Aggies Fall in the Sweet 16 to Maryland, 81-74
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Laurin Mincy had 21 points and 12 rebounds to help Maryland rally past Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the semifinals of the Raleigh Regional of the NCAA tournament.
Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terrapins (31-4), who 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.
The Terrapins have won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since a home loss to Virginia Tech on 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. But 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.
- For the 18th time this season, Texas A&M used the starting lineup of Alexia Standish, Sydney Carter, Tyra White, Adaora Elonu and Kelsey Bone...The Aggies are 12-7 with this starting lineup.
- In the first meeting between the two schools, Texas A&M moves to 0-1 in the all-time series with Maryland.
- The Aggies move to 17-8 all-time in NCAA postseason play in their ninth all-time appearance. They have won eight straight NCAA Tournament games prior to today.
- A&M is 2-3 all-time in the regional semifinal of the tournament and is 1-1 all-time against a No. 2 seed The Aggies are 10-7 on national TV this season.
- The Aggies are 20-3 when leading at the half.
- Texas A&M head coach Gary Blair is now 15-6 at A&M and 29-17 in his career in NCAA Tournament games.
- For just the second time this season, A&M drained a season-best five 3-pointers in the first half.
- For just the eighth time this season, A&M made five or more 3-point field goals.
- The Aggies allowed a first-half season high 41 points, but also matched their season high in field goals made (18).
- The Aggies matched their first-half season-low with just 12 rebounds, but shot 51.4 percent in the first half, including 71.4 percent (5-7) from beyond the arc.
- A&M held an 18-point lead with 7:10 remaining in the first half. The 74-81 loss was the Aggies' largest lead blown this season.
- For the fifth time this season, five A&M players scored in double figures and the Aggies are now 4-1 when five players score double figures.
- Standish's 19 points were the most she's scored in an NCAA Tournament game. She played a career-best 40 minutes for the first time this season.
- Skylar Collins and Karla Gilbert added an NCAA Tournament career-best 10 points.
- With an NCAA Tournament best seven assists, Carter passed over 100 assists for the third consecutive season.
- Standish scored in double figures for sixth time this season, Carter for the 21st time, Bone for the 25th and Collins and Gilbert for the fifth.
- Elonu set an A&M record for most games played in a career with her 141st contest today.