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Connecticut Looks Strong

From Associated Press

Top-seeded Connecticut looked unbeatable again, roaring back from its first loss in two years with a rout of Boston University, 91-44, Sunday in a first-round NCAA East Regional women’s basketball tournament game at Storrs, Conn.

Also back in peak form was Diana Taurasi, who had 21 points and seven assists for the Huskies (32-1). The junior All-American shook off the chronic ankle and back pain that has hampered her the last few weeks.

It was Connecticut’s first game since Villanova ended the Huskies’ run of 70 consecutive victories with a 52-48 upset in the Big East tournament final.

“I think everyone hit a wall,” Taurasi said. “A week and a half really helped us to regroup.”

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Of Taurasi, Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma said: “When she is playing well then we all look good, and she played exceptionally well.”

Adrienne Norris led the 16th-seeded Terriers (16-15) with 16 points.

Texas Christian 50, Michigan State 47 -- Grace Gantt scored seven of her 15 points in the final eight minutes as the ninth-seeded Horned Frogs (120-13) held off the eighth-seeded Spartans (17-12) at Storrs, Conn. Michigan State rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half but could not complete the comeback. TCU will play Connecticut Tuesday.

Notre Dame 59, Arizona 47 -- Alicia Ratay scored nine of her 20 points in a 15-0 second-half run that gave the 11th-seeded Irish (20-10) the victory over the sixth-seeded Wildcats (22-9) at Manhattan, Kan. Notre Dame frustrated Arizona 6-foot-5 freshman center, Shawntinice Polk, with a collapsing zone defense. Courtney LaVere added 15 points for the Irish, who overcame a poor game by scoring leader Jacqueline Batteast, who had only three points.

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Kansas State 79, Harvard 69 -- The third-seeded Wildcats (29-4) had to fight off the 14th-seeded Crimson (22-5) for the victory at Manhattan, Kan. Harvard sliced a 19-point lead to eight with 3 1/2 minutes remaining but couldn’t get any closer. Kansas State plays Notre Dame on Tuesday.

MIDWEST

Texas Tech 67, Southwest Missouri State 59 -- Plenette Pierson scored 25 points and had 13 rebounds for the second-seeded Red Raiders (27-5) in their victory over the 15th-seeded Bears (18-13) at Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech built a six-point lead at halftime and then pushed its advantage to as many as 17.

Duke 66, Georgia State 48 -- Alana Beard scored 19 points and top-seeded Duke (32-1) set a school record for wins but struggled to beat the 16th-seeded Panthers (20-11) at Raleigh, N.C. The Blue Devils didn’t get their first double-digit lead of the second half until more than midway through the period.

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Utah 73, DePaul 64 -- Kim Smith scored 23 of her 35 points in the first half and the eighth-seeded Utes (24-6) padded their lead before halftime to beat the ninth-seeded Blue Demons (22-10) at Raleigh, N.C. Utah, which will play Duke Tuesday, made 50% of its shots.

MIDEAST

George Washington 71, Oklahoma 61 -- Cathy Jones had 22 points, 14 in the second half when the seventh-seeded Colonials (25-6) held off the fourth-seeded Sooners (19-13) at Norman, Okla. George Washington will play Villanova on Tuesday. The Sooners reached the NCAA title game last year and the round of 16 the two years before that, but they were undone in part by 22 turnovers.

Villanova 51, St. Francis, Pa. 36 -- The second-seeded Wildcats (26-5) took advantage of two scoring droughts by the Red Flash to pull away at Norman, Okla. Carlin Chesick scored 15 for St. Francis (23-8), which is 0-7 in the NCAA tournament.

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South Carolina 68, Chattanooga 54 -- Christina Ciocan scored eight of her 18 points during a 13-0 second-half run to rally the fifth-seeded Gamecocks (23-7) in the victory at State College, Pa. Miranda Warfield had 18 points for the 12th-seeded Moccasins (26-5). South Carolina plays Penn State on Tuesday.

Penn State 64, Holy Cross 33 -- Kelly Mazzante scored 27 points to lead the Lions (25-8) at State College, Pa. Mazzante had 19 points on eight-of-14 shooting in the first half, outscoring Holy Cross by herself in that period as Penn State led, 38-16, at halftime. Holy Cross (24-8), seeded 13th, never got closer than 22 points in the second half, and its 33 points were the least by a Holy Cross team since a 55-32 loss to Lafayette in 1992. Lisa Andrews led Holy Cross with 10 points.

WEST

Texas 90, Hampton 46 -- Heather Schreiber scored 17 points to help second-seeded Texas gain its 14th consecutive victory in the game at Cincinnati. Annissa Hastings added 16 points, and Tai Dillard had 12 -- all in the first half -- for the Longhorns (26-5), who play Arkansas Tuesday. LaShondra Dixon had 15 points for 15th-seeded Hampton (23-9), the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion.

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Arkansas 71, Cincinnati 57 -- Shameka Christon scored 13 points in the second half to help the seventh-seeded Razorbacks (22-10) rally at Cincinnati. Christon sat out all but three minutes of the first half after picking up three quick fouls, and 10th-seeded Cincinnati (23-8) led, 32-28, at halftime. But Dana Cherry, who finished with 18 points, gave Arkansas a 38-37 lead when she sank two free throws with 16:29 to play.

Ohio State 66, Weber State 44 -- Kim Wilburn scored 19 points for the fourth-seeded Buckeyes (22-9), who outrebounded 13th-seeded Weber State (21-9), 39-25, and shot 50% overall in the victory at Ruston, La.

Stanford 82, Western Michigan 66 -- Nicole Powell had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as third-seeded Cardinal (27-4) shot 60.8% overall in the victory over 14th-seeded Broncos (20-12) Saturday at Palo Alto. The Cardinal gained its 26th consecutive home victory, including its 15th in a row this season at Maples Pavilion. Chelsea Trotter added 16 points for Stanford, which plays sixth-seeded Minnesota tonight.


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