RALEIGH, N.C. — Maryland’s players didn’t panic when they fell behind by 18 in the first half and trailed by 11 midway through the second. These Terrapins have proven they can come back from any deficit, and it’s a big reason why they’re within a game of the Final Four.
Laurin Mincy had 21 points and a career-best 12 rebounds to help second-seeded Maryland rally past defending national champion Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the women’s NCAA Tournament Raleigh Region semifinals.
Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Terps (31-4), who fought their way back and held the third-seeded Aggies (24-11) to just one basket over the final 7½ minutes. Maryland will face top-seeded Notre Dame on Tuesday, with a trip to the Final Four on the line.
“This team knows and has the confidence it can come back against anyone,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said.
The Terrapins rallied from 20 down early in the second half to beat Georgia Tech in January, then overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half to beat the Yellow Jackets on the road a month later. They also came back from 12 down in the first half to top Duke in February and trailed Louisville by nine in the first half of their last NCAA game.
The Terrapins have won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since a home loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 26.
■ No. 1 Notre Dame 79, No. 5 St. Bonaventure 35 — Natalie Novosel scored 16 points, and the Fighting Irish advanced to the Raleigh Region final by routing the Bonnies (31-4).
Kalia Turner scored 14 points, and Kayla McBride added 10 for the Irish (33-3).
Notre Dame shot 52.5 percent, never trailed and led by 45 before matching a 22-year-old record for scoring margin in the regional round.
■ No. 1 Connecticut 77, No. 4 Penn State 59 — At Kingston, R.I., Bria Hartley scored 20 points to lead a balanced offense and help the Huskies beat the Nittany Lions (26-7) in the Kingston Region semifinals.
The Huskies’ stellar defense stymied a high-powered Nittany Lions offense that averaged 87.5 points in the first two games of the tournament. It’s the seventh straight season that Connecticut (32-4) has advanced to the region finals. The Huskies will face No. 2 seed Kentucky on Tuesday night.
Leading 36-27 late in the first half, UConn (32-4) used a 17-2 run spanning halftime to break the game open.
■ No. 2 Kentucky 79, No. 11 Gonzaga 62 — Keyla Snowden made five 3-pointers for the Wildcats, including a pair to turn back a late charge by the Bulldogs (28-6).
Snowden had 17 points, going 5-for-9 from 3-point range, and Samarie Walker scored 16 with 12 rebounds for the Wildcats. It’s the second trip to the region finals for Kentucky (28-6) in three years.