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Maryland women take silver medal at 3X Nationals basketball tournament

Four Maryland players teamed up to take the silver medal in the Red Bull USA Basketball 3X Nationals on Sunday at the Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Katie Benzan, Mimi Collins, Faith Masonius and Angel Reese (St. Frances) made up Maryland’s squad. The Terps lose three games by a total of five points in Saturday’s preliminary rounds, then beat Legacy, 10-9, in the quarterfinals Sunday morning and two-time defending champion Oregon, 19-14 in the semifinals.

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Maryland led 10-9 in the championship match against Force 10 before losing, 16-10.

“Maryland played really tough, and they’re a physical team,” said Force 10 forward Cierra Burdick, a WNBA player with the Phoenix Mercury who scored seven points in the title game and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament. “They get amped up and hyped up, and I think that got us hyped up.”

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Asked about the key to winning the title, Burdick said: “We could have easily folded when they started talking trash and when they started letting their emotions get the best of them. We could have played the same game and lost our cool, but I think we just stayed composed through the runs.”

Omaha won the men’s title when guard Trey Bardsley’s floater in the lane bounced around the rim several times before falling for a 21-20 victory over Harlem (5-1).

Games were played on the museum’s Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams.

3x3 basketball will be part of the Olympics this summer in Tokyo. The format was unveiled in international competition at the 2010 Youth Olympic Games. The game is played on a half court with a 10-minute clock and a 12-second shot clock, with the first team to 21 points, or the team in the lead at the end of regulation, winning.

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Participating teams earned their spots in the 3X Nationals through regional qualifying tournaments or via an official invitation from USA Basketball.

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