Terps tap into history to rally

RALEIGH, N.C. — Maryland's players didn't panic when they fell behind by 18 in the first half and trailed by 11 midway through the second. These Terrapins have proven they can come back from a sizable deficit, and it's a big reason why they're within a game of the Final Four.

Laurin Mincy had 21 points and a career-best 12 rebounds to help Maryland rally past defending national champion Texas A&M 81-74 Sunday in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament's Raleigh Region.

Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terps (31-4), who fought back and held the third-seeded Aggies (24-11) to one basket over the final 71/2 minutes.

"This team knows and has the confidence it can come back against anyone," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.

The Terrapins rallied from 20 down early in the second half to beat Georgia Tech in January, then overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half to beat the Yellow Jackets on the road a month later. They also came back from 12 down in the first half to top Duke in February and trailed Louisville by nine in the first half of their previous NCAA game.

The Terrapins have won 10 straight and 13 of 14.

"I do feel this group has all the intangibles to be able to win it all," Frese said. "It's a team that genuinely cares about each other, has each other's back and is really selfless. They don't care who receives the attention. It's very similar to the team that we had in 2006."

NOTRE DAME 79, ST. BONAVENTURE 35: Natalie Novosel scored 16 and the top-seeded Irish advanced to the Raleigh Region final. Notre Dame (33-3) shot 52.5 percent, never trailed and led by 45 before matching a 22-year-old record for scoring margin at the region stage while cruising into the region finals for the second straight year.

The Irish are motivated by their loss in the national title game last year.

"This is a really competitive group," coach Muffet McGraw said. "When you go down through the team, you kind of realize that they're all the type of player that just hates to lose. So when we lost the last game last year, I think the whole summer workout for them was about getting back, and kind of had that motivation, that extra motivation, to try to get back to that."

The fifth-seeded Bonnies (31-4) shot a season-worst 19 percent, allowed a season high for points and committed a season-worst 21 turnovers.

Kingston, R.I., Region

UCONN 77, PENN ST. 59: Bria Hartley scored 20, Kelly Faris added 15 and the No. 1 seed Huskies (32-4) advanced to the region finals for the seventh straight season.

"We wanted to make sure that this was a team thing more than looking around for someone to have a big night," coach Geno Auriemma said. "The team would have to play great defense and the team would have to execute offensively. I was really happy after the game to sit back and say that's exactly what it was."

UConn's stellar defense stymied the fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (26-7), who averaged 87.5 points in the first two games of the region.

KENTUCKY 79, GONZAGA 62: Keyla Snowden made five 3s, hitting two to turn back the Bulldogs' last charge and lift the second-seeded Wildcats (28-6) to their second region final trip in three years. Snowden had 17 points and hit 5 of 9 3-pointers and Samarie Walker scored 16 with 12 rebounds for Kentucky. Kayla Standish scored 25 for No. 11 seed Gonzaga (28-6).

Late Saturday

STANFORD 76, S.C. 60: Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 39 points and 10 rebounds for the top-seeded Cardinal (34-1) in Fresno, Calif. Markeshia Grant scored 14 and hit four 3-pointers for the fifth-seeded Gamecocks (25-10).

Terps tap into history to rally 03/25/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 25, 2012 10:52pm]

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