By: Nolan DeMott
The Maryland Terrapins extended their Big 10 unbeaten streak on Sunday with an 89-72 victory over the Michigan State Spartans. Furthermore, the Terrapins now, because of the Baylor loss to Texas earlier in the week, are on their way to becoming the no. 2 ranked team in the nation.
Maryland led from the very beginning of the game and did not look back. Senior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had a stellar first quarter performance, scoring 11 points on 4-5 from the field on the way to her third straight game with 20+ points, finishing with 24 points. After one quarter, Maryland led 25-19, and that momentum carried into the second with a flurry of points from forward Brianna Fraser. Fraser erupted to begin the quarter with 6 of her 8 total points in a matter of two minutes. Maryland relentlessly continued to put pressure on the Spartans’ defense, at one point extending their lead to 14. However, Michigan State three-point sniper Tori Jankoska nailed two threes late in the half to keeping the Terrapin lead in check. In fact, Jankoska’s 13 points in the first half allowed her to eclipse the 2,000 point plateau for her collegiate career.
Entering the second half, Maryland’s scoring slowed a bit, but their defense was able to pick up the slack, holding Jankoska scoreless in the third quarter and the entire Michigan State offense to only nine points. The Terps’ defensive heroics allowed them to take an 18-point advantage into the fourth. For a brief moment at least, it appeared as if the Terps were going to have to rely upon that large lead to pull this one out. The Spartans started the final quarter on a 12-6 run, forcing Maryland to take a time out. Luckily for Maryland, Michigan State still struggled to knock down their free throws, finishing at only 40% from the line, thus allowing the Terps to remain unbeaten in Big 10 play with only three games to go before the NCAA tournament.
Maryland returns home this week to take on Wisconsin Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.