Jones' 20-20 helps No. 6 Maryland past Washington State
LAS VEGAS (AP) Brionna Jones had 20 points and a career-high 20 rebounds and No. 6 Maryland struggled before pulling away late in the fourth quarter to beat Washington State 79-69 on Saturday.
Maryland (6-0) entered having won each game by at least 32 points. The Terrapins' largest deficit was 2-0 and it had trailed for less than 2 minutes total in five games.
This was different. The Cougars led by six in the first half and for much of the third quarter. 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.
Kaila Charles scored 19 points, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 15 and Slocum 11 for Maryland in its final tuneup before its showdown at No. 4 Louisville on Thursday.
Borislava Hristova scored 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting for Washington State (4-2). The Cougars were 7 of 21 from the foul line.
Maryland: Winning games by 56, 45 and 64 points before routing No. 23 Arizona State by 41 Friday may have led to a lack of intensity. There were plenty of missed layups and poor passes and the Cougars gained confidence as the game wore on. Maryland's vaunted defense returned late, however, holding Washington State to 17 points in the fourth quarter.
Washington State: The Cougars, picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12, have plenty of contributors. For the sixth straight game, 12 players saw action. Coach June Daugherty, in her 10th season, had her players diving for loose balls and drawing charges in an inspired performance.
Thursday will be Maryland's first trip to Louisville since beating the Cardinals to advance to the 2014 Final Four. Louisville faces a stiff test before that when it plays No. 3 South Carolina on Sunday.
Washington State returns home to face San Diego on Friday – its fourth West Coast Conference opponent of the season – and Boise State on Sunday. The Pac-12 opener is Dec. 27 at No. 15 Washington.