Maryland drops Georgia Tech to advance to semis

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Cross Georgia Tech off Maryland's revenge list. Next up for the Terrapins -- North Carolina.

Maryland (No. 5 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) made up for an infuriating loss to the unranked Yellow Jackets by routing them 75-59 Friday night to advance to the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.

Now third-seeded Terrapins will face another team that beat them during the regular season -- the fourth-ranked Tar Heels, the tournament's No. 2 seed who rolled to a 13-point victory over Maryland in College Park.

"This was a nice statement game for us tonight. Now we need to follow it up in regards to our game [Saturday] and be ready to lay it on the line," Maryland coach Brenda Frese said. "This is where you find true competitors this time of the year, and what you're playing for. This team doesn't want to go home."

Crystal Langhorne scored 14 of her 18 points in the first half, and Marissa Coleman added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the defending national champion Terrapins (27-4), who shot 59 percent in avenging a 77-72 loss to Georgia Tech -- the only unranked team to beat Maryland.

"I've never been so angry after a game after we lost to Georgia Tech, and I know as a team we were just so excited to be able to play them" again, Langhorne said. "I knew we were going to come out with a lot of energy."

Now they will face a team with whom they share a rich tournament history. North Carolina beat Maryland 91-80 in last year's ACC title game, handing the Terrapins their most recent postseason loss. Maryland returned the favor a few weeks later by beating the Tar Heels in the Final Four en route to the school's first national title.

"Obviously, we know all the teams in the league by now, having seen each other so many times," Frese said. "They love to press, they're going to be active and be on the glass."

Kristi Toliver added 12 points for the Terrapins, who held a 46-21 rebounding advantage and put the Yellow Jackets away with a strong spurt just before halftime. They outscored sixth-seeded Georgia Tech 13-2 over the final 7 minutes of the half, with Langhorne scoring six points during the burst.

Maryland held the Yellow Jackets to 1-of-10 shooting during that span, scored seven straight points to push the lead into double figures, going up 40-26 on Langhorne's coast-to-coast layup with 1:10 left. Georgia Tech didn't get closer than 11 in the second half.

"A lot of people would have pulled up their tents and gone home, but this team didn't," Georgia Tech coach MaChelle Joseph said. "That shows me they've got a lot of fight in them. ... We're going to walk out of here with our heads held high and get ready to play in the NCAA tournament."

Stephanie Higgs scored 16 points and Janie Mitchell added 14 for the Yellow Jackets (20-11), but they combined to go 11-for-35 from the field. Chioma Nnamaka had 12 points and Brigitte Ardossi added 11.

Maryland entered this game with plenty to prove after last month's loss in which Higgs had 26 points, Mitchell added 17 and the Yellow Jackets forced 24 turnovers.

In that game, "we were the most physical team. We basically dominated them the whole game," Mitchell said. "Of course, they're going to come out and try to be as physical as possible. Even though they gave us their best shot today, I still think we did a great job."

Both players struggled in the rematch, with Higgs missing nine of her first 12 shots and Mitchell -- whose 22 points keyed the Yellow Jackets' first-round win over Miami -- getting in foul trouble.