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Maryland, Stanford hold on, complete Final Four

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Maryland Terrapins are headed back to the Final Four for the first time since they won it all in 2006.

Alyssa Thomas had 22 points and 13 rebounds as Maryland held off Louisville 76-73 Tuesday night in the Cardinals' home arena.

The fourth-seeded Terrapins (28-6) reached their fourth Final Four, overcoming what was essentially a home game for the third-seeded Cardinals, with a crowd of 14,002 mostly in Louisville red. Maryland and Stanford joined UConn and Notre Dame in the Final Four.

"Oh man, something that I've been wanting for four years, but we're not done yet," Thomas said. "We still got two more games and hopefully get this national championship."

Shoni Schimmel scored 31, missing a tying 3-pointer off the back rim at the buzzer for Louisville (33-5). "It just didn't fall. Nothing much you can do about that," she said.

Lexie Brown added 20 points for Maryland with her dad, former NBA player Dee, in the stands. Katie Rutan had 12 points.

Even though Brenda Frese said she'd just picture all the red inside the gym as Maryland faithful no matter how loud they screamed, the Terrapins moved their bench onto the floor almost into the paint during timeouts.

Antonita Slaughter added 16 points for Louisville, and Asia Taylor had 12.

Schimmel missed seven straight shots at one point in the second half. Then the senior nearly brought Louisville back from a 12-point deficit, scoring eight within the final 18 seconds. After Thomas hit one free throw with 3.5 seconds left, the Cardinals got the ball down the court and into Schimmel's hands for an open shot that she missed.

Maryland outshot Louisville 45.8 percent to 34.3 percent and had a 38-36 rebounding edge. The Terrapins made 25 of 28 free throws — Louisville made 11 of 13 — to offset a season-high 25 turnovers.

There were five ties and 12 lead changes.

Stanford 74, North Carolina 65: Chiney Ogwumike had 20 points and 10 rebounds as the second-seeded Cardinal stayed undefeated on its home floor. Mikaela Ruef scored a career-high 17 and was named region MVP, Amber Orrange added 14 and Bonnie Samuelson made three 3-pointers for 13 points off the bench for Stanford (33-3). Allisha Gray scored 19 for the No. 4 seed Tar Heels (27-10), who traded the lead and stayed close until the final minutes. Diamond DeShields was limited to 13 points on 5 for 15 shooting for North Carolina, missing all but one of her six 3-point tries. She played with no signs of a sprained her right ankle and sore left knee from Sunday's win over South Carolina.

achonwa out: Notre Dame forward Natalie Achonwa will miss the Final Four with a left knee injury sustained against Baylor on Monday. "We still believe," coach Muffet McGraw said. "She got us to this point, now somebody else has to finish it."

all-american team: Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut's Breanna Stewart and Baylor's Odyssey Sims were unanimous first-team selections by a national media panel, joined by Notre Dame's Kayla McBride and Maryland's Alyssa Thomas. FIU's Jerica Coley, a former St. Pete Catholic standout, and FSU's Natasha Howard were honorable mentions. See full list, 2C.

COACHING UPDATES: Louisiana Tech hired Tyler Summitt, the son of former Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, to his first head coaching job. Summitt, 23, spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Marquette. … TCU named Raegan Pebley coach after she took Fresno State to the NCAA Tournament in both her seasons there. … Louisiana-Monroe named Jeff Dow coach. Dow has been out of coaching for one season after being dismissed by Division II Indiana, Pa., amid reports that players were unhappy with his methods. … After leading UT Martin to a fourth straight NCAA Tournament, Kevin McMillan signed a six-year extension.

Women's NCAA Tournament

Region finals Final Four Championship Final Four Region finals
lincoln Lincoln, Neb. South Bend, Ind. notre dame
1 UConn 69 Nashville 1 N. Dame 88
1 UConn 1 Notre Dame
3 Texas A&M 54 2 Baylor 69
8:30 Sunday, ESPN April 8 6:30 Sunday, ESPN
stanford Stanford, Calif. Louisville, Ky. louisville
4 N. Carolina 65 4 Maryland 76
2 Stanford 4 Maryland
2 Stanford 74 3 Louisville 73

Maryland, Stanford hold on, complete Final Four 04/01/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 11:44pm]
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