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Huskies foil Hoyas' startling upset bid

Maya Moore goes high over Georgetown forward Adria Crawford in the first half of Connecticut’s 68-63 comeback victory.

Associated Press

Maya Moore goes high over Georgetown forward Adria Crawford in the first half of Connecticut’s 68-63 comeback victory.

PHILADELPHIA — Georgetown knows all about Maya Moore and Connecticut's rich postseason history, and the Hoyas were determined to rock the bracket with one of the NCAA Tournament's biggest upsets ever.

Backed into a corner, Moore got some help from fellow senior Lorin Dixon, and the Huskies responded.

Moore had 23 points and 14 rebounds, leading Connecticut to a 68-63 victory after the Hoyas led by seven in the second half of the Philadelphia Region semifinal Sunday.

"Me and Maya decided we didn't want our careers to end here (Sunday)," Dixon said. "That's just a great feeling. I think everyone wanted to continue the tournament."

While Moore put up the numbers, Dixon was the catalyst for the game-changing run.

Connecticut (35-1) trailed 53-46 with 9:36 left but responded with a 16-2 run sparked by the 5-foot-4 guard.

"Today was a great reflection of what she's been doing for the last month for every single day," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said of Dixon, who had four points, four assists and four steals.

Bria Hartley got the spurt started with a 3-pointer and Dixon followed with a layup off a steal. She then had another steal and fed Hartley for an easy lay-in that tied it at 53 with 7:12 left.

Moore then scored four straight and, after Alexa Roche's basket, Hartley capped the run with a 3-pointer that made it 62-55 with 4:03 left.

Monica McNutt's 3-pointer got Georgetown (24-11) within four with 1:41 remaining, but Moore answered with a long jumper from the corner to seal the win.

"My players aren't in these situations very often and it's good to be tested," Auriemma said. "It's easy to be a winner when you're winning. You find out a lot about yourself when you have to go and win. We found out a lot about us today."

DUKE 70, DEPAUL 63: The final seconds ticked down, and the Blue Devils were set for a celebration. They'll get a blockbuster sequel they believe will have a better ending.

Duke will get a second straight shot at winning a region final, and a rematch with UConn to show how far it has come since an embarrassing loss in January.

Karima Christmas had 23 points and nine rebounds, Jasmine Thomas scored 19 and the Blue Devils held on in Philadelphia to reach the region final for the second straight year.

Duke (32-3) earned a rematch against the Huskies on Tuesday night with the Final Four at stake. On Jan. 31, Maya Moore scored 29 as UConn surged to a 41-15 halftime lead in an 87-51 win over Duke.

"That game, we, I can't even explain what happened in the first half," Christmas said. "It just kind of put us in a place where we didn't want to be and didn't expect to be."

The second-seeded Blue Devils did expect a return to the region final a year after they were bounced out by Baylor. They've won nine straight games and are a win away from their first Final Four since 2006.

"It's really a lot of fun," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "It's not something you reflect on too much right now because you've got a game coming up you've got to get ready for."

Naughton scored 17 for DePaul (29-7).

Dallas Region

TEXAS A&M 79, GEORGIA 38: Aggies coach Gary Blair spent the week making sure his team was focused on the Bulldogs with a possible rematch against Baylor looming in the next round.

Just 10 minutes into the region semifinal, there was no doubt he'd gotten through.

Danielle Adams had 23 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, and Texas A&M built a 31-point halftime lead en route to a spot in the region final.

"Coach Blair and everybody, all the coaching staff just made the point, just to focus on Georgia and not look towards the next game," Adams said.

The Aggies earned the most lopsided NCAA Tournament win in school history. Georgia's 38 points were the second-fewest in region history.

"I kept looking up at halftime and I was telling (people): 'I can't believe it,' " Blair said. "I was telling the officials: 'I don't know what happened.' I've never had an NCAA game like this against this quality of a team."

Texas A&M (30-5) led 13-0 and was up 27-2 with just less than 10 minutes left in the first half. The Aggies raced to the lead thanks to a barrage of 3-pointers and stifling defense that held the Bulldogs (23-11) to a 1-for-14 start.

BAYLOR 86, WIS.-GREEN BAY 76: Brittney Griner had another big game and got some help from freshman point guard Odyssey Sims, and the top-seeded Bears pulled away.

Griner had a career-high 40 points and 10 rebounds and combined with Sims to score all the points in the game-clinching 14-0 spurt for Baylor (34-2), which snapped a 25-game winning streak by the Phoenix (34-2).

The Bears led 52-49 before Griner hit a short baseline shot over two defenders with just more than 13 minutes left. Sims hit consecutive 3-pointers and Griner two free throws and a putback. Sims ended the spurt with a steal and breakaway layup.

"Stuff started clicking for us," Griner said. "We weren't rushing anything."

Huskies foil Hoyas' startling upset bid 03/27/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 27, 2011 10:06pm]
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