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Missouri pulls off NCAA tourney stunner

ATHENS, Ga. — When the final horn sounded, Kelly Miller buckled over as if she had been punched in the stomach. Coco Miller gnawed at her jersey and fought back tears as she trotted off the court.

For Georgia's twin stars, the last college game was a most stunning loss.

Amanda Lassiter scored 22 points and 10th-seeded Missouri upset the second-seeded Lady Bulldogs 78-65 Sunday in the second round of the NCAA East Regional.

The Lady Bulldogs (27-6) felt they deserved a No. 1 seed but couldn't even get by the subregional on their home court.

Missouri (22-9) snapped Georgia's 24-game winning streak at Stegeman Coliseum and became the first road team to win an NCAA game at Athens since 1990.

"The whole team played hard," Coco Miller said, choking with emotion at the postgame news conference. "It's just too bad it had to end like this."

The Millers made it to the Final Four as sophomores but never got back. The Lady Bulldogs were beaten in the regional final a year ago and then watched Missouri pull away in the second half to hand Georgia the most surprising NCAA loss in school history.

"I just don't think we were playing up to our potential at all," said Kelly, a two-time All-American who started all 131 games in her college career. "We never had a great game this year."

Sitting side-by-side in the locker room, the Millers said it was too early to ponder the next stage in their lives. They have always played together — youth leagues, high school, four years at Georgia — but there's no guarantee they'll wind up on the same team in the WNBA.

"We haven't really spoken about that," Coco said. "We don't have to say much. We know what the other one is thinking."

Kelly Miller was held to 11 points on 5-of-16 shooting, while her sister made only 5-of-15 attempts for 10 points.

Missouri moved on to the regional semifinals at Pittsburgh, advancing to the third round for the first time in school history.

"We came in confident, knowing we could compete with Georgia," Lassiter said. "We didn't want to seem timid. We wanted to get them out of their comfort zone and control the tempo."

Lassiter hit four 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and six steals. Marlena Williams added 19 points for the Tigers, who until this year had not won an NCAA game since 1986.

"I'm not really big on history myself," coach Cindy Stein said. "This has more to do with the present. We don't want to be satisfied with this game."

Missouri led 35-33 at the half and slowly pulled away to a 57-44 lead on Evan Unrau's basket with 8:51 remaining.


N.C. STATE 68, VILLANOVA 64: At Raleigh, N.C., Carisse Moody and Tynesha Lewis recovered from poor first-round outings to combine for 43 points as North Carolina State beat Villanova 68-64 Sunday in the second round of the East Regional.

Fourth-seeded N.C. State (22-10), which reached the third round for the 10th time, next will face the winner of a later game between Connecticut and Colorado State.

Moody, who had nine points in a victory over Delaware on Friday, went 7-for-14 from the field for 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Villanova.

Lewis, just 3-for-12 against Delaware, improved to 7-for-10 Sunday and added five rebounds and five assists.


XAVIER 77, CLEMSON 62: At Cincinnati, Nicole Levandusky scored 19 points as Xavier beat Clemson for its 20th straight victory.

Taru Tuukkanen added 14 points, and Reetta Piipari and Amy Waugh had 13 each for the Musketeers (30-2). Chrissy Floyd had 24 points for Clemson (21-10), which trailed by 31 with 9:01 to play.

TENNESSEE 92, ST. MARY'S 75: At Knoxville, Tenn., The Gaels of St. Mary's wanted to keep it close against Tennessee. They wound up giving the Lady Vols one of their biggest scares ever on their home floor in the NCAA tournament.

Kara Lawson led five Lady Vols in double digits with 17 points as top-seeded Tennessee beat St. Mary's 92-75 on Sunday night in the second round of the Mideast Regional.

The Lady Vols will meet fourth-seeded Xavier, which beat Clemson 77-62 earlier Sunday, in the regional semifinals Saturday in Birmingham, Ala.

TEXAS TECH 73, VIRGINIA TECH 52: At Lubbock, Texas, Plenette Pierson scored a career-high 28 points as Texas Tech overcame a slow start to beat Virginia Tech 73-52 in the second round of the Mideast Regional on Sunday.

With Texas Tech down 27-19 early in the second half, Pierson hit four straight jump shots to tie the game with 16:15 to play.

After the second-seeded Lady Raiders took their first lead on Jolee Ayers' basket, Pierson hit four free throws and two more jumpers to make it 44-35 with 8:51 left.

Texas Tech (25-6) advanced to the round of 16 for the third straight year. The Lady Raiders will play the winner of a late game between Purdue and Louisiana State on Saturday in Birmingham, Ala.


IOWA ST. 85, FLORIDA ST. 70: At Ames, Iowa, Angie Wells scored 26 points to help Iowa State reach the round of 16 for the third straight year.

Megan Taylor made five 3-pointers and added 22 points in her final home game for the Cyclones (27-5). Iowa State tied the school record for victories. Katelyn Vujas led Florida State (19-12) with 15 points.