By: Nolan DeMott
On Sunday afternoon, the Maryland Terrapins took on the Iowa Hawkeyes for the second time this season. Last time out in Iowa, both Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones were forces to be reckoned with, scoring 25 points and 22 points respectively to propel the Terps to a 98-82 victory. Since the win, the Terps have played three more times, winning all three and improving their impressive record to 20-1 coming into this matchup.
The Terps came out in the first quarter with great ball movement. Brionna Jones appropriately drew a lot of attention from Hawkeye defenders, and while the Hawkeyes were temporarily able to slow down Jones—holding her to only two first quarter points—their strategy opened up abundant opportunities for other Maryland scorers. Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder pointed to the Terrapins’ versatility as one of the reasons they are so difficult to beat.
“They’ve got a great assortment of weapons,” said Bluder “When you have an inside player like Jones, and you got outside players like Shatori, and then you’ve got a great point guard, there are just so many things to worry about.”
Those weapons allowed the Terps to hold a 23-18 advantage after one.
Early on in the second, though, Iowa began to close that gap, eventually drawing even at 30-30 mid-way through. However, the Hawkeyes were not able to hold down Jones forever. She and the Terps went on an absolute tear near the latter half of the second, capped off with a deep three-pointer—one which would make Stephen Curry proud—in the closing moments of the half by Destiny Slocum to open up a 56-36 lead. In fact, the 33 points in the second quarter point total marked Maryland’s highest scoring quarter against a Big 10 opponent this season.
With a comfortable lead, though, the Terps seemingly took their foot of the gas in the third. Brionna Jones picked up her third fowl, forcing coach Brenda Frese to take her out of the game for much of the quarter. Iowa was, thus, able to narrow the Terrapin’s lead to fifteen. But in the fourth, Maryland was able to close out the game decisively, 100-81, making it the first time this season that Maryland had scored 100 points in the Big 10.
After the game, Coach Frese broke down her team’s win.
“I thought our starters did a tremendous job moving the ball and being aggressive against their zone,” said Frese. “I [also] thought we had some really good energy off the bench…which is something that we are really trying to build upon.”
Next up for the Terps is a two game road trip, where Maryland will play Indiana and Purdue.