Maryland routs Bucknell 103-61 in NCAA Tournament opener
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 28 points, Brionna Jones had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Maryland beat Bucknell 103-61 Friday to earn its seventh consecutive trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Playing at home in front of an enthusiastic crowd, the third-seeded Terrapins (31-2) built a 45-22 lead at halftime and expanded the margin to 30 points early in the third quarter.
Maryland will next face the winner of Friday's game between West Virginia and Elon. The Terps have at least one victory in 13 of the last 14 NCAA Tournaments and are seeking to reach the Final Four for the third time in four years.
Coming off its third straight Big Ten championship, ranked fourth in the country and in the midst of its third successive 30-win season, Maryland was miffed about being seeded third in the Bridgeport Region.
As if to prove a point, the Terrapins took control early against No. 14 seed Bucknell (27-6). Walker-Kimbrough and Jones, Maryland's two standout seniors, combined to score the team's first 20 points.
Jones had 19 points and nine rebounds in the first half and Walker-Kimbrough contributed 16 points and four steals. Both were used sparingly in the second half.
Walker-Kimbrough finished 12 for 18 from the floor and Jones hit 11 of 17 shots in her 23rd double-double of the season.
The Bison were making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2008. They entered as the Patriot League champions and with a 10-game winning streak.
Sune Swart scored 14 points and Megan McGurk had 12 for Bucknell. Claire DeBoer, the Patriot League Player of the Year, was limited to five points on 1 for 8 shooting in her final college game.
With Walker-Kimbrough and Jones leading the way, the Terrapins closed the first quarter with a 15-3 run to take a 22-10 lead. Of those 22 points, 18 came in the paint against a tall Bucknell frontcourt that one day earlier spoke confidently about matching well against sizable Maryland.
The Terps dominated the second quarter, too, outscoring Bucknell 23-12 and limiting the Bison to four baskets.
At halftime, Maryland had only two turnovers compared to 13 for Bucknell.
Jones and Walker-Kimbrough accounted for all 13 of the Terrapins' points at the outset of the second half for a 58-25 lead.
Bucknell: The Bison have improved each year since Aaron Roussell took over following a 5-25 season in 2011-12, so the future is bright for Bucknell despite the loss of senior starters DeBoer, McGirk and Swart.
Maryland: The Terps took care of business in workmanlike fashion, looking every bit like a fourth-ranked team playing at home. It's the kind of start Maryland was looking for in what it hopes will be a lengthy postseason run.
Maryland seniors Jones and Walker-Kimbrough play their final home game as Terrapins, looking to go out as winners. The Terrapins lost their second-round game last year to Washington.