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Women's conference tournaments

Texas A&M reaches first Big 12 final

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Morenike Atunrase had 19 points and five rebounds to lead No. 11 Texas A&M to a 65-53 victory over Iowa State on Thursday in the semifinals of the Big 12 tournament.

Texas A&M committed one turnover in the first half and finished with only six in advancing to the title game for the first time, where it faces No. 18 Oklahoma State, a 75-72 winner over Texas.

Takia Starks was 3-for-4 on 3-pointers and finished with 15 points for the Aggies, who opened on a 17-4 run and led 27-11 midway through the first half.

Iowa State, playing the 1,000th game of the program's history, upset top-seeded Kansas State on Wednesday in the quarterfinals but shot only 36 percent from the field against A&M and made only 13 of 22 free throws.

Atunrase was 7-for-11 from the field and 4-for-6 on free throws for the Aggies, who got 11 points from Patrice Reado and 10 points from Danielle Gant.

Heather Ezell, who averaged 25.5 points in the Cyclones' first two tournament games, was held scoreless in the first half and finished with only eight points.

The 5-9 junior hit 15 3s in the previous two games but shot only 2-for-9 from behind the 3-point line against a tough A&M defense that forced 15 turnovers.

America East: Freshman Kirsten Jeter scored 21 with 12 rebounds as Stony Brook advanced to the quarterfinals in West Hartford, Conn., with a 64-58 win over Maine. Stony Brook will face top-seeded Hartford today.

Big Sky: Seniors Rebecca Mercer and Krislyn Wallace each scored 19 as Montana State beat Northern Arizona 84-78 in Missoula, Mont. The Bobcats will face Idaho State today.

Big West: Roney Friend scored 17 to lead third-seeded UC Riverside to a 59-47 win over Cal State Fullerton in the quarterfinal round in Anaheim, Calif. The Highlanders advance to today's semifinal against No. 2 seed UC Davis.

Meanwhile, Sparkle Anderson's two free throws with 26 seconds left gave Cal Poly the lead for the first time in the second half as it rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to beat Pacific 79-76. The Mustangs face UC Santa Barbara today in the semifinals.

Colonial Athletic: Freshman guard Brittany Blackwell scored 18 and grabbed 10 rebounds as UNC Wilmington held off Delaware 59-56 in the first round at Newark, Del. Wilmington faces Old Dominion today.

Northeastern used a 25-0 run in the first half to cruise to a 78-46 victory over George Mason. The win pushes the Huskies' winning streak to seven games, while the Patriots dropped their eighth in a row. Northeastern plays VCU today.

William & Mary got 17 points from senior forward Kyra Kaylor and beat Georgia State 82-60 to advance to play James Madison today.

Towson advanced to face Drexel today after beating Hofstra 61-52.

Mid-Eastern Athletic: Rachel Butler scored 16 of her game-high 20 in the second half and Quanneisha Perry provide a boost off the bench to help Hampton pull away to a 56-49 win over the Maryland Eastern Shore in the quarterfinal round at Raleigh, N.C. The Pirates advance to a semifinal today against No. 1 seed North Carolina A&T.

Jameeka Smith scored a game-high 15 to lead Delaware State to a 67-49 win over Morgan State in the other quarterfinal. The Hornets take on Coppin State today.

Missouri Valley: Southern Illinois beat Bradley 65-54, and Northern Iowa beat Wichita State 75-45 in St. Charles, Mo.

Southwestern Athletic: Mississippi Valley State, the sixth seed, beat third-seeded Alabama A&M 67-61 in the quarterfinal round at Birmingham, Ala., as Amanda Hammond (20) and Portia Wilson combined for 38 points. MVSU faces the No. 2 seed Jackson State in a semifinal today. Delores Hughley scored 21 as Arkansas Pine Bluff beat Southern 64-55 and advances to face top-seeded Prairie View today.

>>fast facts

In the field

Automatic berths for the NCAA Tournament:

Bucknell Patriot

Chattanooga Southern

Connecticut Big East

East Tenn. St. Atlantic Sun

Marist MACC

Murray State Ohio Valley

North Carolina ACC

Oral Roberts Summit

Purdue Big Ten

San Diego West Coast

SMU C-USA

Stanford Pac-10

Tennessee SEC

W.  Kentucky Sun Belt

Xavier Atlantic 10

Texas A&M reaches first Big 12 final

03/14/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:38am]
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