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Maryland holds off Cards

Louisville Cardinals guard Shoni Schimmel (23) dribbles against Maryland Terrapins guard Katie Rutan (40) in the finals of the Louisville regional in the 2014 NCAA Tournament at KFC YUM! Center. USA Today

LOUISVILLE (TSX)  — Alyssa Thomas had 22 points, 13 rebounds and three steals as the Terrapins advanced to their first Final Four since 2006 by holding off the Cardinals 76-73 on their home floor in the Louisville Region final.

Lexie Brown added 20 points, six rebounds and four assists for the fourth-seeded Terrapins (28-6), who advance to face Notre Dame in the national semifinals. Katie Rutan added 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range for Maryland, which finished 25-of-28 from the free throw line.

Shoni Schimmel led third-seeded Louisville (33-5) with 31 points and five steals, but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer. Antonita Slaughter chipped in with 16 points and Asia Taylor had 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but the Cardinals couldn't overcome 39.1 percent shooting from the field, including 8-of-24 from 3-point range.

The first half was tight throughout with 10 lead changes as neither team could establish a significant advantage. The Cardinals closed with an 8-2 run to take a four-point halftime advantage and upped the lead to seven in the opening moments of the second half.

Maryland used a 12-0 run midway through the half — holding the Cardinals scoreless for 7:32 — to take control.

Louisville rallied to within two with seven seconds left on a 3-pointer by Schimmel before Thomas hit 1-of-2 from the line - part of the Terrapins' 10-of-12 shooting from the line in the final 1:06 - and Louisville couldn't come up with a miracle shot at the end.