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Boilermakers, Irish, Lady Bears join Huskies at Final Four

Pulling off another Conn job

Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Diana Taurasi dominated with her shooting and court savvy as Connecticut rolled into the women's Final Four again with a 67-48 victory over Louisiana Tech on Monday night.

Taurasi, a freshman who didn't even start until defending national champion Connecticut lost its two returning All-Americans to season-ending injuries, had 17 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the East Regional final in Pittsburgh.

Connecticut, winners of 15 straight even while losing stars Svetlana Abrosimova and Shea Ralph, will play Big East rival Notre Dame on Friday night in St. Louis.

The Irish, 72-64 winners over Vanderbilt in the Midwest final in Denver, knocked UConn out of the top spot in the national rankings with a 92-76 victory Jan. 15. The Huskies won the rematch 78-76 in the Big East championship game March 6.

NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament

EAST REGIONAL

Regional Championship

Monday, March 26

Connecticut 67, Louisiana Tech 48

MIDEAST REGIONAL

Regional Championship

Monday, March 26

Purdue 88, Xavier 78

MIDWEST REGIONAL

Regional Championship

Monday, March 26

Notre Dame 72, Vanderbilt 64

WEST REGIONAL

Regional Championship

Monday, March 26

Southwest Missouri State 104, Washington 87

THE FINAL FOUR

At The Savvis Center

St. Louis

National Semifinals

Friday, March 30

Purdue (30-6) vs. Southwest Missouri State (29-5), 3 p.m.

Connecticut (32-2) vs. Notre Dame (32-2), 5:30 p.m.

National Championship

Sunday, April 1

Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

All Times AST

In the other semifinal, Purdue will play Southwest Missouri State. Purdue beat Xavier 88-78 in the Mideast final in Birmingham, Ala., and Southwest Missouri State defeated Washington 104-87 in the West Final in Spokane, Wash.

Tamika Williams added 18 points and 10 rebounds as the Huskies (32-2) advanced to their fifth Final Four under coach Geno Auriemma. They won national titles in 1995 and last season.

''We're going back to the Final Four and that's hard to do,'' guard Sue Bird said. ''I think a lot of people didn't believe we could do it when we lost our two All-Americans.''

MIDWEST

Notre Dame 72, Vanderbilt 64

Ruth Riley scored 32 points as Notre Dame pulled away in the second half to beat Vanderbilt.

Riley, a first-team All-American center, had 22 points in the second half as Vanderbilt's Chantelle Anderson, a second-team All-American, sat out much of the half because of foul trouble.

Alicia Ratay had 17 points, and Kelley Siemon added 16 for Notre Dame (32-2), which set a school record for victories in a season. Zuzana Klimesova led the Commodores (24-10) with 27 points and 12 rebounds. Anderson had 14 points.

MIDEAST

Purdue 88, Xavier 78

Kelly Komara played a superb game filling in for injured point guard Erika Valek, and Katie Douglas hit two critical 3-pointers while battling through an off night shooting for Purdue (30-6).

Komara, forced to move from shooting guard to the point after Valek tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in the Boilermakers' victory over Texas Tech on Saturday, had 20 points, five assists and four steals. Douglas added 19 points.

Taru Tuukkanen had 23 points for Xavier (31-3), which entered the game with a 21-game winning streak after upsetting top-seeded Tennessee 80-65 on Saturday. Nicole Levandusky added 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Musketeers.

SW Missouri St. 104, Washington 87

Jackie Stiles scored 32 points despite sitting out 4 1/2 minutes early in the second half and fouling out with 3:25 to play to carry Southwest Missouri State to the Final Four.

Stiles, the leading scorer in women's NCAA Division I history, had 73 points in two games in Spokane to become the first woman to top 1,000 in a season in Division I.

Tara Mitchem added 23 points for the Lady Bears (29-5), and Erika Rante had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Loree Payne scored 17 points for Washington (22-10).



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