Around this time last year, Maryland was stunned by the University of Washington at the Xfinity Center. This year’s Maryland’s team made sure there was no way this feat would happen two years in a row. The Terps took care of the sixth seeded West Virginia Mountaineers, 83-56. From start to finish, Maryland played textbook defense, Brionna Jones had another double-double, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough made an impact on both ends and Destiny Slocum stepped up in a major way. So here are my takeaways from the game.
Textbook defense: From opening tip off to the final minute, Maryland was on a mission to impose their will on West Virginia. Holding the Mountaineers to 31.7% shooting including Tynice Martin who averaged 18.6 points a contest to 3-of-18 shooting from the field. After leading the first quarter 16-12, West Virginia was never able to gain momentum again.
Senior Leadership: Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough continue to lead in all facets of the game. from Brionna Jones double double of 22 points 11 assists to Shatori’s 19 points, four assists, three rebounds and stellar defensive assignment on Tynice Martin. These ladies continue to show why they are two of the country’s best players. Their play inspires the rest of the team gives this team a different swagger than last year’s team.
Rebounds: One of the biggest eye openers was the rebound differential between both teams. In the first half, West Virginia was cleaning the boards, holding the edge 25-17 including 12 offensive rebounds and nine second chance points. But in the second half, Maryland began to take control of that stat and ultimately changed the course of the game. The Terps finished with 39 rebounds, one more than West Virginia and even though the Mountaineers had more second chance points (15-13) but the doubled in points in the paint (48-24).
Depth is still a key: Both teams only scored four points from the bench. The funny thing is that even though the Terps only scored four points, they played lights out defense (forcing 5 steals) and kept up the tempo in the game. Maryland’s depth is highly potent and for them to only score four points and win by 27 other teams need to watch out because if they get going, no roster in the country can matchup with them.
The Destiny Slocum show: Freshman Destiny Slocum has been stellar all year and if there were ever any doubts that she wasn’t one of the best in the country, she proved it. Scoring 21 points, eight assists and THE buzzer beater of March Madness. It was like everything was going her way. They’ll definitely need to her to step up as the Terps head to Bridgeport, Connecticut and play the rest of the bracket.
Here’s what may be the best shot of this year in all of basketball, Destiny hit this shot literally six feet away from myself and the gentleman below that made this great gif.
— Connor Newcomb (@ConnorNewcomb_) March 19, 2017