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Refs botch review; Utah Utes win anyway, as do Maryland Terps

The Utah Utes and Maryland Terrapins both advance to the Sweet Sixteen on Sunday. Here are our recaps of their second round games:

number 2 seed Utah Utes over No. 10 seed Princeton Tigers, 63–56

With 4:44 to play, Utah’s Jenna Johnson went 1-of-2 at the free throw line and the Utes got the rebound after missing her second attempt. Ultimately, he took a right corner three that went past the far rim and out of bounds. The referees still left one second on the shot clock after the review, as the audio was not included in the said review and they declared it inconclusive. The ball hitting the rim could be clearly heard in the broadcast.

Utah missed a desperation shot after inbounding the ball when they should have been able to run their offense and potentially go up seven or eight. Instead they remained up 54–49.

Clearly, the referees didn’t do everything in their power to get that call right at a critical moment in an NCAA tournament game. Audio must be included in the official review.

Alisa Pili (28 points, 10 rebounds, three assists) got on her 10th board with 28 seconds remaining and it was a key defensive board that pretty much sealed the deal. Pilley was fouled immediately and went 2-of-2 at the line to make it 61–52 Utes.

Grace Stone, Princeton’s hero from their first-round win over NC State, made a three in 19 seconds to cut it to six, but the Tigers got no closer.

Princeton refused to go away the entire game and cut it to 50–48 on a Stone free throw with seven minutes remaining.

Johnson supported Pilley with 15 points, six boards and two steals. Ellie Mitchell was spectacular in the loss with nine points, 18 rebounds, three assists, two steals and three blocks. Kaitlyn Chen led the Tigers with 19 points, while Stone added 16 on 4 of 13 shooting from outside.

The Utes held Princeton to just 27.8 percent shooting from the field and won despite going 1 of 15 attempts from long range and committing 20 turnovers.

No. 2 seed Maryland Terrapins over No. 7 seed Arizona Wildcats77-64

Diamond Miller (24 total points) scored 20 points in the second half and led the Terps to a fairly convincing win over Arizona, which was more one-sided than the final score. He added six rebounds, seven assists and three steals for an impressive stat sheet-stuffing performance.

Maryland came out like fire against Holy Cross in the first round, but Arizona took control for a stretch and led by one at the break. In the third, the Terps came out determined and won the frame 29–9 to take a 19-point lead in the fourth.

After scoring just four points in the first half, Miller came up with 2:05 in the third half to fuel his team. Faith Masonius knocked the ball away from Arizona and Miller picked it up and took it the other way for a fast break layup. She missed the awarded free throw, but Arizona kicked the rebound out of bounds and Miller eventually hit a three on the same trip down the floor. This five-point trip made it 39–33 Maryland.

It’s little effort plays like the one by Abby Meyers at the 6:09 mark of the third that keep the runs going and keep opponents from gaining momentum. She stole the ball in the backcourt right after an Arizona defensive rebound and went up for a layup attempt. He was fouled and made both free throws to make the score 41–33.

Another key play came in the third when Miller completed a nice pass to Shayne Sellers for a transition layup that made it 51–37.

It was a great day for another Maryland senior besides Miller. Both he and Masonius have been so loyal to the program and Masonius had 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, with four boards, four assists and two blocks. Sellers also did well with 15 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Brina Alexander rounded out Maryland’s double-figure scorers with 12 points (two threes).

After struggling early, the Wildcats tied the game at 29 on a Lauren Fields three with 1:53 left in the first half. She then led on the Kate Reese lap and Helena Puyo on the Steele-turned-Paris Clarke transition lap to a four-point lead (after trailing over 12 laps). The Terps closed the half on a 3–0 run.

Arizona won the second 25–15. First, Maryland extended its lead to 12 on three Alexander shots 32 seconds into the frame. The Terps would then lead 25–14 before the Wildcats went on a 10–0 run. It began with a Shayna Pellington drive and layup and continued with back-to-back Esmarie Martinez layups. A Clark reverse layup cut it to 25–22 at 3:51 in the second, and then Pellington scored in transition to cap the run.

Maryland looked really good at jumping out to an early 10-point lead, but the Wildcats responded with a 6–0 run to make it 12–8. The Terps found a way to regain the momentum going into the second, as Alexander went for a three on Miller’s kick-out to make it 17–8.

Arizona moved the ball out of bounds on their first three possessions of the contest, a shot clock violation and an offensive foul. Meanwhile, Sellers and Masonius hit from mid-range to make it 4–0 Terps, and then Miller made a long pass-turn-transition layup to make it 6–0. Another Miller transition layup, this one off a Sellers steal and assist, made it 12–2 at the 5:31 mark of the first.

Martinez finished with eight points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals in the loss. Reese added 19 points and Pellington had 13 points and three swipes.

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