Notre Dame takes down Maryland to return to the Final FourMar 28, 2012 - 3:54 AM Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Skylar Diggins recorded a triple-double with 22 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds to push the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as they defeated Maryland, 80-49, in the Raleigh Regional final of the 2012 NCAA Women's Tournament at PNC Arena.
Natalie Achonwa added 18 points for Notre Dame (34-3), while Kayla McBride scored 16 points and Natalie Novosel netted 14.
Alyssa Thomas had 17 points and six rebounds for Maryland (31-5), which received 10-point contributions from Tianna Hawkins and Alicia DeVaughn. The Terps were denied their first Final Four trip since winning the 2006 national title.
Notre Dame took a sizeable 40-21 lead into halftime after it hit 42.9 percent of its field goal attempts and converted 8-of-10 at the charity stripe in the first period. The Terps fell behind after they shot only 38.5 percent from the field in the first half.
Maryland continued to struggle after the break, as it went 0-of-5 from distance in the second half. The Fighting Irish connected on 56.7 percent of their field goal tries in the final 20 minutes to extend their lead.
Notre Dame held a 46-27 advantage in the rebounding battle and forced Maryland into 21 turnovers to control the game.
The Fighting Irish will square off with their Big East rival Connecticut in the Final Four. Notre Dame also reached the Final Four in 2010-2011.
- Fourth Time's The Charm: UConn downs Notre Dame to reach title game Apr 8
- Second half surge sends Fighting Irish to the Final Four Apr 2
- Diggins sets school scoring record as Notre Dame routs Kansas Mar 31
- Stewart shines as UConn coasts past Maryland Mar 30
- Career-night from McBride allows Notre Dame to outlast Iowa Mar 27
- Terps tackle Michigan State in second round Mar 25
- Loyd, McBride lead top-seeded Notre Dame over UT Martin Mar 24
- Fourth-seed Maryland rolls over 13th-seed Quinnipiac Mar 23
- Notre Dame edges UConn for first Big East Tournament title Mar 12
- Notre Dame gets past Louisville and into Big East final Mar 11
- Achonwa leads No. 2 Notre Dame past USF Mar 10
- No. 15 UNC storms back to down No. 10 Maryland in ACC semis Mar 9