Sunday, March 21, 2004

Other women's regional games

Tennessee 77, Colgate 54

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Ashley Robinson had a big game at the right time for Tennessee.

Robinson had 13 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in 22 minutes, helping the top-seeded Lady Vols begin their quest for a seventh national title with an easy victory over Colgate in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

"When she plays at that level, we are a team that can go to another level," coach Pat Summitt said. "This is an athlete we are going to continue to see."

Robinson bounced back from a disappointing effort in the SEC tournament semifinals against Georgia two weeks ago, when she scored only two points in a 68-66 overtime loss.

With the 6-foot-5 Robinson leading the way, the Lady Vols (27-3) used their height advantage and depth to build a 46-24 halftime lead. Tennessee advanced to play DePaul - an 83-46 winner over George Washington - on Monday in the Midwest Regional.

"We knew we were outmatched, undersized," Colgate coach Beth Combs said. "But we had to stick to what we knew our players were confident in. We did what's worked for us all year."

Robinson scored 11 first-half points and forced Colgate's shooters to change their shots.

"I just wanted to play well on the offensive end today because I usually do a pretty good job on the defensive end," she said. "I feel like the last few games I haven't played up to my potential."

Tyesha Fluker and Sidney Spencer each added 12 points and Shanna Zolman 11 for the Lady Vols, who shot 48.6 percent for the game.

Tennessee has been in the NCAA tournament every year since it began in 1982. Though the Lady Vols have won a record six national titles, they are going for their first one since 1998.

Against Colgate, it never really was a contest. Tennessee opened a 29-14 lead 10 minutes into the game and took a 22-point halftime lead after shooting 55.6 percent in the first half. Meanwhile, the 16th-seeded Raiders (21-10) shot 20.6 percent after making just seven of 34 shots.

"We didn't shoot well, which had a lot to do with the tremendous defense of Tennessee," Combs said.

Colgate, which earned an automatic bid out of the Patriot League, ended the game shooting 25.7 percent and had 12 of its shots blocked. Milaina Lagzdins led the Raiders with 13 points and Malissa Burke added 10.

Oklahoma 58, Marist 45

TEMPE, Ariz. - Freshman Leah Rush had a season-high 23 points, leading Oklahoma over Marist.

Maria Villarroel had 12 points, 11 rebounds and four steals, and Dionnah Jackson scored 14 points for the Sooners (24-8), who lost their season finale to Texas but also beat the Longhorns to win the Big 12 Conference tournament title.

That earned Oklahoma the No. 3 seed in the Midwest Regional, where it will meet the Missouri-Stanford game winner Monday.

Stephanie Del Preore had 12 points and Kerry Sullivan 10 for the Red Foxes (20-11), who belied their No. 14 seed by rallying from a 47-27 deficit in the last eight minutes.

With 2:31 left, the Sooners led 52-44.

DePaul 83, George Washington 46

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Charlene Smith scored 24 points, and Khara Smith and Jenni Dant added 16 each for DePaul (23-6).

DePaul won 18 of its first 19 games, the only defeat a 96-89 overtime loss at home to Tennessee on Dec. 17. Ugo Oha scored 15 points for George Washington (22-8).

Vanderbilt 76, Lipscomb 45

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Jenni Benningfield had 21 points and 12 rebounds to help Vanderbilt beat Lipscomb. The second-seeded Commodores (25-7) play 10th-seeded Chattanooga in the second round Monday. Courtney Boynton and Katie Beth Pate each had eight points for Lipscomb (20-12).

Chattanooga 74, Rutgers 69

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Tiffani Roberson scored 15 points, and Katie Galloway had 14, including two key 3-pointers, to lead Chattanooga past Rutgers.

The Lady Mocs (29-2) won their first NCAA tournament game and extended the nation's longest current winning streak to 27 games on their home court. Chelsea Newton led Rutgers (21-12) with 16 points.

Georgia 78, Liberty 53

PHILADELPHIA - Cori Chambers scored a career-high 19 points and Jessica Pierce added 17 for Georgia. The third-seeded Bulldogs (23-9) advanced to a second-round game against sixth-seeded TCU. Kristal Tharp scored 15 points for Liberty (25-7).

TCU 70, Temple 57

PHILADELPHIA - Sandora Irvin had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Ebony Shaw added 15 points and 10 rebounds for TCU. TCU coach Jeff Mittie coached the Lady Frogs (25-6) a day after he was reprimanded for his arrest for suspicion of drunken driving. Mittie tearfully apologized for the arrest Friday and must seek an alcohol evaluation to determine whether he needs treatment. Ari Moore had 16 points for the Owls (21-10).

Houston 62, Wisconsin-Green Bay 47

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Chandi Jones scored 28 points and ninth-ranked Houston defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay 62-47 to win a first-round NCAA tournament game for the first time Saturday night.

The third-seeded Lady Cougars (28-3) advanced in just their third-ever NCAA tourney appearance and first in 12 years. They've won 22 of their last 23 games.

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