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Coach Frese's Top Wins #5 - A Case of Deja Vu in Raleigh

Three years after a remarkable Sweet Sixteen comeback, the Terps do it again.

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In March 2009, the Maryland Women's Basketball team faced off against Vanderbilt in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in Raleigh. The Terps rallied from an eighteen point first half deficit to trail by three at the half but fell behind by as many as nine in the second half before rallying again behind an incredible 42 point 15 rebound effort from Marissa Coleman to pull out a 78-74 win. In March 2012 the Terps again found themselves in a Sweet Sixteen game in Raleigh this time facing the defending national champions - the Texas A&M Aggies.

The game was fire and ice from the opening tip. The Aggies were on fire and the Terps were on ice. Texas A&M led by ten at the first media timeout outscoring Maryland 12-2. The Terps came out of the cooler but A&M stayed hot and built their lead to 38-20 with seven minutes to play in the half. At this point, Maryland started doing what they'd done best all season - dominating the boards and getting to the free throw line finally answering with a 15-2 run to close to 40-35 with two minutes left. Unlike the one woman show from 2009, this run was fueled by a balanced attack with five players sharing the scoring. By halftime, just as they had three years earlier, the Terps had cut the lead to three.

Then, in an eerie similarity to the Vanderbilt game, Maryland had a sluggish start to the second half. Rather than falling back to a mere nine point deficit, though, six minutes in they found themselves again trailing the Aggies by double digits at 60-48. Around this point in the game, Coach Frese went to a smaller lineup frequently using three guards with Alyssa Thomas and either Lynetta Kizer or Alicia DeVaughn. She also switched to a zone defense that proved effective in shutting down the Aggies. Still down by eleven with about twelve minutes to play, a three point jumper from Brene Moseley cut the A&M lead to 68-80. A traditional three point play by Laurin Mincy shaved another point off the lead. The teams traded baskets until a layup by Kizer brought the Terps back to their halftime deficit of three. A Mincy put back after pulling down one of her career high 12 rebounds followed by an acrobatic shot clock beating jumper from the right wing by Moseley put Maryland ahead 73-72 giving the Terrapins their first lead since the score was 2-0.

Clinging to a one point 75-74 lead going into the final media time out, the Terps continued to play stifling defense holding the Aggies scoreless over the final three minutes and eight seconds while coming away with an 81-74 win and move on to the Elite Eight.

In her pre-game speech, Coach Frese told the team that if they played as twelve heartbeats beating as one, the only thing people would be talking about was how Maryland had taken down the defending national champions. She was right on the first point but wrong on the second because the only thing people talked about in the fifth best win of her career was the two double digit comebacks.