Digest: No. 4 Terps women hold off Minnesota, 83-72, in Big Ten opener

Digest: No. 4 Terps women hold off Minnesota, 83-72, in Big Ten opener
Maryland's Brionna Jones (42) works around Minnesota's Bryanna Fernstrom (14) to score in the first half at Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2017. Maryland won, 83-72. (Jerry Holt / TNS)

Brionna Jones (Aberdeen) scored 27 points and had 13 rebounds and No. 4 Maryland held off host Minnesota, 83-72, Sunday in its Big Ten Conference opener.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 22 points and Kaila Charles had 12 for the Terps (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who rebounded from their first loss of the season, to No. 1 Connecticut on Thursday.


"I was concerned coming into this game because of the emotion behind the last game and having a quick turnaround," said coach Brenda Frese. "I thought we showed some uncharacteristic fatigue in the first quarter, but I thought in the second half we really came into stride."

Jones scored eight points in the fourth quarter and Walker-Kimbrough seven in the fourth, which was capped by a 15-5 Terps run.

"That just comes from the experience and the games that we played together," Jones said.

Minnesota (9-6, 0-2) was led by 20 points from Carlie Wagner. Kenisha Bell added 19 and Joanna Hedstrom had 12. With Maryland leading 68-67 with six minutes to play, Walker-Kimbrough made a 3-pointer and hit a jumper for a six-point lead. Jones scored with 2:28 to go for a 76-67 lead.

"That's what you're supposed to get from your leadership," Frese said.

A 3-pointer by Wagner and two free throws by Bryanna Fernstrom got the Gophers within 77-72, but 3-pointers by Destiny Slocum and Kristen Confroy secured the win.

Up by 11 in the first quarter, Maryland went cold from the field in the second quarter, scoring just 14 points and allowing the Gophers to get within 38-32 at halftime.

Et cetera

4-star athlete Bell commits to UM at All-America Game

Less than a week after losing to Boston College in the Quick Lane Bowl to finish a 6-7 season, the Maryland football team keeps winning its share of recruiting battles. In one of the biggest gets for DJ Durkin since he took over last season, the Terps received a commitment from four-star prospect Markquese Bell, who announced his decision at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando, Fla. Bell, a 6-foot-3, 194-pound safety from Bridgeton, N.J., is rated as the No. 95 prospect in the country, the No. 4 athlete and the No. 1 prospect in New Jersey, according to ESPN. Bell is the third player in the Top 300 who has committed to Maryland for 2017, the most for the Terps in 11 years. Maryland's recruiting class is ranked No. 17 by, and was tied for 15th by USA Today on Dec. 28.

Don Markus

More football: Quarterback Kasim Hill, a Maryland commit who transferred to St. John's (D.C.) from Gilman before the season, took over under center in the first quarter and led a touchdown drive with two long scrambles to help Team Armour earn a 24-21 win over Team Highlight in the Under Armour All-America Game. Hill, a four-star prospect, had five carries for 37 yards and completed four of seven passes for 50 yards. Defensive end Joshua Kaindoh, a Baltimore native and former Mount Carmel standout who decommitted from Maryland in November, finished with a team-high six tackles, one tackle for loss and a pass break-up for Team Highlight. Kaindoh, a five-star prospect, announced his commitment to Florida State on Dec. 23.

NHL: The Washington Capitals reassigned forward Jakub Vrana to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.

Laurel Park: Laurel Park, which kicked off its 56-day winter-spring meet Sunday, will host a special nine-race program today, beginning at 12:30 p.m. The feature comes in Race 7, a $40,000 event for 3-year-old maidens going six furlongs. Sagamore Farm's Maryland Pride, trained by Horacio DePaz, will be making his first start since finishing fourth in his debut Nov. 11 at Laurel. Live racing returns to Laurel on Saturday.