Kris Kirchner scored 18 points and Krystal Kimrey added 17 to lead Maryland to a 71-56 victory over UCLA and the championship today in the Orange Bowl Women's basketball tournaments.
It was the first loss of the season for the top ranked Bruins, and gave Maryland (6-1) a measure of revenge for the last year's national championship game defeat by UCLA.
In the consolation game of the tournament at Miami-Dade South, Candra Montgomery rebound Cindy Brogdon's shot and scored on a layup as time ran out to lift Tennessee (9-3) to a 74-72 victory over Penn State (6-2).
"I guess that my girls had the feeling they had something to prove from last year," Maryland Coach Chris Weller said. "We wanted to show we were a better team than we played last year."
The Terps left little doubt they were. UCLA opened an 8-2 lead, but Maryland came back to tie at 14 and went in front to stay when Kirchner and Lynn Callander hit back-to-back baskets. The Terps reeled off 11 straight points on their way to a 25-14 lead.
UCLA closed to 37-29 at the half, but could get no nearer than six points in the second half as Kirchner and Kimrey each scored eight points in the second half. Kirchner also had 14 rebounds.
"They are a more physical team," UCLA Coach Billie Moore said. "We are a finesse team, but we have to adjust to the physical type of game, which we didn't do.
"I'm sure this game meant a lot to Maryland. But we still have the national championship even though they won here."
Turnovers hurt the Bruins all game, especially the 11 in the second half. Anita Ortega paced the UCLA attack with 16 points and Denise Curry had 14.
"The biggest difference was Krystal Kimrey, who hasn't been starting, and the fact that we dropped back into a zone defense," Weller said. "It has been a great tournament for us. We beat two of the very best teams (they defeated Tennessee Friday night) in the country and won it."