Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
We can use the word again when we sum up this game. Again the Lady Terps made it this far, but again they came up short and not making it to the National Championship game on Tuesday. The road block this time was a strong UCONN team, that has continued to dominate teams they have faced this entire tournament.
“Every time we play Notre Dame, it’s something. I just have a lot of respect for what they’ve been able to do,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “They’ve got a heck of a team and their team has gotten a lot better as the season has gone on. Jewell’s a great player, obviously, but all their other players have gotten significantly better since the beginning of the season.”
Making the Final Four is almost automatic for the Huskies (37-1) lately as the team has appeared in the last eight national semifinals.
UConn had cruised through the NCAA Tournament, but Maryland coach Brenda Frese said her team wouldn’t be intimidated by the Huskies.
“I think the biggest thing against Maryland is they can break you down with their guard play, and then they’re so big inside,” Auriemma said. “If you make a mistake on their guards, you’ve got the big guys to deal with. We needed to try and make sure that we only gave up one thing, that we didn’t give up both. So we tried to concentrate on taking away their 3s, which they’re really good at. And then try to create some mismatches on this end with Tuck and Stewie because I thought that’s where we had the advantage.”
For the Terps, Head Coach Brenda Frese said that her girls played as hard as possible, but struggled to make their shots when they needed to.
Maryland hit just 1-of-8 shots to open the second half as UConn opened the second period on an 11-2 run to expand a 44-33 lead to 55-35.
Maryland attempted six free throws in the game, becoming the seventh team in Final Four history to attempt six or fewer free throws in a game. It was the fifth time that a team has attempted six or fewer free throws in a national semifinal game.