March 3, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com)- The third-seeded Maryland Terrapins held off the seventh-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons, 73-58, Saturday afternoon in the ACC Women's Basketball Tournament semifinals and will play fourth-seeded Georgia Tech for the conference championship Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Four players scored in double figures for Maryland, which will play in the title game for the first time since 2009.
The bigger, stronger Terrapins eventually wore down the scrappy but undersized Demon Deacons, who were playing for the third consecutive day. The first half featured two ties and four lead changes, but an 11-2 Maryland run that spanned halftime gave the Terps a 37-27 advantage with 18:34 to play. Wake Forest once pulled to within five, but Maryland's hot shooting and aggressive rebounding proved to be too much for the Deacons. Maryland shot 53 percent from the field for the game and claimed a 26-14 rebounding advantage after intermission.
Maryland head coach Brenda Frese was pleased with her team's effort in the second half. "(Wake Forest was) the more aggressive team (in the first half) and we talked at halftime that we had to make a decision: We were either going to rebound the basketball or we were going to get on the bus and go home, and we made an adjustment mentally."
"There was a lot of physical play out there, but the strongest team won," said ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas. The sophomore from Harrisburg, Pa., led all players with 18 points and 12 rebounds for her ninth double-double this season. Laurin Mincy, Tianna Hawins and Lynetta Kizer all joined Thomas in double-digit scoring for the Terps.
A day after shooting 46 percent in a victory over second-seeded Miami, Wake Forest shot just 30 percent on Saturday. Chelsea Douglas (14 points) and Lakevia Boykin (11 points) led the Deacs in scoring, but the guards were a combined 10 of 39 from the field.
"A lot of teams would have said, 'You know, we've played three days in a row. Let's go home now,'" Wake Forest head coach Mike Petersen said. "I'm very proud of our effort."
Wake Forest's bid to advance to its first ACC women's basketball championship game fell short as the Demon Deacons dropped to 19-13 on the season. The sixth-ranked Terrapins improved to 27-4 with the victory.
TOURNAMENT NOTES, SEMIFINAL 2
- Maryland improved to 13-10 in the semifinals. The Terrapins have won nine titles, most recently in 2009.
- Maryland leads the series against Wake Forest 53-12 overall and 7-1 in the tournament. Their last meeting was in 1988, the last time Wake Forest was in the semifinals. Maryland has won 12 consecutive overall against Wake Forest.
- ACC Player of the Year Alyssa Thomas of Maryland has lived up to her billing in the tournament. Thomas has 36 points in two games, 18 in each of the quarterfinal and semifinal. Against Wake Forest, she had 18 points and 12 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the year.
- Maryland won the lone regular-season meeting 86-58 in College Park, Md., on Jan. 19.
- Wake Forest won consecutive games in a single tournament for the first time, defeating Virginia Tech and Miami on successive days. The Demon Deacons were making their first semifinal appearance in the tournament since 1988.
- Maryland shot 52.8 percent, on the heels of 48 percent shooting in the quarterfinals against Virginia, a 70-58 victory.
- Lacking #1 and #2 seeds: For the first time since 1999, the second time since 1991 and only the sixth time in the event’s 35-year history, the championship game will feature neither of the top two seeds.
- #3 vs. #4: This will be the fifth meeting of teams seeded third and fourth in the ACC Tournament’s 35-year history. The No. 3 team is 3-1 in the first four such games, the most recent of which was No. 4 Clemson’s 87-72 win over No. 3 North Carolina in 1999.
- #3 in the final: 11th appearance (4-6). Most recent win: No. 3 NC State 84, No. 4 Clemson 61 in 1991. The third seed has lost its past five finals.
- #4 in the final: 9th appearance (3-5). Most recent win: No. 4 Clemson 87, No. 3 North Carolina 72 in 1999.
- Out of state: For the fifth time in the tournament’s 35-year history and the first time since 1993, two teams from outside of the state of North Carolina will play for the crown. Most recent: Virginia 106, Maryland 103 (3OT) in 1993.
ON THE TERPS
- Maryland will seek to become the first school to win 10 ACC titles. North Carolina also has nine.
- Maryland won eight of the first 12 championships and claimed its ninth crown in 2009.
- Terps’ title breakdown by city: Fayetteville, N.C. (4); Raleigh, N.C. (2); Greensboro, N.C. (1); Charlottesville, Va. (1); and Clemson, S.C. (1).
- The Terps lead all schools winning percentage in the title game; they are 9-3 (.750).
- Maryland, ranked sixth nationally in the AP poll, is making its sixth ACC finals appearance when rated in the Top 6. The Terps are 4-1 in the first five such games.
- For the season, the Terrapins are outrebounding their opponents by 14.51 a game; the ACC record is 14.3 and is held by the 2006-07 Terps.
ON THE YELLOW JACKETS
- Georgia Tech is making its second appearance in the title game. The seventh-seeded Jackets fell to No. 1 Virginia 70-69 in 1993.
ON THE YELLOW JACKETS AND TERPS
- Maryland leads the all-time series 45-18 and has won 10 of the past 13.
- The Terps lead 4-2 in the ACC Tournament portion of the series, but the Jackets claimed the most recent of those meetings, 70-64 in last year’s quarterfinals.
- Three of the past four ACC Tournament contests between the squads have been decided by six or fewer points.