For the second year in a row, the Maryland Terrapins knocked the Lady Vols out of the NCAA tournament. Maryland’s 58-48 victory Monday night advanced them to the Final Four and ended Tennessee’s season at 30-6.
Head coach Holly Warlick opened the post game press conference by saying, “Just congratulations to Maryland.”
When asked about missed opportunities, Warlick added, “We had a lot. It was a physical game, and we had our chances.”
Indeed, the game was physical. It was a defensive struggle with both teams unable to knock down shots. Tennessee shot just 32.4 percent on the night, with Maryland coming away only slightly better at 39.6 percent.
The simplest way to sum it up for Tennessee is that they had trouble affecting Maryland in the paint. The Lady Vols shot only one free throw – a miss – while Maryland hit 11-13 from the stripe. Ultimately, the disparity in foul shots could be attributed as the difference in the game.
Seniors Cierra Burdick and Ariel Massengale played in their final game for the Lady Vols. Massengale led Tennessee in scoring with 16 points, while Burdick nearly scored another double-double. She finished with nine points and six rebounds.
“They’re outside of basketball. They’re just outstanding young women. We don’t have to worry about them academically. They do a lot in the community. They’re just solid kids. They’re the type of kids we want at Tennessee,” said Warlick about Burdick and Massengale.
Lexie Brown led the way in scoring for Maryland with 15 points – helping the Terrapins finish the game on a 14-2 run.
Tennessee finished the season with 30 wins, despite injuries and setbacks. “This team, I mean, we just had to overcome a lot of obstacles, and this team has really hung together, and they’re a very close knit team, and I’m really, really proud of them,” said Warlick.
This season was Warlick’s first 30-win season as a head coach.
In regards to moving forward to next season, Warlick added, “We’ll take some time off, and then we’ll go back to work … That’s what you do. There’s only going to be one team, one set of players and one set of coaches that are going to be happy next week. Just one. So, we’re not going to stop saying that [getting to the Final Four] is our goal, because it is.”
Edited by Maggie Jones