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Late Rally Lifts Louisiana Tech

March 21, 2004|From Times Wire Reports

Erica Smith-Taylor scored a career-high 29 points Saturday night as fifth-seeded Louisiana Tech rallied to defeat Montana, 81-77, in the first round of the Mideast Regional at Missoula, Mont.

The Lady Techsters (28-2) trailed, 60-49, with 10:26 left before an 11-1 run reduced the deficit to one point with 8:15 left.

Two baskets by Smith-Taylor gave them a 76-73 lead. They made five of seven free throws in the final 41 seconds.

Louisiana Tech advances to the second round of the tournament for the 11th time in 12 years. It will play Texas Tech on Monday.

Julie Deming played only 22 minutes because of foul trouble but still led 12th-seeded Montana (27-5) with 29 points. The loss ended the Grizzlies' 22-game home winning streak.

Texas Tech 60, Maine 50 -- The fourth-seeded Red Raiders (25-7) held the Black Bears' leading scorer, Heather Ernest, to three points on one of nine shooting at Missoula.

The 13th-seeded Black Bears (25-7) got to within 41-38 with 11:44 left, but the Red Raiders used a 6-0 run to take a 47-38 lead on a basket Jolee Ayers-Curry with 5:38 left.

The Black Bears didn't get closer than six points the rest of the way.

Boston College 58, Eastern Michigan 56 -- Kathrin Ress made a backdoor layup with 12 seconds left at Columbus, Ohio, to send the third-seeded Eagles (26-6) into the second round, where they will play Ohio State on Monday.

After a timeout, 14th-seeded Eastern Michigan (22-8) got the ball to Ryan Coleman with four seconds left.

Her hurried three-point shot from the top of the key at the buzzer was wide.

Ohio State 73, West Virginia 67 -- Caity Matter made five free throws in the final 1:47 at Columbus to help the sixth-seeded Buckeyes (21-9) get past the Mountaineers (21-11) and advance to a second-round game Monday against Boston College.

Kate Bulger, the younger sister of St. Louis Ram quarterback Marc Bulger, led the 11th-seeded Mountaineers with 18 points.



Tennessee 77, Colgate 54 -- Ashley Robinson had a big game for the top seeded Lady Vols at Tallahassee, Fla. The 6-foot-5 senior had 13 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in 22 minutes, helping the Lady Vols begin their quest for a seventh national title.

With Robinson leading the way, the Lady Vols (27-3) used their height advantage and depth to build a 46-24 halftime lead. They advanced to play DePaul on Monday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

Tennessee took a 22-point halftime lead after shooting 55.6%. The 16th-seeded Raiders (21-10) shot 20.6% after making seven of 34 shots.

DePaul 86, George Washington 46 -- The ninth-seeded Blue Demons (23-6) shot 66% in the second half, repeatedly driving past defenders to outscore the Colonials, 44-28, in the paint at Tallahassee. Eighth-seeded George Washington (22-8) turned the ball over five times in the first seven minutes of the second half, helping the Blue Demons open a 20-point lead.

Chattanooga 74, Rutgers 69 -- The 10th-seeded Mocs (29-2) rallied in the second half to upset the seventh-seeded Scarlet Knights (21-12) and win their first NCAA tournament game while extending the nation's longest current winning streak to 27 games on their home court.

Chattanooga, making its fourth straight NCAA appearance as the Southern Conference tournament champion, plays Vanderbilt on Monday.

Vanderbilt 76, Lipscomb 45 -- The second-seeded Commodores (25-7) had no problems winning their ninth in a row. The 15th-seeded Bison (20-12), formerly in the NAIA, earned their first tournament berth in their first year of eligibility by winning the Atlantic Sun Conference tournament.

Oklahoma 58, Marist 45 -- The third-seeded Sooners (24-8) opened the second half at Tempe, Ariz., with a 14-0 run and beat the 14th-seeded Red Foxes (20-11) and advance to the second round Monday against Stanford.

Freshman Leah Rush had a season-high 23 points, including two baskets within a 28-second span that gave Oklahoma a 52-44 lead with 2:31 left.

Stanford 68, Missouri 44 -- Nicole Powell had 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists to lead the Cardinal at Tempe.

Stanford (25-6) is ranked 10th nationally but seeded only sixth in the Midwest, a fact that served as added motivation for the Pacific 10 champion.

Powell took only one shot in the second half, a three-pointer that gave the Cardinal a 64-37 lead over the 11th-seeded Tigers (17-13) with 6:35 left.



Georgia 78, Liberty 53 -- The third-seeded Bulldogs (23-9) used a 22-10 run to pull away from the Flames in the second half at Philadelphia. They will play Texas Christian in the second round Monday.

The 14th-seeded Flames (25-7) of the Big South Conference lost a first-round game for the eighth year in a row. It's the third time since 1999 they lost in the first round to Georgia.

Texas Christian 70, Temple 57 -- Jeff Mittie coached the sixth-seeded Horned Frogs (25-6) in Philadelphia a day after he was reprimanded for his arrest for suspicion of drunk driving. The 11th-seeded Owls (21-10) lost in the first round for the second time in four years.

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