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Lasting legacy: No. 2 Maryland’s seniors leave mark

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones combined for 51 points in Maryland’s 93-60 win over Minnesota Sunday. With the win, the Terps claimed the Big Ten regular season conference title for the third-straight time.

Maryland Athletics

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Occasionally, in the world of sports coverage, words like “sensational,” “aggressive,” and “consistent” are used so frequently that they lose the meaning they once possessed.

In the case of Maryland Terrapins seniors Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones, there are simply no other words to use.

The duo reached another milestone of their record-making, history-filled careers at Maryland Sunday in their final regular season home game with a 93-60 win over Minnesota.

Walker-Kimbrough and Jones, who together have helped Maryland (27-2, 15-1 Big Ten) to two Final Fours and two conference tournament titles, were honored ahead of their matchup with the Golden Gophers (14-15, 5-11 Big Ten) on their “senior day.”

The impact that the two have had on the Maryland women’s basketball program may be best summed up by a banner hanging across from the Maryland bench reading, in bold red letters, “THANK YOU.”

“I’m extremely proud of this team to be able to send our seniors out in just an incredible day,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese said after the win. “These guys, they work so hard but they make it look so easy. The thing is, it’s not easy.”

With 7:44 left in the first quarter, Walker-Kimbrough drained a three, holding her follow through until the ball splashed through the net, to start an offensive day that ending with 27 points to lead all scorers.

She continued to roll from there, going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc in the first half and finishing with five from deep.

Walker-Kimbrough and Jones combined for 18 of the Terps’ 26 first quarter points, and both reached double-figure scoring totals before the midway mark of the second quarter. Jones finished with 24 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

“They give the example,” Frese said of her seniors. “When you walk in the gym, the ball is bouncing, and it’s these two that are there early and stay late. They’ve left their mark every single day through their work ethic, through their consistency, through their leadership.”

A 15-point Terps run — 10 points of which came from Jones — in the second quarter put the Gophers away and kept them at more than an arm’s length, allowing Maryland to head into halftime with a 51-30 edge.

The Terps came out of the break equally as strong, outscoring Minnesota 21-15 in both the third and the fourth quarters and preventing the Gophers from getting any closer than 19 in the final two periods.

Maryland enjoyed 55 percent shooting from the field for the game and limited Minnesota to just 29.7 percent.

“Defensively we were dominant,” Frese said. “We shared the basketball like we always do, and I thought our seniors were just sensational on their senior day.”

With the victory, the Terps captured their third-consecutive regular-season Big Ten title. They will compete in the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.