VU Women Fall to Maryland, 80-66

Vanderbilt's season came to an end in the regional semifinals as the Dores fell to the Maryland Terrapins 80-66 in Spokane, Washington. Tina Wirth led the Dores in scoring with 13 points. Jessica Mooney added 11 and Merideth Marsh scored 10. Crystal Langhorn led all scorers with 28 points.

Over the past two months, Vanderbilt's goal has been to come out as the aggressor on both ends of the court. In the first two games of the tournament, that proved to be a recipe for success with the Dores jumping out to early leads of 11-2 and 11-3 in their first two games of the tournament.

On Saturday night, however, the tables were turned. Maryland sent a message early when Crystal Langhorn scored just seven seconds into the game following an offensive rebound of her own missed shot. Then, over the next five minutes, Langhorn scored six more points to lead the Terps to an 11-2 lead.

Vanderbilt was able to stop the bleeding briefly. A pair of free throws by Jessica Mooney, who was fouled when she drove for a layup after a steal, and a 3-pointer by Merideth Marsh cut the lead to six points at 13-7.

Then, for a few minutes, the Dores were able to hold their ground, and Maryland still led by just seven points at 20-13 with 10:36 left in the first half. But then in just a little over two minutes, the Terps scored eight straight points to take a 15-point lead

Although there was a lot of basketball left to play, that turned out to be the difference in the game. In the remainder of the half, Maryland led by as much as 18 and by as little as 11, but when the halftime buzzer sounded, the Terps led by that same 15 points at 44-29.

In the second half, the Dores kept fighting and statistically played the Terps toe-to-toe in the half. But every time Vanderbilt started to make a run, Maryland responded with a key defensive stop or a timely basket. Maryland's lead fluctuated up and down in the half, but their comfortable first-half lead proved to be a big enough cushion for the Terps to advance to the Elite 8 with an 80-66 victory.

After the game, Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb reflected on the season.

"I'm really just very, very proud of a team that has come farther than any team I've ever coached," she said. "We were not a very good team early in the season, and since December they just bought on to our vision as a staff and as leaders.

"I told them in the locker room that I had more fun than I've had in a long time coaching a team because in the last month, they were just so easy to coach because you could coach and teach, and you didn't have to motivate," she continued. "They already were extremely motivated. They took ownership of the team, they led each other, and they worked their tails off, and so they were exactly where we wanted them to be.

"We didn't have the size and strength to matchup with Tennessee and Maryland, but we didn't lose to anybody that wasn't bigger and stronger and more athletic in the last three months," she said. "And in fact we beat a lot of teams that were bigger, stronger and more athletic, and that's what we mean by over-achieving." Top Stories