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Final free throw sends DePaul to Sweet 16 in upset

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jessica January's strong start put her team ahead but it was her last point that sent DePaul to the Sweet 16.

January had 18 of her season-high 25 points in the first half and No. 6 seed DePaul held off third seed Louisville 73-72 Sunday in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament in the Dallas Region.

The junior guard's final point was the decisive margin as she made the second of two free throws with 14.5 seconds left. She also had eight rebounds and five assists.

"It's all the credit is to my teammates that were getting me the ball," January said. "And just feeling comfortable and feeling like my teammates trust me to take shots."

That trust was well-earned as DePaul (27-8) now heads to Dallas, its third Sweet 16 since 2011 and fourth in coach Doug Bruno's 30-year tenure.

Louisville (26-8) trailed by 10 with 8:36 to play but fought back to tie the score at 69 with 2:51 remaining.

Briahanna Jackson led the Cardinals with scored 20 points, 16 in the second half. Her reverse layup again tied the game at 72 with 15 seconds left. She fouled out attempting a steal on the following inbounds, sending January to line.

Louisville had one more shot but Myisha Hines-Allen was called for a charge with 1.7 seconds left on a drive to the basket.

"We have ran that play before and it was just — I couldn't finish the shot," said Hines-Allen, the ACC player of the year.

No. 1 Baylor 84, No. 9 Auburn 52: Nina Davis had an impressive stretch in the second quarter and finished with 30 points as the host Bears advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the eighth year in a row. Baylor (35-1) never trailed after Alexis Jones hit a 3-pointer on her first shot and has a 22-game winning streak. Brandy Montgomery had 14 points for Auburn (20-13), the last unranked opponent to beat the Bears on their court. That was 13 years ago in the WNIT final.

No. 2 Ore. St. 69, No. 10 St. Bonaventure 40: Jamie Weisner broke out of a slump and scored 23 as the host Beavers took control after halftime. Sydney Wiese added eight points, six rebounds and six assists and Deven Hunter scored 11 for Oregon State. Miranda Drummond scored 12 for the Bonnies (23-8). Weisner, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, scored only two in the first round against Troy.

Bridgeport Region

No. 5 Miss. St. 74, No. 4 Mich. St. 72: Victoria Vivians scored 24 and Breanna Richardson hit a crucial 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to lead the host Bulldogs (28-7). Richardson's 3-pointer gave Mississippi State a 72-69 lead. Branndais Agee was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, but could only convert one of the free throws for the Spartans (25-9).

Sioux Falls Region

No. 3 Ohio St. 88, No. 6 W. Va. 81: Kelsey Mitchell scored 45 for the host Buckeyes (26-7). Mitchell, constantly battered by the Mountaineers (25-10), made five 3-pointers and was 18-for-22 from the free-throw line on her way to the fourth-most points ever in NCAA Tournament play. Mitchell eclipsed the 40-point mark for the fourth time this season.

No. 1 S. Carolina 73, No. 9 Kansas St. 47: Tiffany Mitchell had 16 of her 20 points in the first two quarters as the host Gamecocks opened a big lead and breezed into the Sweet 16. South Carolina (33-1) romped through its first two tournament games, defeating Jacksonville by 36 before routing the Wildcats (19-13). Alaina Coates had 14 points and 10 rebounds, her second straight double-double in the NCAA Tournament and 19th of the season.

No. 4 Syracuse 79, No. 12 Albany 59: Brittney Sykes had nine of her 24 points in a third-quarter surge for the host Orange (27-7), which reached the Sweet 16 for the first time in eight tournament appearances and set a school record for victories. Shereesha Richards, Albany's career scoring leader and its first Division I All-American, scored 23 for the Great Danes (28-5), who stunned No. 5 seed Florida on Friday.

No. 7 Tenn. 75, No. 2 Ariz. St. 64: Diamond DeShields scored 24 and Mercedes Russell added 12 points as the visiting Vols completed their improbable run to the Sweet 16. Inconsistent all season, eight-time champion Tennessee (21-13) played like a national power to reach the Sweet 16 for the 34th time in 35 seasons. Elisha Davis scored 18 and Quinn Dornstauder added 15 points for Arizona State (26-7).

Final free throw sends DePaul to Sweet 16 in upset 03/20/16 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2016 11:30pm]
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