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Jones leads No. 6 Terps women past Illinois in Big Ten opener, 79-63

Maryland center Brionna Jones, center, scored 16 points and added a career-high 19 rebounds in Maryland's win over Illiniois in Thursday's Big Ten opener.
Maryland center Brionna Jones, center, scored 16 points and added a career-high 19 rebounds in Maryland's win over Illiniois in Thursday's Big Ten opener. (Robin Scholz / Associated Press)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Kristen Confroy scored 17 points and Brionna Jones added 16 points and a career-high 19 rebounds to lead the No. 6 Maryland women's basketball team past Illinois, 79-63, Thursday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Confroy went 7 of 9 from the field and Jones finished 7 of 10 and had 11 defensive rebounds for Maryland (12-1).

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Chatrice White led Illinois (7-5) with 14 points, while Sarah Hartwell and Kennedy Cattenhead added nine each.

The Terps took an 8-0 lead, but Illinois made up the deficit and tied it at 14 to end the first quarter.

"I thought we came out of the gate a bit sluggish and it showed in that first quarter," said Maryland coach Brenda Frese. "We were able to make that run at the beginning of the second half and settle in."

Maryland went ahead for good in the second, outscoring the Illini 25-18 to lead 39-32 at the break.

The second half began much like the first half ended, with the Terps extending the lead to 61-45 through three quarters.

"We just went into a lull at the start of the second half and wore us out a bit, which was not what we needed," said Illinois coach Matt Bollant.

Brene Moseley had 14 points, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 13 and Kiara Leslie had 13 rebounds and seven points for Maryland.

The Terps dominated the boards, outrebounding Illinois 55-26. Both teams went 7 of 22 from 3-point range.

White acknowledged the talent of Jones for the Terrapins.

"She's probably the best post player in the country," White said. "This is just a precursor to what we will face night after night in the Big Ten, so it was good to face her in the first game of the conference season."

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