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Champs out: Texas A&M blows big lead vs. Maryland

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 12:22 a.m. MDT

Maryland's Brene Moseley, right, reacts following a basket against Texas A&M during the second half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74. Maryland's Kim Rodgers (22) runs on the court.  (Gerry Broome, Associated Press) Maryland's Brene Moseley, right, reacts following a basket against Texas A&M during the second half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74. Maryland's Kim Rodgers (22) runs on the court. (Gerry Broome, Associated Press)

RALEIGH, N.C. — At times, Texas A&M freshman Alexia Standish played with the confidence of a veteran even though it was only her third NCAA tournament game. Standish and the Aggies just couldn't quite finish off Maryland.

Standish scored 19 points in the third-seeded Aggies' 81-74 loss to the second-seeded Terrapins in the Raleigh Regional. It marked the 5-foot-8 rookie's fourth double-figure scoring performance in six games.

"It's hard sometimes to have a freshman stand up and do the job of others who are supposed to be doing the job, but she played her heart out," Texas A&M coach Gary Blair said. "She learned a lot. She's getting better and better for us."

Standish shot 8 of 14 and hit two 3-pointers, but she missed one for a tie with 1:16 left. Maryland's Brene Moseley then stole the ball from her on the ensuing possession, her third turnover of the second half.

Maryland's Laurin Mincy (1) reacts following a basket against Texas A&M during the second half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74.  (Gerry Broome, Associated Press) Maryland's Laurin Mincy (1) reacts following a basket against Texas A&M during the second half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74. (Gerry Broome, Associated Press)

"As a point guard, I need to take care of the ball," Standish said. "But I'm a freshman, I'm learning and next year and in the next few years, I'll learn not to make those mistakes through the end of the game."

Laurin Mincy had 21 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to lead Maryland.

Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Terrapins (31-4), who trailed by 18 in the first half and 11 midway through the second. But Maryland fought its way back and held the defending national champion Aggies (24-11) to one basket in the final 7½ minutes.

"You've got to have that killer instinct," Blair said. "We had a team on the ropes and didn't put them away."

The Terrapins have won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since a home loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 26. They're back in a regional final for the first time since 2009, when they were in Raleigh as a No. 1 seed.

Texas A&M coach Gary Blair directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game against Maryland in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74.  (Gerry Broome, Associated Press) Texas A&M coach Gary Blair directs his team during the first half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game against Maryland in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74. (Gerry Broome, Associated Press)

Maryland finished with a 42-30 rebounding advantage, which led to an 18-5 edge in second-chance points.

The Terrapins went ahead to stay on Lynetta Kizer's score inside off a feed from Moseley that made it 75-74 with 3:29 left. That started an 8-0 run to close the game, with Thomas feeding Mincy on the break after a turnover for a transition layup.

Thomas followed that with a jumper in the lane with 50 seconds left after an offensive rebound to make it 79-74, which all but sealed the win as the Aggies missed a series of desperate 3-pointers in the final seconds.

"This team knows and has the confidence it can come back against anyone," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.

Texas A&M got off to a fast start, jumping to a 12-2 lead and pushing that margin to 18 points twice in the first half. But Maryland closed the half on a 21-6 run — including a pair of baskets from Thomas in the final 2½ minutes — to trail just 44-41 at halftime.

Maryland coach Brenda Frese reacts during the second half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game against Texas A&M in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74.  (Gerry Broome, Associated Press) Maryland coach Brenda Frese reacts during the second half of an NCAA college women's tournament regional semifinal basketball game against Texas A&M in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, March 25, 2012. Maryland won 81-74. (Gerry Broome, Associated Press)

Thomas scored again to start the second half and pull the Terps within one, but Texas A&M came right back with eight straight points to take back control.

The Aggies led 72-65 on Kelsey Bone's layup with 7:49 left, but they managed just one field goal — a drive from Standish with 3:48 left — the rest of the game.

"They really picked up their defense," Standish said. "At the beginning, we got a lot of open looks. Their defense, we just got by them a lot easier. But they picked it up in the second half."

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