Maryland center Brionna Jones, center, tries to get past Illinois center Chatrice White (32) and forward Alex Wittinger (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015.
Maryland center Brionna Jones, center, tries to get past Illinois center Chatrice White (32) and forward Alex Wittinger (35) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill., Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. (Robin Scholz / AP)

Maryland trailed for much of the game, grew frustrated by its miscues and needed to make key plays down the stretch under pressure.

Just what the No. 6 Terps were craving.

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Brionna Jones (Aberdeen) had 20 points and a career-high 20 rebounds, and Maryland pulled away late to beat Washington State, 79-69, on Saturday night.

Maryland (6-0) entered having won each of its games by at least 32 points. The Terps' largest deficit had been 2-0, and they had trailed for less than two minutes total in five games.

"This team is really, really competitive, so I think they'd much rather play in games like this where you're tested to be able to see how to work through a game," coach Brenda Frese said. "We really enjoyed it."

The Cougars led by six in the first half and for much of the third quarter. With the game tied at 61, Jones hit two free throws and Destiny Slocum added a 3-pointer and two free throws in a 10-2 run to put Maryland ahead 71-63 with 1:39 left at the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout.

"I think this just shows how hard we have to compete going forward," Jones said.

The senior center's offensive rebounds helped keep her teammates in the game in the first half. She delivered clutch plays down the stretch as her teammates found a rhythm.

"She was huge," Frese said of Jones. "We knew we were going to be able to go inside, but her presence — they had no answer for her on both ends of the floor."

Kaila Charles scored 19 points, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 15 and Slocum 11 for Maryland in its final tuneup before a showdown at No. 4 Louisville on Thursday, the team's first trip there since it defeated the Cardinals to advance to the 2013-14 Final Four.

Maryland could move up a spot in the rankings by jumping over the loser of today's game between No. 3 South Carolina and No. 4 Louisville.

Borislava Hristova scored 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting for Washington State (4-2). The Cougars went 7-for-21 from the foul line.

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No. 6 Maryland 79, Washington St. 69, Box

MARYLAND (6-0)—Jones 7-12 6-8 20, Charles 8-13 3-6 19, Walker-Kimbrough 3-11 9-9 15, Slocum 2-7 5-6 11, Small 3-8 1-5 7, Jones 2-4 0-0 4, Watson 0-2 3-4 3, Confroy 0-1 0-0 0, Fraser 0-0 0-0 0, Gillespie 0-0 0-0 0, Staiti 0-0 0-0 0, Totals 25-58 27-38 79.

WASHINGTON STATE (4-2)—Hristova 11-19 1-3 25, Molina 4-8 0-2 10, Brown 3-11 2-2 9, Hailey 3-8 2-8 9, Swedlund 2-7 0-0 6, Kostourkova 1-4 2-4 4, Pavlopoulou 2-4 0-0 4, Kmetovska 1-2 0-0 2, McClure 0-1 0-0 0, McKenzie 0-4 0-0 0, Muzet 0-0 0-0 0, Washington 0-0 0-2 0, Totals 27-68 7-21 69.

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Halftime—34-34. 3-point goals—Maryland 2-7 (Slocum 2-3, Confroy 0-1, Walker-Kimbrough 0-1, Watson 0-2), Washington St. 8-17 (Hristova 2-5, Molina 2-2, Swedlund 2-2, Brown 1-4, Hailey 1-1, McKenzie 0-3). Assists—Maryland 12 (Small 4), Washington St. 13 (Hailey 4). Fouled out—Maryland Jones, Washington St. Molina. Rebounds—Maryland 44 (Jones 20), Washington St. 47 (Hailey 9). Total fouls—Maryland 20, Washington St. 27. A—n/a.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge

No. 6 Maryland

@No. 4 Louisville

Thursday, 7p.m.

Video: ACC Network Extra

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