Maryland women’s basketball demolished Minnesota Sunday, picking up a 93-60 win on Senior Day in College Park.
The Terps bounced back and then some from Monday’s loss at Ohio State, closing the regular season with one of their best all-around performances of the season. Maryland finishes the regular season 27-2, and their 15-1 Big Ten record earns them at least a share of the regular-season conference title.
Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough received much-deserved standing ovations before the game, and the two seniors dominated from the opening tip. Jones put up another double-double with 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Walker Kimbrough tallied 27 points and shot 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Maryland shot 55 percent from the floor and sank eight of 17 three-pointers. The Terps moved the ball well, recording 24 assists on 33 made baskets. Their 21 turnovers led to 18 Minnesota points, but it didn’t come close to mattering.
Kenisha Bell led the Golden Gophers with 18 points and seven boards. Maryland held Carlie Wagner, Minnesota’s leading scorer at 19.3 points per game entering Sunday, to just five on 2-of-13 shooting.
The Terps pulled away early, gaining separation with a quick 7-0 spurt midway through the first quarter. They also finished the period on an 8-0 run punctuated by Destiny Slocum’s pull-up three just before the buzzer.
Slocum with a three to end the quarter and XFINITY is LOUD! Maryland leads 26-12. #WeAreMaryland https://t.co/zQQC1wtc31— Maryland WBB (@umdwbb) February 26, 2017
That burst carried over into the second quarter, in which Maryland scored the first seven points and extended the overall run to 15-0. The Terps’ lead reached 27 points with three minutes remaining in the half, and they took a 51-30 advantage into the locker room.
Maryland rode Walker-Kimbrough and Jones early in the third quarter, as the duo scored the team’s first 10 points of the second half. The margin stayed above 20 points throughout the period and sat at 72-45 entering the fourth.
Brenda Frese pulled the seniors to another ovation with just under four minutes left. Just before exiting the game, Jones hauled in her 14th rebound, which tied Marissa Coleman for third on the school’s all-time list with 1,139.
Three things to know
1. Maryland gets another Big Ten trophy. The win gives the Terps a 15-1 conference record and ensures them at least a share of the regular-season title, although Ohio State could clinch the top seed in the tournament with a win at Rutgers. Maryland’s NCAA Tournament seeding will be determined by its showing in next week’s Big Ten tournament, but even splitting the title is worth putting in the record books.
2. The Terps were able to get to the line. In Monday’s loss, Maryland only attempted 15 free throws, making 11. Sunday was a different story, as the team went 14-of-16 at the stripe in the first half and finished the afternoon 19-of-25. The Terps had an easier time feeding Jones down low in this one, and she capitalized on the opportunities, finishing 7-for-9 on field goals and 10-for-14 on free throws.
3. This version of Maryland is a nightmare to go against. When the Terps are draining threes and getting transition buckets, there’s not much anyone else can do. Ohio State had to shoot over 20 percent better than Maryland to win Monday, and the disparity in this one favored the Terps by over 25 percent.