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USF rolls past Temple, faces Louisville in AAC semis

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — Inga Orekhova had 22 points to help third seed USF hang onto its NCAA Tournament hopes by beating Temple 72-44 in Saturday's quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.

Courtney Williams added 12 points for the Bulls (19-11), who face No. 3 Louisville in today's semifinals (3 p.m., ESPNU).

Going into Saturday's games, Charlie Creme of espn.com had the Bulls among the "next four out" in his Bracketology analysis.

USF only led 21-17 with 4:36 left in the first half before closing the half with a 15-2 run. Orekhova had nine points during the burst as USF led 36-19 at the half.

Feyonda Fitzgerald scored 20 but was 5-for-20 from the field for the Owls (14-16), who shot 24.1 percent (14 for 58).

No. 1 UConn 72, Cincinnati 42: The Huskies had a 20-4 spurt late in the first half on their way to a rout in the American quarterfinals. Breanna Stewart scored 22 and Bria Hartley added 17 for UConn (32-0), which faces No. 24 Rutgers in today's semifinals.

No. 2 N.D. 83, No. 14 N.C. St. 48: Jewell Loyd scored 16 as the top-seeded Fighting Irish (31-0) rolled to today's ACC final in Greensboro, N.C. Notre Dame, which started on a 12-0 run and led by 28 at halftime, faces Duke in today's final. The Wolfpack (25-7) missed top scorer and rebounder Markeisha Gatling (knee).

No. 3 L'ville 88, Houston 43: The second-seeded Cardinals (29-3) scored 26 of the first 30 points en route to an easy win in the American quarterfinals, setting up a semifinal against USF.

No. 6 Tenn. 86, No. 15 A&M 77: Isabelle Harrison had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Vols in their SEC semifinal victory in Duluth, Ga. Tennessee (26-5) seeks its 17th league tournament title today against No. 12 Kentucky. Courtney Walker scored 26 for Texas A&M (24-8), the defending champion that led by 10 at halftime.

No. 7 W. Va. 67, TCU 59: Asya Bussie had 18 points and 13 rebounds to help the Mountaineers (28-3) advance at the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament in Oklahoma City. West Virginia won all three meetings with TCU this season but by just a combined 16 points, and today faces the winner of the late game between Oklahoma and Texas.

No. 9 Baylor 81, Kansas 47: The top-seeded Bears (27-4), who lost to Kansas on Jan. 19, led by 26 at halftime and cruised in the Big 12 quarterfinals. Baylor faces No. 18 Oklahoma State today.

No. 10 Duke 66, No. 14 UNC 61: Tricia Liston scored 17 and Ka'lia Johnson hit the go-ahead free throws with 44.1 seconds left to help the second-seeded Blue Devils (27-5), who closed their ACC tournament semifinal with an 11-2 run. Freshman Diamond DeShields scored 25 for sixth-seeded North Carolina (24-9).

No. 12 Ky. 68, No. 5 S. Carolina 58: Bria Goss had 14 points and DeNesha Stallworth and Linnae Harper each scored 12 as Kentucky (24-7) made its fourth SEC tournament final in five years. South Carolina (27-4), the top seed, never made a serious bid after falling behind 12-2 early.

No. 16 Neb. 86, No. 19 Mich. St. 58: Tear'a Laudermill had 20 points and Rachel Theriot added 18 for third seed Nebraska (24-6), which exploded for a 50-point first half at the Big Ten semifinals in Indianapolis. Nebraska faces Iowa in today's championship game. Branndais Agee led Michigan State (22-9) with 18 points.

No. 18 Okla. St. 67, Iowa St. 57: Brittney Martin had 17 points and 11 rebounds as fourth-seeded Oklahoma State (23-7) pulled away in the Big 12 quarterfinals, outscoring the Cyclones 15-5 in the final 8:45.

No. 23 Iowa 77, Ohio St. 73: Theairra Taylor scored 21 including a go-ahead layup with 1:32 left as the Hawkeyes (26-7) held on to reach the Big Ten tournament semifinals.

No. 24 Rutgers 68, SMU 49: Kahleah Copper scored 22 and Tyler Scaife had 18 points as the fourth-seeded Scarlet Knights rallied in the American quarterfinals. Trailing 35-31 early in the second half, the Scarlet Knights (22-8) went on an 18-4 run.

OVC: Jasmine Newsome scored 25 as Tennessee Martin clinched its fourth straight league title, beating Belmont 78-66 in the final in Nashville.

SSC: Top seed Tampa (22-5) defeated Saint Leo 80-74 to reach today's final in Kissimmee. Aisha Rodney had 21 points and Illyssa Vivo scored 19 for the Spartans, who face No. 3 seed Nova Southeastern (an 80-70 winner over Rollins) in the final at 3:30 today. Sophomore guard Chachi Guzman had a career-high 35 points and nine rebounds for the fourth-seeded Lions (20-9).

.NCAA TOURNAMENT

Automatic berths

Tenn. Martin Ohio Valley

USF rolls past Temple, faces Louisville in AAC semis 03/08/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 8, 2014 11:42pm]

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