The San Diego State women's basketball team scored the first eight points of the second half and pulled away from UC Irvine on their way to a 73-56 victory, which gives San Diego a berth opposite Cal State Long Beach in today's semifinals.
Irvine (14-14) was leading, 20-15, in the first half when Anteater forward Cheri Graham picked up her third foul and left the game with 7:50 remaining.
With the 6-3 senior on the bench, the Aztecs outscored Irvine, 16-6, eight of those points by 6-3 freshman forward Brooke Meadows, to close the half with a 31-26 lead
Jessica Haynes then opened the second half with two straight baskets, followed by Dee Dee Duncan's jumper and Pat Rice's layup, and the Aztecs (14-16) had a 39-26 lead.
Irvine made one final run at San Diego, scoring eight straight points, six of them by 6-6 center Natalie Crawford, to cut it to 43-37 with 12:37 to play.
But, minutes later, the Aztecs ran off nine straight points, five by Shelda Arceneaux, to take an insurmountable 61-44 lead with 6:28 left.
Cal State Long Beach 94, UC Santa Barbara 63--Center Cindy Brown of Cal State Long Beach, scored 14 points in 21 minutes to help the 49ers gain the victory over Santa Barbara. Forward Carol Brandt led the seventh-ranked 49ers (27-3) with 20 points.
Cal State Fullerton 76, Hawaii 69--Titan forward Robin Holmes scored a tournament-record 37 points to help Fullerton (11-17) hold off the Rainbows (14-14) and advance to the semifinals against Nevada Las Vegas.
Nevada Las Vegas 77, Pacific 70--The Rebels beat the Tigers despite shooting only 43% from the field (30 of 69) and committing 30 turnovers.