Becky Burke's final shot came with 4 seconds to play, a 3-pointer that would have tied the game.
It didn't come close. Laurin Mincy got a hand on the ball, and it fell far short of the rim.
Career over. The senior guard who played in the national championship game for Louisville as a freshman and made two other trips to the NCAA women's tournament struggled in her last appearance for the Cardinals, going 1 for 6 from the field and scoring only five points Monday night in a 72-68 loss to Maryland in the second round.
"She said in the locker room we've been through a lot of ups and downs," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "Congratulations, Becky. Yeah, she needs a round of applause."
Burke was biting her lip as she listened to the coach's words. She fought back tears when asked to elaborate on those "ups and downs" of her time under Walz.
"Just basically coming in as a freshman _ stubborn, disagreements, thinking you're always right, and then just maturing over your four years and not wanting to hear some of things he had to say sometimes," she said. "But just becoming a much better person."
Neither team led by double digits in a fast-paced game of runs, turnovers, missed free throws and opportunistic rebounds. Shoni Schimmel scored 22 points and Shawnta Dyer had 17 for Louisville (23-10), but the Cardinals made only field goal in the final six minutes while blowing a 64-59 lead.
"They came up with some loose ball plays at the end of the game that were big, things that we knew we had to come up with if we were going to have a chance to be in this game," Walz said, "and they made those plays."
Mincy finished with 24 points, and Tianna Hawkins had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Atlantic Coast Conference champion Terrapins (30-4), who will face the winner of Monday night's late game between defending champion Texas A&M and Arkansas.
The game was both a reunion and a rematch for Maryland coach Brenda Frese and former top assistant Walz, who stood side by side when the Terrapins won the national championship in 2006.
Walz and the Cardinals beat Frese and Terrapins in the 2009 NCAA tournament, and the decidedly pro-Maryland crowd soundly jeered Walz during pregame introductions Monday night.
After the game, he expressed no ill-will toward the school, although he didn't specifically mention Frese.
"It's been nice to come back and see so many friendly people, from all the support staff that I've known, the maintenance guys, everybody," he said. "They've really been great to me."
Both teams played in an aggressive fashion befitting their feisty coaches.
No loose ball went uncontested, even if it meant colliding with a pile of bodies on the floor. Frese was nearly as active, running back and forth in front of the Maryland bench, yelling at the referees and applauding every one of her team's baskets.
Not to be outdone, Walz rolled up his shirt sleeves and never sat down, often cupping his hands around his mouth while yelling to the opposite end of the court.
Down 64-59, Maryland got a baseline jumper from Hawkins and five straight free throws from three different players to go up 66-64. Hawkins then collected the rebound of a missed foul shot and made a layup for a 68-64 lead.
Louisville closed to 71-68 and had one last chance to tie in the closing seconds, but Mincy altered the 3-point try by Burke, the only senior on the Cardinals roster.
Schimmel called the loss "something to learn from," starting when the players return to the gym in just two days.
"We're a young team," she said, "and so we're going to be ready and get ready and go to practice on Wednesday."
But they'll be going forward without Burke.
Joseph White can be reached at http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP