Sunday, March 14, 2004

Women: Oklahoma beats No. 2 Texas

Conference tournaments roundup

By The Associated Press

DALLAS - Dionnah Jackson scored 21 points and Maria Villarroel added 19 to help Oklahoma beat second-ranked Texas 66-47 on Saturday night in the Big 12 tournament title game.

It was the second consecutive win over a Top 10 team for No. 19 Oklahoma (23-8), which was the sixth seed in the tournament and blew out No. 8 Kansas State in the semifinals. The Sooners earned a spot in the NCAA tournament, their fifth straight appearance.

Texas (28-4) also is certain to be in NCAA tournament, possibly as a top seed when the bracket is set Sunday.

Jackson, the tournament MVP, also had nine rebounds.

Tiffany Jackson led Texas with 18 points.

No. 7 Louisiana Tech 76, Rice 52

FRESNO, Calif. - Amisha Carter had 22 points and 16 rebounds, Erica Smith-Taylor added 22 points and Louisiana Tech won its third straight Western Athletic Conference tournament.

Tasha Crain scored nine points for the Lady Techsters (27-2), who won their 19th straight game, and earned their 23rd straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

Louisiana Tech, the WAC's dominant team since joining the league in 2001, has won 25 straight tournament games and nine straight league tournament titles since the 1995 Sun Belt tourney. The school also has won 12 straight regular-season championships in three conferences, dating to the 1988 American South Conference.

Anne Peck had 10 points for Rice (21-9).

New Mexico 71, Utah 50

DENVER - Melissa Forest had 18 points and New Mexico shot 55 percent to successfully defend its Mountain West title.

New Mexico (23-7) opened both halves with big scoring runs to reach the NCAA tournament for the third straight year. Katie Montgomery added 14 points for the Lobos, who have won 11 straight games. Shona Thorburn had 13 points for Utah (24-7).

UC Santa Barbara 68, Idaho 51

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Lindsay Taylor scored 25 points and UC Santa Barbara won its eighth consecutive Big West title.

Kristen Mann added 19 points, eight rebounds and six steals for the Gauchos (25-6), who extended their tournament winning streak to 23 games. Heather Thoelke scored 16 points for Idaho (22-7).

Montana 66, Idaho St. 62

MISSOULA, Mont. - Brooklynn Lorenzen had 13 points and eight assists in Montana's victory over Idaho State in the Big Sky championship, sending the Lady Griz to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2000.

Montana (27-4), which has a 17-game winning streak and a 22-game home winning streak, will host first- and second-round NCAA tournament games March 20 and 22.

Juliann Keller added 17 points, and Hollie Tyler had 14 points for Montana. Annie Anderson led Idaho State (20-8) with 22 points.

Old Dominion 85, George Mason 81

NORFOLK, Va. - Shareese Grant scored 23 points and Monique Coker had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Old Dominion to its 13th consecutive Colonial Athletic Association championship.

Paula Muxiri made a layup to give the Lady Monarchs (25-6) an 82-73 lead with 1:46 remaining and Old Dominion held off a late charge by George Mason for the victory.

Jen Derevjanik had 19 points for the Patriots (18-10).

SW Missouri St. 74, Drake 67

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Jenni Lingor scored 19 points and Southwest Missouri State won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament title to earn an NCAA tournament spot.

Meg Tierney added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears (28-3). Linda Sayavongchanh had 16 points for Drake (16-14).

Maine 68, Boston U. 43

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - Heather Ernest scored 15 points to help Maine earn an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a win victory over Boston University in the America East title game.

The NCAA berth is the seventh overall for Maine (25-6) but the first since it made six straight appearances from 1995 to 2000.

Nadia Bibbs led Boston University (19-11) with 10 points.

E. Michigan 65, Bowling Green 56

CLEVELAND - Ryan Coleman scored 14 points and Eastern Michigan won its first Mid-American Conference tournament title, putting the Eagles in the NCAA tourney for the first time.

Nikki Knapp added 12 points for Eastern Michigan (22-7). Carin Horne led Bowling Green (21-10) with 17 points.

Northwestern St. 78, Texas-Arlington 71

NATCHITOCHES, La. - La'Terrica Dobin scored 27 points to lead Northwestern State to the Southland Conference tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Dobin also had 10 rebounds and six assists, Amanda Bennett added 22 points and seven rebounds, and Diamond Cosby scored 19 for the Lady Demons (24-6). KaShayla Hawkins scored 17 points for Arlington (19-12).

Liberty 54, Birmingham-Southern 41

LYNCHBURG, Va. - Katie Feenstra had 17 points and 12 rebounds to help Liberty win its eighth consecutive Big South Conference championship.

Kristina Palaimaite added 13 points for the Flames (25-6), who held the Panthers to 10.7 percent shooting in the first half and 21.8 percent for the game. Lindsay Boyett had 13 points for the Panthers (13-17).

St. Francis, Pa. 70, Monmouth, N.J. 55

LORETTO, Pa. - Tonjee Ward had 24 points, nine rebounds and seven steals to lead St. Francis to its eighth Northeast Conference championship in the last nine seasons.

Beth Swink added 14 points for the Red Flash (25-5), who have won 24 straight tournament games. Courtney Lumpkin led the Hawks (18-12) with 19 points.

Southern 68, Mississippi Valley St. 61

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Fredrieka Lewis had 24 points and 12 rebounds to lead Southern to its second straight Southwest Athletic Conference title and NCAA berth.

Rolanda Monroe added 21 points and seven rebounds for the Jaguars (17-12). Mississippi Valley State is 8-21.

Hampton 65, Delaware St. 50

RICHMOND, Va. - Kiesha Beard scored 16 points and Hampton forced 26 turnovers, successfully defending its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament title.

The Lady Pirates (17-12) earned their third NCAA tournament appearance as MEAC champions in the last five seasons. Delaware State (21-9) shared the regular-season title with the Lady Pirates.

Lipscomb 64, UCF 62

DOTHAN, Ala. - Courtney Boynton hit two free throws with 4 seconds remaining to help Lipscomb win the Atlantic Sun Conference title and earn an NCAA bid in its first season in the league.

Mary Beth Pate led Lipscomb (20-11) with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Celeste Hudson had 20 points and 11 rebounds for UCF (17-13).

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