13th-seeded Marist pulls another upset

Posted: March 20, 2007

Alisa Kresge dished out nine assists, handled Middle Tennessee State's vaunted press with aplomb, and helped hold Chrissy Givens in check as Marist won, 73-59, last night in Stanford, Calif., and became just the third No. 13 seed ever to make it to the round of 16.

Nikki Flores scored 21 points to lead Marist, Julianne Viani and Meg Dahlman added 13 apiece, and freshman Lynzee Johnson scored all seven of her points in a key 15-2 stretch late in the second half. The Red Foxes (29-5) snapped fifth-seeded Middle Tennessee's 27-game winning streak, the longest in the nation.

Coming into the NCAA tournament, the pundits pegged the Dayton Regional as the most powerful in the field with Tennessee, defending national champion Maryland, Oklahoma and Ohio State heading the group. After knocking off fourth-seeded Ohio State and Middle Tennessee (30-4) in the first two rounds, tiny Marist has made itself a force to be reckoned with.

Marist will play the winner of Tuesday night's game between top-seeded Tennessee and eighth-seeded Pittsburgh on Sunday in Dayton.

With Kresge running the show, Marist forced Middle Tennessee to drop out of its vaunted press in the second half.

The Red Foxes have won eight straight games and 20 of 21, holding their opponents under 60 points in all but one of those victories.

Givens was held to 16 points - six under her average - on 7-for-16 shooting in her final college game.

Oklahoma 78, Marquette 47 - Courtney Paris collected her 60th consecutive double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds despite spending almost 12 minutes of the first half on the bench, and sister Ashley Paris chipped in eight points and 10 boards to lead Oklahoma over Marquette in Austin, Texas.

Oklahoma (28-4), the No. 3 seed in the regional, moves on to the round of 16 for the second consecutive year. Marquette (26-7), the No. 6 seed, has never advanced past the second round in eight NCAA tournaments.

After struggling in Oklahoma's first-round win, Courtney Paris scored eight points early, but picked up her second foul with 11:53 to go in the half.

No problem for the Sooners as her sister filled the role as defensive stopper in the middle. Ashley Paris' six rebounds in the half helped Oklahoma keep the lead and extend it to 13 by halftime.

Fresno Regional

LSU 49, West Virginia 43 - Sylvia Fowles scored 14 of her 21 points in the second half, and LSU (28-7) rallied from an 11-point deficit to beat West Virginia (21-11) in Austin, Texas.

Playing without former head coach Pokey Chatman, who resigned March 7 amid allegations of improper conduct with a former player, third-seeded LSU was in danger of seeing its run to a fourth consecutive Final Four end early when West Virginia led 35-24 in the second half.

But Fowles, held in check in the first half by Olayinka Sanni, took over the game when the West Virginia center had to go to the bench for nearly 12 minutes with foul trouble.

Fowles scored six points in a 12-0 run during which the Tigers rally to take the lead 36-35 on her layup with 7:58 to play.

Dallas Regional

Georgia 76, Iowa State 56 - Cori Chambers scored all 18 of her points in a perfect first-half performance, leading third-seeded Georgia over Iowa State in Minneapolis.

Tasha Humphrey had 21 points and seven rebounds for Georgia (27-6), which shot 61 percent and made eight three-point baskets in the first half to advance to the school's 17th regional semifinal and fifth in a row.

Lyndsey Medders had 11 points and nine assists for sixth-seeded Iowa State (26-9), which trailed by 25 points midway through the first half and could not compete with Georgia's quickness on the perimeter and physical defensive play.

The Bulldogs missed just twice in the first nine minutes and went 6 for 6 from three-point range to bury Iowa State. They will play the winner of Purdue-Georgia Tech in Dallas on Sunday.

George Washington 59, Texas A&M 47 - Kimberly Beck scored 18 points and made a three-point shot that put the game away with 1:40 to play, and fellow guard Sarah-Jo Lawrence added 12 points as George Washington (28-3) beat Texas A&M (25-7) in Los Angeles.

It is the first time in five straight trips to the tournament that the Colonials have made it to the round of 16.

George Washington will face either No. 1 seed North Carolina or ninth-seeded Notre Dame, which play Tuesday night, next weekend.

It will be the Colonials' first trip to the round of 16 since 1997.

Purdue 76, Georgia Tech 63 - Katie Gearlds led second-seeded Purdue with 26 points in a win over seventh-seeded Georgia Tech in Minneapolis.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Boilermakers (30-5), who will play third-seeded Georgia Sunday in the regional semifinals.

Stephanie Higgs scored 27 points and Janie Mitchell had 16 points for the Yellow Jackets (21-12), who trailed by at least 15 points for a stretch of nearly 29 minutes until a late basket by Higgs.

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