Walker-Kimbrough leads Maryland past Syracuse, 82-64
College Park, Md. (AP) Maryland coach Brenda Frese was concerned about No. 20 Syracuse's full-court pressure.
The No. 5 Terrapins, however, quickly put her mind at ease with another dominant performance.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 19 points and eight assists, leading Maryland over Syracuse 82-64 on Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Center Brionna Jones made eight of her 10 shots from inside the paint and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Terrapins (7-0). Tierney Pfirman scored 13 points and Brene Moseley added 12 for Maryland, which shot 32 of 62 (51.6 percent) from the field.
''I thought (the game) was placed at the right time, as we're building as a team, to see the press for 40 minutes and to see that kind of pressure,'' Frese said. ''At times we handled it better than other times. It took us a little to get into a groove as a team. We need to face that to prepare us for what's ahead.''
Brianna Butler scored 14 of her 22 points in the first half for Syracuse. Alexis Peterson had 14 points and Briana Day added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Orange (4-2).
The Terps led by 10 at the half and continued to pull away in the third quarter as a floater by Moseley boosted the margin to 49-35 with 7 minutes left.
The Orange adjusted by pushing the ball quicker up the floor in transition. A layup by Peterson and a free throw by Day capped an 11-4 run and cut Maryland's lead to 53-46.
The Terps, however, controlled the fourth quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Moseley and Pfirman provided a 63-50 cushion, forcing Syracuse to call a timeout with 8:51 remaining.
''For us, we just go out and play Maryland basketball,'' Pfirman said. ''It's about the name on our jersey and bettering ourselves. We're not really focused on who were playing in the game. We're focused on how we can make ourselves better.''
Maryland wore the Orange down, and Pfirman made another jumper to increase the lead to 73-56 almost three minutes later.
Syracuse went to a full-court press and was forced to attempt 3-pointers, but the Terps were too deep and closed out the game.
Maryland had a huge edge on the boards, 55-31.
''That was a dominant performance by Maryland,'' Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. ''When you get hit on the boards for plus-24, you're going to have a tough time winning a basketball game. We just didn't turn the corner.''
Walker-Kimbrough scored 10 points in 10 minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Terrapins led 25-15 at the end of the first quarter. The Orange were just 7 of 21 (33.3 percent) from the field.
''We knew their guards would want to shoot the 3,'' Walker-Kimbrough said. ''So, we keyed on that coming in.''
The Orange took advantage of three Maryland turnovers and cold shooting to pull to 31-26 on a layup by Day with 5:18 left in the half. The Terps, however, continued to dictate the tempo and a pair of layups by Jones boosted the margin to 41-31 at the break.
Syracuse: The Orange have lost both games to nationally ranked opponents this season. Syracuse lost to No. 8 Tennessee 57-55 on Nov. 20.
Maryland: The Terps are 5-0 all-time against Syracuse. ... Maryland improved to 8-1 overall in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
GRAND THEFT ORANGE
The Orange entered the game ranked first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and fourth in the country with 14.4 steals per game. Syracuse was effective again with 10 steals against Maryland.
Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had another all-around solid performance with the 19 points and 8 assists. However, she sees room for improvement. ''Don't forget the eight turnovers,'' Walker-Kimbrough replied when asked how she was able to get teammates involved.
Syracuse begins an eight-game homestand Sunday against Stony Brook.
Maryland hosts Central Connecticut on Saturday.