Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Spokane Regional Final Game Breakdown

Spokane Regional Finals Game Breakdown


#1 Maryland vs #2 Tennessee (Spokane, Washington)

Maryland proved why they were a deserving number one seed in their 65-55 win over Duke in the Sweet 16 as Lexie Brown was held to one point but Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 24 points to lead the Terrapins to victory. Laurin Mincy had another huge performance with 15 points and more importantly seven assists. Maryland did a nice job of sharing the basketball with 17 assists out of their 23 made field goals. They also did a great job on the glass outrebounding Duke 33-24, with Bironna Jones leading the way with ten boards. The Terrapins also got a key contribution off the bench from Brene Moseley who chipped in eight points, which helped offset the off night by Lexie Brown in the backcourt. Maryland also was lights out at the foul line shooting 11 of 13 on the day.

Tennessee showed tremendous resolve in their Sweet 16 battle with Gonzaga overcoming a 17 point deficit to beat the Bulldogs 73-69 in overtime. Cierra Burdick scored 22 points and had 15 rebounds to lead the Lady Vols to the Elite Eight. Ariel Massengale stepped up with 15 points as she went the distance and played all 45 minutes for Tennessee. Jamie Nared and Jordan Reynolds were huge as well scoring 12 points each. The foul line was also a significant asset for the Lady Vols where the team made 21 of 22 shots. The loss of Isabelle Harrison did begin to show early on in this game. Gonzaga more or less had their way with Tennessee down low as Sunny Greinacher did score 24 points for the Bulldogs. With Brionna Jones waiting in the wings on Monday night, it will be very interesting to see how Lady Vols head coach Holly Warlick adjusts and tries to minimize the Terrapins effectiveness down in the paint.

The keys for Maryland in this matchup will be to find a way to get Lexie Brown a few easy open shots to regain her confidence.  In addition, they need to pound the ball inside to Brionna Jones to open up the paint for the guards to attack the basket. Defensively, the Terrapins just need to get after Ariel Massengale in the backcourt with relentless pressure and try to wear her down by the second half.

For Tennessee they can’t afford to shoot 32.4 percent against Maryland and expect to have a chance to stay in the game or let alone win on Monday night. They also will need to do a great job of taking care of the basketball  as they turned the ball over 22 times last year in the loss to the Terrapins in the Sweet 16. They also will need to limit Maryland’s ability to score off of turnovers with easy baskets and get back defensively if they do turn the ball over.  

Overall, Maryland right now is healthier, and more talented than the Lady Vols are without Isabelle Harrison down in the post. But, Tennessee does come in with great momentum after rallying to beat Gonzaga in Spokane and that is something that can’t be underestimated. If the Lady Vols can withstand Brionna Jones dominating the post at the offensive and defensive end of the court, they will have a chance late to get revenge on the Terrapins and get back to the Final Four. However, in the end Maryland should continue on with a very narrow victory.


Tournament Central