College Park, MD -- Maryland junior Shatori Walker-Kimbrough has gotten off to a hot start so far this season and is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. This was evident on Tuesday night, as the University of Maryland Women's basketball team remained undefeated in non-conference play with a 97-47 win over the Loyola University Greyhounds.
Walker-Kimbrough led all scorers with 21 points. Senior Brene Moseley also had 15, while senior Malina Howard grabbed six boards for Maryland. Senior Diana Logan was the leading scorer for the Greyhounds with 19.
After the win, head coach Brenda Frese acknowledged Walker-Kimbrough's importance to the program and the season so far.
"She's helped us, I mean obviously from the tip. Her energy, she sets the tone, and we really go as Shatori goes. When Shatori's in a great place, our team is in a great place. And as long as she stays in that place our team is locked in, and it's fun. Our tempo is really clicking on all cylinders."
"Just to see her growth and her maturity and where she's leading us to is exciting, because that's what you want to build upon as a team and as a season and as a vet as a junior and the experience she had from this past summer. I mean those are the things that you have expectations for."
While her coach and teammates have high expectations for her, Walker-Kimbrough's primary goal for the season remains simple and fundamentally sound.
"To just get better. We have to focus on ourselves, and we have finals week next week, no games, so we are just going to take that week and try to get better, continue to better ourselves for when we get to conference play," Walker-Kimbrough said.
Maryland jumped out to a 22-12 lead behind 64 percent shooting from the field and the scoring of reigning Big 10 Player of the Week, Walker-Kimbrough. Twelve of Maryland's 22 points in the quarter came from inside the paint in the first quarter alone. The Terps would carry that inside dominance throughout the rest of the game and score 48 of their 97 points in the paint for the night.
"Obviously we have great depth this year inside, so that's an area we're focusing on in terms of paint points, getting rebounds, being able to expose teams in different ways, " Frese said.
Maryland continues to prove why they are the fifth ranked team in the country through their unrelenting offense and stifling defense as the Terps built on their lead and went into the locker room with a 50-24 lead. Walker-Kimbrough concluded the half with 14 points, while sophomore Kiara Leslie and senior Brene Moseley each chipped in seven, respectively.
In the third quarter, Maryland would hit a scoreless bout for three minutes, but Jones would score five quick points to open up a 30 point lead midway through the quarter, 57-27. Despite a third quarter blowout, the Terps refused to lose their energy.
In fact, a fast break, behind the back move that led to a Walker-Kimbrough layup, caused the Maryland bench to erupt like they were playing for a national championship. Frese also acknowledged how important that energy will be for her team throughout the season.
"When we play for each other and when you see that reaction on the bench and the beautiful move that Shatori made, I mean that's what it's all about. So we worked extremely hard tonight but we had a lot of fun together doing it."
The lead would prove to be too much for the Greyhounds, as Maryland led by as many as 50 in the fourth quarter.
"We had a lot of fun tonight. I thought this was by far one of our most complete 40-minute games," Frese said.
Complete games like the one on Tuesday will no doubt help Maryland once Big Ten conference play opens.