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Slocum’s ‘fire’ helps Maryland extinguish Purdue’s blaze

The Boilermakers have been the Cinderella team of the Big Ten tournament. After upsetting the 1-seed Ohio State, Purdue had momentum on their side in hopes of taking down Maryland. Thanks to Brionna Jones and Destiny Slocum, the Terrapins were able to hold off the Boilermakers.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Purdue vs Maryland Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Indianapolis, Indiana — The women’s Big Ten Championship came down to an unsurprising victor… the Maryland Terrapins. For the third year in a row, the Terrapins took home the title. What may be surprising, however, is their opponent. The Purdue Boilermakers, a fifth seed team, fought their way into the championship after taking down the number one seed, Ohio State.

The championship game remained neck-in-neck through the first half as Purdue trailed Maryland by just four at halftime.

However, coming out of intermission, Purdue struggled to produce as many offensive opportunities as Maryland. The Boilermakers’ field goal percentage dropped, especially from behind the three-point arch where they made just 14.3% of their shots in the third quarter.

The Terrapins, on the other hand, came out hot in the third quarter with a field goal percentage of 66.7% and increased their lead. By the fourth period, the Terrapins led the Boilermakers by 21 points and weren’t backing down. Purdue attempted to make a late game comeback and went on an 8-0 run, but they were too late. Maryland didn’t surrender the lead and came away with the trophy, defeating Purdue 74-64.

Brionna Jones of Maryland led both teams in scoring with 27 points. At the end of the game she said what helped her was “having confidence in [my] teammates and knowing they’ll knock down shots when they’re open.”

Destiny Slocum, who was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year earlier this season, tallied 14 points.

“Destiny is the fire that makes us go. She’s the energy we’ve been missing and the point guard we need,” said head coach Brenda Frese on her star point guard.

She certainly was a key player in the Terrapins third Big Ten Championship and will remain a key player as they head into the NCAA tournament.