COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sophomore Alyssa Thomas of the Maryland women’s basketball team is one of five players named to the Associated Press All-America First Team announced Tuesday.
Thomas, the 2012 ACC Player of the Year, is joined on the First Team by Baylor’s Brittney Griner, Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, Stanford’s Nneka Ogwumike and Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne.
Thomas is the Terrapins’ fourth AP All-American. Crystal Langhorne (2006, 2007, 2008),Kristi Toliver (2008, 2009) and Marissa Coleman (2009) all earned the honor at least once in their respective careers. Langhorne was also honored as a sophomore when she was named to the Second Team in 2006.
Thomas leads the ACC in scoring with 17.2 points per game and is among the best in the league with 8.0 rebounds per game, assists (3.2), free throw percentage (80.1) and defensive rebounds (5.5).
Thomas is just the second underclassman ever to be named ACC Player of the Year. She scored a career-high 29 points in the ACC title game to lead Maryland to its 10th league championship. She was named Tournament MVP and is only the seventh player, and first underclassman, to be named league Player of the Year and Tournament MVP in the same season.
The Second Team honorees are Chiney Ogwumike, Stanford; Odyssey Sims, Baylor; Shenise Johnson, Miami; Samantha Prahalis, Ohio State; and Julie Wojta of Green Bay. Connecticut’s Tiffany Hayes, Kentucky’s A’dia Mathies, Duke’s Elizabeth Williams, Tennessee’s Shekinna Stricklen and Miami’s Riquna Williams all made the Third Team.
Behind two comebacks and a 21-4 run to end the game, Maryland rallied past Texas A&M 81-74 on Sunday in the Regional Semifinals. The Terps advanced to their fourth Elite Eight under head coach Brenda Frese.
Laurin Mincy had 21 points and for her career-high 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the second-seeded Terrapins. They trailed by 18 points in the first half and by 12 in the second half, but Maryland fought its way back and held the defending national champion Aggies to just one basket in the final 10 minutes.
The Terrapins had won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since Jan. 26. The Terrapins are 31-18 (.633) all-time in NCAA Tournament games. Frese owns an NCAA Tournament record of 20-7 (.741) and 19-6 (.760) at Maryland. Frese has led the Terps to eight NCAA Tournament appearances, four Elite Eights and the 2006 national championship.