Lexie Brown Lets Loose and Leads Terps to Final Four


A spot in the Final Four was on the line and two of the best teams in the country, The Tennessee Volunteers and Maryland Terrapins, fought for the right to be in Tampa.

The Lady Terps came into this game beating the Duke Blue Devils, 65-55, led by Shatori Walker-Kimbrough’s 24 points, Brionna Jones‘ 10 points and 10 rebounds and Laurin Mincey’s 15-point first half barrage from the three-point line. Lexie Brown struggled and was virtually nonexistent in that game. But she pushed her team to victory in the second half against the Tennessee Volunteers Monday after scoring only two points in the first half. She performed when her team needed her and the Lady Terps are headed to another final four as a result.

The Volunteers opened up a 9-2 run playing with great defense and forcing the Lady Terps to take contested shots. The Lady Terps kept it close throughout the first half staying within four points under 10 minutes. Tennessee turned the ball over on a few possessions and that allowed Maryland to stay in it. Mincy helped Maryland get the lead back with a little over five minutes left in the first half after the Lady Terps missed their last four shot attempts up to that point.

Both teams were stagnant shooting the ball under the four-minute mark, and that led to a low-scoring first half. The half ended with Lexie Brown giving Maryland the lead 22-21. Brionna Jones led the way at the half for the Lady Terps with seven points and seven rebounds. Cierra Burdick led the way statistically for the Lady Vols with four points, four assists and four rebounds. Both teams were shooting around the 30 percent mark at the half, so defense was definitely a factor in the first 20 minutes.  

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Both teams started the second half turning the ball over. Tennessee had a brief three-point lead until Kristen Confroy drained a corner three tying the game at 29. Burdick and Ariel Massengale  helped the Lady Vols jump out to a five-point lead causing Head coach Brenda Frese to call a timeout under 15 minutes to go. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored five straight points to tie the game at 34 and gave her team a spark.

Lexie Brown’s struggle from the field ended when she hit a three-pointer to push Maryland’s lead to three and at that point gave Maryland an 8-0 run. Under nine minutes to go, both teams started to put the ball in the basket. Ariel Massengale pushed the ball down the floor and scored in transition giving her team a three-point 44-41 lead. She had 14 points at this point, trying to will her team to victory.

Brown tied the game up at 44 with another three pointer giving her a stat line of: eight points, five rebounds and three assists with 6:01 left to go in the game. Her being virtually nonexistent in the last game, she got her groove back and was another guard helping her team. With 3:11 left, the Lady Terps had a three-point 49-46 lead and were making shots. Lexie Brown was leading the charge.

With one minute left to go, Maryland had a slim 51-48 lead that was up for grabs. Brionna Jones made a great play blocking Massengale’s three-point shot and ultimately making the play that sealed the game.

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Defense was a dominating factor both teams which led to a low scoring first half but in that you saw how well both teams defended the paint.  At game’s end the Lady Terps held a huge advantage over the Volunteers in three-point shot percentage.  Maryland shot at 41 percent from behind the arc to Tennessee’s 18 percent.

Player of the Game: Lexie Brown got her groove back in this game and had a strong second half. She clearly was a forced to be reckoned with despite scoring 15 points. She led through her action on the court. She needed this game for herself and his team needed this game from her. She didn’t disappoint.

Final Four Matchup:

Game time is Sunday April 5th at 8:30pm. The game can be seen on ESPN