March 30, 2014
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- No. 1 seed Tennessee's season came to a close with a 73-62 loss to fourth-seeded Maryland on Sunday in the Sweet 16 at the KFC Yum! Center. The Lady Vols finished 2013-14 with a 29-6 record. Maryland (27-6) advanced to the Elite Eight.
Senior Meighan Simmons tallied 31 points in her final college game. She finished her career with 2,064 points, fifth all-time at Tennessee.
Maryland's Alyssa Thomas tallied a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for the Terps. Lexie Brown added 14 while Laurin Mincy had 11 points.
The Lady Vols have advanced to the Sweet 16 on 32 occasions and had reached the Elite Eight 26 previous times.
Tennessee played from behind for virtually the entire afternoon. Aside from a 3-2 lead less than a minute in the game, the Lady Vols trailed the remainder of the game.
Down by 18 in the second half, the Lady Vols were seeking their largest comeback in NCAA Tournament history and largest since rallying from a 23-point deficit at Rutgers in 2009.
Up by 14 at the half, Maryland took an 18-point lead on a jumper by Thomas with 12 minutes left in regulation that put the Terps ahead 51-33.
Simmons keyed an 11-3 run for the Lady Vols to trim the deficit to 10 at 54-44 with nine minutes left. Simmons scored nine of the 11 points in the spurt.
The lead was trimmed to single-digits twice with less than eight minutes to go. A Simmons free throw cut it to eight at 60-52 with 6:52 left.
A 3-pointer by Mincy with 5:18 left pushed the Maryland lead back to a dozen, 65-53. That proved to be the back-breaker for the Lady Vols.
Maryland held a 41-27 lead at halftime, thanks to 15 points from Thomas. The Lady Vols committed 14 turnovers and shot just 32.1 percent from the floor. Simmons scored 12 of UT's 27 points.
Tennessee fell behind 22-9 early on, as the Lady Vols struggled from the floor, making just one of their first 13 shots in the first seven minutes.
Maryland's lead expanded to as many as 16 on a 3-pointer by Thomas with 8:48 left in the first half at 31-15.
The Lady Vols trimmed the deficit to single digits on a 3-pointer by Simmons with 4:50 left in the first half. Maryland was held scoreless for 4:13 as Tennessee used an 8-0 burst to creep within eight, at 31-23, with five minutes left in the first half.