By Alex Littlehales
The Terrapins escaped a scrappy South Dakota State team in the Paradise Jam tournament held at the University of the Virgin Islands, edging the Jackrabbits in a 62-55 victory.
The win marks the first time the Terps failed to put up at least 95 points, as well as their only single-digit win (the next closest differential was 46 points) of the season.
Maryland coasted their way to a 31-21 lead by halftime, despite shooting only 1-for-5 from three-point range. But South Dakota State refused to back down, scoring five unanswered points coming out of the half, immediately cutting the the Terps lead to just five.
Three-point shooting continued to plague Maryland, as Brenda Frese’s squad shot 0-for-5 during the second half. Meanwhile, the Jackrabbits shot 8-for-25 from behind the arc, led by freshman guard Madison Guebert who shot 3-for-7 from downtown. Despite the low percentage, it was enough to keep South Dakota State in the game and challenge the No. 6 ranked Terps.
Juniors Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough would not let their team lose, combining for 41 points, 19 rebounds and five assists.
Walker-Kimbrough reached the 900-point milestone during the win, and is leading Terps this season with 18.8 points-per-game and a monstrous 14 steals.
Maryland improved to 5-0 and will play Pittsburgh (3-1) Nov. 28 for the Paradise Jam championship. After the tournament, the Terps return home from the Virgin Islands to host No. 23 Syracuse (2-1) Dec. 2 at XFINITY Center for the Big Ten/ ACC Challenge.