Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Benjamin Rogers Jr.
New York, NY–
What do you get when you have the top scoring team in the country in Maryland and the top ranked team in the country in UConn from the most famous sports arena in Madison Square Garden, you get a great women’s basketball game.
Breanna Stewart led the Huskies (10-0) with 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Morgan Tuck added 17 points to become the 41st player in program history to score 1,000 points. She also had eight rebounds and six assists. And Moriah Jefferson scored 17 points with six assists.
Brionna Jones led the Terrapins (10-1) with 22 points, shooting 12-for-14. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 14 points and Kristen Confroy scored all 12 of her points on four three-pointers. Freshman Kiah Gillespie, the reigning Connecticut high school player of the year from Capital Prep, had two points (1-for-6) in 11 minutes.
“No one wants to lose,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. “But I am proud, I feel like the team responded punch for punch. Usually, the knockout punch comes against UConn. I love the confidence and swagger we played with. There was no fear. We competed really hard for 40 minutes. If we continue to work this hard and compete, good things are in store for this team down the line in March.”
UConn closed the quarter with a 15-4 run to go up nine points. The Huskies extended the lead to 59-47, its first double-digit advantage of the game. Maryland rallied within four — hitting four 3-pointers, the last by senior Tierney Pfirman with 1:10 left that made it 75-71.
The Huskies prevailed for an 83-73 win that could have gone either way in the final minute. A big three from the often injured Saniya Chong with 40 seconds to play helped ice it for UCONN as they would shoot in the bonus the rest of the way.
Next, the Terrapins will open Big Ten play at Illinois (7-4) on Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. The Terps-Illini game will be streamed live online through BTN Plus and the BTN2Go app.
The Terps will return home to host No. 9 Ohio State (8-3) at noon on Saturday. Maryland will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 2006 NCAA Championship at the Jan. 2 matchup. The first 2006 fans will receive a commemorative T-shirt and the current Terrapins will be signing autographs after the game.