A frustrating season ended in heartbreaking fashion for the Maryland women tonight when Clemson's Chrissy Floyd hit two free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining to lift her team to a 63-61 win in the first round of the ACC tournament.
The eighth-seeded Terrapins (10-18) had the ball in the final seconds with the score tied, but point guard Vicki Brick turned the ball over after the seventh-seeded Tigers (14-14) swarmed the post and forced her to look elsewhere. Brick tried to swing the ball back around the perimeter to teammate Renneika Razor, but Floyd poked away the pass and streaked downcourt toward a potential game-winning layup.
"I just had to focus and concentrate, make sure I didn't lose the ball, bounce it off my foot or something," said Floyd, a first-team all-ACC selection who scored just eight points in one of her worst games of the season. "It could have happened tonight, because I really struggled."
Razor (12 points) prevented the layup with a desperation foul, but Floyd hit both free throws, then sealed the win by intercepting the Terps' long pass at the buzzer.
Maryland controlled the first half with a 29-7 rebounding advantage and a defense that held Floyd, the conference's second-leading scorer, to 0-for-5 shooting. The Terps built a 42-35 lead before fading as the Tigers fought back to take their first lead, 47-46, on a drive by junior forward Maggie Slosser (team-high 12 points).
Clemson pushed its lead to 59-52 when Lakeia Stokes hit an 18-foot jumper with three minutes remaining, but Maryland hung on and finally tied the game at 61 with 55 seconds left on two free throws by center Delvona Oliver.
Maryland had a chance to hold for the final shot after Floyd missed with 24 seconds left. Electing not to call their final timeout, the Terps tried to work the ball inside. Instead, it ended up in Floyd's hands. Clemson will play second-seeded North Carolina (25-4) on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., while Maryland heads home for what first-year coach Brenda Frese said will be an offseason dedicated to building on the foundation the Terps started this season.
"I just can't say how proud I am of our team effort," Frese said. "We have so many positive things to be able to build on with this team."
* DUKE 64, WAKE FOREST 59: Alana Beard scored 18 points, leading the No. 2 Blue Devils to their 23rd consecutive win over the Demon Deacons in the first round of the ACC tournament.
Iciss Tillis added 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the top-seeded Blue Devils (29-1, 17-0) to their 41st straight ACC victory.