CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Diandra Tchatchouang’s hard work paid off Friday night.
The sophomore made two big shots at the end of regulation and the game-winning layup with 6.1 seconds left in overtime as No. 15 Maryland survived a scare at Virginia, 77-75.
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“I’m happy for Diandra because she’s been repping shots in the gym, consistently, and when you work hard like that, good things are going to pay off for you,” Maryland coach Brenda Frese said of her second-leading scorer, who had just nine points on Friday night.
But Tchatchouang also forced overtime by hitting the only 3-pointer of the game for the Terrapins (15-3, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) with 13.8 seconds left in regulation, and made another driving layup with 1:33 left in regulation to pull the Terps within 69-66.
On a young team, Tchatchouang said, she feels like it’s her obligation to make plays.
“As a sophomore, I feel like an upperclassmen since we don’t have any seniors on the team,” she said. “Being young means I have to take on more responsibility.”
Virginia (11-9, 0-4) had won nine of 10 at home and led 68-62 with 2 minutes to play in regulation, but scored just one more point to allow the game to go to an extra period.
In a year when the Cavaliers will host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament and need badly to build a resume that warrants tournament consideration, the loss stung badly.
“I’m going to have trouble getting them back up,” coach Debbie Ryan said. “They were so disappointed because they knew we had it won and we just didn’t finish it.”
After Tchatchouang’s basket in OT, Ariana Moorer’s 3-pointer rimmed out at the buzzer.
Alyssa Thomas led Maryland with 18 points, Lynetta Kizer had 16 and Kim Rodgers 11.
Chelsea Shine had 15, Whitny Edwards 13 and Jazmin Pitts and Ataria Franklin had 12 each for Virginia.
Rodgers gave the Terps a 75-72 lead in the extra period with 2:05 to go, but Shine was fouled while scoring for Virginia and completed the three-point play to tie it.
After a miss by Maryland, Edwards stole the ball from Thomas as she was preparing to put up a shot from in close, but Virginia missed at the other end and eventually drew a 30-second shot-clock violation.
The Terps called a timeout with 13.4 seconds to go, and Tchatchouang’s basket won it.
Edwards’ driving left-handed layin to beat the shot clock with 2:09 left in regulation gave Virginia a 68-62 edge, but Thomas scored inside for Maryland, cutting the deficit to four.
Shine hit a free throw for Virginia, but Tchatchouang’s driving basket pulled the Terrapins within 69-66 with 1:33 to go. She had a chance to make it a one-point game on the Terps’ next possession, but was stripped before attempting a putback, then made up for it.
After the Cavaliers drew a 30-second violation, Maryland called time and Tchatchouang hit their lone 3-pointer of the game, from the top of the key, to tie it with 13.8 seconds to go.
The Terrapins led by 10 on two occasions in the second half, the second at 49-39 with 13:51 to go after a three-point play by Thomas, but then Pitts rallied the Cavaliers.
The freshman hit a pair of free throws, and then 1 of 2 after Kizer hit one for Maryland. Pitts then scored inside, and Edwards hit a 3-pointer for Virginia to make it 50-47.
China Crosby’s steal at the other end led to Shine’s 1-and-1 free throw chance. She missed, but Pitts got the rebound and was fouled. She made the first, missed the second but it was tipped to Virginia, and Pitts’ bank shot tied it at 50 with 9:41 to play.
Franklin’s second 3-pointer gave Virginia a 25-24 lead 5 minutes before halftime, and the basket seemed to wake the Terrapins.
Rodgers, who starred in high school in Virginia Beach, hit back-to-back layups off turnovers, then fed Natasha Cloud for another.
Kizer, who started in Woodbridge in northern Virginia in high school, hit a pair of free throws for the Terps, and after Paulisha Kellam broke the drought for the Cavaliers with a steal and layup, Cloud scored inside again 5 seconds before halftime, capping a 10-2 run.
Rodgers and Kizer combined for half the Terrapins’ first-half points, and Maryland outscored Virginia 24-8 in the paint and 14-0 on the fast break in the first 20 minutes.