Sunday, March 21, 2004

Local women push teams toward hoops glory



By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Don't be surprised if you see a few familiar faces in this year's women's NCAA Tournament, as former area hoops players gain national exposure in playing for the biggest title of the season.

St. Ursula grad Monica Naltner and 15th seed Pennsylvania (17-10) were the last team called during the selection show on March 14.

"Some people were joking around, saying we weren't going to get in at all. But we knew (a bid) was coming," Naltner said.

They play the second seed in the East Regional, Connecticut (25-4), in Bridgeport, Conn., at about 9:30 tonight.

Naltner said the team isn't balking at the prospect of facing storied coach Geno Auriemma or superstar senior Diana Taurasi.

"Why not take on the best?" Naltner said.

The biggest matchup among locals pits No. 2 Purdue (27-3) against No. 15 St. Francis, Pa. (25-5) in the West Regional in Ames, Iowa, tonight at approximately 9:30. Purdue's Lindsey Hicks (Lebanon) and Beth Jones (Mason) face St. Francis' Karen Hewitt (CHCA) and Sarah Bolten (Glen Este).

Shere Cunningham (Withrow) and Southern U. (17-12), a 16 seed, face No. 1 Texas (28-4) in a West Regional in Austin tonight at 7.

Second-seed Vanderbilt and Princeton grad Dee Davis scorched Lipscomb 76-45 in a Midwest Regional in Chattanooga, Tenn., Saturday. The Commodores (25-7) play Chattanooga (29-2) Monday. Mason alum Michelle Munoz scored two points to help six-seed Ohio State (21-9) beat No. 11 West Virginia 73-67 in a Mideast Regional in Columbus Saturday. OSU plays Boston College (26-6) Monday.




PREP SPORTS
MND wins state title with national upset
Rams run out of surprise wins
Leininger named Indiana Miss Basketball
Youngstown Ursuline, Minster capture titles
Big Blue back at state for first time in 50 years
Brookhaven returns favor
After hot start, Devils fall short
CovCath runs out of clock
Brock shoots Dragons to title
Groeschen: Season has been one for the ages
Ernst: Maysville 'Punk' Sweet 16 legend
Prep sports results, schedules

BENGALS / NFL
Bengals stunned Sapp-less
'We want a lease that's fair'
Curnutte: Buffalo fit the bill for CB Vincent
Steelers keep Logan for reworked secondary

REDS / BASEBALL
Kearns eager to play the field
Inside Reds camp
Acevedo endures rough outing
Kelly: Benevolent Devil Rays want McGriff to be seen
Fantasy BB: Lesser-known players make for key picks
Astros court postseason success
Molitor not intimidated with tasks as hitting coach
Relieving is Riske's business

NCAA TOURNAMENT
Illini view Bearcats as bullies
Daugherty: With no guards, UC has no chance
Huggins doesn't use Tourney failures to motivate his team
Johnson's comeback miracle in the making
XU seeks new 2nd-round tune
Matta looks for more from Muskie rookies
Fired-up Blazers ready to put heat on Kentucky
Air back in sails of Redick, Blue Devils
Defending champs nearly lose grip
Demon Deacons, frosh Paul hold off upstart Manhattan
No. 2 Gonzaga gets what comes around
Connecticut coach departs game early
NCAA men's tournament at a glance
Wilmington wills its way to first title
Ohio State holds off West Virginia, will play BC
Other women's regional games
NCAA women's tournament at a glance

TURFWAY PARK
Sinister G's Lane's End victory muddles Derby

PAGE TWO: GOOD SPORTS
XU grad finds place at the table
What's up with that?
A quick chat with ... Julie Isphording
Bolten, Hewitt headed to NCAAs
Local women push teams toward hoops glory
All thumbs
This week's poll question

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