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MIDWEST REGIONAL AT ALBUQUERQUE

Baylor Beats Loyola, 71-60

March 21, 2004|From Associated Press

Sophia Young scored 24 points -- six of them on back-to-back three-point plays late in the game -- to lead Baylor's 71-60 win over Loyola Marymount on Saturday night in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament at Albuquerque.

Fourth-seeded Baylor (25-8) will meet fifth-seeded Florida (19-10) in the second round of the Midwest Regional on Monday.

Loyola Marymount (24-6) never led in its NCAA debut, but the Lions, who came into the tournament with a 15-game winning streak, stayed close behind senior guard Kate Murray's 27 points. Murray hit nine of 18 shots and had four of the Lions' nine three-pointers.

A three-pointer by Rachael Ziemann cut Baylor's lead to 59-55 with 4:23 left in the game. Young pushed the lead back to seven with a three-point play with 3:25 remaining when she scored on a baseline bank shot, was fouled by the Lions' Jacquelyn Woods and added the free throw.

Young, who scored 15 points in the second half, put the Lions away with another three-point play with 1:59 remaining.

Baylor scored the first seven points on baskets by Young and Dionne Brown and a three-pointer by Jessika Stratton.

The Bears, the top-scoring team in the Big 12, shot 50 percent in the first half. Freshman Emily Niemann's three-pointer put Baylor ahead, 37-25, with six seconds left in the half.

Florida 68, New Mexico 56 -- The fifth-seeded Gators (19-10) scored the final 10 points to defeat the Lobos (23-8) at Albuquerque.

The Lobos used a 14-4 run to get within two points at 58-56 with 2:57 left on a three-pointer by Melissa Forest, but they would not score again.

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