With a decisive rebounding advantage, 11th-ranked Maryland defeated ninth-ranked North Carolina State, 79-64, tonight in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference women's basketball tournament before 1,142 at Reynolds Coliseum.
The third-seeded Terrapins (21-6 overall and 6-1 in the ACC) will meet fourth-seeded Clemson (21-10, 4-3) in the final at 4 p.m. Sunday. Clemson defeated top-seeded North Carolina, 84-76, in the other semi-final game.
This was a one-point game until Maryland scored 13 straight points in a seven-minute span midway in the second half. Maryland guard Marcia Richardson finished the spree with a 20-foot jumper for a 66-53 lead with 6:15 to play.
Richardson led all scorers with 23 points. "Tonight I felt confident," she said. "I wanted it real bad so I put it up."
The Maryland-N.C. State game started 30 minutes late because of a power failure in Durham. The officials who worked the Duke-North Carolina men's game there were scheduled to do the Maryland-State game here. The power failure delayed the men's game and kept the officials from arriving here on time.
Maryland and State had played in the final each year since the tournament began four years ago. But this year, Maryland, North Carolina and N.C. State each had a 6-1 league record, so a coin flip decided the seedings. Maryland and State ended up in the same bracket. Maryland has won three of the four ACC finals.