The first quarter of the Maryland women's basketball game against Towson on Tuesday night was somewhat competitive. Then the Terps began sending the ball inside to Brionna Jones (Aberdeen), and in a matter of minutes, a 97-63 win was well in hand.
The senior center scored all of Maryland's points during a decisive 14-4 burst in the first half, finishing with 19 points to match a game high. Jones added eight rebounds and two blocks and shot 7-for-12 in just 14 minutes. By the time she departed the game for good in the third quarter, the fourth-ranked Terps were comfortably ahead, 67-33, with 6:36 to play at Xfinity Center.
Undefeated Maryland (9-0) won its seventh game this season by at least 34 points and narrowly missed reaching 100 for the fourth time. The past two victories have come by a combined 84 points in the Terps' fourth of five games against in-state opponents. The Terps also barely broke a sweat in dispatching UMES, Mount St. Mary's and UMBC.
“I thought we were unselfish, really taking what the defense was giving us,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “Obviously we're continuing to try to work through our depth and rest some of our starters with the minutes that they're bringing and really extend our depth. We're still working through that at times in terms of how it's going to look.”
Senior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 19 points, making seven of eight shots, before exiting with Jones in the third quarter. She was among five Maryland players who scored in double figures in the second game of a three-game home stand that concludes on Thursday.
Walker-Kimbrough moved into eighth place on the school's career scoring early in the first quarter. The two-time first-team all-Big Ten Conference selection is on track to become the fifth player in program history to amass 2,000 points, joining a distinguished group that includes former teammate Alyssa Thomas.
It was a Walker-Kimbrough 3-pointer late in the first quarter that provided Maryland with its first double-digit margin. Soon after, Jones made two free throws, scored on an offensive rebound and converted a three-point play. Two of her next three field goals came via offensive rebounds off her own misses. Walker-Kimbrough followed with a three-point play, and the rout was on.
“I think it was just a credit to my teammates finding me when I was open,” Jones said. “Just moving the ball and being ready.”
In a game they led for all but 76 seconds, the Terps shot 49 percent and held a 30-9 advantage in points off turnovers and 46-28 in rebounding, including 20-7 offensively. They were able to push the ball frequently off Towson's missed shots and turnovers, coming out ahead in fast-break points, 18-6.
With the outcome well in hand in the second half, Frese substituted liberally. Maryland got 38 points from its bench, with forward Brianna Fraser and guard Blair Watson each scoring 10. Watson, who also had a season-high six steals, is one of three McDonald's All-Americans featured in the Terps' top-ranked recruiting class from last season.
All 12 members of the active roster played at least 10 minutes against Towson (6-2), and every player scored at least two points.
“We've got a lot of new players on the team, so we're trying to get the chemistry rolling,” Walker-Kimbrough said. “Just looking at the bigger picture, being able to rest early, with the great team that we have, the versatility, it's not a drop-off at all when we go out. We've got Blair coming off the bench, Brianna Fraser, just people coming off bench, taking that responsibility, continuing to bring the energy.”