NCAA Women's Basketball ACCtion for Monday, March 31: North Carolina and Maryland Fall in Elite 8
March 31, 2008
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -Sylvia Fowles had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots, lifting LSU to a 56-50 victory over top-seeded North Carolina on Monday night. The victory sent the second-seeded Lady Tigers (31-5) to their fifth Final Four in as many seasons.
For North Carolina (33-3), forced to play before a hostile crowd wearing purple and gold, the loss snapped a 16-game winning streak and left the Tar Heels one victory short of a third straight Final Four appearance.
LaToya Pringle led the Tar Heels with 21 points, all but two coming in the second half, but it was not enough as the rest of her team combined for 10 points after the break.
North Carolina came in with five players averaging double figures in scoring, but Pringle was the only one to eclipse 10. Rashanda McCants scored nine and Jessica Breland eight.
North Carolina could not get points from anyone but Pringle through the first 11 minutes of the second half, but that was enough to keep them in the game. Pringle scored 11 points during that span, all inside, and one on a putback as she was fouled for a 3-point play.
Her fifth basket of the half over Ashley Thomas cut LSU's lead to 34-32. Several minutes later, she hit a turnaround jumper on the baseline to cut LSU's lead to 36-35.
Erlana Larkins scored a pair of tough baskets going one-on-one with Fowles inside, converting one into a three-point play.
Breland also scored over Fowles once and had the final basket of the half on a backdoor cut, cutting LSU's lead to 24-21 at halftime.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Candice Wiggins scored 41 points, and got some help from unlikely sources as the second-seeded Cardinal pulled away from No. 1-seed Maryland 98-87 on Monday night in the Spokane Regional final.
The Cardinal are back in the Final Four for the first time in 11 years. They will face either Connecticut or Rutgers in the national semifinals in Tampa.
Kristi Toliver led Maryland (33-4) with a career-high 35 points, but was forced to be more of a scorer than distributor as ACC player of the year Crystal Langhorne was stymied by the swarming interior defense of Stanford.
Langhorne took just six shots and scored 13 points as Appel and Pedersen collapsed on Maryland's senior center every time she touched the ball. Langhorne scored 28 in Maryland's regional semifinal win over Vanderbilt.