With Alyssa Thomas at the helm and Head Coach Brenda Frese guiding the wheel, anything can happen for the Lady Terps. Tonight, that anything was something as the Lady Terps will be making a return trip to the Women’s Final Four for the first time since 2006 with a 76-73 victory over Louisville.
The trip certainly did not come easy for the Terps as the final minute of the game might as well have been five with Shoni Schimmel finally deciding to find her game.
Schimmel hit two key three pointers to make it a three point game but missing a tying 3-pointer off the back rim just before the buzzer. Louisville (33-5) missed a chance for a second straight Final Four with the Cardinals’ season ending shy of the national championship game they lost a year ago.
“She had hit back-to-back, crazy, wild clutch shots,” Lexie Brown said of Louisville’s star senior. “So for her to, it was a great look, and all I could do was pray that it didn’t go in.”
Maryland outshot Louisville 45.8 percent to 34.3 percent and had a 38-36 edge on the boards. The Terrapins really took control at the free throw line where they went 25 of 28 compared to Louisville (11 of 13) to offset a season high 25 turnovers.
“To be able to pull off this upset, it’s easy to say a team should win on their home court,” Frese said. “But this team just keeps believing and they just keep staying grounded and we’ll continue to stay true to ourselves.”
While Schimmel may have wanted that shot to go in so that she could play just a little more, she finished he career tonight with a 31 point effort and knows that her game will be welcomed on the next level when the WNBA draft takes place later this month.
“I was actually kind of open for me to take that shot,” Schimmel said. “We perfected it, the ball just didn’t go in. The one that didn’t go in was the last shot I wanted. But it just didn’t fall. Nothing much you can do about that.”