NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The fourth-seeded Maryland women’s basketball team’s strong run in the NCAA Tournament came to an end Sunday with an 87-61 loss to top-seeded Notre Dame in the NCAA Final Four in Nashville, Tenn.
Freshman center Brionna Jones scored a team-high 16 points, but the night just wasn't Maryland's night. Alyssa Thomas finished with 14 points and six rebounds, while Laurin Mincy added 11 points and Lexie Brown had 10.
Kayla McBride scored 28 points to lead the Irish (37-0), who will play the winner of UConn and Stanford in Tuesday's championship game.
The Irish took control on the glass, which led to most of their offense and defense.
For the first 12 minutes the Terps kept the game close with some hot shooting. They only trailed 23-21 before McBride and Notre Dame took control with a 10-0 run. McBride had the first five points hitting a layup and converting a nifty three-point play.
Taya Reimer, who replaced Achonwa in the starting lineup, scored her first points of the game on a layup to cap the burst and make it 33-21. The teams traded baskets over the next few minutes and the Irish led 37-27 before closing the half by scoring 11 of the final 15 points, including a beautiful pass from Reimer to a cutting McBride for a layup - a play often run between Achonwa and McBride.
In her career, Thomas became Maryland’s all-time leading scorer (2,356) and rebounder (1,235), was a three-time All-American and three-time ACC Player of the Year. She picked up 66 career double-doubles to break the school record. She owns six of Maryland’s 10 triple-doubles and is second on the NCAA’s career list. She led Maryland to the 2012 ACC title and the 2014 Final Four.
This marks Maryland’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th in head coach Brenda Frese’s 12 years. She's led Maryland to four Elite Eights, five Sweet Sixteens, two Final Fours and the 2006 NCAA Championship. Her all-time record at Maryland is 306-101 (.752).