Just before Maryland women’s basketball tipped off its regular season finale against Minnesota, seniors Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough were honored at Xfinity Center. Flanked by family, they entered one after another to a standing ovation from the home crowd.
You could say these ladies accomplished a few things with @umdwbb. https://t.co/lg7ROKePkl— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) February 26, 2017
But annual Senior Day traditions weren’t enough on Sunday. Not for these two, who in their careers have combined for over 3,800 points and 1,700 rebounds, helped lead the Terps to two Final Fours and posted a 120-16 record together.
After the 33-point win over Minnesota and the brief celebration of the Terps’ regular-season Big Ten title, Jones and Walker-Kimbrough were the focus of a special ceremony. Their numbers were unveiled in the rafters, where they will remain forever.
Senior Brionna Jones honored by @umdwbb following the win over Minnesota. https://t.co/gzJag0jY3N— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) February 26, 2017
Senior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough was honored by @umdwbb following the win over Minnesota. https://t.co/5ZIfTHYFsw— Maryland On BTN (@MarylandOnBTN) February 26, 2017
They are the 10th and 11th players in program history with their jerseys honored. They join former teammate Alyssa Thomas, several champions in Marissa Coleman, Kristi Toliver, Shay Doron and Crystal Langhorne, and other Maryland legends.
“Everything I’ve put into my four years here, and getting to see it unfold before me [was exciting],” Jones told reporters after the game. “It was great to play in front of the amazing fans that we have, and just getting to share that with them makes it even better.”
The duo also dominated the Golden Gophers in between celebrations. Jones slapped together her 20th double-double in 29 games this season, tossing up 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting and pulling down 14 rebounds. Walker-Kimbrough led all scorers with 27 points, and has tallied at least 22 in six straight games.
They combined for 51 of Maryland’s 93 points, including 31 of 51 in the first half. The Terps pulled away from Minnesota in the first quarter and cruised to the win, bouncing back from a loss Monday at Ohio State.
“You could tell when both Shatori and Bri made their first shot, things were gonna settle in,” head coach Brenda Frese said.
The Terps earned a share of the Big Ten regular season title with the win, their third in as many seasons in the conference. Barring a Rutgers upset of Ohio State Sunday, the Buckeyes will be the top seed in the conference tournament, but Maryland’s 15-1 Big Ten record and 27-2 mark for the season are impressive nonetheless.
“Being that the Big Ten regular season title was one of our goals, it’s really cool to see everything play out,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “We worked hard to achieve our goals and we’re 1-for-1 right now.”
The two seniors went through a lot to get here, and the team spent two months building toward this championship. Sunday’s crowd of over 10,000 was able to celebrate both, as the regular season closed on a high note.
“It’s all come together on the same day,” Jones said, “and I couldn’t ask for a better way to end the regular season.”