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Allen leads Notre Dame past Baylor, Florida State falls to South Carolina
OKLAHOMA CITY (UND.com and AP) - Lindsay Allen scored 23 points to help top-seeded Notre Dame defeat Baylor 77-68 in the Oklahoma City regional final Sunday and reach its fifth consecutive Final Four.
Allen, who scored a career-high 28 points in the regional semifinal win over Stanford on Friday, followed that by making 10 of 16 shots and dropping seven assists. She was named the Most Outstanding Player of the regional.
Michaela Mabrey scored 14 points and Jewell Loyd added 13 points for the Fighting Irish (35-2), who won their 21st straight game. Notre Dame will play South Carolina next Sunday.
Nina Davis had 26 points and 13 rebounds, Sune Agbuke had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Niya Johnson added 10 assists for second-seeded Baylor (33-4), which had hoped to avenge an 88-69 loss to Notre Dame in last year's regional final.
A 3-pointer by Madison Cable gave Notre Dame a 60-56 lead, and a pair of free throws by Loyd pushed the advantage to six with just under 10 minutes to play.
Agbuke, Baylor's 6-foot-4 center, picked up her fourth foul with just over 9 minutes to play, and Notre Dame continued to attack the basket. Cable's runner with just under a minute to go put Notre Dame up 74-68, and the Fighting Irish held on at the free-throw line.
Baylor made 12 of its first 18 shots to take a 26-17 lead. Baylor led 27-21 when Agbuke was called for a flagrant foul. Notre Dame's Brianna Turner hit two free throws, then Mabrey made a 3-pointer to cut Baylor's lead to a point. Mabrey made another 3-pointer to make it 31-all with just over 6 minutes left in the first half.
Notre Dame finally took the lead on a jumper by Allen with 12 seconds left in the first half that gave the Fighting Irish a 39-37 lead at the break.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State’s Final Four dream fell one shot, one stop short.
Engaged in a calssic back-and-forth duel with No. 3 South Carolina, and surrounded by more than 5,000 Gamecocks fans, the Florida State women’s basketball team fell short, 80-74, in the Greensboro Regional Final here on Sunday afternoon.
The Seminoles, who end their season with a 32-5 record, led by as many as 10 points in the first half, but couldn’t overcome a torrid shooting performance by the Gamecocks (34-2).
The No. 1-seed in the Regional and No. 3-ranked team in the country, USC shot 61.2 percent from the field.
They made just two 3-pointers, but one might have been the decisive blow. With XX seconds on the clock and the Gamecocks leading by two, SEC player of the year Tiffany Mitchell made a 3-pointer in the corner that stretched the advantage to two possessions.
The Seminoles rallied with a 3-pointer by Adut Bulgak and a layup from Leticia Romero, but USC’s Asia Dozier made four straight free throws to seal the win for USC.
Romero led FSU with 13 points and Brittany Brown added 12 for FSU, which played in the Elite Eight for the second time in school history.
Romero and center Adut Bulgak (11 points, six rebounds) were each named to the All-Regional team.