Fifth-ranked South Carolina falls in SEC semifinals to No. 14 Kentucky
DULUTH, Ga. -- Bria Goss scored 14 points and No. 12 Kentucky upset No. 5 South Carolina 68-58 Saturday to advance to the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
DeNesha Stallworth and Linnae Harper each had 12 points for Kentucky (24-7), which will play Sunday in its fourth SEC tournament final in the past five years. The Wildcats won their only title in 1982.
South Carolina (27-4), the SEC regular-season champion, had 16 turnovers, most coming in the first 10 minutes. The Gamecocks were playing in only their second semifinal, following an appearance in 2012.
The Gamecocks scored the game's first points on a basket by Elem Ibiam, who had 16 points. Kentucky scored the next 12 points and never lost the lead.
South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell, selected by coaches as the SEC player of the year, had 11 points while making only 4 of 12 shots.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- American Athletic Conference player of the year Breanna Stewart scored 22 points Saturday to lead top-ranked Connecticut to a 72-42 rout of eighth-seeded Cincinnati in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament.
Bria Hartley added 17 points for the Huskies (32-0), Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 12 and Stefanie Dolson had 10 points and nine rebounds.
UConn extended the school's third longest winning streak to 38 games. The Huskies, who won their regular-season conference games by an average of 37 points, will play No. 24 Rutgers in the semifinals. The Scarlet Knights beat SMU 68-49 earlier Saturday.
Jeanise Randolph had 14 points for Cincinnati, which finishes the season at 13-18.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Jewell Loyd scored 16 points to help No. 2 Notre Dame beat No. 14 North Carolina State 83-48 in Saturday's Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals.
Kayla McBride was among four in double figures with 10 points for the top-seeded Fighting Irish (31-0), who had no trouble putting away the injury-depleted Wolfpack. Notre Dame scored the first 12 points, led by 28 at halftime and by 37 from there to continue their dominating run in their new league.
The Fighting Irish, who shot 60 percent in a 26-point win against Florida State in Friday's quarterfinals, shot 52 percent in the first half on the way to their second lopsided win against the fourth-seeded Wolfpack (25-7) in a week.
That sent Notre Dame to Sunday's championship game, where the Irish will try to become the first team to go 19-0 through ACC regular-season and tournament play since Duke in 2001-02 and 2002-03.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Jeff Walz knew it was important for Louisville to get off to a good start against Houston.
His third-ranked Cardinals obliged, scoring 26 of the first 30 points en route to an easy 88-43 win against Houston on Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
''I love the energy we had early,'' Walz said. ''I thought Houston played outstanding [yesterday' and we took the wind out of their sails some the way we started the game.''
Louisville jumped all over the Cougars behind Shoni Schimmel and Sara Hammond. Schimmel got the Cardinals on the board hitting a 3-pointer, the 99th of the season for the senior which set a new school record. Schimmel broke Sara Nord's mark.
''It's pretty awesome to hit shots,'' said Schimmel, who led the team with 15 points.
Hammond had all 11 of her points in the first eight minutes for the Cardinals (29-3).
SEATTLE -- Cassie Harberts scored 10 consecutive points for Southern California in the final three minutes, and the Trojans held on in the closing seconds to upset No. 4 Stanford 72-68 in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals on Saturday night.
USC will play for the championship and an automatic NCAA tournament bid on Sunday night against either Oregon State or Washington State. It will be the first time since the tournament's inception in 2002 that Stanford will not play in the championship game and will mark the Trojans' second appearance in the title game.
Harberts' scoring run came after Stanford had rallied from a 10-point deficit to take a 60-57 lead with 5:06 remaining. Harberts finished with 13 points. Alexyz Vaioletama led USC (21-12) with 19 points.
Chiney Ogwumike scored 30 points for Stanford (29-3), but did not score in the final seven minutes.
DULUTH, Ga. -- Isabelle Harrison had 20 points and 13 rebounds and No. 6 Tennessee held off No. 15 Texas A&M 86-77 on Saturday to earn a spot in the Southeastern Conference tournament championship game.
Tennessee (26-5) will play No. 12 Kentucky for the SEC title on Sunday. Kentucky beat No. 5 South Carolina 68-58 in Saturday's first semifinal.
Meighan Simmons had 15 points and Bashaara Graves had 14 for Tennessee.
Courtney Walker led Texas A&M with 26 points. Courtney Williams added 22, but the high-scoring sophomores were not enough to beat the Lady Vols.
Texas A&M (24-8), the defending champion, led by 10 points in the first half but couldn't match Tennessee's inside game. The Lady Vols took a 48-26 advantage in rebounds and scored 50 points in the paint.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Asya Bussie had 18 points and 13 rebounds to help No. 7 West Virginia defeat TCU 67-59 Saturday night in the Big Ten women's tournament quarterfinals.
Taylor Palmer scored 11 points and Christal Caldwell added 10 for the Mountaineers, who won their 11th consecutive game and advanced to Sunday's semifinals.
West Virginia (28-3) won all three meetings with TCU this season, but by just a combined 16 points.
Zahna Medley scored a season-high 32 points for the Horned Frogs (18-14) and missed matching her career high by three points. She made 8 of 17 field goals and 6 of 12 3-pointers. None of her teammates scored more than six points.
TCU made just 2 of 11 3-pointers in the second half after making 4 of 8 in the first.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Nina Davis scored 20 points to help No. 9 Baylor rout Kansas 81-47 Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Odyssey Sims, the nation's scoring leader and Big 12 Player of the Year, added 15 points for the top-seeded Lady Bears (27-4). Baylor, the three-time defending tournament champion, advanced to play No. 18 Oklahoma State in the semifinals on Sunday. OSU defeated Iowa State 67-57 in the opener at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Baylor has won 13 of 14 since losing at Kansas 76-60 on Jan 19, including two victories against Oklahoma State.
Chelsea Gardner had 21 points and nine rebounds and Dakota Gonzalez added 10 points and six rebounds for No. 8 seed Kansas (13-19), which shot just 34 percent from the field and suffered its worst loss of the season. The Jayhawks were coming off an 87-84 overtime win against Kansas State the night before.
GREENSBORO, N.C. --Tricia Liston scored 17 points and Ka'lia Johnson hit the go-ahead free throws with 44.1 seconds left to help No. 10 Duke rally past No. 13 North Carolina 66-61 in Saturday's semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
Johnson's two free throws broke a 60-all tie and helped the second-seeded Blue Devils (27-5) avoid a three-game sweep by their fiercest rival. Duke went 6-for-6 at the foul line in the final minute of a tight game, holding off UNC freshman star Diamond DeShields and the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (24-9).
After Oderah Chidom hit two more free throws to make it 64-61 with 17.5 seconds left, DeShields launched a 3-pointer for the tie but it rattled out. Chidom got the rebound and was fouled, knocking down two more free throws with 9.2 seconds left to seal Duke's trip to Sunday's championship to face No. 2 Notre Dame.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Tear'a Laudermill scored 20 points and Rachel Theriot added 18 as third-seeded and No. 16 ranked Nebraska, exploded for a 50-point first half in beating No. 19 Michigan State, the No. 2 seed, 86-58 on Saturday in the Big Ten semifinals.
The Cornhuskers (24-6) advance to the Big Ten tournament championship game against No. 23 Iowa, the fifth-seeded team, on Sunday.
Nebraska was on top 24-17 in the first half prior to Laudermill's 3-pointer that capped a 9-0 Cornhusker run and stretched the lead to 33-17 against Michigan State (22-9). In the next 6 minutes, Nebraska upped that margin to 23 points and led the Spartans 50-27 at the break.
The Cornhuskers scored first in the second period, opening a 26-point lead, and coasted the remainder of the half, while shooting 52 percent from the floor.
Branndais Agee led Spartan scorers with 18 points.
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Brittney Martin scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as fourth-seeded and 18th-ranked Oklahoma State pulled away late to beat Iowa State 67-57 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament on Saturday.
The Cowgirls (23-7) got 14 points each from Tiffany Bias and Brittany Atkins and Kendra Suttles, who was clutch off the bench down the stretch, had 11.
The Cyclones (20-10) tied the game at 52 with 8:45 to play but went cold. OSU used a 6-0 surge for separation and closed the game by hitting 6 of 8 free throws. Suttles scored seven consecutive points for the Cowgirls as they pulled away.
Hallie Christofferson led Iowa State with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Nikki Moody had 14 points. ISU shot just 34 percent, going 7-for-25 from 3-point range.
Oklahoma State shot 50 percent and forced Iowa State into 16 turnovers.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Theairra Taylor scored 21 points and made a go-ahead layup with 1:32 left as fifth-seeded and No. 23-ranked Iowa held on for a 77-73 win against eighth-seeded Ohio State on Saturday in the semifinals of the Big Ten tournament.
After Taylor's go-ahead layup gave Iowa (26-7) a 75-73 lead, Ameryst Alston missed a layup on Ohio State's ensuing possession. Martina Ellerbe then missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer for Ohio State (17-18) with 10 seconds left and Melissa Dixon sunk two free throws for Iowa with a second remaining as the Hawkeyes advanced to the Big Ten title game for the first time since 2010.
Bethany Doolittle and Ally Disterhoft each added 18 points and Melissa Dixon scored 16 for Iowa, which never trailed the entire game.
Alston led Ohio State with 20 points while Ellerbe and Darryce Moore each added 15 for the Buckeyes.
UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Kahleah Copper scored 22 points and Tyler Scaife added 18 to help No. 24 Rutgers rally to beat SMU 68-49 on Saturday in the American Athletic Conference quarterfinals.
Trailing 35-31 early in the second half, the Scarlet Knights (22-8) went on a 18-4 run to take control. Scaife had six points and Copper had five during the spurt.
Scaife's two free throws made it 49-39 with 8:20 left in the game. SMU couldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way.
The Scarlet Knights will play Connecticut in the semifinals on Sunday afternoon.
Keena Mays scored 23 points to lead SMU (17-13). She helped the Mustangs build a 30-24 halftime lead hitting five 3-pointers in the first half. SMU scored the first five points before Rutgers went on a 16-0 run. Then Mays took over as the Mustangs outscored the Scarlet Knights 25-8.