The Terrapins are going to the Final Four. The fourth-seed Lady Terps beat third-seed Louisville 76-73 behind Alyssa Thomas’s double-double. The Terps will take on a hobbling top-seeded Notre Dame in an ACC showdown on Sunday at 6:30 PM.
In the first half, the team looked rusty despite being down four at halftime. Maryland gave up 15 turnovers in the first half and finished with 25 in the game. Turnovers will take a team out of the game quickly and kill momentum, and can cost you games as we saw in the end of the game that fueled a late-Louisville run.
Louisville, however, scored nine points in the first 12:24 of the game, and Maryland’s lethal offense took advantage. Maryland took advantage of the opportunity, and the Lady Terps outscored the Cardinals 22-9 during that stretch. It was the last time there would be a lead-change for the rest of the game.
Two missed free throws late in the second half propelled a Louisville run to cut the deficit to just two. With Alyssa Thomas missing one of two potential game-ending free throws, Louisville’s shot rimmed just out, and the celebration began for Brenda Frese and her team.
With last night’s win, Maryland advances to their second Final Four under Brenda Frese. The Terps, who have now won their past four games and nine of their past 11 games, have a lot of momentum and face a Notre Dame team that will be without their top player, forward Natalie Achonwa, due to an injury in last night’s game.
Just 24 hours after being named first-team All-American, senior forward Alyssa Thomas had another stellar performance. But the season is not over, and this team has more left to prove. Does she have more left in the tank for one more game? We’ll see on Sunday.