At the buzzer

Trim­ble’s three­p­ointer boosts Mary­land over Michi­gan State, 63-60

The Washington Post Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - BY RO­MAN STUBBS

Mary­land guard Melo Trim­ble didn’t know whether the fi­nal six sec­onds Satur­day against Michi­gan State would be his last game ac­tion in­side Xfin­ity Cen­ter, but he did know this time be­longed to him. With the score tied, Mary­land Coach Mark Tur­geon had taken a time­out to draw up a play. He im­plored Trim­ble to drive to the bas­ket, hop­ing his ju­nior could cleave the Spar­tans’ de­fense and pro­vide the game-win­ning points for the fifth time this sea­son.

Trim­ble has never been able to ex­plain the source of his clutch gene, but it sur­faced once again against the Spar­tans. Af­ter in­bound­ing a pass, he de­manded the ball back and took four drib­bles, the last of which found him a few feet be­yond the three-point line.

“I felt in a rhythm,” Trim­ble said, so he blocked out Tur­geon’s ad­vice and pulled up for a three­p­ointer with 1.1 sec­onds left. Af­ter the most dar­ing shot of his ca­reer hit noth­ing but net, Trim­ble stum­bled over him­self and col­lapsed onto his stom­ach. He pressed his lips against the hard­wood, then pounded it with his fist for good

fin­ished with 32 points, nine re­bounds and six as­sists, all game highs, with three steals in con­tribut­ing to Mary­land’s 10th win against the Spar­tans in as many games in se­ries his­tory. Slocum, mean­while, had 18 points, in­clud­ing eight straight in a 75-sec­ond span that pushed Mary­land’s lead to 94-77 with 2:20 left.

Two of Slocum’s three field goals in that time came from be­yond the arc. She sank the first of those three-point­ers with the shot clock ex­pir­ing to give Mary­land (29-2) an 89-75 ad­van­tage as part of an 11-2 run that all but set­tled the out­come af­ter the Spar­tans had cut the mar­gin to 83-75.

Fresh­man guard Kaila Charles added 18 points, six re­bounds and a game-high five steals for her third straight game in dou­ble fig­ures. That’s the long­est such stretch for the 2016 Wash­ing­ton Post All-Met Player of the Year from Riverdale Bap­tist High.

“I ac­tu­ally for­got they were fresh­men,” Walker-Kim­brough (22 points) said of Slocum and Charles. “They do not play like it all. They’re like our en­gine. They make us go, and I’m blessed to have them as team­mates.”

The Ter­rap­ins held a 71-60 lead at the end of the third quar­ter, capped by Slocum’s three-pointer with three sec­onds to go. Michi­gan State mo­ments ear­lier had drawn to 66-60 on Bran­ndais Agee’s three-pointer, her third of the quar­ter. The Spar­tans (21-11) made six three-point­ers dur­ing the third quar­ter to stay within reach and 12 of 29 for the game.

A pair of layups from Jones opened a 53-48 lead for the Ter­rap­ins early in the third quar­ter, but Michi­gan State got Agee’s three­p­ointer to trig­ger an 11-2 flurry. Agee hit an­other three-pointer af­ter Jones made a layup, and the Spar­tans closed to 55-49 on Jenna Allen’s jumper and Tori Jankoska’s three-pointer, prompt­ing a time­out from Frese with 5:41 to play.

Mary­land made con­sec­u­tive layups out of the stop­page, and an­other Jones layup yielded a 6152 lead with 3:56 re­main­ing in the third quar­ter. Jones made 12 of 14 shots over­all and went 8 for 9 from the foul line. Mary­land went 18 for 26 on free throws over­all, in­clud­ing 11 for 16 in the fourth quar­ter, and shot 60 per­cent from the field.

The Spar­tans at­tempted just 10 free throws for the en­tire game.

“They’re re­ally a phys­i­cal team, and I kind of em­brace phys­i­cal play,” Jones said. “I think that just gave me a lit­tle ex­tra en­ergy to­day.”

The late stages of the sec­ond quar­ter fea­tured Mary­land forg­ing its first dou­ble-digit lead af­ter the Spar­tans drew within 33-30 on two free throws by Taryn McCutcheon. Walker-Kim­brough soon af­ter scored on a layup off an as­sist from Sarah My­ers. The reJones serve fresh­man point guard quickly logged an­other as­sist, this time pass­ing to Jones for a layup.

Walker-Kim­brough sank a long jumper to ex­tend to the lead to 39-30, and the Ter­rap­ins closed the half with six con­sec­u­tive points for a 47-34 lead at in­ter­mis­sion. The high­light of that burst was Jones gath­er­ing the re­bound off Walker-Kim­brough’s missed free throw, scor­ing and draw­ing a foul. She made the bonus, and Walker-Kim­brough’s en­su­ing layup ended the first-half scor­ing.

The first run of the game be­longed to Mary­land, which scored 10 in a row late in the first quar­ter be­gin­ning with Slocum’s three­p­ointer. Jones then blocked a three-point at­tempt by McCutcheon, col­lected the loose ball and passed to Walker-Kim­brough, who scored on an un­con­tested layup.

Walker-Kim­brough’s three­p­ointer pro­vided Mary­land with an 18-10 lead, but the Spar­tans ral­lied be­hind layups from Allen and Taya Reimer and Vic­to­ria Gaines’s three-pointer. Mary­land led at end of the first quar­ter 20-17 af­ter fresh­man cen­ter Bri­anna Fraser gath­ered an of­fen­sive re­bound and scored on the put­back with one sec­ond to go.

“We know how to come back from tough sit­u­a­tions,” Slocum said. “That’s what good about us is we’re go­ing to stay to­gether through it, and I think that gets us re­ally far.”

JONATHAN NEW­TON/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Melo Trim­ble is mobbed af­ter the win. His three-pointer with 1.1 sec­onds left was the dif­fer­ence.

KATHER­INE FREY/THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Mary­land cen­ter Bri­onna Jones had a game-high 32 points in the Terps’ win over Michi­gan State.

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