COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Freshman Destiny Slocum led the No. 3 Maryland women’s basketball team (12-1) with 23 points as No. 1 Connecticut (12-0) outlasted the Terrapins, 87-81, Thursday evening in front of a sold-out crowd in the XFINITY Center.
““I am really proud of the fact that we were playing for all the fans and that we were able to create that type of experience,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “The environment we had tonight was really special for Maryland and for women’s basketball fans. It was incredible to be able to see. Obviously, we have to give credit where credit is due. On UConn’s end, anytime they were getting any kind of runs, I thought they did a tremendous job.”
Thursday’s sellout crowd of 17,950 was the fourth in Maryland women’s basketball history and third at the XFINITY Center. The previous two were in 2007 vs. No. 2 North Carolina and No. 1 Duke. The crowd set the Big Ten women’s basketball attendance record.
The Terrapins’ 81 points were the most allowed by Connecticut since allowing the same amount against Notre Dame on Dec. 5, 2015.
Slocum posted 19 of her points in the second half, including five three-pointers. Senior Brionna Jones notched 19 points while Kaila Charles tallied 18. Senior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough finished with 10 points.
Jones finished with 13 rebounds as the Terps out-rebounded the Huskies 40-31.
UConn started the game with a 7-0 run but Maryland fought back to tie, 10-10. The Huskies worked back out again, taking a 20-12 lead at the end of the quarter.
Walker-Kimbrough capped a 5-0 run as the Terps pulled within one, 22-21 midway through the second quarter. Maryland remained close, and a Charles jumper tied the game, 27-27. UConn went on a 9-0 run to retake the lead. Freshman Blair Watson finished the half with a steal-and-score as the Huskies took a 36-31 lead into halfway.
Connecticut started the third quarter with a 14-0 run to take a 50-31 lead. Slocum and Charles scored as the Huskies finished the quarter ahead, 68-53.
Slocum scored 11, including three three-pointers, in the fourth quarter as Maryland outscored the visitors 28-19. The Terps scored eight straight to start the quarter. A layup from Brianna Fraser put Maryland within five, 75-70. Slocum tallied two late three pointers but the Terps’ comeback bid fell just short, 87-81.
The Terrapins are ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the USA Today Division I Coaches poll.
Next, the Terps will open Big Ten play with a game at Minnesota (9-4) Sunday at 6 p.m. ET in Minneapolis. The Terps-Gophers game will be streamed online through BTN Plus and the BTN2Go app.