Mary­land comes un­done, 77-63 Turnovers, missed shots send Terps home.


The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY GENE WANG­

bridge­port, conn. — The third-seeded Mary­land women’s bas­ket­ball team al­most al­ways had been able to lean on Sha­tori Walker-Kim­brough and Bri­onna Jones dur­ing the most mean­ing­ful mo­ments this sea­son. Un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally, the se­nior duo were not up to the task in a 77-63 loss to No. 10 seed Oregon on Satur­day, bounc­ing the Ter­rap­ins from the NCAA tour­na­ment’s round of 16.

The Ter­rap­ins amassed their fewest points in a game this sea­son after en­ter­ing Web­ster Bank Arena with the top scor­ing of­fense in Divi­sion I (90.1 points). Walker-Kim­brough shot just 6 for 18 for 16 points and com­mit­ted five of Mary­land’s 21 turnovers. Mary­land (32-3) had com­mit­ted 19 over its pre­vi­ous two games, its fewest in any two-game stretch this sea­son.

Jones, mean­while, mis­fired from close range in shoot­ing 8 for 16 to fin­ish with 16 points. The three-time Big Ten first-team se­lec­tion came in shoot­ing a frac­tion be­low 70 per­cent to lead Divi­sion I. She did man­age a game-high 15 re­bounds.

The col­lec­tive swoon from two of the most dec­o­rated play­ers in pro­gram his­tory left Mary­land, which missed all six of its three­p­oint at­tempts, one win short of ad­vanc­ing to its sev­enth re­gion fi­nal. In­stead, the Ducks (23-12) will face Con­necti­cut, the top over­all seed in the tour­na­ment, Mon­day night for a trip to the Fi­nal Four out of the Bridge­port Re­gion.

“Like I just told the team in the locker room, I’m not go­ing to let one game de­fine the sea­son we had,” Ter­rap­ins Coach Brenda Frese said. “I’m ex­tremely proud of this team and ev­ery­thing we’ve been through. I’ll tell you this: Oregon is for real.”

Mary­land had its sea­son end for a sec­ond straight time to a Pa­cific-12 op­po­nent. Last year, sev­enth-seeded Wash­ing­ton dis­patched the sec­ond-seeded Ter­rap­ins in the sec­ond round, 75-65, in Col­lege Park on the way to ad­vanc­ing to the first Fi­nal Four in pro­gram his­tory.

Trail­ing by 14 in the fourth quar­ter against the Ducks, Mary­land closed the deficit to six points with 3:19 to play, but Ducks fresh­man point guard Sab­rina Ionescu sank a dif­fi­cult jumper in the lane to stem the come­back.

Oregon scored the fi­nal eight points of the game to con­tinue a his­toric sea­son in which it reached its first re­gional semi­fi­nal.

Ionescu led all play­ers with 21 points and added seven as­sists and six re­bounds, out­play­ing Mary­land coun­ter­part Des­tiny Slocum (nine points, three as­sists, five turnovers). Ionescu was the top point guard com­ing out of high school last sea­son, ac­cord­ing to’s rankings. Slocum was No. 3.

Mary­land’s six-player re­cruit­ing class, mean­while, was rated No. 1 in the coun­try last sea­son. Oregon’s seven-player class was third, and it got 16 points and eight re­bounds from an­other of those fresh­men, for­ward Ruthy He­bard, against the Ter­rap­ins.

The Ducks led 59-47 at the con­clu­sion of the third quar­ter thanks to a 13-4 run that fea­tured ju­nior Lexi Bando sink­ing con­sec­u­tive three-point­ers from vir­tu­ally the iden­ti­cal spot in the deep left cor­ner. Be­fore those bas­kets, Oregon scored seven in a row, with Oti Gil­don’s three-point play open­ing a 43-37 lead with 5:50 to play.

The fi­nal minute of the quar­ter was in­dica­tive of the Ter­rap­ins’ tra­vails through­out much of the game. First while driv­ing to the bas­ket off a turnover, Walk­erKim­brough had the ball stripped. Then with nearly four sec­onds left, Slocum heaved and missed a three-quar­ter-court shot rather than drib­bling for an at­tempt from closer range.

“Their de­fense was pretty good, mak­ing my shots dif­fi­cult,” Walker-Kim­brough said. “I give credit to their de­fense.”

Mary­land went into the half trail­ing 36-27 after Ionescu sank her third three-pointer of the game. That bas­ket capped the Ducks’ 10-4 burst to end the sec­ond quar­ter dur­ing which time Frese called a time­out to try to rally her play­ers. But after the stop­page, the Ter­rap­ins com­mit­ted a turnover, and Oregon got guard Jus­tine Hall’s layup.

Other than Jones, Mary­land’s starters shot 2 for 15 in the first half. Charles missed all five of her field goal at­tempts, and Walk­erKim­brough went 1 for 6. She also com­mit­ted three of the Ter­rap­ins’ 11 first-half turnovers. Even Jones was miss­ing shots from close range that typ­i­cally have been au­to­matic.

“I think early on I just wasn’t be­ing as pa­tient as I nor­mally was,” Jones said. “Credit to them. They came out hard on de­fense.”

Still al­most fit­tingly, Jones and Walker-Kim­brough man­aged to tie for the pro­gram’s in­di­vid­ual scor­ing record for a sea­son, with both fin­ish­ing with 697 points. Vicky Bul­lett had the pre­vi­ous mark with 681 in 1987-88.

Walker-Kim­brough com­pleted her ca­reer as Mary­land’s fourth all-time scor­ing leader (2,156 points). Jones wound up tied with Bul­lett for sixth in pro­gram his­tory in points (1,928), and her 1,209 re­bounds are third all time at Mary­land.

Both are pro­jected first-round picks in April’s WNBA draft.

“The thing that re­ally sucks that was go­ing through my head at that last minute is that we sent them out this way,” said Slocum, who ended the game by drib­bling out the fi­nal sec­onds. “And you know, it sucks when you have two amaz­ing peo­ple and two amaz­ing play­ers, and you know they de­serve so much more. And, I mean, we clawed and we fought for them, and I wish we could have done more.”


The Mary­land women’s bas­ket­ball team was elim­i­nated from the NCAA tour­na­ment by a Pa­cific-12 op­po­nent for the sec­ond straight year.

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