At the buzzer
Trimble’s threepointer boosts Maryland over Michigan State, 63-60
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.”
Melo Trimble is mobbed after the win. His three-pointer with 1.1 seconds left was the difference.
Maryland center Brionna Jones had a game-high 32 points in the Terps’ win over Michigan State.