Notre Dame falls to Maryland in Sweet 16

Notre Dame's Lauren Ebo (33) tries to hold onto a rebound over a host of Maryland defenders in...
Notre Dame's Lauren Ebo (33) tries to hold onto a rebound over a host of Maryland defenders in the first half of a Sweet 16 college basketball game of the NCAA Tournament in Greenville, S.C., Saturday, March 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)(Mic Smith | AP)
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 2:16 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP/WNDU) - Notre Dame’s season came to an end in the Sweet 16 for the second year in a row, as the No. 3 Irish fell to second-seeded Maryland 76-59 on Saturday afternoon.

Diamond Miller scored 14 of her 18 points in the final two quarters to lead Maryland to the Elite Eight for the first time in eight years. Shyanne Sellers also had 18 points for the Terps, who’ll play either defending champion South Carolina, the top overall seed, or No. 4 seed UCLA on Monday night for a trip to Dallas for the Final Four.

Maryland (28-6) used a third-quarter burst to put away the third-seeded Fighting Irish (27-6), who played once again without injured leading-scorer Olivia Miles after her knee injury in Notre Dame’s regular season finale against Louisville late last month.

Miles and guard Dara Mabrey, both starters, were injured spectators for Notre Dame, which hung tight with Maryland for 25 minutes before Miller and Shyanne Sellers took over.

Miller, the first-team All-American, shook off a poor first half as Maryland gained control. Tied at 44-all, Lavender Briggs had a 3-pointer and Miller followed with a three-point play as the Terps closed the third quarter on a 13-1 run.

Notre Dame, which fought off Mississippi State on its home floor to advance last week, could not respond.

Maryland used its defensive pressure to break out early, forcing eight turnovers by the Fighting Irish to build a 19-14 lead. But Notre Dame showed its NCAA Tournament resiliency once more with a 13-0 burst to move in front 27-19.

Miller and Brinae Alexander each hit 3-pointers in the final 80 seconds of the half to cut the lead to 32-31.

Part of Notre Dame’s success was holding Miller in check the first 20 minutes. She was just 1-of-4 shooting with two rebounds and three of her team’s eight turnovers. When Miller got going, Maryland was moving on to where it hadn’t been since 2015.

Sonia Citron led the Fighting Irish with 14 points, their only double-figure scorer.

The Fighting Irish expect Miles to come back from knee surgery sometime this summer to start to prepare for next season. Miles, a sophomore, was among the ACC’s top players and when healthy can keep Notre Dame battling for league titles.