Maryland women’s basketball continued its undefeated Big Ten campaign Sunday with a 100-81 home win over Iowa.
The No. 3 Terps move to 9-0 in conference play and 21-1 overall, and they complete a two-game season sweep of Iowa with the win. The teams’ first matchup in Iowa City saw the Hawkeyes take the lead into halftime before Maryland pulled away in the second half. In the rematch, the Terps’ big burst came in the second quarter, breaking what was a tie game open with a 26-6 run.
Maryland had its best shooting performance of the season Sunday, knocking down 39 of its 65 shots (60 percent). The team’s previous high was 58.3 percent, and that was in December against Saint Peter’s. The Terps went 8-of-18 from three and 14-of-17 from the foul line.
Brionna Jones scored a game-high 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting, while Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 18 and Brianna Fraser notched a career-high 17. Destiny Slocum and Kaila Charles joined them in double figures with 11 and 10, respectively. Iowa also had five double-figure scorers, led by Kathleen Doyle’s 21.
The Terps led 23-18 through one quarter, with an 8-0 run in just over a minute making the difference. Iowa enjoyed its own 8-0 spurt early in the second quarter, turning 30-22 into 30-30 in 57 seconds.
But Maryland scored 26 of the half’s last 32 points to take a 56-36 lead into the locker room. The Terps finished the second quarter 13-of-17 (77 percent) from the floor, with no shortage of highlight-reel plays. Maryland took advantage of Iowa’s turnovers and moved the ball exceptionally well. Destiny Slocum’s 30-foot three was the exclamation point.
The last-second heave pushed Slocum into double figures at the half with 11 points. Jones led the Terps with 13, while Walker-Kimbrough had 12. Maryland shot an astounding 66 percent in the first half.
Iowa didn’t exactly fold, though. The Hawkeyes forced seven Maryland turnovers in the third quarter and cut the lead to 11 at one point. However, the Terps still took a 78-63 lead into the final frame.
Brenda Frese kept the starters in for most of the fourth quarter, and her team stayed steadily in front. Maryland’s lead escalated as high as 23 points, and the Terps hit the century mark with a minute to play. It’s their first 100-point showing since a 101-49 win over Saint Peter’s on Dec. 8.
Three things to know
1. Maryland picked up another convincing win. The Terps followed up a 45-point blowout against Illinois with a 19-point win that never got within single digits in the second half. With the relatively low selection committee ranking in the back of everyone’s minds, Maryland helped its case against a solid Iowa team.
2. Maryland’s guards rebounded well. Kristen Confroy and Kaila Charles led the team with nine and eight boards, respectively. Walker-Kimbrough hauled in five; Jones, who entered Sunday averaging 10.3 rebounds per game, was held to six.
3. Destiny Slocum stays hitting bombs. She sank one from just in front of the halfcourt “M” in Maryland’s last home game against Rutgers, and drilled another one from almost as far at the end of Sunday’s first half. While last week’s went in at the buzzer, this one went down with just over a second remaining. Slocum has made a habit of sinking shots from way beyond the arc, and not just at the end of periods. For whatever reason, there seem to be more of these in nationally televised games. We’ll write that off as a coincidence for now.