The Maryland women's basketball team is now 7-0 after toppling Syracuse in College Park Wednesday night. The 82-64 victory was the Terps' first win against a ranked opponent this season.
After opening up a 12-point lead at the half, Maryland kept the Orange in the game with a lackluster third quarter before pulling away in the fourth. It was far from a perfect performance, but the team went the entire 40 minutes without trailing, in large part due to its height advantages across the board.
Syracuse played a sizeable portion of the game with four guards under 6'0" sharing the floor at once. That works against a lot of teams, but the Terrapins were able to dominate the Orange down low. Perhaps the most telling stat of the game was Maryland's 55-to-31 advantage on the boards. The Terps also scored 48 points in the paint to Syracuse's 30.
Once again, junior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough filled up the stat sheet for Maryland. She tallied 19 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. Junior center Brionna Jones added 18 points and 7 boards, as well as 3 blocks and 2 steals. Senior forward Tierney Pfirman came off the bench to record 13 points and 8 rebounds in her first home game of the season. For the Orange, senior guard Brianna Butler notched a game-high 22 points on 9-21 shooting, while junior guard Alexis Peterson scored 14 and junior center Briana Day added 10.
As a team, Maryland shot 51.6% from the field, way better than the Orange's 31.2%. Despite this massive disparity, Terrapin turnovers kept the outcome in doubt for way longer than it needed to be. The team gave the ball away 22 times, 11 of which came in the third quarter. Walker-Kimbrough had 8 by herself. Coach Frese will definitely stress ball protection next practice, but right now, the Terps get to enjoy another win.
Three things to know
1. This is the first win by a Maryland team in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge since the Terps switched conferences. Last year's women lost to Notre Dame, while the men fell to Virginia last year and UNC Tuesday night.
2. This was freshman forward Kiah Gillespie's worst shooting night of the season. She went 1-8 from the field and only scored 4 points, but she made up for it by snaring a team-high 9 rebounds.
3. This game featured two Briannas, a Brionna, and a Briana. If that's not enough, a Breyanna sang the national anthem. With 18 points on 7-9 shooting, I'd say Brionna Jones was tonight's MVB (Most Valuable Bri).