GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Alyssa Thomas wasn't in position to appreciate setting Maryland's career scoring record, not after the No. 8 Terrapins' quick exit from their final Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Thomas scored 24 points to set the program record midway through the second half of Friday's 73-70 loss to No. 13 North Carolina in the quarterfinals. The 6-foot-2 senior is now 12 away from passing Juan Dixon for the most points by a men's or women's player heading into her final NCAA tournament.
She just couldn't quite lead the Terrapins' second-half comeback, missing two shots and committing a turnover in the final 90 seconds of a tight game.
Afterward, the three-time ACC player of the year said it was an honor but also "something I'm not really thinking about."
Her coach, Brenda Frese, was in a better position to appreciate the significance of Thomas passing Crystal Langhorne, who was on Frese's 2006 NCAA championship team.
"I know she's not going to appreciate it right now because of the competitor and winner that she is," Frese said. "She would turn all of that away to get that win. But yeah, absolutely. I mean, (after) everything that she's meant to our program, to our university, and it's only fitting for her to be the all-time leading scorer at Maryland."
For North Carolina, Diamond DeShields scored 22 points while fellow freshman Allisha Gray added 17.
Xylina McDaniel added 10 points for the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (24-8), who led all but 5 seconds but still had to fight to put away the Big Ten-bound Terrapins (24-6) in what turned out to be their final ACC game.
UNC advanced to Saturday's semifinals to play No. 10 Duke.
The Tar Heels led by 11 at halftime but missed their final 10 shots and went the final 5:27 without a field goal. Still, they did just enough to hang on and earn a shot at a three-game sweep of the rival Blue Devils this season.
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