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Despite turnover-prone game, Maryland ousts Iona

Iona's Philecia Gilmore sank an impressive number of threes Saturday, but balanced offense from the Maryland Terrapins was too much for the Gaels. The Terps won 74-58 on their home court.

Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland Terrapins and the Iona Gaels squared off Saturday in the Lexington Region of the first round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Though Iona showed some resiliency in late spurts throughout the game, Maryland was able to come out on top 74-58.

The Gaels got off on the right foot, with Philecia Gilmore hitting two early threes to put Iona up 6-2. The Terps, playing on their home court, responded with a dominant 11-0 run, putting them up 13-6 about halfway through the first quarter.

Maryland then added to its lead after a three from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough gave them a 16-8 edge with about five minutes remaining in the quarter, forcing Iona to call a timeout.

Back-to-back long balls from Iona - another by Gilmore and one by Alexis Lewis - brought the Gaels within striking distance, cutting the Maryland lead to just two with about four minutes left in the first.

The Terps fought off Iona's momentum with another timely run. Brianna Fraser, Tierney Pfirman and Brene Moseley all contributed for the Terps to put Maryland up 24-14, the 10-point margin marking the biggest lead of the first quarter. Maryland led 26-16 through one.

Gilmore sunk her fourth three to open the second quarter bringing her team within seven. But as they had done several times before, the Terps countered Gilmore's offense with a strong display of team offense.

Two consecutive baskets by Moseley, followed by two consecutive baskets from Maryland's Brionna Jones, put the home team up 14 at 33-19. Four made free throws by Walker-Kimbrough to close the half sent the Terps to the locker room with a 42-27 lead.

Through two quarters, Moseley and Walker-Kimbrough led the Terps with nine points apiece, while Gilmore had 12 for the Gaels on 4-of-7 shooting from three.

Gilmore did not relent from downtown in the third quarter, sinking another three with about eight minutes left in the frame. Lewis then hit another three for Iona, but more free throws from Walker-Kimbrough kept the Gales at bay.

Walker-Kimbrough continued to find the bottom of the net throughout the third, scoring six points within the course of about a minute approximately halfway through the period, while Gilmore, Lewis and Treyanna Clay led the scoring for Iona. The Gaels outscored the Terps 21-18 in the quarter, but Maryland maintained a 60-48 lead through three.

Marina Lizarazu, who started getting hot late in the third quarter for the Gaels, carried her momentum into the final frame, opening the scoring drive with a jumper. Gilmore, as she had done six times before, sunk another three with less than nine minutes remaining in the quarter to get her Gaels within a few possessions at 60-53, Terps.

A three from Lizarazu with about seven minutes remaining in the game made it 64-56, Maryland. Malina Howard got back-to-back hoops to go for the Terps to get the Maryland lead back to double digits with about 5:45 remaining.

Iona tried to hit from three in the game's waning minutes, but couldn't seem to get anything to go. Despite seven threes from Gilmore to contribute to a game-high 21 points, the Terps were able to distribute their offense to hold on for the win.

Walker-Kimbrough led Maryland in scoring with 19 points, including shooting a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. Moseley had 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting, Jones (11 rebounds) and Pfirman finished with 11 apiece and Howard had 10 points.

The Terps will move on in the tournament to face either Washington or Penn Monday.