GREENSBORO — Maryland got one of the greatest individual efforts in the history of the ACC Womens Basketball Tournament on Friday night.
So did Wake Forest.
Marylands two-time player of the year Alyssa Thomas had the first triple-double in the history of the tournament, pouring in a career-high 32 points with 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Terps held off the upset-minded Deacons 92-81 in overtime.
The No. 2 seed Terps (24-6) will play either No. 3 seed UNC or No. 11 seed Boston College, who met in Fridays nightcap, Saturday at 3:30 p.m.
The Terps prevailed despite a career-high 31 points from Wake guard Chelsea Douglas, the highest point total by a Deacon in tournament history.
Maryland, ranked No. 10 nationally, won both regular-season meetings with Wake Forest, 73-63 on Feb. 8 at Joel Coliseum and then 88-61 on Sunday in College Park.
The Terps also got 17 points and 12 rebounds from senior Tianna Hawkins, 14 points from Chloe Pavlech and 13 from Katie Rutan.
It was just a tremendous game, Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. Obviously neither team wanted to go home, and you can see what March Madness brings particularly in ACC tournament play. We fought really hard, especially the second half.
And obviously with (Thomas) I knew she wasnt going to let us lose. What you see with her is what makes her the two-time player of the year. She can score the ball, lead and get assists and go to the glass. Im proud of our effort. I thought we were really resilient in the overtime.
The No. 10 seed Deacons (13-19) were coming off an impressive 86-67 first-round romp over Georgia Tech after losing both regular-season games to the Jackets.
Seniors Asia Williams, out of Durham Hillside, and Lakevia Boykin, out of Southeast Raleigh, finished with 19 and 17 points respectively for the Deacons while classmate Sandra Garcia added 10 rebounds to her eight points.
What a pleasure to coach this group, first-year Wake coach Jen Hoover said. There were ups and downs, but they believed in each other. They fought hard for each other and they fought hard for me. We came up just a possession short today. There was no doubt in my mind that this team believed.
Weve just got to be resilient and stay focused and build on that (next season). But its hard when youve got seniors sitting in the locker room knowing their careers are over and crying their eyes out.
Maryland shot 50.0 percent to the Deacons 42.0 and won the rebound battle 44-33. The Deacons committed 14 turnovers to 17 for Maryland.
Thomas said she wasnt surprised to see the Deacons come out with such fight despite the recent blowout.
Youve got to bring your best games in this tournament, Thomas said. We expect everybody to try to play their best. Credit to them. They played a really good game and challenged us tonight.
Douglas had 19 points at halftime, as the Terps shot 53.1 percent in the first half to Wakes 46.9.
I feel like we can play with anybody, Douglas said. Its all about getting stops and rebounds. I knew if we did those two things wed be right in the game. And I wasnt feeling any fatigue at all.
There were eight lead changes and eight ties in the contest, the last when Garcia hit a pair of free throws with 5.4 seconds left in regulation to make it 79-79.
But the overtime belonged to the Terps as they got the first 10 points of the extra period, seven of them from Thomas.
Wakes Dearica Hamby, Williams and Mykala Walker all fouled out in the first three minutes of overtime as the Terps built their lead.
We recognized we were in a great game tonight, Williams said. We just tried to go out and win every four minutes.
It was exciting for us to come out and make big shots and showed we could play with anyone. (Lakevia) and Chelsea both made some really big shots tonight.