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No. 3 Terps out-pace Hawkeyes to 100-81 win

By: Michele Kettner

Destiny Slocum showed off her passing and shooting with an 11-point, 11-assists double-double while sinking three 3-pointers against Iowa.

Midway through a closely contested first quarter Maryland feared that they may have to play without star center Brionna Jones after she twisted her ankle. But it was going to take more than that to slow Jones down. She exited the game for a brief moment and when she came back in, it was like nothing even happened.

Jones led the No. 3 Terps women’s basketball team to a 100-81 victory over the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday as she scored a game-high 28 points on 12-for-13 shooting to go with six rebounds and three blocks.

“I came down on somebody’s foot and it twisted a little bit,” Jones said. “I got it wrapped up and got back in the game. It’s still a little sore and tender, but I had to play through.”

In a game where both teams wanted to run up-and-down the court, the Terps needed not only Jones’ ability to score from in the paint but also her rim-stopping ability on the defensive end. Maryland forced Iowa to stay outside for much of the game and while they shot 46-percent from the floor, they had 14 missed 3-pointers and many of those missed were rebounded by the Terps and taken the other way for points.

Junior guard Kristen Confroy opened the game with a 3-pointer before it was immediately answered by Iowa senior Ally Disterhoft. It was like that for the first few shots of the game. Each team was playing with a high tempo and neither were even trying to slow the pace down and use up the shot clock.

“We tried to take the first hit and try to force the action because we wanted to be aggressive in our play and I thought we were able to really settle in and play through,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said.

Maryland would have to wait a while to settle in but was able to succeed by being aggressive.

With less than three minutes in the first quarter, Brianna Fraser pushed her way through the paint, got fouled in the process of sinking her shot and finished the three-point play to put Maryland ahead by two points.

Then, in the first few minutes of the second quarter, the Terrapins capitalized on the Hawkeyes slow transition defense. Confroy inbounded the ball to Destiny Slocum, who made a half-court pass to Kalia Charles for an easy layup that increased the Terps lead to eight.

Every time Maryland went on a run in the first half Iowa would have an answer to bring the score back even. But the Hawkeyes eventually had to slow down and started to just before halftime. But when Iowa pulled within four and tried to slow things down in hopes of nullifying Maryland’s athleticism, the Terps made their move.

Jones and Slocum increased the pressure on Iowa, which helped Maryland to a 16-5 run going into the half. Jones alone ended up eight eight points in the final five minutes of the second quarter, but it was Slocum’s passing and two 3-pointers that brought the crowd to their feet.

With 1:52 remaining in the first half, Slocum showed off her play-making ability. She made a quick pass from behind the 3-point line to Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. The senior then passed the ball to a waiting Confroy under the basket for an easy layup.

With the time ticking off the clock before the buzzer, Slocum called for the ball. Then the freshman sunk an NBA-range three that even would have left Stephen Curry impressed, to put the Terps up 56-36.

“It’s wonderful as a coach, you really good great, but I think her teammates enjoy it even more,” Frese said about Slocum’s ability as a playmaking passer and shooter. “I’m just amazed sometimes when she’ll see a pass two plays ahead before it has even unfolded.”

In the second half, the Hawkeyes were able to cut the Terps lead down to 11 points, but the continued dominant of Jones and Fraser, who scored a career-high 17 points, were too much for them to overcome. Walker-Kimbrough also scored 18 points while Slocum had an 11-point, 11-assists double-double with three 3-pointers and three steals. Charles had 10 points in the game.

Fraser credited her teammates for her breakout performance.

“I just think my teammates were finding me a lot in the post,” she said. “I listened to my coach to tell me to drive the ball, so that’s what I did. I drove the ball and got to the free throw line.”

With the victory, the Terps remain unbeaten at 9-0 in Big Ten play with a 21-1 overall record. The Terps will travel to West Lafayette on Thursday to face the Purdue Boilermakers. Tip-off is at 8 pm.

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Michele Kettner

Staff Writer
While many people might think Michele attends the University of Maryland for their remarkable journalism program or because it's close to home, it's actually because of their sports (sorry Missouri!). Even though she grew up a Terps fan, it wasn't until her senior year of high school that she settled on attending Maryland, which is a dream place for any sports fan and up-and-coming sports journalist. Michele's love for sports started at a young age. Like most kids, she started out playing soccer in elementary school but eventually moved on to softball, which she played from second grade until she graduated high school. Even though she loved playing sports, her passion for her favorite teams is even greater. She's obsessed with hockey and every season she holds out hope that the Capitals will actually make it past the second round. And when they do, she'll be there to tell the story.

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