- Associated Press - Monday, March 30, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. — Lexie Brown scored 13 of her 15 points in the second half, Brionna Jones added 14 points and nine rebounds and top-seeded Maryland advanced to its second consecutive Final Four with a 58-48 win over Tennessee on Monday in the Spokane Regional final.

Brown hit three 3-pointers in the second half as the Terrapins (34-2) overcame their lowest-scoring first half of the season to knock Tennessee out of the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive year.

Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 12 points for the Terrapins, who held Tennessee to one field goal over the final five minutes.

Ariel Massengale led Tennessee (30-6) with 16 points, but the Lady Vols missed their chance at reaching the Final Four for the first time since 2008.

It’s the fifth Final Four appearance for the Terrapins and third under coach Brenda Frese. Maryland will face UConn, the top overall seed, on Sunday. The Huskies (36-1), seeking their third consecutive national championship, defeated No. 7 seed Dayton, 91-70.



Tennessee’s focus all season had been on getting back to the Final Four, which just so happened to be in Tampa, Florida this season, the site of the Lady Vols’ most recent national title.

That task became far more difficult when leading scorer Isabelle Harrison was lost for the season to a knee injury in February.

Tennessee showed resiliency in the aftermath of Harrison’s injury and again in the Sweet 16, rallying from a 17-point deficit with less than seven minutes remaining to beat hometown Gonzaga in overtime.

But the Lady Vols’ run ended against the Terrapins.

Maryland trailed by as many as five early in the second half, but that deficit was gone immediately after Walker-Kimbrough scored in transition — Maryland’s first fast-break points — and followed with a 3-pointer.

Brown added a 3-pointer and Jones scored inside and Maryland’s lead was 39-34 with 10:50 left.

Tennessee answered with 10 of the next 12 points behind 3-pointers from Massengale and Cierra Burdick to take a three-point lead. But Brown’s 3-pointer tied the score at 44-44 and started Maryland on a 17-4 run to close the game. Brown added a layup with 1:10 left for a 51-46 lead.

Massengale answered for Tennessee and the Lady Vols’ press forced a turnover. But Burdick’s attempt at a tying 3-pointer was short and went out of bounds with 41.9 seconds left and Maryland hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute.

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