By Zach Phillips.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough continued to make her case for the Senior CLASS award in the Terrapins’ 89-40 thrashing of Wisconsin Thursday night.
The Senior CLASS award is “given to the nation’s top senior who has made notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character, and competition.” Walker-Kimbrough was named a finalist Wednesday, along with teammate Brionna Jones.
Maryland maintained their undefeated Big Ten record this season, while Wisconsin only won one conference game this season. Maryland has two games remaining, facing Ohio State next.
“We didn’t even bring it up,” said coach Brenda Frese when asked about the next game. “I think when you have a pulse of your team you understand the value of every game.”
Maryland quickly pulled ahead, with a 16-0 run to start the first quarter. Walker-Kimbrough had seven points early. It took more than six minutes for Wisconsin to score their first field goal. When the first quarter concluded, Maryland held an 18-5 lead and had played lock-down defense, only allowing Wisconsin to shoot 12.5 percent from the field.
Maryland started the second quarter with a 13-0 run. The Terrapins continued their efforts on defense, causing seven turnovers in the second quarter alone, and only allowing the Badgers to get seven shots up in the first six minutes.
“We just came in today and the last few games and practice and tried to focus on attacking on defense,” Brionna Jones said.
At the end of the first half, Maryland held a 43-14 lead, and Walker Kimbrough had outscored the Badgers by two points all on her own. Jones had contributed 10 points and six boards at the half.
Wisconsin started off the second half stronger, shooting a higher percentage and turning the ball over far fewer times.
“We cut down a little bit of what we ran,” said Wisconsin coach Jonathan Tsipis. It was nowhere near enough to dig them out of the lead Maryland had built. “I think there’s a danger in trying to play fast against Maryland,” said Tsipis.
Jones finished with a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Walker-Kimbrough concluded with 22 points, shooting eight of nine from the field. Blair Watson scored 10 points off the bench, and Kaila Charles scored 15 and grabbed six rebounds.
“When we’re playing three games in three days in the Big Ten tournament our depth is going to be key,” Frese said.
Avyanna Young stood out for Wisconsin, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds, while Courtne Frederickson also contributed 14 points.
When all was said and done, Wisconsin had been held to shooting 31.5 percent from the field, turned the ball over 20 times, and been outrebounded by 22.
The Terps travel to Columbus to face No. 12 Ohio State next, who were the last Big Ten team to defeat them last season. The Big Ten Tournament starts March 1.
Photos by Lauren Anikis.