COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 19 points, Kaila Charles added 16 and No. 3 Maryland bounced back from a lackluster first half to beat Rutgers 80-71 on Sunday for its seventh straight victory.
“I thought Rutgers came in and their style of play was evident in the first half,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “They did a tremendous job slowing the game down and taking the possessions away from us. We had an uncharacteristic first half going into their style of play. I thought the third quarter, obviously, was more indicative of how we play. Just the energy that we had, we stopped turning the ball over, and our defense led to our offense.”
The Terrapins (19-1, 7-0 Big Ten) got 11 points and 13 rebounds from Brionna Jones, her 10th consecutive double-double and 14th of the season.
Freshman Destiny Slocum dished out a career-high 11 assists and notched her first career double-double with 11 points vs. the Scarlet Knights.
Frustrated by Rutgers' deliberate pace on offense, Maryland led 34-30 at halftime. The Terrapins snapped out of it in the third quarter, opening with a 21-4 run in which they made eight of nine shots.
After outscoring the Scarlet Knights (6-15, 3-5) 26-13 in the period, Maryland coasted to the finish to remain the only unbeaten team in conference play.
The first half that featured five ties and eight lead changes as the Terps took a 34-30 lead into the break. Slocum swished a near-half court buzzer beater to finish the first half.
It all came apart for the Scarlet Knights in the third quarter. After Charles made a layup and Slocum nailed a 3-pointer for the Terps, Desiree Keeling answered with a layup for Rutgers. Walker-Kimbrough then sank two free throws and Charles made consecutive baskets to ignite a 14-0 run for a 50-32 advantage.
The Terps own the series with Rutgers, 23-11. Frese is 5-1 all-time vs. Rutgers, as Maryland has won four straight matchups since joining the Big Ten in 2014.
Next, the Terrapins will travel to Illinois (8-11, 3-3) for a matchup in Champaign on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The Terps-Illini matchup will be streamed online through the BTN2Go app and BTN2Go.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.