No. 8 Maryland holds off upset-minded Michigan 74-67
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and high-scoring Maryland had to win this one with defense.
Walker-Kimbrough had 15 points and seven rebounds and the eighth-ranked Terrapins shook off pesky Michigan, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 74-67 victory Thursday night. Maryland won despite shooting only 41 percent from the field on a night when the Terps' perimeter touch deserted them for most of the game.
''It started on the defensive end,'' Walker-Kimbrough said. ''We knew we had to make shots difficult, and then limit it to one shot.''
Tierney Pfirman added 16 points, and Brionna Jones had 13 for the Terrapins (15-2, 4-1 Big Ten), who had 21 offensive rebounds. Maryland had 18 second-chance points to Michigan's six.
''I thought we were right there,'' Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico said. ''I was really proud of the way we played and the things that we took away. They just really wore us down in their ability to rebound the basketball.''
Katelynn Flaherty led the Wolverines with 23 points.
Michigan (10-6, 2-3) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, but the Wolverines rallied and made a game of it early in the third quarter. Michigan led 52-50 with 5:25 remaining in the third after a three-point play by Hallie Thome, but the Wolverines were shut out for the rest of the period.
''Sometimes you just have to be able to find a way to kind of grind out a game,'' Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ''I thought Michigan did a phenomenal job. They kept scrapping. They made it extremely difficult.''
Maryland began the fourth with a 55-52 lead, and Brene Moseley connected from 3-point range, snapping a streak of nine straight misses beyond the arc for the Terps.
It was 61-57 after a 3-pointer by Flaherty, but Maryland responded with a 12-0 run to open up a 16-point lead. Jones, who had been quiet for most of the game, hurt Michigan inside, scoring nine points in the final quarter.
Maryland made its first four 3-point attempts and led 16-7 with 5:14 to play in the first quarter. Then the Terps didn't make another shot from long distance until Moseley's at the start of the fourth.
Maryland led 37-25 around the midway point of the second quarter, but Michigan fought back and trailed 42-35 at halftime.
The Terrapins (50.3 percent) and Wolverines (49.3) came into the game as the Big Ten's top two teams in shooting from the field. Maryland struggled for most of the game, and Michigan wasn't much better, finishing at 46 percent.
Maryland (86.5 points) and Michigan (81.1) finished well below their season scoring averages coming in.
''I think both teams were trying to take away each other's strengths,'' Frese said. ''You saw a lot of triangle-and-two by Michigan, trying to take away our scoring. Obviously, we were really focused on Katelynn and trying to make her shots difficult.''
Jones picked up her third foul with 6:17 remaining in the third, but in the final quarter it was Michigan that was in foul trouble. Thome and Kelsey Mitchell each picked up a fourth foul early in the fourth, making it that much harder for the Wolverines to defend Jones inside.
''Obviously, that's due to Maryland's size and presence inside,'' Arico said. ''They're just so big and strong and physical inside.''
Maryland: Led by Pfirman, the Terps' backups outscored Michigan's 33-7.
Michigan: Flaherty shot 9 of 23 from the field and 3 of 15 from 3-point range.
Maryland: Hosts Northwestern on Sunday.
Michigan: Plays at Penn State on Sunday.