More chalk in women’s tourney as Notre Dame, Maryland advance

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Three regions have reached the regional final stage, and all three will match the top two seeds in their respective regions.

No. 1 seed Notre Dame and No. 2 seed Maryland advanced to the Raleigh regional final with wins on Sunday afternoon, and while the Terrapins needed a comeback there was no such drama for the Fighting Irish.

Natalie Novosel led a balanced scoring effort with 16 points as Notre Dame (33-3) rolled to a 79-35 win over No. 5 seed St. Bonaventure (31-4), who was making the first Sweet 16 appearance in school history.

The Bonnies couldn’t get anything going offensively against Muffet McGraw’s squad, shooting a frigid 18.8% from the field and turning the ball over 19 times.

CeCe Dixon led St. Bonaventure with 13 points, which was also the number of points scored by the entire team in the first half as Notre Dame led 35-13 at the intermission.

Laurin Mincy and Alyssa Thomas led Maryland (31-4) to an 81-74 win over No. 3 seed and defending national champion Texas A&M, combining for 42 points and 21 rebounds on the day.

Maryland trailed by as many as 18, and with 10:51 remaining the Aggies led 68-57. Brenda Frease’s Terrapins would outscore Texas A&M 24-6 to finish the game with Mincy and Thomas scoring 13 of the 24.

Lynetta Kizer added 15 for Maryland, giving them the lead for good on a bucket with 3:29 left in the game, and freshman Alexia Standish led the Aggies (24-11) with 19 points and four assists.

Notre Dame and Maryland meet on Tuesday night with the winner advancing to the Final Four, where they would face the winner of the Kingston (R.I.) regional final between Connecticut and Kentucky.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.