No. 5 Maryland beats No. 19 Michigan State for Big Ten title
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Four minutes of basketball decided the women's Big Ten Tournament championship.
No. 5 Maryland used an 11-0 run in the third quarter to take the lead and then pulled away from No. 19 Michigan State while winning a second consecutive Big Ten title on Sunday night.
''That one, like they should be, was really, really tough,'' Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. ''We really had to work for that one. I'm glad that it was a game that we had to fight through in terms of getting us ready for the tournament.''
The run in the third quarter put Maryland in front 38-30 before Michigan State was forced to call a timeout. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough finished the game with 19 points, six of which came during the Terrapins' 11-0 run. Walker-Kimbrough also had 10 rebounds and was named the Big Ten Tournament most outstanding player.
The Spartans fought back to pull within four points in the third, but a 9-2 Maryland run at the beginning of the fourth quarter proved the difference. Maryland (30-3) led by as many as 18 points late in the fourth.
Brene Moseley and Brionna Jones each had 10 points for the Terrapins. Jones also grabbed 14 rebounds, and Jones and Walker-Kimbrough were named to the all-tournament team.
''We didn't want to let up. They're a great team. I know sometimes people will pull the ball out and let the clock out, but we wanted to continue to put pressure on them, continue to stay aggressive,'' Walker-Kimbrough said. ''And that was a great feeling. All of our hard work is paying off. But we're far from over.''
Tori Jankoska led the Spartans with 12 points.
Michigan State (24-8) led until the halfway point of the second quarter, when Maryland jumped ahead by two points on Chloe Pavlech's 3-pointer. The Spartans answered quickly with a 7-0 run that put them in front 26-21, forcing Maryland to call a timeout.
Michigan State went into halftime ahead 26-24. Jankoska hit a 3-point shot with 2 seconds left in the half that would have given Michigan State a 29-24 lead, but she was called for traveling.
Aerial Powers snapped the Spartans' 4-minute drought with back-to-back jump shots that made it 40-36. But after Maryland's 9-2 run, the Terrapins led by 13, and Michigan State never pulled back within single-digits.
''We didn't play well at all today, but I thought we were battling the first half and then just really came unraveled in the second,'' Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant said. ''They out hustled us and outworked us. In the second half, we were just a little flat. And that was frustrating.''
Maryland: The Terrapins have won the Big Ten regular-season title and tournament in each of their first two seasons since leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference. ... Maryland has won 39 of 41 Big Ten games since joining the conference.
Michigan State: Powers and Jasmine Hines each had eight points. ... The Spartans were outrebounded 47-35 and shot 32.1 percent (18 of 56) from the floor.