BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Maryland can make basketball look effortless. But don't let the Terrapins fool you — they're earning every win.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 23 points, Brionna Jones added 17 and 14 rebounds, and No. 3 Maryland won its 11th-straight game in dominant fashion, topping Indiana 92-56 on Sunday.
"We don't worry about the team that we're playing, we just focus on being the best Maryland team we can be day in and day out," Walker-Kimbrough said. "We look at every single game like it's our last. We're going to try and be the best that we can be. We don't want to adjust to anybody, we're going to stay calm, stay versatile and be confident on defense and offense."
The Terrapins (23-1, 11-0 Big Ten) outscored Indiana 27-13 in the first quarter and then 28-9 in the third, the two deciding periods of the game. Walker-Kimbrough hit a shot from near the opposite 3-point line to end the third quarter.
Indiana shot 35 percent from the floor (13 of 37) in the first half, and made just one of nine 3-point attempts. The poor shooting from Indiana had more to do with Maryland's ability to throw the Hoosiers' offense out of sync, forcing them to take uncomfortable shots, than it did with Indiana simply having an off-day from the floor. The Terps also recorded 11 blocked shots.
"We wanted 40 minutes of great defense and collectively as a team we were able to do that," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.
Maryland's defensive effort was highlighted by its ability to eliminate Indiana's biggest scoring threat for nearly the entire first half. Tyra Buss carried a team-high 19 points a game going into Sunday, but it wasn't until the 3:45 mark in the second quarter that she scored her first points of the day. Buss went into halftime with two points on 10-percent shooting from the floor (1 of 10). Buss' absence on the offensive end only added to the deficit on the scoreboard for Indiana, and Maryland went into halftime leading 46-27.
The Terps opened the second half with an 11-0 run that all but sealed the deal, shutting the door on the Hoosiers and any hope they had of making a comeback. Buss, who was guarded by Walker-Kimbrough for most of the game, finished with six points, shooting 12 percent from the floor (2 of 17).
"It's great to be able to challenge [Walker-Kimbrough] against the best player on the floor. She takes it to heart. [Limiting Tyra Buss] was huge," Frese said. "I thought Shatori set the tone defensively for us. Her energy was sensational — as she goes we go. She's the leader for this team."
Indiana (15-8, 5-5) relied on Amanda Cahill, who finished with 16 points. Jenn Anderson scored eight points, and Alexis Gassion finished with nine. Indiana finished the game shooting just 32 percent from the floor (22 of 69), a statistic very much indicative of Maryland's efforts.
After the Terps forced Indiana into tough shots, they were there to grab the miss off the iron. Maryland outrebounded Indiana 47-32.
"Obviously, we're disappointed. It's a great team in Maryland — a Final Four kind of team," Indiana coach Teri Moren said. "I think our kids were excited about the opportunity to play Maryland. Unfortunately, we didn't shoot it well enough to win this afternoon. I can't say we're pleased with the way we played basketball for 40 minutes. We didn't play well enough."
Maryland hosts Illionois on Thursday. Maryland will get three of its final five games at home and have nearly an entire week to prepare before it squares off with a conference opponent in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.