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UCF's wait pays off with C-USA title

EL PASO, Texas — The score was everywhere. In lockers. In the dressing room.

Tulane 63, Central Florida 62.

The loss in last season's Conference USA quarterfinals motivated the Knights all season. On Saturday, they got revenge.

Jelisa Caldwell scored 27 as UCF beat Tulane 85-73 in the final for its second NCAA Tournament berth in three years.

The Knights (22-10) had five other players in double figures: Chelsie Wiley (13), D'Nay Daniels (12), Ashia Patrick (11), Ashia Kelly (10) and Gevenia Carter (10).

The Green Wave reached the final by beating Houston, 16-0 in league play during the regular season, in the semifinals.

There were 14 lead changes Saturday before UCF took the lead for good with 11:28 left. Up 70-68 with 5:08 left, a 9-0 run sealed it.

No. 3 Baylor 61, No. 8 Texas A&M 58: Brittney Griner had 31 points, eight rebounds and seven blocks for the Bears in the Big 12 final in Kansas City, Mo. Baylor rallied after trailing 12-0. The Aggies' Danielle Adams, the conference leading scorer at 23 points per game, had 12 on 4-of-19 shooting and missed a 3-pointer with four seconds left.

No. 2 Stanford. 64, No. 7 UCLA 55: Freshman Toni Kokenis scored 10 of her career-high 17 over the final 5:17 to help the Cardinal rally in Los Angeles and win its sixth straight Pac-10 title. Kokenis scored 10 in a row during a 17-2 run that put Stanford up 57-48.

America East: Alex Hall's 15 points led four players in double figures as visiting Hartford beat Boston 65-53 in the final.

Big Sky: Down 52-46, visiting No. 4 seed Montana used a 12-0 run over 6:32 to beat top-seeded Portland State 62-58 in the final.

Big West: Paige Mintun scored 20 to lead No. 4 seed Cal-Davis past top-seeded Cal Poly 66-49 in Anaheim, Calif.

MAC: Lauren Prochaska scored 20 to lead Bowling Green past Eastern Michigan 51-46 in the final in Cleveland. A 7-0 second-half run put the Falcons up 42-35.

MEAC: Hampton beat Howard 61-42 in Winston-Salem, N.C., for its second straight title. A 9-0 run made it 35-21 with 12:33 left.

Mountain West: Freshman Michelle Plouffe scored eight of her 24 in overtime to spark Utah's 52-47 upset of No. 2 seed TCU in the final in Las Vegas. The Utes, the No. 5 seed, won four games in five days after finishing 7-9 in league play.

Patriot: Down 12, host Navy opened the second half with a 16-2 run to beat American 47-40 and earn its first tournament berth.

SWAC: Robin Jones made a go-ahead jumper with 33.3 seconds left as Prairie View outscored Southern 12-0 over the final 5:13 to win the final 48-44 in Garland, Texas.

WAC: Bree Farley, a freshman reserve averaging 4.6 points, made a last-second turnaround jumper to lift Fresno State past Louisiana Tech 78-76 in the final in Las Vegas.

Tampa out: Lynisha Nelson made two free throws with 0.7 seconds left as Florida Tech beat Tampa 56-54 in the Division II South Region quarterfinals in Russellville, Ark.

Virginia: Debbie Ryan, one of just nine coaches with 700 wins, resigned. She took over the program at age 24, went 736-323 over 34 seasons, played in 24 NCAA Tournaments and reached the Final Four from 1990 to 1992 (losing to Tennessee in the 1991 final). This season, the Cavs went 16-15. "We have not lived up to my own standards and expectations this past year," said Ryan, 58, whose assistants included current Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma.

.Fast facts

Automatic bids

Ark.-Little Rock Sun Belt

Baylor Big 12

Bowling Green MAC

Cal-Davis Big West

Central Florida C-USA

Connecticut Big East

Duke ACC

Fresno St. WAC

Gonzaga West Coast

Hampton MEAC

Hartford America East

Marist Metro Atlantic

McNeese St. Southland

Montana Big Sky

Navy Patriot

Ohio St. Big Ten

Prairie View Southwestern

Princeton Ivy

Samford Southern

South Dakota St. Summit

Stanford Pac-10

Stetson Atlantic Sun

Tennessee SEC

Tenn.-Martin Ohio Valley

Utah Mountain West

Xavier Atlantic 10

UCF's wait pays off with C-USA title 03/12/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 12, 2011 11:25pm]
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