Feature photo courtesy of Maryland athletics.
Entering today’s contest against Towson, Maryland had been well-known for shrugging off slow starts.
The Terps seemed to have changed the formula, coming out hot early in the first. But instead of maintaining the momentum, the team went cold.
It wouldn’t last, though. Maryland caught fire in the second period on its way to a 97-63 win.
After starting the game with a 15-6 lead, Maryland missed its next six shots and went on a three-minute drought late in the first quarter. The Terps were able to recover from a potential Towson swing by holding the Tigers scoreless during the stretch.
The Terps exploded after the nine minute mark. They jumped out on a 16-2 run in just under three minutes of action. Maryland scored 34 points, shot 63 percent, had nine assists and committed only two turnovers in the quarter.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough said Maryland was fueled by Destiny Slocum’s hustle play early in the second, where she tipped a pass intended for Towson guard Rain Bankston to herself, sprinted down the court to save the ball, and delivered a behind-the-back, no-look pass to Walker-Kimbrough, who converted an and-one.
— Maryland WBB (@umdwbb) December 7, 2016
“Right before that, coach had got on us about how we came out flat. That was the turning point, that play right there,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “From that point on, we all brought energy, [and] you felt it from the bench and you felt it from the crowd.”
Brionna Jones started the second quarter scoring Maryland’s first 12 points. With 6:08 remaining in the quarter, Jones was outscoring Towson 18-16. Jones ended her night with 19 points and eight rebounds in only 14 minutes of action.
Brenda Frese said her seniors are always consistent and shoulder the load. She added that when they go through Jones, it allows her to be more creative with her gameplan.
“We’re pretty good when we go through Bri [Jones],” Frese said. “When we’re inside-out, it opens up everything from the outside when play through Bri, [and] we’ll continue to learn that.”
Walker-Kimbrough nearly had a perfect shooting night with 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes of action. 16 of her 19 points came in the first half.
Kristen Confroy’s hot shooting continued. She made three of her four threes, providing 11 points for the Terps.
Frese said after the UMBC game that she will go with her bench when the opportunity arises. With a 27-point lead at halftime, Frese did not allow her seniors, Jones and Walker-Kimbrough, to play more than four minutes in the third quarter. She also rested her entire starting five, except Kaila Charles.
Walker-Kimbrough said the limited minutes are about the bigger picture.
“We got a lot of new players on the team,” Walker-Kimbrough said. ”We’re trying to get the chemistry rolling, so just being able to look at the bigger picture and being able to rest early.With the great team we have, it’s not much of a drop off at all when we go out. We have Blair [Watson] coming off the bench, Brianna Fraser — just people coming of the bench — taking that responsibility, continuing to bring that energy.”
Watson and Fraser closed the game out for the Terps. Watson had 10 points, three assists and six steals. Fraser added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Frese commended for Watson efforts.
“Blair Watson was terrific tonight,” Frese said. “She really gave us a tremendous addition defensively and really being in a lot of plays that I know she is capable of.”
Maryland will be at home once again on Thursday to host Saint Peter’s at 6:30 p.m.
Edited by Justin Meyer.
Latest posts by Sununu Bah (see all)
- Electric second quarter lets Maryland rest starters in win over Towson - December 6, 2016
- Confroy helps Maryland scorch UMBC in return home - December 4, 2016
- Maryland holds off No. 7 Louisville in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge - December 2, 2016