Jones scores 32 points, No. 4 Maryland beats Michigan State
(AP Photo/R Brent Smith)
By JEFF WASHBURN
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) It's a good thing No. 4 Maryland has plenty of offensive options.
"This was a game of runs, and we needed all of those 100 points," Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said after Maryland beat Michigan State 100-89 on Saturday night in the Big Ten semifinals.
Brionna Jones scored 21 of her career-high 32 points in the second half, Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 22 points, and Destiny Slocum and Kaila Charles each had 18 for the Terrapins (29-2). They will play Purdue in the championship game Sunday night.
Maryland shot 59.7 percent from the field (37 of 62), including a collective 33 of 55 from Jones, Walker-Kimbrough, Charles and Slocum, who also had five assists.
The Terrapins are trying to win the tournament championship for a third consecutive year.
Tori Jankoska led Michigan State (21-11) with 31 points, and Branndais Agee had 24.
"My teammates made it easy," said Jones, who made 12 of 14 field goal attempts and 8 of 9 free throws to go with nine rebounds, six assists and no turnovers. "Michigan State is a physical team, and I like to play a physical game."
Jones' two free throws and Slocum' 3-pointer at the buzzer gave the Terrapins a 71-60 advantage after three quarters. Jones scored 12 third-quarter points. Maryland never trailed in the second half.
Jankoska's 3-pointer with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter cut Maryland's lead to 55-49, capping an 8-0 run. The Terrapins countered with four quick points for a 10-point cushion, 59-49.
"We're a good 3-point shooting team, but Maryland is a Top 5 team for a reason," Jankoska said. "You make a run at them, and then they just pass the ball to another McDonald's All-American."
Leading 33-30 with 4:46 remaining in the second quarter, Maryland finished the half on a 14-4 run, which included seven points from Walker-Kimbrough and five from Jones for a 47-34 advantage.
"Their size and strength just eventually gets you," Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said. "I really like their freshman point guard Slocum. She is the head of the monster they have not had the past few years."
During the first half, Walker-Kimbrough had 17 points and Jones added 11. The pair combined to make 11 of 14 first-half field-goal attempts.
Michigan State: The Spartans will have to wait for what likely will be an NCAA Tournament bid, especially after beating No. 3 seed Michigan in Friday's quarterfinals after taking out No. 11 seed Wisconsin on Thursday.
Maryland: With Walker-Kimbrough and Jones leading the way, the Terrapins will be heavily favored to beat Purdue on Sunday. The Terrapins beat Purdue 85-70 in the only regular-season meeting, a game that was played in West Lafayette.
TOUGH DAY FOR SPARTANS
Maryland's men's team defeated Michigan State on Saturday in College Park, and then the Terrapin women eliminated the Spartans from the Big Ten tournament several hours later.
"It wasn't a good day for (Tom) Izzo or I to be playing Maryland," Michigan State women's coach Suzy Merchant said.
Maryland: The Terrapins will play Purdue in the championship game.
Updated March 4, 2017