Re­cruits come through

Slocum shakes off jit­ters, teams with Charles for key points

Baltimore Sun - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - By Gene Wang

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.

TI­MOTHY D. EASLEY/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Mary­land’s Destiny Slocum (13 points, five re­bounds) drives past Louisville’s Bri­a­hanna Jack­son dur­ing the sec­ond half.

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