Maryland routs Bucknell 103-61 in NCAA Tournament opener
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) As they near the end of their sensational college careers, Maryland seniors Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones evidently have no intention of going out quietly.
Walker-Kimbrough scored 28 points, Jones had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Terrapins beat Bucknell 103-61 Friday to earn their seventh consecutive trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Coming off its third straight Big Ten championship, ranked fourth in the country and in the midst of its third successive 30-win season, Maryland was miffed about being seeded third in the Bridgeport Region.
As if to prove a point, the Terrapins (31-2) took control early against No. 14 seed Bucknell (27-6). Walker-Kimbrough and Jones combined to score Maryland's first 20 points, and by halftime the Terps were up 45-22 - much to the delight of an enthusiastic home crowd.
"We were led by our two seniors," Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said. "When you talk about that experience factor, that's what you really have to have, especially for your first NCAA tournament game. There was no surprise with setting the tone. It allowed our younger players to kind of get comfortable in terms of what they were doing."
After watching film of Maryland's two stars, the Bison knew what to expect.
Or so they thought.
"They're incredibly talented," coach Aaron Roussell said. "We didn't have a real answer for them, to be honest with you."
Maryland will next play West Virginia, which beat Elon 75-62. The Terps have at least one victory in 13 of the last 14 NCAA Tournaments and are seeking to reach the Final Four for the third time in four years.
Walker-Kimbrough finished 12 for 18 from the floor and Jones hit 11 of 17 shots in her 23rd double-double of the season. Both are unanimous All-Big Ten first team selections.
The Bison were making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2008. They entered as the Patriot League champions and with a 10-game winning streak.
Obviously, that meant nothing against Maryland.
"I thought there were periods where we were kind of able to hang with them, and there were just some stretches in that game that got away from us," Roussell said. "The score did, too."
Sune Swart scored 14 points and Megan McGurk had 12 for Bucknell. Claire DeBoer, the Patriot League Player of the Year, was limited to five points on 1 for 8 shooting in her final college game.
"They're super tough on both ends of the floor," DeBoer said.
The Terrapins closed the first quarter with a 15-3 run to take a 22-10 lead. Of those 22 points, 18 came in the paint against a tall Bucknell frontcourt that one day earlier spoke confidently about matching well against sizable Maryland.
"As a team, we wanted to come out and make them feel our presence," Walker-Kimbrough said.
The Terps dominated the second quarter, too, outscoring Bucknell 23-12 and limiting the Bison to four baskets.
By halftime, Maryland had only two turnovers compared to 13 for Bucknell. Jones had 19 points and nine rebounds in the first half and Walker-Kimbrough contributed 16 points and four steals.
Jones and Walker-Kimbrough accounted for all 13 of the Terrapins' points at the outset of the second half for a 58-25 lead.
Bucknell: Prior to this game, the most points the Bison allowed was 71 to Navy in the Patriot League title game, which went to overtime.
Maryland: The Terps topped the 100-point mark for the seventh time, the second time in three games.
Bucknell: The Bison have improved each year since Roussell took over following a 5-25 season in 2011-12. So the future appears bright for Bucknell, despite the loss of senior starters DeBoer, McGirk and Swart.
Maryland: The Terps took care of business in workmanlike fashion, looking every bit like a fourth-ranked team playing at home. It's the kind of start Maryland was looking for in what it hopes will be a lengthy postseason run.
Maryland: Jones and Walker-Kimbrough play their final home game as Terrapins on Sunday, looking to go out as winners. The Terrapins lost their second-round game last year at home against Washington.
Updated March 17, 2017