Senior center Kahadeejah Herbert scored 21 of her 23 points in the first half to lead ninth-ranked Penn State to a 98-79 victory over North Carolina Sunday in first-round action of the NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament at University Park, Pa.
Penn State (28-4) will meet Ohio State, a 102-60 winner over Holy Cross Sunday, in the East Regional semifinals Thursday at Norfolk, Va.
Ohio State defeated Penn State, 66-59, in their only meeting this season.
Joanie O'Brien scored 17 points and freshman guard Suzie McConnell added 11 points and a tournament-high 17 assists for the Lady Lions, who never trailed in the game.
North Carolina (21-11) was led by junior Pam Leake with 28 points. Dawn Royster contributed 23 points and Tia Poindexter 10.
Penn State led, 49-32, at halftime. The Lady Lions outrebounded North Carolina, 44-34, and committed 15 turnovers to 25 for North Carolina.
Herbert became the first Lady Lion to score more than 2,000 career points, ending the game with 2,007.
Ohio State 102, Holy Cross 60--Yvette Angel scored 18 points and Jodi Roth added 17 as the Buckeyes won at Columbus, Ohio.
The Buckeyes (27-2) never trailed in the game, bolting to an 8-0 lead before Cheryl Aaron scored on a rebound basket for the Crusaders. Aaron led all scorers with 22 points.
Ohio State boosted its 48-19 halftime lead to 46 points on a basket by Toni Roesch with 6:11 left.
Ohio State Coach Tara Van Derveer then emptied the bench as the Buckeyes won their first NCAA tournament game in three attempts.
Holy Cross, champions of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, finished at 21-7.
Western Kentucky 90, Middle Tennessee 83--Gina Brown scored 24 points and Lillie Mason added 21 to lead the Lady Hilltoppers to a first-round victory in the Mideast Regional game at Bowling Green, Ky.
Western Kentucky (26-5) advanced to the semifinals and will play top-ranked Texas (28-2) Friday. Middle Tennessee finished at 23-7.
Middle Tennessee led by as many as nine in the first half, but Western Kentucky came back, and a last-second shot by Brown gave the Lady Hilltoppers a 38-36 lead at the half.
Western Kentucky led throughout the second half, taking its biggest lead at 83-72 with 3:18 left on a layup by Brown, a senior forward.
The Blue Raiders were led in scoring by Kim Webb with 33 and Alice Lawrence with 27.