Vanderbilt Falls to Maryland 78-74

The Vanderbilt careers of Jen Risper, Tina Wirth, and Amy Malo came to an end on Saturday as the #4-seeded Dores fell to #1-seed Maryland 78-74 on Saturday afternoon. Four Dores scored in double figures led by 28 points from Wirth, along with 14 points from Jence Rhoads, 13 points from Risper, and 12 points from Merideth Marsh. Marissa Coleman scored 42 for the Terps.

When Vanderbilt lost to Maryland in last year's tournament in the Sweet 16, a slow start turned out to be the downfall for the Dores, as they dug a hole from which they never recovered.

That didn't happen this year. Vanderbilt jumped out to a 14-4 lead in the first five minutes of the game and led by as much as 18 points in the first half.

But then the Vanderbilt ship hit some rocky waters when foul trouble sent Jence Rhoads, Tina Wirth and Jen Risper to the bench, which helped the Terps make a comeback to cut Vanderbilt's lead to 39-36 at halftime.

in the second half, Vanderbilt kept the upper hand for most of the half, and with 6:59 left, a pair of free throws by Marsh following a technical foul on Maryland's Lynetta Kizer gave the Dores an 11-point lead at 68-57.

But once again Maryland came back and took their first lead of the game at 72-71 with 2:07 left in the game. After a basket by Kristi Tolliver and a free throw by Wirth, the score was tied at 74-74 with 42 seconds left.

A basket by Marissa Coleman gave the Terps a 2-point lead at 76-74 with 21.7 seconds left. Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb called a timeout, but the jumper by Wirth bounced off the rim. When Coleman grabbed the rebound, there was nothing to do but foul her. In doing so, Risper picked up her fifth foul, and on the other end of the court, Coleman sank both free throws to seal the 78-74 victory.

With the loss, Vanderbilt season comes to an end, while Maryland advances to the Elite 8, where they will play the Louisville Cardinals on Monday night.

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Photos copyright 2009 by Whitney D for

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