The Maryland women’s basketball team improved to 2-0 in Big Ten play and 14-1 overall Wednesday with an easy win at Nebraska.
The No. 3 Terps led for just about the entire 40 minutes, and never let the Huskers (4-11, 0-3) within single digits after the first quarter. The low-stress victory is helpful for a team that used its starters extensively against UConn and Minnesota last week.
Maryland dominated in pretty much every regard. The Terps won the rebounding battle 53-31, outscored the Huskers 50-26 in the paint and shot about 20 percent better than Nebraska overall.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the Terps with 19 points, and Brionna Jones chipped in 13 to go with 11 boards. Jones didn’t pull down a single rebound in the first half and then gathered 10 in the first seven minutes of the third quarter. Sophomore Brianna Fraser joined the two seniors in double figures with 11 points.
Walker-Kimbrough drained a pair of threes in the game’s first 64 seconds and the Terps cruised from there. She finished the opening quarter with 10 points, slightly ahead of Nebraska’s total of nine. Jones was just behind with six. Maryland was 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) in the first; Nebraska was 4-of-17 (23.5 percent).
Fraser owned the second quarter, tallying eight points. She and Walker-Kimbrough each put up 10 points in the first half, while Jones was close with eight. The Terps took a 44-22 lead into the break.
Brenda Frese emptied the bench by halftime, and although all the starters saw time in the second half, they weren’t relied on nearly as heavily as they were against Minnesota. The Terps still cruised, though. They led 64-40 through three quarters and then started the fourth on a 17-0 run. Nebraska was shut out for the first 5:36 of the final quarter and finished the period with just nine.
The Terps return home Saturday afternoon against Northwestern.
Three things to know
1. Maryland started fast and cruised. The script from the early non-conference games rolled over into Big Ten play. Nebraska is in the conference’s bottom tier right now, and Maryland took care of business.
2. The Terps kept Jessica Shepard quiet early. Shepard was an All-Big Ten selection last season, and leads the Huskers in scoring and rebounding by a lot. The sophomore was just 1-of-10 in the first half with four points. She finished with 12 on 4-of-7 shooting, but this game was all but out of reach during the whole second half.
3. The sophomores both looked impressive. Fraser had 11 on 5-of-6 shooting; Kiah Gillespie was 4-of-5 from the floor and put up eight points and nine rebounds. Gillespie’s performance might have earned her more playing time in future games, as she had seemed to be on the fringes of the rotation recently.