No. 5 Maryland beats No. 17 Michigan State 85-76
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Shatori Walker-Kimbrough put her name in the Maryland record book with a prolific shooting performance that rendered No. 17 Michigan State defenseless.
Walker-Kimbrough scored 30 points, Brionna Jones had 17 points and 17 rebounds, and the fifth-ranked Terrapins topped the Spartans 85-76 Friday night for their ninth consecutive victory.
Following a 41-point performance at Purdue, Walker-Kimbrough came up with a satisfying encore. The 5-foot-11 junior went 9 for 16 from the floor, 3 for 3 from beyond the arc and made all nine of her foul shots.
Though Walker-Kimbrough’s effort at Purdue was one point short of the school record, her 71 points is the most ever by a Maryland women’s player over two successive games.
Whether she’s driving to the basket, firing from outside and popping 15-foot jumpers, Walker-Kimbrough is finding the bottom of the net with alarming regularity.
“I’d like to take full credit for it, but it’s all Shatori,” coach Brenda Frese said. “I think you’re seeing every facet of her game, which is why people can’t guard her right now.”
Walker-Kimbrough had a simple explanation for her hot streak: “I’m just letting the game come to me and knocking down open shots.”
Coming off a victory against Michigan on Wednesday, the Spartans didn’t have much of a chance of stopping Maryland’s speedy guard.
“We didn’t get a lot of time to prepare,” coach Suzy Merchant said, “and obviously we didn’t do a very good job.”
The Terrapins (21-2, 10-1 Big Ten) never trailed in moving into a tie atop the conference standings with Ohio State.
Maryland will face the Buckeyes on Monday night, looking to avenge an 85-80 defeat on Jan. 2 — the Terrapins’ lone Big Ten loss over two seasons.
“I’m excited. I’m ready for the next test for us to see where we’re at in February,” Frese said.
Aerial Powers scored a season-high 31 points for Michigan State on 14-for-27 shooting. Branndais Agee added 22 points, but no other Spartan reached double figures.
Tori Jankoska, who came in averaging 16.4 points per game, missed her first eight shots and finished with eight points on 2-for-12 shooting. Senior Jasmine Hines didn’t score in 16 agonizing minutes.
“Two of our starters really didn’t come to play at all at either end of the floor,” Merchant lamented.
Michigan State (17-5, 8-3) hoped to move into a second-place tie with the Terrapins but was outplayed from the outset. The Spartans fell into an early 11-2 hole, trailed by 17 in the second quarter and used a late surge to make the final score respectable.
The game was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 23, but was postponed because of snow.
Michigan State: The Spartans are in the midst of a stretch of four games in eight days. ... Powers has scored at least 20 points in four straight games. She came up short of matching her career high of 35, set in January 2014 against Nebraska. ... MSU had won eight of nine, the lone setback at Indiana on Jan. 13.
Maryland: Walker-Kimbrough also had six rebounds, five assists and two steals. ... Moseley scored 15 of her 17 points after halftime. ... The Terrapins improved to 6-0 against the Spartans, including 4-0 at home. ... The Terrapins, who came in with a nation’s-best 17.5 rebounding margin, finished with a 43-33 advantage on the boards.
Michigan State: Faces Iowa on Sunday to conclude a busy weekend on the road.
Maryland: Seeks revenge at Ohio State on Monday night.