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Maryland women set for Final Four showdown Sunday night against Notre Dame

Posted on 05 April 2014 by WNST Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The fourth-seeded Maryland women’s basketball team (28-6) will take on top-seeded Notre Dame (36-0) Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET in the NCAA Final Four at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn.

The Terps-Irish matchup will be shown on ESPN and ESPN3.com and can be heard on ESPN 980 (DC).

For the full NCAA Tournament bracket, log on tohttp://www.ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/basketball-women/d1. The winner of Sunday’s matchup will take on Connecticut or Stanford Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET in the NCAA National Championship game.

Three-time All-American Alyssa Thomas scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Maryland reached its fourth NCAA Final Four all-time with a 76-73 win at third-seeded Louisville Tuesday night. Freshman Lexie Brown added 20 points and senior Katie Rutan scored 12.

This is the seventh all-time meeting between the Terps and the Irish. Maryland owns the series, 4-2. The Irish won this year’s regular season meeting between the two, 87-83, at Comcast Center on Jan. 29. Alyssa Thomas led a furious second half comeback for the Terrapins with 29 points and 12 rebounds as they took a one-point lead with minutes to play.

In last year’s NCAA Tournament run, the fourth-seeded Terrapins cruised past Quinnipiac, 72-52, in the First Round in College Park, then beat Michigan State, 74-49 to advance to the Sweet Sixteen. Maryland fell to eventual national champion Connecticut in the Sweet Sixteen in Bridgeport, Conn.

This marks Maryland’s 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and 10th in head coach Brenda Frese’s 12 years. She’s led Maryland to four Elite Eights, five Sweet Sixteens, two Final Fours and the 2006 NCAA Championship. Her all-time record with Maryland in the Tournament is 25-8 (.758).

The Terrapins are a top four seed for the 13th time in school history No. 4 seed for the third time. They are 7-2 all-time as the fourth-seed.

Thomas became Maryland’s all-leading scorer in the men’s or women’s history in the NCAA First Round with her 13 points. She passed Juan Dixon (2,269) and currently has 2,342 career points. She also has 1,229 career rebounds, which ties her with Crystal Langhorne for the school record.

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Maryland faces new ACC foe Notre Dame Wednesday at Comcast Center

Posted on 14 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Maryland returns to the friendly confines of Comcast Center after a two-game road trip as it welcomes new ACC foe Notre Dame for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPN2. The Terps have lost back-to-back ACC contests since beginning the season 2-0 for the first time since 2002-03.

Watch: ESPN2 – Bob Wischusen (Play-by-Play), LaPhonso Ellis (Analyst)

Storylines

• The Terrapins last hosted the Fighting Irish on Dec. 31, 1986, when Notre Dame took adavantage of a hobbled Derrick Lewis to earn a 63-50 victory in Cole Field House. Maryland is 9-10 all-time against Notre Dame, and 4-3 at home.

• Maryland has won eight of its last 11 ACC contests at Comcast Center, winning by an average margin of 13.5 points in the victories. The mark includes a 77-61 drubbing of Georgia Tech in the the Terps’ ACC home opener on Jan. 4, when Nick Faust and Evan Smotrycz combined for 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting.

• Junior Dez Wells had one of his most memorable collegiate games when he helped lead Xavier to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a 67-63 defeat of Notre Dame on Mar. 17, 2012. Wells had 14 points in the effort, in addition to what still stands as his career-high with 11 rebounds.

• The Terrapins are 8-0 this season when holding opponents under 70 points and 9-0 when holding opponents to under 40 percent from the field. Additionally, they are 8-0 when leading at the half and 10-1 when shooting a higher field goal percentage than their oppoent.

• Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is a native of Rockville, Md. and graduated from nearby DeMatha Catholic High School, where he also began his coaching career as an assistant.

Maryland Topped by Florida State

  • Ian Miller scored 20 as Florida State knocked down a season-high 16 three-point baskets en route to an 85-61 Atlantic Coast Conference victory against Maryland Sunday night. Dez Wells led Maryland with 15 points while Nick Faust added 14.
  • Despite making just 10-of-50 3-point attempts in its previous four games, the Seminoles caught fire against the Terps as they knocked down 16-of-24 attempts beyond-the-arc. The 16 3-pointers were the most by Florida State in its history of ACC play. The Seminoles entered the game shooting 31.2 percent from three-point range and ranked No. 13 in the ACC.
  • Faust turned in a strong effort for the Terps, connecting on 5-of-7 shots (2-of-4 from 3-pt) to the tune of 14 points.
  • Maryland also set a season-high with 24 made free throws, including nine from Wells and five from Jake Layman.

Scouting Notre Dame

  • The Fighting Irish are off to a 1-2 start in their first season of ACC play, falling to NC State and Georgia Tech in consecutive games. Notre Dame made a splash in its ACC opener, however, knocking off Duke, 79-77.
  • Among common opponents, Notre Dame lost to Georgia Tech, who the Terps defeated on Jan. 4, 77-61.
  • Notre Dame possesses a strong post player in 6-11 center Garrick Sherman, who currently leads the ACC in double-doubles (5). The big man leads the Irish in both points (14.8/g) and rebounds (8.6/g).
  • The Terps will also have to key in on junior sharpshooter Pat Connaughton, who ranks third in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage (.421) and 3-point field goals per game (2.50).

Statistically Speaking

  • Five Terrapins are averaging double-figure scoring totals at home. Jake Layman leads the way with 15.4 points on 50 percent shooting  (40-80) from the field.
  • Dez Wells has scored double-figures in seven consecutive home games, while Nick Faust is on a four-game streak. Roddy Peters has dished eight assists and commited only four turnovers in his last three home games.
  • Maryland is 8-0 when leading at the half.
  • Maryland is 9-0 when opponents shoot below 40 percent, and 8-0 when holding opponents below 70 points.
  • Maryland is 9-3 when outrebounding opponents. (see pg. 29 for a complete list of tendencies)

Notre Dame: A Series History

  • The Terrapins snapped a two-game losing streak to Notre Dame when they defeated the Irish 78-71 in the BB&T Classic at Verizon Center on Dec. 4, 2011. Terrell Stoglin posted 31 points in the effort, while James Padgett posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.  Current Terp Nick Faust had just three points in 29 minutes, while Eric Atkins had 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting for the Irish.
  • Notre Dame holds a narrow 10-9 advantage in an all-time series that dates back to 1975. The last four meetings between the teams were on neutral courts — including three games in the BB&T Classic.
  • The Irish defeated the Terps 63-50 in the last meeting in College Park between the teams on Dec. 31, 1986. Maryland’s star center Derrick Lewis went down with an ankle injury in the first half and Notre Dame pulled away. John Johnson had 15 points for the Terps.

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Navy visits Notre Dame for 87th meeting in series history Saturday

Posted on 01 November 2013 by WNST Staff

2013 Navy Football Game Specifics
Game 8 Navy (4-3) at Notre Dame (6-2)
Date and Kickoff Nov. 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm ET
Location South Bend, Ind. | Notre Dame Stadium (80,795)
Television NBC
TV Talent Dan Hicks (play-by-play), Mike Mayock (analyst) and Alex Flanagan (sideline)

Setting the Stage
• Navy and Notre Dame will meet for the 87th time when the two square off on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium (80,795) in South Bend, Ind. at 3:30 pm.
• Saturday’s game will be televised by NBC with Dan Hicks (play-by-play), Mike Mayock (color) and Alex Flanagan (sideline) on the call.

Sloan’s 30-yard Field Goal Leads Navy To Upset Win Over Pitt
•    (AP) – One week after missing an extra point in the second overtime that cost his team, Navy kicker Nick Sloan redeemed himself against Pittsburgh.
• Sloan booted a 30-yard field-goal as time expired that gave the Midshipmen a 24-21 victory over the Panthers.
• Navy (4-3) snapped a two-game losing streak and needs just two wins to become eligible for a bowl game.
• Navy finally got into a rhythm in the second half and put together their most impressive drive of the game to take a 14-13 lead with 14:28 left in the game.
• Reserve fullback Quinton Singleton’s 9-yard scoring run capped the 16-play, 91-yard scoring drive that took 8:15 off the clock. The teams traded touchdowns in the fourth quarter before Sloan kicked the game-winner.
• Tom Savage completed 20 of 27 pass attempts for 203 yards and two touchdowns for Pitt (4-3).
• Pittsburgh’s Devin Street caught nine passes for 96 yards with a touchdown and became the school’s all-time leading receiver.
• Trailing 14-13 midway through the fourth quarter, Savage threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to freshman Tyler Boyd to give the Panthers a 20-14 lead. Street then caught a short pass for the 2-point conversion.
• Navy responded on the ensuing possession and tied the game on a 10-play, 71-yard drive capped by a 2-yard run by quarterback Keenan Reynolds with 3:53 left in the game.
• The Midshipmen then forced a 3-and-out on the Panthers’ next possession and got the ball at Pitt’s 49. Navy ran 11 plays to set up Sloan’s game-winning kick.
• Navy entered the game ranked sixth in the nation with 304.2 rushing yards per game, and managed 220 against the Panthers.

Scouting Notre Dame
• Notre Dame owns a 6-2 record and is coming off a 45-10 destruction of Air Force.  The Irish have won three straight games since a 35-21 loss to Oklahoma.  Notre Dame’s only other loss was a 41-30 defeat at the hands of Michigan.  Meanwhile the Irish have victories over Temple (28-6), Purdue (31-24), Michigan State (17-13), Arizona State (37-34) and USC (14-10).
•    Navy won three out of four from Nore Dame from 2007-10, but has dropped the last two games by a combined score of 116-24.
•    The Irish are led on offense by senior quarterback Tommy Rees, who has completed 136 of his 246 pass attempts (.553) for 1,944 yards with 20 touchdowns and just six interceptions.  His favorite targets are senior wide receiver TJ Jones (44 catches for 631 yards and six touchdowns), junior wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (30 catches for 463 yards and four touchdowns) and junior tight end Troy Niklas (20 catches for 328 yards and five touchdowns).  Freshman wide receiver Corey Robinson (five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown) is the son of Navy basketball and NBA great David Robinson.
•    Junior running back Cam McDaniel leads the Notre Dame rushing attack with 417 yards and two touchdowns on 91 carries, while junior running back George Atkinson III has rushed for 381 yards and two touchdowns on 70 carries.
•    Defensively, senior Carlo Calabrese leads the Irish with 55 tackles, five tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery, while senior linebacker Dan Fox has recorded 49 tackles, three tackles for a loss, an interception and a fumble recovery.
• The Irish have lost just two fumbles all year, which ranks fourth nationally.  They are ranked 11th nationally in passing yards per completion (14.49), 12th in turnovers lost (8), 13th in sacks allowed (0.88 per game),  20th in kickoff returns (24.76) and 20th in fourth down defense (.308).
•    Individually, Rees ranks seventh in passing TD’s (20) and 12th in passing yards per completion (14.29), while Atkinson III ranks 20th in kickoff returns (27.3).

Navy Quick Hitters
• Since 2003, Navy has won 21 games against schools from a BCS conference. The 21 wins against BCS schools during that time period, which have come against 10 different schools, are the most in the country by a non-BCS school during that time frame.
• Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo is just the third coach in school history to start his coaching career at Navy with a 5-0 record against Army.  Paul Johnson turned in a 6-0 mark against West Point (2002-07), while 2013 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Wayne Hardin won his first five games (1959-63) before losing on his sixth try.
• Navy has been dominant against the other two Service Academies, winning 20 of the last 22 contests (.909) dating back to the 2002 Army-Navy game. Over that time period, the Mids are 11-0 against Army and 9-2 against Air Force.
• The Mids own an 87-48 (.644) record over the last 11 years after posting a 3-30 (.091) mark from 2000-02. The 87 wins are the 23rd most in the country over that time period.
• Niumatalolo has led the Midshipmen to a 44-29 (.603) record in his six seasons as the head coach and is fourth all-time at Navy in career wins.  Additionally, he holds Navy coaching records for most wins in the first two (18), three (27), four (32) and five seasons (40) of a career.
• Niumatalolo joins Eddie Erdelatz (1956-57) and Hall of Fame coach Wayne Hardin (1960-61) as the only coaches in school history to beat Notre Dame in back-to-back years. Hardin is the only Navy coach to beat Notre Dame three times.
• Niumatalolo led Navy to a 23-21 win over No. 19 Notre Dame in South Bend on Nov. 7, 2009.  It marked the first time since 1936 that an unranked Navy team defeated a ranked Notre Dame squad.
• Sophomore Keenan Reynolds owns a 10-5 (.667) career record as the starting quarterback with wins over Central Michigan, Indiana (2x), East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Texas State, Army, Delaware, Air Force and Pitt and losses to Troy, Arizona State, Western Kentucky (left with an injury in the second quarter and up 7-3), Duke and Toledo.
• Reynolds has led Navy to four fourth-quarter comeback wins over his career  (Air Force in 2012, Indiana in 2012, Army in 2012 and Pitt in 2013).
• Reynolds is the first Navy quarterback to win his first four career starts since senior Bob Powers, who won his first six starts in 1979. Reynolds was also the first freshman in series history (113 games) to win Army-Navy MVP honors last fall.

Career Starts
• Junior guard Jake Zuzek is Navy’s most experienced player on offense with 20 career starts, while junior centerTanner Fleming has started 18 times.  Senior wide receiver Matt Aiken has started 17 games, while sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds has started 15 career games.  Junior fullback Noah Copeland has made 14 starts, while senior wide receiver Shawn Lynch has started 13 times.
• Defensively, junior safety Parrish Gaines leads the way with 25 career starts (24 at corner, one at safety), while junior safety Chris Ferguson has made 21 starts.  Junior outside linebacker Jordan Drake and seven defensive end Evan Palelei have made 20 career starts, while senior linebacker Cody Peterson has started 15 times and senior safety Wave Ryder has made 12 starts.  sophomore corner Kwazel Bertrand has started in 11 games, while senior nose guard Barry Dabney has started 10 games.

Starting Streaks
• On offense, junior guard Jake Zuzek has started 20 consecutive games, while junior center Tanner Fleming has started 17 straight contests and sophomore quarterback Keenan Reynolds has made 15 consecutive starts.
• On defense, junior safety Parrish Gaines has made a start in 25 straight games (24 at corner, 1 at safety), while junior outside linebacker Jordan Drake and senior defensive end Evan Palelei have made 20 straight starts. Senior linebackerCody Peterson has started 15 consecutive games.

Close Calls
• Dating back to the 2011 Army-Navy game, Navy has won seven of its last eight games decided by eight points or less.  The Mids are 2-1 this season in close encounters after beating Indiana, 41-35, in the season opener, losing to Toledo, 45-44 in double overtime, and beating Pitt, 24-21.
• The Mids are 20-14 (.588) under head coach Ken Niumatalolo in games decided by eight points or less.

Fast Starts
• Navy has outscored the opposition 38-9 in the first quarter this season.
• The Mids have scored a touchdown on the first drive in four of its seven games (Indiana, Delaware, Western Kentucky, Toledo).
• The defense has not given up a first-quarter touchdown all year, surrendering just three field goals.

The Red Zone    
• Navy has scored on 28 of its 32 possessions (.875) in the red zone this year, scoring 23 touchdowns (.719), kicking five field goals, missing two field goals and taking a knee to end the game in Navy’s 51-7 victory over Delaware.
• The opposition has scored on 19 of its 23 red zone opportunities (.826), scoring 18 touchdowns (.783), kicking a field goal, throwing an interception, stopped on downs once, took a knee once (Duke) and missed a field goal.

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