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Walker-Kimbrough leads Maryland past Syracuse, 82-64

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Walker-Kimbrough leads Maryland past Syracuse, 82-64

By TODD KARPOVICH

College Park, Md. (AP) -- Maryland coach Brenda Frese was concerned about No. 20 Syracuse's full-court pressure.

The No. 5 Terrapins, however, quickly put her mind at ease with another dominant performance.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had 19 points and eight assists, leading Maryland over Syracuse 82-64 on Wednesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Center Brionna Jones made eight of her 10 shots from inside the paint and finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Terrapins (7-0). Tierney Pfirman scored 13 points and Brene Moseley added 12 for Maryland, which shot 32 of 62 (51.6 percent) from the field.

"I thought (the game) was placed at the right time, as we're building as a team, to see the press for 40 minutes and to see that kind of pressure," Frese said. "At times we handled it better than other times. It took us a little to get into a groove as a team. We need to face that to prepare us for what's ahead."

Brianna Butler scored 14 of her 22 points in the first half for Syracuse. Alexis Peterson had 14 points and Briana Day added 10 points and nine rebounds for the Orange (4-2).

The Terps led by 10 at the half and continued to pull away in the third quarter as a floater by Moseley boosted the margin to 49-35 with 7 minutes left.

The Orange adjusted by pushing the ball quicker up the floor in transition. A layup by Peterson and a free throw by Day capped an 11-4 run and cut Maryland's lead to 53-46.

The Terps, however, controlled the fourth quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Moseley and Pfirman provided a 63-50 cushion, forcing Syracuse to call a timeout with 8:51 remaining.

"For us, we just go out and play Maryland basketball," Pfirman said. "It's about the name on our jersey and bettering ourselves. We're not really focused on who were playing in the game. We're focused on how we can make ourselves better."

Maryland wore the Orange down, and Pfirman made another jumper to increase the lead to 73-56 almost three minutes later.

Syracuse went to a full-court press and was forced to attempt 3-pointers, but the Terps were too deep and closed out the game.

Maryland had a huge edge on the boards, 55-31.

"That was a dominant performance by Maryland," Syracuse coach Quentin Hillsman said. "When you get hit on the boards for plus-24, you're going to have a tough time winning a basketball game. We just didn't turn the corner."

Walker-Kimbrough scored 10 points in 10 minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Terrapins led 25-15 at the end of the first quarter. The Orange were just 7 of 21 (33.3 percent) from the field.

"We knew their guards would want to shoot the 3," Walker-Kimbrough said. "So, we keyed on that coming in."

The Orange took advantage of three Maryland turnovers and cold shooting to pull to 31-26 on a layup by Day with 5:18 left in the half. The Terps, however, continued to dictate the tempo and a pair of layups by Jones boosted the margin to 41-31 at the break.

TIP INS

Syracuse: The Orange have lost both games to nationally ranked opponents this season. Syracuse lost to No. 8 Tennessee 57-55 on Nov. 20.

Maryland: The Terps are 5-0 all-time against Syracuse. ... Maryland improved to 8-1 overall in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

GRAND THEFT ORANGE

The Orange entered the game ranked first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and fourth in the country with 14.4 steals per game. Syracuse was effective again with 10 steals against Maryland.

SELF CRITIQUE

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough had another all-around solid performance with the 19 points and 8 assists. However, she sees room for improvement. "Don't forget the eight turnovers," Walker-Kimbrough replied when asked how she was able to get teammates involved.

UP NEXT

Syracuse begins an eight-game homestand Sunday against Stony Brook.

Maryland hosts Central Connecticut on Saturday.

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

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NBA Draft 2018: Maryland basketball's Justin Jackson drafted by Nuggets, traded to Magic

Maryland basketball had two players drafted in one night for the second time in three years Thursday night when the Denver Nuggets picked Justin Jackson with the No. 43 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

Jackson was subsequently traded to the Orlando Magic as part of a deal that brought the No. 41 overall pick, Kentucky's Jarred Vanderbilt, to Denver.

After his freshman season, in which he averaged 10.5 points and six rebounds a game while shooting 43.8 percent from beyond the arc, Jackson declared for the draft without an agent, but elected to return to Maryland for his sophomore season. But he'd play just 11 games before being shutdown for the year with a torn labrum. His draft stock was hurt, but obviously not totally erased.

He had surgery in January and ended up being the first Terp to declare for the 2018 NBA Draft back in March. Though Jackson's recovery kept him out of the NBA Combine, teams were still intrigued by what they'd seen from him in the past to be willing to take a flyer.

A 6-foot-7 forward with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jackson has the skill to play anywhere between the two or the four in the NBA, and the length to guard all kinds of players.

With Kevin Huerter headed to the last-place Atlanta Hawks, Maryland basketball's two draftees are slated to join last season's two worst teams in the Eastern Conference.

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NBA Draft 2018: Atlanta Hawks draft Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter with the No. 19 overall pick

NBA Draft 2018: Atlanta Hawks draft Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter with the No. 19 overall pick

Maryland basketball's Kevin Huerter was drafted No. 19 overall Thursday night by the Atlanta Hawks.

He's the Terps' highest draft pick since the Phoenix Suns drafted Alex Len fifth overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Huerter played two seasons with Maryland, averaging 12 points, five rebounds and three assists as a Terp. He's best known for his knockdown shooting ability, as he knocked down 46.6 percent of his shots from the field, including 39.4 percent of his three-point shots. During his sophomore season, he was better than 50 percent from the field and better than 40 percent from deep.

Back in April, when Huerter first declared for the 2018 NBA Draft without an agent, it was widely assumed he was just testing the waters to get feedback from NBA scouts and would return to school for his junior season. But an outstanding performance at the NBA Combine saw his hardly existent draft stock skyrocket. Almost overnight, Huerter's name was popping up in the first round of mock drafts, and now what seemed like a no-brainer decision to return to school wasn't so clear.

On May 30, he announced that he would leave his name in the 2018 NBA Draft and hire an agent. He recently had surgery on a torn ligament in his hand, but is expected to miss only two months and make a full recovery by the time the 2018 NBA season starts.

With the Atlanta Hawks, Huerter should pick up right where he left off shooting in college, but can also provide high basketball IQ and sneaky athleticism. He and Trae Young join Dennis Schröder and Kent Bazemore who finished last in the Eastern Conference last season.

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE: