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Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State

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USA TODAY Sports

Maryland women's shooting struggles lead to second-round loss vs. N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C.  — Kiara Leslie had 21 points and 11 rebounds against her former team, and North Carolina State beat Maryland 74-60 on Sunday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament.

Leslie, who spent three seasons at Maryland before graduating and transferring to N.C. State, finished one point shy of a career high.

Kalia Ealey and Chelsea Nelson added 12 points apiece while Akela Maize scored 11 to help the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (26-8) earn their first Sweet 16 appearance since the late Kay Yow led an inspirational run in 2007.

RELATED: MEN'S SWEET 16 TV SCHEDULE

N.C. State, which shot 45 percent and was 7 of 14 from 3-point range, will play the Oklahoma State-Mississippi State winner on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

Brianna Fraser had 17 points for the fifth-seeded Terrapins (26-8), who were held to 37 percent shooting.

Leading scorer Kaila Charles, plagued all day by foul trouble, finished with four points -- 14 fewer than her average -- on 2-of-8 shooting before fouling out with 2:29 left. She had scored in double figures in 30 of her previous 33 games.

Maryland's offense, which averages 80 points, had trouble scoring against one of the nation's stingiest defenses.

N.C. State allows 56.7 points per game and only one team in the past two months -- top-seeded Notre Dame -- has reached 70 against the Wolfpack.

BIG PICTURE

Maryland: The Terrapins were denied their sixth Sweet 16 in seven years in part because their potent perimeter game was nonexistent. Maryland, at 39.1 percent the nation's seventh-most accurate team, missed all five of its 3s. Kristen Confroy, who's third in the nation from long range at 40.3 percent, didn't attempt one.

N.C. State: Leslie kept tormenting her former teammates by turning steals into layups. Big brother C.J. Leslie led the N.C. State men's program to a Sweet 16 in 2012, and now she's headed to one, too.

UP NEXT

N.C. State will play either top-seeded Mississippi State or ninth-seeded Oklahoma State on Friday night in the Kansas City Regional semifinals.

RELATED: UMBC'S CINDERELLA RUN ENDS IN SECOND ROUND

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Maryland doesn't lose any ground in Big 10 standings after loss to Ohio State

Maryland doesn't lose any ground in Big 10 standings after loss to Ohio State

Maryland suffered a frustrating loss to Ohio State on the road Sunday in a game that featured their best player fouling out thanks to a more than questionable technical foul. 

The bad news for the Terps? They missed a chance to gain ground on Baylor, Gonzaga and San Diego State, who all lost on Saturday, for a top seed in the NCAA tournament. 

The good news is that Penn State lost, too, so Maryland didn't lose any ground in its quest to win the Big 10 regular-season championship for the first time. With four games to go, it still holds a two-game lead over Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa and Wisconsin in the conference standings. 

For the Terps to lose this regular-season title, it would have to be a monumental collapse over the next few weeks.

But the schedule still features some tough games so it isn't over quite yet. Maryland must shake off this most recent loss in Columbus and refocus on a 13-13 Minnesota team. The Terp's final three opponents after that are Michigan State at home, Rutgers on the road and Michigan in College Park. 

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Looking back at Cliff Tucker's buzzer-beater that carried Terps over Georgia Tech in 2010

Looking back at Cliff Tucker's buzzer-beater that carried Terps over Georgia Tech in 2010

With 1.5 seconds to go and down by one, Maryland guard Eric Hayes scanned the floor and found his teammate Cliff Tucker on the left wing. 

Tucker didn't have to time to make a move, so he simply let it go from three and canned the game-winner to give the Terps a shocking late-season win over Georgia Tech. It was the third victory of a seven-game winning streak to close the 2010 season for Gary Williams and his group. 

It's been 10 years since Tucker stunned Georgia Tech with his epic buzzer-beater, which is still one of Maryland's best basketball moments in the program's history.

The 2010 Terps, led by Grieves Vazquez finished the season on a 10-1 sprint into the ACC tournament. They won the regular-season conference championship, beating out the eventual National Champion Duke Blue Devils, but ultimately lost their conference tournament opener to, guess who, Georgia Tech. 

Maryland entered the NCAA tournament as a four-seed. After an easy win over Houston in the first round, the Terps fell to Michigan State by two points. The Spartans went on to the Final Four thanks to Northern Iowa upsetting top-seeded Kansas, so Maryland was left to wonder what could have been if they got past Tom Izzo's bunch. 

So in the end, the season wasn't the success it was setting up to be as Tucker helped lead a late-season surge. But hey, they'll always have his buzzer-beater. 

Tucker passed away in a car accident in 2018. 

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