SUNDAY’s WOMEN’S NCAA TOURNAMENT BASKETBALL
Mississippi State 89, UCLA 73
KANSAS CITY, MO.
Teaira McCowan had 23 points and 21 rebounds, Victoria Vivans added 24 points and top-seeded Mississippi State beat relentless UCLA to reach its second straight Final Four. Morgan William added 17 points, and Roshunda Johnson had 12 for the Bulldogs (36-1), who blew a good chunk of an 18-point second-half lead before hanging on to extend their school record for wins in a season — and lock up a trip to the national semifinals in Columbus. They’ll meet another No. 1 seed in Louisville on Friday night. Jordin Canada led the third-seeded Bruins (27-8) with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Japreece Dean finished with 16 points, and Monique Billings and Kennedy Burke had 12 apiece, most of it coming when the Bruins were trying to rally from a 50-32 hole. They closed within 74-68 on Dean’s 3-pointer with 2:53 left, but they couldn’t get a stop on the defensive end. Instead, they traded basket-for-basket down the stretch, and Mississippi State managed to clinch the win from the foul line in the final minute.
Louisville 76, Oregon State 43
Asia Durr scored 18 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 16 and top-seeded Louisville earned its first Final Four berth since 2013 with a rout of No. 6 seed Oregon State on Sunday in the women’s NCAA Tournament Lexington Region final. Playing its first regional final in four years, the Cardinals (36-2) never trailed in rolling to their 11th consecutive victory. They outscored the Beavers 28-12 in the third quarter to break the game open and complete their run through the region by an average margin of victory of 27.5 points. Sam Feuhring had 14 points and Arica Carter 10 for Louisville, which shot 48 percent. Players celebrated on the court before its red-clad following that traveled just under 80 miles east and hung around to watch them cut down the nets. The No. 6 seed Beavers (26-8) struggled in their bid of adding Louisville to their remarkable run of upsets after previously ousting No. 3 Tennessee and No. 2 Baylor last week. Oregon State outrebounded Louisville 32-29 behind 6-foot-5 Marie Gulich (14 points, eight rebounds), but shot 35 percent in losing just their second game in the past 12.