Despite a heroic effort by Shoni Schimmel in the final thirty seconds, Louisville fell to Maryland 73-70 Tuesday night at the KFC YUM! Center.
Down 70-62, Schimmel hit her first of three three-pointers to give the Cardinals a final shot at a chance to go to the Final Four.
After Alyssa Thomas connect on her second free throw to push the Terrapin lead to 76-73, Maryland coach Brenda Frese took a timeout with 3.5 seconds left, allowing Louisville coach Jeff Walz to draw up a final play for Schimmel.
Needing to go the length of the floor, Sara Hammond inbounded the ball to Asia Taylor near half court, who then found Schimmel streaking to the wing for final shot, which bounced off the back iron.
“We perfected it, the ball just didn’t go in. The one that didn’t go in was the last shot I wanted. But it just didn’t fall. Nothing much you can do about that,” Schimmel said.
Schimmel finished her final game in a Cardinal uniform playing all forty minutes and scoring 31 points.
After trailing 41-34, their largest deficit of the night, Maryland responded with an 18-4 run, which included an eight minute scoring drought by the Cardinals.
Maryland stretched their lead to 12 with two minutes left, but Louisville continued to fight back into the game.
The Terrapins were 25 of 28 from the free throw line, including 9 of 10 from freshman guard Lexie Brown. She finished with 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
Thomas was named the Region’s Most Outstanding Player, collecting her 27th double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Louisville took a 36-32 lead into the break after scoring 14 points off turnovers and 12 steals in first half.
Antonita Slaughter scored nine of her 16 points in the first half. Taylor added 12 points and eight rebounds.
For the Cardinals, who finish the year 33-5, the program’s second most wins in a season, came up short of their season long pursuit.
“It’s no question our goal was to get to Nashville, and unfortunately we fell a game short,” Walz said.