Jones scores 20, No. 4 Maryland tops Duquesne 77-57
(AP Photo/Fred Vuich)
PITTSBURGH (AP) Shatori Walker-Kimbrough's kept telling herself it was just a business trip, one that took the Maryland senior guard and the rest of her teammates a bit longer than expected to finish off.
Playing in front of a throng of fans from her hometown in nearby Aliquippa, Walker-Kimbrough finished with 17 points, including four free throws down the stretch to as part of a clinching run to lift the fourth-ranked Terrapins to a 77-57 victory over Duquesne on Wednesday night.
Walker-Kimbrough grew up about 30 miles away Duquesne's campus in downtown Pittsburgh and took the Terrapins for a visit to her aunt's daycare and a brief tour of the small town just up the Allegheny River on Tuesday. A day later she and her teammates shut down the Dukes early then held on late to improve to 12-0 and set up a showdown with No. 1 Connecticut on Dec. 29.
"I can't even put words together to describe this," Walker-Kimbrough said.
A little tougher than anticipated might suffice. Though Maryland took command during the second quarter while holding the Dukes to just two baskets, Duquesne trimmed a 26-point deficit to 10 with just 4:11 to go before Walker-Kimbrough helped the Terrapins close it out.
"We tried to extend some minutes with our bench but obviously there was no quit in Duquesne and I thought they did a tremendous job of playing hard for 40 minutes," Maryland coach Brenda Freese said.
Playing for the first time in nine days after taking a break for finals, the Terrapins needed time to get going. Maryland switched to a zone in the second quarter and completely shut down the Dukes - coming off the program's first-ever NCAA tournament appearance a year ago - by holding Duquesne without a basket for 8:49.
"I thought our communication got a lot better," Freese said. "On the defensive end we were having some problems getting through their screens and they run a lot of great action. I thought our zone kind of threw them a little bit."
Amadea Szamosi led the Dukes with 21 points but Duquesne shot just 31 percent (16 of 52) from the field and was outscored 38-14 in the paint by the bigger, deeper Terrapins.
FAMILIAR FACES: Chassidy Omogrosso, a longtime rival of Walker-Kimbrough when the two were in high school, was held to just seven points on 2 of 9 shooting.
"Last time I played her, I'm pretty sure it was in this building and we lost," Walker-Kimbrough said. "She got a lot of wins on my in high school. I'm kind of glad I got this one."
The Dukes kept coming and got within 64-54 on a 3-pointer by Juliana Vojinovic with 4:11 to go. Walker-Kimbrough then knocked down four straight free throws to start a 13-3 surge to close it out.
"If you look at every other quarter, take the second quarter away, we hung with them," Omogrosso said. "The second quarter is what killed us."
Maryland: The Terrapins have a week off before hosting No. 1 UConn on Dec. 29.
Duquesne: Hosts rival Pittsburgh on Dec. 29.
Updated December 21, 2016