn Flaherty, who poured in 30 points. During a stretch between the second and third quarters, the junior scored 18 of Michigan’s 23 points, almost single-handedly pushing her team into the lead. However, Maryland kept her to just three points after the third-quarter media timeout.
The Terps also kept Hallie Thome in check. The sophomore center was the Wolverines’ leading scorer in conference play entering the game, but battled foul trouble throughout. She managed just nine points on six shots before fouling out with just over two minutes to play. Freshman Kysre Gondrezick joined Flaherty in double-figures with 13.
Maryland started just 3-of-11 from the field, which allowed the Wolverines to jump out to a 15-7 lead. The Terps closed the gap with a pair of threes from Slocum and another by Kristen Confroy, but Michigan still led 19-18 after the first.
Brionna Jones’ layup gave the Terps the lead on the first play of the second quarter, which Maryland started on an 8-0 run (13-0 overall). The lead grew to 13, as Jones racked up 10 points in the quarter’s first seven minutes. Michigan went on a 9-0 run from there, though, trimming Maryland’s advantage to 39-35 at the break.
The teams spent most of the third quarter playing hot potato with the lead. Flaherty dropped 13 in the period, but Maryland always seemed to have an answer. Kiah Gillespie’s three-point heave at the buzzer gave the Terps a 64-61 lead entering the fourth.
Maryland’s defense clamped down in the fourth quarter to seal the win. The Terps held Michigan to nine points on 4-of-12 shooting. Flaherty’s last bucket came in the final minutes, after the Terps had already removed all doubts.
Three things to know
1. Michigan kept it close on the boards. The Terps entered the game with the nation’s second-best rebounding margin at plus-16.6. Michigan matched them with 20 rebounds in the first half, though Maryland would end up winning the glass 43-33.
2. The Terps’ free throw struggles held them back. Maryland entered the game shooting a tick under 71 percent, but was just 8-of-17 Thursday. Each of the five Terps that went to the line missed at least once; Jones, who’s above 75 percent for the year, went 1-for-5.
3. Kiah Gillespie had her strongest half of the season. The sophomore hasn’t been a regular in crunch-time, but she played a key role down the stretch. Gillespie had nine points on 4-of-5 shooting after halftime, and four of her six boards came in the second half. Her three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer was simply the exclamation point.