The Maryland Terrapin Women’s Basketball team had their first test in the 2015 NCAA Tournament against the New Mexico State Aggies. A matchup of the one seed vs the 16th seed, the Lady Terps earned their 25th consecutive win because they were physical on the boards and in the post offensively; this allowed them to get to the free-throw line early and often. It was sophomore center Brionna Jones’ afternoon. She had a dominant performance and the Aggies were no match.
Nothing changes for us in this tournament. This is who we are. You go out, you lock in for 40 minutes and you go show them what Maryland basketball is all about.
– Maryland Head Coach Brenda Frese
She had seven of her team’s first nine points and added three rebounds. Her presence inside offensively was apparent as New Mexico State had no answer for her. Under 10 minutes, Brene Moseley ran the ball up the floor on a fast break opportunity and converted an “and-one” sequence. A timeout was called after Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s corner three-point shot hit the bottom of the net. Maryland had a 27-16 lead; playing great defense allowed them to get shots in transition and their domination of the post was a welcome sight.
Maryland had a 10-point 42-32 lead at halftime. Jones was a few plays away from a double-double as she had 16 points and eight rebounds. Walker-Kimbrough was second in points for the Lady Terps with seven. Maryland managed to hold both Sasha Weber and Brianna Freeman to nine points.
In addition to those numbers, at the half, the Lady Terps outplayed the Aggies on the boards (28-9), assists (11-5) and they got to the line more often than the Aggies did.
With some time passing in the second half, the Lady Terps broke the game open and gained their biggest lead of 23 points. The score at 65-42, Jones had 22 points and 11 boards while Laurin Mincy and Walker-Kimbrough, up to that point combined for 26 points and six boards.
Rebounding was a huge plus for the Lady Terps and they capitalized on it both offensively and defensively. They took each defensive rebound and pushed the ball back down the court the other way. Their post presence offensively proved to be a strength as Brionna Jones played out of her mind from the first to the last whistle. She earned her 12th double-double of the season. The team had three players in double figures: Brionna Jones, Laurin Mincy and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough. That’s the type of play they’ll need from their starters if they want to continue on the road to a National Championship.
Player of the Game: Brionna Jones dominated the paint and the game with 22 points and 12 rebounds. New Mexico State had no answer for her defensively and she pushed the team to victory with her dominant performance.
Head Coach Brenda Frese’s message to her team was clear:
“Nothing changes for us in this tournament. This is who we are. You go out, you lock in for 40 minutes and you go show them what Maryland basketball is all about.”
They did just that in their first game of the 2015 NCAA Tournament. They now move on to play the undefeated Princeton Tigers at 31-0. Game time for that matchup is Monday night at 6:30 pm. It can be seen on ESPN2.