clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UConn, Purdue, LSU, Texas advance

DAYTON, Ohio — Diana Taurasi saw to it that Boston College had no chance to win on another buzzer-beater.

Taurasi scored 18 of her 26 points in the first half and Connecticut dominated from the start, beating Big East rival Boston College 70-49 Sunday in the East Regional semifinals.

Jessica Moore gave top-seeded Connecticut (34-1) an inside presence with 17 points and Barbara Turner added 14 for the Huskies, who beat Boston College (22-9) for the second time this season and ended the Eagles' charmed run through the NCAA tournament.

Connecticut, the defending national champion, will play Purdue in the regional final Tuesday night. A victory would send the Huskies to the Final Four for the fourth straight year and seventh time overall.

Fifth-seeded BC had advanced to the round of 16 for the first time by beating Old Dominion and Vanderbilt on last-second shots by Amber Jacobs. But with Taurasi scoring eight points, UConn closed the first half with a 14-2 run to open a 44-25 lead. Boston College never threatened the rest of the way.

Jacobs, who had averaged 24 points in the first two rounds, scored only four on 2-for-13 shooting. Jessalyn Deveny led the Eagles with 14 points, Clare Droesch had 11 and Becky Gottstein 10.

PURDUE 66, NOTRE DAME 47: Guard Erika Valek scored 19 points and helped key an early second-half spurt to lead Purdue.

The second-seeded Boilermakers (29-5) advance to meet defending champion and top-seeded Connecticut for a spot in the Final Four on Tuesday night.

As for 11th-seeded Notre Dame, its upset streak came to a screeching halt. The Fighting Irish were the lowest remaining seed left in the tournament after beating No. 6 Arizona in the first round and No. 3 Kansas State in the second round.

Shereka Wright had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Mary Jo Noon added 12 points and Beth Jones scored 10 points for the Boilermakers, who won their eighth straight.

Valek, at 5-foot-6 the smallest player on the floor, closed the half by hitting a 3-pointer with 2 seconds left to give Purdue a 33-29 lead.

That seemed to set the tone as the Boilermakers' defense slammed the door on the Fighting Irish as they opened the second half on a 22-4 run.

Alicia Ratay led the Fighting Irish (21-11) with 16 points.

WEST

LSU 69, LOUISIANA TECH 63: At Stanford, Calif., Temeka Johnson could see LSU was in trouble, so she threw aside her protective goggles and led the Tigers to the brink of the Final Four.

Johnson had eight points, nine assists and eight rebounds despite two broken bones near her right eye, and Aiysha Smith scored 19 points as top-seeded LSU beat Louisiana Tech 69-63 on Sunday in the West Regional semifinals.

Freshman Seimone Augustus scored 14 points for the Tigers (30-3), who trailed by 17 points early in the second half before a dramatic 16-0 rally led by Johnson.

LSU took the lead for good with 4 1/2 minutes left, then snapped the fifth-seeded Lady Techsters' 29-game winning streak with fearless scoring down the stretch. The Tigers also earned Bayou State superiority, even if the game was played way out in California.

Two-time WAC player of the year Cheryl Ford finished her career with 16 points and 15 rebounds for Louisiana Tech (31-3), which hadn't lost since Dec. 4. Trina Frierson scored 18 points, but the Lady Techsters lost their momentum early in the second half and never got it back as LSU shot better than 56 percent after halftime.

LSU will make its third regional final appearance Tuesday against the Texas-Minnesota winner. Tigers coach Sue Gunter has 681 career victories, but the 61-year-old Hall of Famer has never reached the Final Four in nearly four decades of coaching.

Karl Malone, Ford's famous father, made the trip during a two-day break in the Utah Jazz's season to support his alma mater and his daughter. The NBA's second-leading career scorer sipped lemonade and stood up to shout at the officials as Louisiana Tech pulled ahead with Ford's powerful inside play.

LSU was disorganized and lifeless, trailing 50-33 — until Doneeka Hodges and Smith hit tough shots to start the Tigers' impressive run. Augustus scored consecutive baskets with eight minutes to play, cutting Louisiana Tech's lead to a point.

The Tigers took their first lead on a layup by Johnson, who scored six of her eight points in succession. Her jumper with 4:32 left gave LSU a lead it never lost.

It was just the second meeting in the past 12 years between Louisiana's perennial basketball powers. Maples Pavilion was less than half-full when the game began, but the traveling fans and the locals both cheered a well-played game in the second half.

TEXAS 73, MINNESOTA 60: Texas' Jamie Carey scored 18 points on the same court where she starred as a freshman for Stanford, leading the Longhorns into the West Regional finals with a 73-60 victory over Minnesota on Sunday night.

Second-seeded Texas won its 16th straight game to advance to the regional final for the sixth time under coach Jody Conradt, who took the Longhorns (28-5) to back-to-back Final Fours in 1986 and '87.

They will play top-seeded Louisiana State (30-3) on Tuesday night. The Tigers, who beat Texas 76-58 earlier this season, came from behind to beat Louisiana Tech 69-63 earlier Sunday.

Texas is the only school with both its men's and women's teams still in the NCAA tournament.

The Longhorns also got 14 points and 12 rebounds from Heather Schreiber.

Kim Prince had 15 points for No. 6 seed Minnesota (25-6), which reached the round of 16 for the first time in school history with an upset victory over Stanford last week but couldn't overcome a poor performance on offense Sunday.

The Longhorns' defense held Minnesota leading scorer Lindsay Whalen to 13 points, eight below her average.