Greensboro, N.C. -
Two-time ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas took matters into her own hands Friday night to lead the Maryland women's basketball team to a 92-81 win over Wake Forest in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals. Thomas notched the first triple-double in tournament history with a career-high 32 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to lead Maryland to an ACC Semifinal matchup vs. North Carolina Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The Terps-Tar Heels matchup will be shown live on RSN, which includes Comcast SportsNet Plus locally, FS South, FS Florida, NESN and ESPN3 in some areas.
The game was close most of the way, as the second-seeded Terps (24-6, 14-4 ACC) led 44-43 at halftime. Maryland trailed 68-61 with just under seven minutes left but reeled off seven straight points and tied it on Thomas' fast-break layup with 5:15 to play. Neither team led by more than a bucket after that in regulation.
The lead changed hands on seven consecutive possessions in the final 3 1/2 minutes, with Pavlech's open 3-pointer in the corner putting the Terps up 79-77 with 32.9 seconds left. Wake Forest milked the clock before Douglas missed on a driving layup with about 7 seconds left. Sandra Garcia was fouled on the rebound with 5.4 seconds left and hit both free throws to tie it at 79. The Terrapins called a timeout but Rutan's three in transition clipped the left side of the rim as time expired.
Maryland scored the first 10 points of OT, with Thomas starting the run by hitting a twisting layup with 3:45 left. Eight of her points came in overtime to send the Terps into the semifinals for the second straight year. In the overtime period, the Terrapins held the Deacons without a bucket.
Chelsea Douglas scored a career-high 31 points for 10th-seeded Wake Forest (13-19, 5-13). Asia Williams scored 19 points and Lakevia Boykin added 17 for the Demon Deacons, who were seeking their first win over the Terrapins since 2003.
The Terrapins won their last meeting against the third-seeded Tar Heels (27-5, 14-4), 85-59, on Jan. 24 in College Park. Hawkins added 25 points to lead four in double figures for the Terps. The Heels won their first meeting, 60-57, on Jan. 3 in Chapel Hill.
Maryland is 50-25 (.667) all-time in the ACC Tournament and is 15-8 (.652) under Frese. The Terps earned a first round bye for the eighth time in head coach Brenda Frese's 11 years. The Terrapins are 14-6 all-time as the No. 2 seed (.700). Maryland won the program's 10th ACC title last year as the No. 3 seed with a 68-65 win over fourth-seeded Georgia Tech. ACC Tournament MVP Alyssa Thomas scored 29 points in the championship game to lift the Terps.
Frese was voted ACC Coach of the Year by the league's head coaches and Thomas was named ACC Player of the Year by the Blue Ribbon Panel for the second straight season Thursday. Frese's honor is her first by the conference. Thomas is the first in school history to be named Player of the Year twice.
Freshman Malina Howard and Rutan were named to the All-ACC Academic Team this week. To be considered for the team, student-athletes must have earned a GPA of 3.0 in the previous semester and 3.0 cumulative average in her academic career.
Howard and Pavlech were named to the Blue Ribbon Panel All-ACC Freshman Team Tuesday. Hawkins and Thomas were voted to the All-ACC First Team Monday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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