No. 5 Maryland women start strong, hold on late for 79-70 win at Northwestern
Feb 14, 2016 | 8:58 PM
The No. 5 Maryland women's basketball team jumped to a big lead and clamped down on Northwestern at the very end. In between, the Terps turned away several charges by the Wildcats.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 27 points, and Maryland held off Northwestern for a 79-70 victory Sunday.
"I thought we had a really quick start when we came out in the first quarter — 25-5. We were really ready to play," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "But we allowed the game to get interesting. We kind of let up on the gas pedal, and Northwestern got a lot more aggressive."
Tierney Pfirman had 15 points for the Terps (23-3, 12-2 Big Ten Conference), who never trailed in their 11th victory in 12 games. Brionna Jones (Aberdeen) scored 14 points.
Maryland shot 56 percent, compared with 34.3 percent for Northwestern.
Maggie Lyon celebrated senior day with 25 points for the Wildcats (14-12, 3-11), who have dropped eight of nine. Nia Coffey had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Ashley Deary finished with 11 points and nine assists.
"Maryland is a hard matchup because of their size and their perimeter quickness," Northwestern coach Joe McKeown said. "But what you saw today is how much fight this team has and how hard we play."
Lyon helped Northwestern cut a 10-point deficit to 65-60 with 5:34 to play. Maryland replied with a pair of baskets from Jones, and the Wildcats never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
Northwestern got off to an awful start, and Maryland took advantage, with Walker-Kimbrough scoring seven points in an opening 14-0 run. The Wildcats missed their first 10 shots.
Lyon got Northwestern on the board with 4:47 left in the first quarter with her team-leading 58th 3-pointer of the season.
"It's tough, it's not ideal," Lyon said. "But we had fight and did not quit. It's all about how you respond."
The Terps went cold to open the second quarter, missing their first nine shots. But Walker-Kimbrough had 22 points in the first half to help Maryland to a 39-18 lead at the break.
Northwestern shot just 16.2 percent (6-for-37) in the first half.