GREENSBORO, N.C. -Everything, it seemed, had gone so well for the Maryland women over the past month, as they won nine straight games and wrapped up their first regular-season Atlantic Coast Conference title in 20 years.
So it must have been a bit of a shock to look up at the scoreboard in the second half of their ACC quarterfinal against ninth-seeded Wake Forest, a team they had blown out in the regular season, and see they were trailing by 12 points with slightly less than 10 minutes to play.
"No. There was never a doubt in my mind," said center Lynetta Kizer, the ACC Freshman of the Year. "Everyone was like, 'Believe, believe, believe!' We're all fighters in this locker room, and we knew that we were going to fight from that point on."
The top-seeded Terps (26-4), behind Kizer and their pair of All-ACC seniors, Kristi Toliver - who yesterday was named the ACC Player of the Year - and Marissa Coleman, rallied for a 72-70 win in front of an announced 6,160 at Greensboro Coliseum.
Wake Forest (19-11) made 27 of its first 52 shots (51.9 percent). During the first 30 minutes, Coleman, who was often shadowed by 5-foot-11 senior Alex Tchangoue (16 points, 10 rebounds), was 3-for-9 from the field, and Toliver, who was guarded by both taller (5-11 Courtney Morris) and smaller (5-4 Brooke Thomas) players, was 2-for-10 (1-for-5 from beyond the arc).
It was Maryland's Less heralded players - Kizer (16 points, 11 rebounds), junior forward Dee Liles, and redshirt freshmen Anjal? Barrett and Kim Rodgers - who kept the Terps in the game early.
But with five minutes left in the game, Coleman (12 points, seven rebounds) and Toliver (15 points, six assists) took over.
MARYLAND (26-4) VS. NO. 11 UNC (26-5)
Today, 1 p.m., Greensboro, N.C.
TV: Comcast SportsNet