Texas women’s basketball beats Maryland 64-61, advances to Elite Eight

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Texas's Charli Collier shoots over Maryland's Angel Reese during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the Sweet 16 round of the Women's NCAA tournament Sunday, March 28, 2021, at the Alamodome in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

(AP) – Texas put the brakes on Maryland's high-octane offense and the Longhorns are rolling into the Elite Eight as the lowest seed still alive in the women's NCAA Tournament.

Charli Collier scored 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and No. 6 seed Texas used a grinding, hustling defensive effort to shut down the nation's highest scoring offense for a 64-61 win Sunday night in the Sweet 16.

Texas was down 9-0 in the opening minutes before regrouping and smothering a Terrapins attack that had topped 100 point seven times this season and averaged 99 in its first two tournament games.

“I think we just take it in, we hear it and we go after it and we attack,” said Texas guard Celeste Taylor who finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Texas tied it at 59-59 on Taylor’s jumper in the final minute, then took the lead when Kyra Lambert scooped up a loose ball near midcourt and coasted in for a layup with 45 seconds left.

After Maryland’s Diamond Miller missed a twisting layup, Lauren Ebo snagged the rebound and quickly fired the ball to Lambert who was fouled. She made one of two free throws before Maryland’s Katie Benzan missed a 3-pointer. Celeste Taylor then made one of two free throws for a four-point lead.

Taylor finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Collier scored 10 points in the second half and her last basket in the fourth quarter pulled Texas even after second-seeded Maryland had swung momentum with two baskets, including a 3-pointer.

Texas (21-9) advances to Tuesday’s Hemisfair Region final against No. 1 South Carolina, which beat fifth-seeded Georgia Tech earlier Sunday.