For the second game in a row, the Maryland women's basketball team leaned on senior center Brionna Jones and overwhelmed its opponent in the second quarter to pull away for a comfortable victory at Xfinity Center.
This time the No. 4 Terps got a career-high 30 points from Jones in a 101-49 win against visiting Saint Peter's on Thursday night. Senior guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 16 points, including a 3-pointer to cap a 19-3 burst that provided Maryland a 32-16 lead with 6:10 left in the first half.
The Terps (10-0) completed a three-game home stand winning by an average of 45 points. It was Maryland's second game in less than 48 hours after a 97-63 victory over Towson on Tuesday night in which Jones (Aberdeen) led a second-quarter charge and finished with 19 points in 14 minutes.
"I thought we started slow defensively," Terps coach Brenda Frese said. "We looked sluggish, but I thought we settled in. The second quarter, we got a lot more people involved on both ends of the floor. Obviously we played through Bri. I didn't think they had an answer for her."
Much like in the blowout of the Tigers, Maryland overwhelmed Saint Peter's with full-court pressure, forcing 28 turnovers, 17 of which came in the first half. The Terps scored 46 points off turnovers and held a 72-12 advantage in points in the paint thanks in part to Jones.
The two-time All-Big Ten Conference selection made 14 of 16 shots and added four rebounds and four steals in 20 minutes before exiting with 3:37 remaining in the third quarter. Teammates and assistant coaches held up three fingers on one hand and a zero sign with the other to remind Jones of the accomplishment as she high-fived other players on the bench.
Jones completed her evening with a 3-point play that unfolded when she missed a layup, collected the rebound and scored while being fouled. When she made the foul shot, Maryland led 72-39.
"I didn't know at the time," Jones said of her milestone. "When I shot the free throw, Coach B was like, 'Just make this last free throw.' I didn't know why, but she told me when I came out."
For the third straight game, Frese was able to substitute liberally in the second half, using all 12 players on the active roster. During one stretch, Frese had three freshmen and a sophomore on the court with Jones, highlighting the Terps' youth and depth.
Maryland's freshman class includes three McDonald's All Americans: Destiny Slocum, Kaila Charles and Blair Watson. That trio combined to score 17 points, with Charles gathering seven rebounds and Slocum logging five assists.
Slocum along with fellow point guards Ieshia Small and Sarah Myers combined for just three turnovers on a night when Maryland committed six overall for its fewest in a game this season. The Terps had not committed fewer than 11 turnovers since the season-opener when they had nine during a 100-44 win against Massachusetts Lowell.
Sophomore center Brianna Fraser, Jones' backup, had one of her strongest performances of the season with 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds in 17 minutes.
"I just try to follow Bri's lead because she's a senior leader," Fraser said.
Ranked second in the country in scoring offense, Maryland reached 100 points for the fourth time this season and for the first time since Nov. 18, when it defeated Mount St. Mary's, 106-42.
The Terps shot 58 percent (42-for-72) against Saint Peter's (1-7) and 14 of 17 on free throws in a game they led for all but two minutes. Maryland also got 44 points from its bench.
Brianna Tarabocchia led the Peacocks with 11 points. Saint Peter's did not have another player score in double figures.
"You just continue to see the unselfishness of this team," Frese said. "Every game's going to be different, but I thought they did a tremendous job of taking what the defense gave them."