Maryland beats Purdue, earns third straight tournament title

Maryland celebrates their third consecutive tournament title. (Photo Courtesy of Maryland Athletics)

By Ryan Homler

The Maryland Terrapins Women’s Basketball team defeated the Purdue Boilermakers by a score of 74-64 on Sunday night in Indianapolis to clinch their third consecutive Big Ten Tournament Title.

Maryland was lead by senior Brionna Jones who dropped 27 points and 12 rebounds, and freshman guard Destiny Slocum who finished with 14 points and seven assists.

Jones, who recorded a double double in two out of the three games in the tournament and scored 32 in the other, earned the Most Outstanding Player honor for her play during the tournament.

“She missed like eight shots in three games,” Walker-Kimbrough joked when asked about how Jones played in the tournament. “It’s unheard of, she was unbelievable. She is the best post in the country.”

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, who was last year’s Most Outstanding Player, had a relatively quiet night as she only scored seven points. However, Walker-Kimbrough was able to contribute on the defensive end with two steals, and was aided by the play of Slocum and junior Kristen Confroy who added nine points. Freshmen Blair Watson also played some valuable minutes for Maryland on defense.

“You saw a lot of contributions we were able to get tonight,” coach Brenda Frese said. “You see our bench depth, the spark that they gave us tonight. Just a lot of great contributions tonight.”

Purdue came in as the top defensive team in the Big Ten, but had trouble stopping the Big Ten’s best offensive team, and specifically Brionna Jones, even when implementing a press.

“She makes every shot,” freshman guard Destiny Slocum said when asked about what it’s like to share the court with a player like Jones.

For Maryland, Head Coach Brenda Frese and the two seniors, who earned a share of the regular season title with Ohio State, this is the third year in a row they left the tournament as champions. The Terps are the first team to accomplish this feat since the Buckeyes did it from 2009-2011.

“To share this moment with my teammates is really special,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “And I say this confidently, I don’t think Maryland is done now.”

“They’re all indescribable,” Coach Frese said when asked about how this championship compared to others. “I credit the players, they make it look easy.”  

Purdue was lead by senior guard Ashley Morrissette who scored 18 points and added six assists, all with a banged up left ankle.

Maryland will now wait to hear from the selection committee on what seed they will be and where they will play the first rounds of the NCAA Tournament. The selection show will take place on Monday, March 13 at 7p.m. on ESPN.

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