Women’s Basketball Falls to UCLA in NCAA Tournament
Terps’ Season Ends in Second Round With 85–80 Loss
The third-seeded Maryland women’s basketball team (29–5) dropped a back-and-forth match with UCLA, 85–80, last night at the Xfinity Center in the NCAA Tournament’s second round.
The Terrapins led by a bucket with 6:45 to play, cut it to a one-point game with 3:15 to go, but late plays by the Bruins (22–12) proved to be difference as UCLA advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
Junior Kaila Charles led Maryland’s second half charge with 23 points, 19 in the second half, with eight boards. Junior Stephanie Jones added 15 points, including the Terps’ first seven of the game, and freshman Shakira Austin notched 15 points with 10 boards and six blocks. Freshman Taylor Mikesell added 14 points.
“I can’t say enough about the game, the amazing crowd, the environment that we had,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “You know, you talk about an entertaining game for our sport, and you just witnessed two really good, deserving Sweet 16 teams.
“I thought UCLA was tremendous in the first half. I thought it took us a while, especially on the glass and to be able to get kind of settled in. Obviously, Steph was key for us to be able to kind of hold it together there in the first half. But loved our response coming out of the locker room in the second half. I thought that it was sensational. Kaila did everything she could possibly do for us. You know, scratch, claw and made play after play for us.”
The Bruins pulled down 17 offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes and scored 17 points off of them to take a 44–40 lead into the break.
Coming out of halftime, Maryland went on a 7–0 run to take the lead at 49–46. The teams tied five times in the third period. Sophomore Channise Lewis notched a steal and a fast-break layup at the buzzer to end the third period to put the Terrapins up five at 71–66.
The Bruins scored two quick buckets to start the fourth quarter and an 8–1 run. A three-point play by Lindsay Corsaro put UCLA up three at 79–76 with 3:35 to go. Maryland senior Brianna Fraser responded with a bucket to cut it to a one-point game, but UCLA’s Kennedy Burke sunk a jumper to put the Bruins back up three at 81–78 with 1:03 to go.
Michaela Onyenwere led UCLA with 30 points, Japreece Dean added 22 and Burke scored 19. UCLA went 20 for 21 from the free throw line.
This marked Maryland’s 27th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, ninth straight and 15th overall bid in Frese’s 17 years at Maryland. The Terrapins are 46–26 (.639) all time in the NCAA Tournament and 34–14 (.708) under Frese. She’s led the Terps to eight Sweet Sixteens, six Elite Eights, three Final Fours and the 2006 NCAA title.
The Terps won the Big Ten regular season title and advanced to their fifth straight Big Ten championship game earlier this month. Charles was named to the All-Big Ten Tournament Team after averaging 26.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 steals in the Terps’ three-game run to the Big Ten Tournament final. She notched a career-high 36 points, off 15-for-30 shooting from the field, with 9 boards in the championship game.
Charles is one of five of the nation’s top small forwards as a finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award. She is also one of 15 of the top players in the country named to the Wooden Award National Ballot.