The Maryland Womens basketball team (31-4) didn’t expect to see their season end so soon.  The Terps were seeded second in the Lexington Regional and were focused on reaching a third straight Final Four.  Or at least a fifth straight Sweet Sixteen.  Instead, they ran into a Washington zone that kept them off balance all evening in a 74-65 loss.

The Terps were at the top of the Big Ten in field goal percentage-but hit just 37% from the field  Monday night.  The team that led the nation in rebounding margin was beaten on the boards by two (and by seven in the second half).  The Huskies zone collapsed on Terrapin center Brionna Jones effectively, holding the 67% shooter to 2 for 7 on the night.  With Jones neutralized, 18 of their 36 first half shots were from three point range.  Even though this team ranks in the top ten in Division I from outside the arc, they shouldn’t be airing it up that much from downtown.  Maryland did a nice job trying to contain Washington’s Kelsey Plum (32 points but on 8-of-24 shooting)…and the Huskies main weapon picked up a fair amount of her points in the fourth quarter at the line when the Terps had to foul.

After two straight regional titles, Monday was a tough ending for the senior class of Brene Moseley, Malina Howard, Tierney Pfirman and Chloe Pavlech.  Nary a superstar in the mix, but four quality players who are necessary to a successful program.   While First Team All-Big Ten players Brionna Jones (led nation in field goal percentage and was second in the conference in rebounding) and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (led nation in 3-point shooting and a force of nature on both ends of the floor) return with sophomore sharpshooter Kristen Confroy, there will be seven newcomers:  a six freshman class that’s ranked near the top of the country in quality and quantity plus a transfer.  Back to the gym…