…’cause Temple stunned Charlotte, 48-47. The Owls (14-17), are in the semi’s of the A10 and will face Fordham (and Marah Strickland.). Let’s say that again: Fordham is in the semis. It’s time for a review of McManus’ piece on Fordham coach Gaitley
It’s been a long time since Fordham had a women’s basketball team to be proud of. Anne O’Connell remembers. She was on the school’s last team that really stood out, reaching the postseason all four years when she played as Anne Gregory. She was grabbing her 2,000th career rebound in her final game when she fouled out on an over-the-back call. She made the AIAW record books with 1,999, and waited for the wins to return to Rose Hill gymnasium again.
It was a long wait.
“They’ve honored my team enough,” said O’Connell, who graduated in 1980. “And I love what they’ve done for our team over the years, but they need a new team to honor.”
On the other side of their bracket, Dayton will face off against St. Joe’s who, equal records aside, easily dispatched Duquesne.
In the Big South, the finals feature Liberty, of course, against upstart Longwood.
Longwood women’s basketball coach Bill Reinson quipped that because his team hasn’t won many games the last few years, his players have grown comfortable playing from behind.
And sure enough, when Radford rallied to take a lead late in the teams’ Big South tournament semifinals clash Saturday,the Lancers kept their composure and reclaimed control of the game down the stretch for a 54-51 win inside The HTC Center.
The top four seeds are through to the semi’s in the Southern: Chattanooga v. Appalachian State and Davidson v. Elon.
Ping-ity-ping ping: Tennessee Tech is feeling like they might be on the outside, especially since Tennessee Martin did it again — this time in OT.
It was going to end.
Trailing by a point with 10 seconds left in the OVC championship game, the UT Martin women’s basketball team was fouling desperately. Control of the game had slipped and was fading fast.
Only it didn’t end. Tennessee Tech made its first free throw but missed the second, and the one thing opponents cannot give these Skyhawks is an extra opportunity.
The Sky Hawks gets the OVC’s automatic bid with their 87-80 win, and Tech will have to wait the Committee’s decision.
More pinging: Top-seed Florida Gulf Coast raced to an impressive lead over Stetson behind a career game by Joyce Iamstrong ( pts). But, defense, timely & gusty offense, and closing the game on an 11-2 run added up to the Hatters stunning the Eagles. Great job by coach Lynn Bria, who led her team to a program record 24 wins this season.
Stetson fully embraced the underdog role in ruining FGCU’s bid at a repeat NCAA tournament appearance. The Hatters knew everyone picked them to lose their sixth straight to FGCU, but that only fueled them more.
“I remember telling (teammate Victoria McGowan) after the second time we lost to them (this season) that maybe it’s a sign,” Stetson senior Shanasa Sanders said. “We were saving our best for last. The third time’s the charm. We stuck together today and got the win.”
That’s the fourth straight trip to the dance for Princeton. Will another New Jersey team come knocking on Banghart’s door?
There’s just no other way to put it.
Turning it on in the second half, the Princeton University women’s basketball team won its fourth consecutive Ivy League championship tonight, turning back Brown
The title was its 11th and fifth in the past eight seasons.
And more pinging: Purdue, via Mingo, shut down Hooper and the #21 Huskers. The Boilermakers are in the Big 10 finals and face Michigan State, who stifled, and then stunned, #8 Penn State, 54-46. Writes Graham: Both teams have a will and a way
Letters of welcome from schoolchildren line the hallway outside the locker rooms at the Sears Centre Arena, each Big Ten team in town for the conference tournament allotted a dozen or so such missives.
One letter to Purdue offered these words of encouragement.
“I really hope you win,” the handwritten message began. “Even if you don’t win, at least you know you tried. You’ll probably win if you try.”
Score one for the optimism of innocents.
Check out how this impacts the Bracketology.
Western Kentucky comes back from a 12pt deficit and has moved in to the semis of the Sun Belt. They are joined by FIU, AR-Little Rock and MTSU.
Gonzaga rolled over BYU, and now will face San Diego in the WCC finals. Their victory over St. Mary’s gave Toreros coach Cindy Fisher her 200th win.
Lucky Iona — the prize for taking down Sienna: they move into the MAAC finals and face Marist. The last time these two teams met, the Red Foxes won by 23.
In the SEC, writes Mechelle: Texas A&M knocks off top seed – Aggies’ defense and rebounding spoil Spani’s career day, ends Lady Vols’ run
Tennessee had the No. 1 seed, acquired with gutsy play throughout its injury-plagued SEC season. They Lady Vols had the crowd support, with their contingent of orange-clad fans dwarfing the maroon group for Texas A&M. And they had Taber Spani having a career game, as she was trying to help Tennessee continue on the path to a fourth consecutive SEC tournament title.
What Tennessee didn’t have enough of, though, were two things that have long been a staple of the Orange Crush: defense and rebounding. The deficit in those areas cost the Lady Vols a chance at another title.
Nice photos from Kelly at Full Court. She also adds “SEC’s fresh faces raise the bar on defense (part 2)” which, somewhat prescient, has Graves (29 minutes, 4pts) and Walker (40 minutes, 18pts) at the top.
The first half of the Georigia-Kentucky game was beyond ugly. It got no better for the Bulldogs, but improved a tad for the Wildcats, so they’re in the SEC finals.
For the first time since 2003, the champion of the SEC women’s basketball tournament will come from someplace other than the state of Tennessee. And it took Gary Blair’s second win over Tennessee in his long career as a head coach to ensure it.
The fourth-seeded Aggies started Saturday’s semifinals with a 66-62 victory over No. 1 seed Tennessee. Then second-seeded Kentucky beat No. 3 seed Georgia 60-38. That sets up a championship matchup Sunday (ESPN2/WatchESPN, 6 p.m. ET) between a program that hasn’t won this title since 1982 — Kentucky beat Tennessee that year in the final — and one that has never been SEC tourney champ.
In the ACC, Thomas couldn’t save the Terps from losing a 14pt lead. And, writes Fagan, UNC’s Latifah Coleman answers the call
When North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell sent backup guard Latifah Coleman to the scorer’s table with 6 minutes, 16 seconds left in Saturday’s game against Maryland, she did so with one bit of advice: “Be a leader.”
The 5-foot-9 sophomore entered the ACC tournament semifinal with a season average of 3.4 points per game. She had played only a couple of minutes in Friday’s quarterfinal win over Boston College. And in the first half on Saturday, Coleman had gone 0 for 1 from the floor with two turnovers in just seven minutes. So it’s not unreasonable to think that when Hatchell told Coleman to “be a leader” and sent the young guard into the biggest game of her life, the coach was hoping only for a few minutes of mistake-free ball — and maybe some really good defense.
Duke got by Florida State, so it will be a dark blue/light blue tussle for the Championship.
So much for Pac-12 prognosticators. #14 UCLA raced to a early lead, and #8 Cal never had a chance to get back in the game: Bruins over Bears. Writes Michelle:
No one has been a bigger cheerleader for the power of the Pac-12 Conference this season than UCLA coach Cori Close.
She has preached the gospel wherever she has gone, talked up her conference mates in front of plenty of microphones and cajoled people to see the world the way that she does.
But sometimes words aren’t quite enough. So on Saturday night in KeyArena, the Bruins took action.
Stanford’s win over Colorado was no cakewalk, neither.
“It had the intensity of a (NCAA) tournament game,” Chiney Ogwumike said after her 25-point, 19-rebound performance. But she sank just 9-of-24 field goal attempts.
Seems they’re enjoying playing in Seattle:
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is in the Emerald City this week, observing the new setting for his postseason women’s basketball tournament. He likes what he sees.
“This is certainly a big step forward,” Scott said.
After a dismal few years in Los Angeles, where tournament attendance lagged from its previous home in San Jose, Calif., things are picking up.
Read Full Post »