#5 Terps Rally Past #22 Aggies, 81-74
March 25, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. - Behind two comebacks and a 21-4 run to end the game, Maryland rallied past Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the semifinals of the Raleigh Regional of the NCAA tournament. The Terps advanced to their fourth Elite Eight under head coach Brenda Frese.
Laurin Mincy had 21 points and for her career-high 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terrapins (31-4). They trailed by 18 points in the first half and by 11 midway through the second half, but Maryland fought its way back and held the defending national champion Aggies (24-11) to just one basket in the final 7 1/2 minutes.
Maryland will play top-seeded Notre Dame Tuesday at 9 p.m. in Raleigh on ESPN and ESPN3.com.
The Terrapins have won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since Jan. 26. They're back in a regional final for the first time since 2009 when they were in Raleigh as a No. 1 seed.
Freshman Alexia Standish scored 19 points to lead third-seeded Texas A&M, which spent much of the game shooting 50 percent before cooling off as Maryland rallied.
Maryland came in with a huge edge on the boards and finished with a 42-30 rebounding advantage, which led to an 18-5 edge in second-chance points.
The Terrapins went ahead to stay on Lynetta Kizer's score inside off a feed from Brene Moseley that made it 75-74 with 3:29 left. That started an 8-0 run to close the game, with Thomas feeding Mincy on the break after a turnover for a transition layup.
Thomas followed that with a jumper in the lane with 50 seconds left after an offensive rebound to make it 79-74, which all but sealed the win as the Aggies missed a series of desperate 3-pointers in the final seconds.
Texas A&M got off to a fast start, jumping to a 12-2 lead and pushing that margin to 18 points twice in the first half. Maryland closed the half on a 21-6 run - including a pair of baskets from Thomas in the final 2 1/2 minutes - to trail just 44-41 at halftime.
Thomas scored again to start the second half and pull the Terps within one, but Texas A&M came right back with eight straight points to take back control.
The Aggies led 72-65 on Kelsey Bone's layup with 7:49 left, but they managed just one field goal - a drive from Standish with 3:48 left - the rest of the game.
The Terrapins are 31-18 (.633) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 20-7 (.741) and 19-6 (.760) at Maryland. Frese has led the Terps to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, four Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.