Xavier 80, Tennessee 65

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — A stunning victory has left upstart Xavier one game from the women's Final Four.

Xavier outshot and outplayed top-seeded Tennessee to earn an 80-65 victory Saturday in the Mideast Regional semifinals, sending the Lady Vols to their earliest NCAA tournament exit in seven years.

Nicole Levandusky led the Musketeers' balanced scoring with 19 points and Jennifer Phillips added 17. Fourth-seeded Xavier (31-2), which had just one NCAA tournament victory before this year, will take a 21-game winning streak into Monday night's regional final against third-seeded Purdue.

The winner of that game goes to the Final Four.

Tennessee (31-3) had been to the Final Four five times in the past six years and won three national titles in that span. But the defense in which the Lady Vols take so much pride failed them and they lost in the regional semifinals for the first time since 1994.

Gwen Jackson led Tennessee with 16 points. In her final game for the Lady Vols, Semeka Randall went 0-for-9 and failed to score.

PURDUE 74, TEXAS TECH 72: At Birmingham, Ala., Purdue got 18 points from Katie Douglas and took advantage of Plenette Pierson's early foul trouble in a game that had a bittersweet note for the Boilermakers, the 1999 national champions.

Douglas sank a free throw to break a 70-70 tie with 2:02 left. After second-seeded Texas Tech (25-7) missed two driving shots, Douglas drove into the lane, got a shot off in traffic and the ball dropped through the basket with 29.6 seconds remaining for a 73-70 lead.

Tech's Jia Perkins then missed a 3-point shot and Douglas made another free throws to ice it off for the Boilermakers (29-6), who will finish the season without starting point guard Erika Valek. Valek tore the ACL in her right knee when she tumbled to the floor with 4:11 left.

Perkins led all scorers with 29 points. Pierson, who had scored 47 points in her first two NCAA tournament games, played only 13 minutes before fouling out with five points.

East Regional

CONNECTICUT 72, N.C. STATE 58: At Pittsburgh, the defending national champions held on after Diana Taurasi gave them a big lead with her 3-point shooting.

Taurasi, the nation's most heavily recruited high school player a year ago, scored 24 points — 19 in a first half in which she was 5-for-5 from 3-point range.

Sue Bird added 16 for top-seeded UConn (31-2), which can reach the Final Four for the fifth time since 1991 by beating Louisiana Tech in Monday night's regional final.

Fourth-seeded North Carolina State (22-11) had upset Connecticut in the 1998 NCAA tournament, but the Wolfpack weren't about to catch the Huskies by surprise this time. UConn jumped to a 12-0 lead and was up by as many as 20 in the first half.

Tynesha Lewis led NC State with 20 points and Carisse Moody scored 10. Only two other State players scored more than two.

LOUISIANA TECH 78, MISSOURI 67: At Pittsburgh, Takeisha Lewis scored 20 of her 27 points in the second half and Louisiana Tech relied on its tournament poise to make the regional finals for the fifth time in six years.

Brooke Lassiter had 25 points for the third-seeded Lady Techsters (31-4), including five in a quick flurry after Missouri closed to within four points late.

With Tech leading 64-60, Lassiter slowly brought the ball up the court, drove to the baseline and back out, then hit a fallaway as the shot clock expired.