Sunday, February 25, 2018
Sports

Louisville women shock Baylor

OKLAHOMA CITY — All season there has been one question in women's basketball: How do you stop Brittney Griner? Louisville found an answer Sunday.

Griner and top-seeded Baylor lost 82-81 in a region semifinal when Monique Reid, fouled by Griner, made two free throws with 2.6 seconds left.

"I'm just sad," said Griner, a 6-foot-8 senior who entered averaging 24 points but scored 14 while shooting 4-of-10. "I didn't do what I needed to do to get my team to the Elite Eight; just disappointment in myself."

Baylor (34-2) had won 32 in a row and 74 of 75 with Griner. No. 5-seeded Louisville (27-8) surrounded her using a defense coach Jeff Walz called the "claw and one." He put one player in front of Griner, another behind her and often another in the vicinity. She didn't make a basket until 4:40 into the second half.

"I think I could smell what toothpaste she used," Louisville's Antonita Slaughter said. "I was in her face the whole time with my hands up."

Meanwhile, the Cardinals tied the tournament record by making 16 3-pointers on 25 attempts. "I told our kids if we had to take 40 to 50 3s, we would," said Walz, whose team blew a 17-point lead over the last 7½ minutes.

Odyssey Sims scored 29, including two free throws with 9.1 seconds left to give Baylor its only lead. But after Reid's free throws, she was offtarget from just inside midcourt.

Griner said she thought she got all ball when she was called for the foul on Reid's final drive. "We see physical games every night," she said. "Most of the time, we get more calls. But … you just play through it."

Louisville was called for 23 fouls, Baylor 14. The Cardinals also had three starters foul out. Walz said he was dumbfounded at the fifth foul calls that disqualified two of them.

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey also had problems with the officiating. At her news conference, she stopped an answer in mid sentence to say, "I'll be glad to answer any referee questions you want to ask me because I don't mind getting fined, so ask me." The question then came.

"I thought the game started out way too physical, way too physical," she said. "I thought that all three (officials), if they go past this round of officiating, it will be sad for the game."

Mulkey also criticized the officials for not calling anything on Louisville's Shoni Schimmel, who made a shot over Griner, then got in her face. When Sims returned the favor, matching technical fouls were called.

"I thought it got personal with both teams," Mulkey said. "When you allow it to be that physical, you have taunting. It got out of hand, and it got personal with the players. And you don't like to see that."

Tenn. 74, Oklahoma 59: Kamiko Williams had 15 points and seven rebounds and shut down Sooners star Aaryn Ellenberg for the No. 2-seeded Vols. In the first half, Williams had 13 points, three assists and two steals as Tennessee (27-7) opened a 20-point lead. Ellenberg, who entered averaging 18.9 points, made 1 of 11 shots. "She's just taken this team," Vols coach Holly Warlick said of Williams. Ellenberg finished with 13 on 5 of 21 shooting (2-of-10 on 3-pointers) for No. 6-seeded Oklahoma (24-11).

Norfolk Region

Notre Dame 93, Kansas 63: Skylar Diggins scored 22 of her 27 in the first half to lead the top-seeded Irish. Diggins, who became the school's all-time scoring leader, scored nine in a row in a 16-2 first-half run that put the Irish (34-1) ahead to stay. "We play in games that are so much like Sweet 16 or Elite Eight in (the Big East)," Diggins said. "That helps all of us." Kansas (20-14) was the second No. 12 seed to reach the Sweet 16.

Duke 53, Nebraska 45: Tricia Liston scored 17 for the No. 2-seeded Blue Devils. Duke (33-2) trailed Oklahoma State by 13 on its home floor last weekend. Sunday, it was 4-of-20 to trail 18-11. But up 27-26 early in the second half, Liston's 3-pointer began a 13-4 run. "It can be frustrating at times," Liston said of the offensive struggles, made worse by the loss of All-American Chelsea Gray to a dislocated kneecap 10 games ago. "That's where our defense can come in." The No. 6-seeded Cornhuskers (25-9) shot just 30.3 percent from the field, including 3-of-24 on 3-pointers.

Late Saturday

Cal 73, LSU 63: Layshia Clarendon scored 17 of her 19 in the second half as the No. 2-seeded Bears reached the Elite Eight for the first time. Cal (31-3) faces Georgia in the Spokane Region final tonight. Tied at 26 at halftime, the No. 6-seeded Tigers (22-12) went more than five minutes without a field goal. By the time Adrienne Webb ended it with 2:28 left, it was 64-49.

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