Recruits come through
Slocum shakes off jitters, teams with Charles for key points
LOUISVILLE, KY. — For much of Maryland’s women’s basketball game against Louisville on Thursday night, Destiny Slocum played with all the trepidation of an unsure freshman rather than like a McDonald’s All American.
The heralded point guard coach Brenda Frese has charged with directing the fifth-ranked Terps was committing turnovers and missing shots. There was no indication that she would be the player the Terps could lean on when it mattered most.
Slocum proved otherwise during the final minutes of a 78-72 triumph in which the centerpiece of Frese’s top-ranked recruiting class scored seven in a row. Her three-point play with 1:53 left provided a 72-67 lead after Maryland (7-0) had gone ahead for good on a layup from freshman guard Kaila Charles, another McDonald’s All American.
Slocum made four straight free throws, and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s two foul shots with 4.6 seconds to play produced the final margin in Maryland’s third consecutive victory over No. 7 Louisville (6-2).
“That’s what makes Destiny so special; that she can erase what’s happened in the past and just stay in the present,” Frese said. “Man, she was just tremendous in terms of just the fearlessness and the confidence and the energy we were able to feed of off.”
Slocum finished with13 points, five rebounds and four assists but also had three of the Terps’ 18 turnovers in front of an announced 7,816. Before making her final field goal and going 5-for-5 from the foul line in the closing stages, Slocum had missed five of seven shots and was one of four on free throws.
Walker-Kimbrough scored a season-high 26 points, making eight of 15 from the field. The senior is one of two Terps on the roster who played the last time Maryland made an appearance at KFC Yum! Center on April 1, 2014, beating Louisville, 76-73, in the NCAA tournament region finals.
Maryland’s Destiny Slocum (13 points, five rebounds) drives past Louisville’s Briahanna Jackson during the second half.