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Terps fight though Rutgers for victory

Kaila Charles scored 18 points to lead a well-balanced Terps offense.

Rutgers stifled the No. 3 Maryland Terrapins women’s basketball team a bit early in the game, but by the end of the contest it was another well-balanced victory for Maryland as they beat the Scarlet Knights, 80-71.

Both senior Brionna Jones and Destiny Slocum notched double-doubles in the game while Kaila Charles and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough led the team in scoring. Jones posted her 10th-consecutive double-double and 14th of the year with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Slocum had 11 assists and 11 points in the game. Charles led Maryland with 18 points off 7-for-11 shooting. Walker-Kimbrough was one point behind her with 17 on 6-for-11 shooting.

Maryland turned the ball over five times in the first quarter and were held to only 14 points, but even despite a lack-luster first quarter, Maryland still held a 14-13 lead by the end of it. Then they really started heating up and scored at least 20 points in each remaining quarter and shot 51.8-percent from the floor for the game.

“I thought Rutgers came in and their style of play was evident in the first half,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said. “They did a tremendous job slowing the game down and taking the possessions away from us. We had an uncharacteristic first half going into their style of play. I thought this third quarter, obviously, was much more indicative of how we play. Just more energy that we had, we stopped turning the ball over, and our defense led to our offense.”

Rutgers continually slowed Maryland down early in the game with a very patient offense and a defense that would swarm to the open caps before the ball was even finished being passed. Maryland struggled with 18 turnovers in the game with 11 of them coming in the first half.

Even in the second quarter, Maryland scored 20 points, but six turnovers prevented them from breaking away. Maryland only led 34-30 at halftime.

Then finally, they made the halftime adjustments they needed, picked up the pace and surged out of the locker room to take a 21-point lead.

“At halftime, Coach told us guards that we have to be able to move on offense and not be surprised when we got wide open jump shots,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “I thought in the first half, we settled for a lot of jump shots even though they weren’t falling. Coach told us to start driving, and once we started driving Destiny and Kristen [Confroy] started hitting shots and I thought that opened up for everything else.”

A block by Jones led to a fast-break layup by Charles on the other end and then a defensive rebound by Jones on a missed layup by Kahsiazhe Sanders went the other way and led to a 3-pointer by Slocum. Quickly, Maryland gained a nine-point lead.

Desiree Keeling scored a fast-break layup, but Maryland pushed forward for a 15-2 run to take a 50-32 lead. Confroy then nailed a 3-pointer in response to a Keeling jumper and Walker-Kimbrough followed with a layup to put the Terps up by 21 points.

Maryland led 60-43 at the end of the third quarter and maintained their double-digit lead for most of the fourth quarter until the final seconds when Aliyah June made it a nine-point game with a desperation 3-pointer with 38 seconds left.

But Maryland stayed ahead by multiple possessions and never let the Scarlet Knights have a chance to come close to a comeback.

Maryland was uncharacteristically out-scored 20-2 in the paint in the fourth quarter, and that allowed Rutgers to out-score them by eight points, but their big lead and clutch free throw shooting gave them more than enough cushion to sustain the late blow.

The Terps will travel to Illinois on Thursday for an 8 pm game against the Illini in Champaign.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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