No. 5 Maryland wins 12th straight, 91-65 over Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Laurin Mincy and the Maryland Terrapins are adjusting just fine to their new conference.
Mincy scored 24 points, and No. 5 Maryland rolled to its 12th consecutive victory, remaining unbeaten in Big Ten play with a 91-65 win over Michigan on Thursday night. The Terps scored the first 11 points and never trailed. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 20 points for Maryland, and Lexie Brown had 14 points and eight assists.
Maryland (18-2, 9-0) already looks like the class of the Big Ten in its first season in the league. The Terps have won all but two of their conference games by double digits. They’ll start the second half of their league slate Sunday against No. 20 Iowa, which is only a game behind Maryland.
”It hasn’t been easy, and it’s not going to be easy these remaining nine,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ”Every team competes and battles, but I like the way that we’ve been able to handle the challenge.”
The Terps shot 52 percent from the field Thursday and went 16 of 21 on free throws.
Cyesha Goree led Michigan (13-7, 5-4) with 14 points.
”You come to the Big Ten, we’re not familiar,” Mincy said. ”It’s just coming in and playing hard every night. We know every team in the Big Ten is going to give us their best punch, and hopefully every time we come to play we can punch back.”
Maryland overwhelmed Michigan at the start, racing out to a 9-0 lead on a 3-pointer by Walker-Kimbrough and layups by Brown, Brionna Jones and Walker-Kimbrough. After the Wolverines called a timeout, Michigan turned the ball over right away, and Walker-Kimbrough added another layup.
”Our game is to defend, rebound and run,” Walker-Kimbrough said. ”I know with the great passers that we have, they’ll find me on the break. Our game is transition.”
Michigan recovered from that poor start and cut the margin to one at 17-16, but the Wolverines could never take the lead. Maryland went on an 11-2 run later in the half to take a 34-22 advantage, and it was 48-36 at halftime.
Katelynn Flaherty scored 13 points for Michigan, and Shannon Smith added 13 points and five assists.
Maryland outscored Michigan 46-26 in the paint – 24-6 in the second half.
The Wolverines scored eight straight points and trailed 57-48 after a 3-pointer by Flaherty, but Maryland answered with a layup and eventually turned the game into a rout.
”I think the end score wasn’t really an indication of the game,” Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. ”I think it was like a 12-to-15 point game most of the game, and what we talked about at halftime – we don’t start down 11-0, we’re kind of right there in the mix.”
Mincy finished 9 of 12 from the field, and Walker-Kimbrough was 9 of 14. Maryland had 17 offensive rebounds to Michigan’s eight.
Jones had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Terps.
”I felt like in the second half, they did look a little fatigued in terms of us being able to stay in an attack mentality,” Frese said.
Maryland: Walker-Kimbrough has scored in double figures in 12 straight games. … The Terps have won 18 consecutive games against Big Ten opponents, dating to 2007.
Michigan: The Wolverines have never beaten a top-five team.
Maryland: hosts Iowa on Sunday. Iowa is the only other Big Ten team with fewer than three conference losses.
Michigan: plays at No. 15 Nebraska on Sunday.