Sports

Maryland bounces Tennessee again, reaches Final Four

Spokane, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Tennessee got the rematch it wanted, but Maryland proved too much down the stretch to knock the Lady Vols out of the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year.

Brionna Jones totaled 14 points and nine rebounds, Lexie Brown stepped up in the second half, and top-seeded Maryland captured the Spokane Region with a 58-48 victory on Monday.

Brown scored 13 of her 15 points after the break for the Terrapins (34-2), who will bring a 28-game winning streak into its second straight Final Four.

They will face Connecticut, the top overall seed, in Tampa on Sunday.

Ariel Massengale led the second-seeded Lady Vols (30-6) with 16 points.

The loss extended a relatively long Final Four drought for Tennessee, which has dropped all four of its Elite Eight games since last winning one in 2008.

On this same day last season, Maryland upset the Lady Vols in the regional semifinal. Tennessee was looking to return the favor and held a 46-44 lead with under five minutes remaining.

From that point on, Tennessee shot 1-of-11 from the floor.

Brown hit her third 3-pointer of the half to put the Terps back in front, Laurin Mincy inadvertently banked in a long jumper from the top of the key, and Brown made a reverse layup for a 51-46 lead.

Massengale scored inside to pull UT within one possession, and a turnover in the backcourt gave the Lady Vols a chance to tie. Cierra Burdick, though, airballed a 3-pointer, and Maryland sealed its fifth trip to the Final Four at the foul line.

The Terps came out sluggish, making just one field goal over the first six- plus minutes, but they slowly chipped away at their 9-2 deficit and went into the break with a 22-21 lead on Brown's late bucket.

Both teams combined to shoot an ugly 31.7 percent from the floor in the first half, and it went back-and-forth before Maryland took over in crunch time.