The upstart Deacons gave the Terps all they could handle in the first half, playing right with the Terrapins through the first 17 minutes of the contest. But unanswered lay-ups in the last few by Tianna Hawkins and Thomas gave Maryland some breathing room as they headed into the locker room up 33-27.
After only out-rebounding scrappy Wake Forest by one in the first half, the Terrapins made the boards a priority in the second and grabbed 13 more than the Deacons. Wake Forest cut the deficit to five on a lay-up by Chelsea Douglas early on, but it was the closest they would get the rest of the way. A three-pointer by Brene Moseley would put the Terps up by 16 with eight minutes to play, and Maryland survived a late push by the Deacons to win, 73-58.
Turnovers continued to be a problem for Maryland, as they had 22 after having 24 in its quarterfinal game. But the Terps strong shooting helped bail them out, as they shot 53% for the game. Wake Forest shot just 30%, and may have been feeling the affects of fatigue as they played their third game in three days.
Thomas led Maryland with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists. Laurin Mincy added 13 points and seven rebounds, Tianna Hawkins had 10 points and two blocks, and Lynetta Kizer scored 12 points. Freshman Brene Moseley had her second solid game in a row, scoring nine in just 16 minutes of play.
Maryland will now face No. 4 seed Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship game on Sunday. Georgia Tech advanced to the title game after defeating No. 9 seed NC State 87-61 in the day's other semi-final. The Terps beat the Yellow Jackets twice during the regular season, but both games were close, including one on Jan. 6 when Maryland came back from a 20-point second half deficit.
Tip-off for the Championship Game is at 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on ESPN2.