Baylor Beaten In Major Upset
Oklahoma City — In one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA women’s tournament, sixth-seeded Louisville got a stunning 82-81 upset of defending national champion Baylor in the regional semifinals last night.
Shoni Schimmel scored 22 points and Monique Reid hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to send the Cardinals to the win.
Odyssey Sims scored 28 points and hit a pair of free throws with 9.1 seconds left to give the Lady Bears (34-2) their only lead of the game.
Reid caught an inbounds pass near the baseline after that and went coast to coast before getting fouled by All-American BrittneyGriner on her way to the basket.
Sims had one last chance to save Baylor’s season after Reid’s free throws but was off-target and late on a desperation heave.
The Lady Bears had been practically invincible for the past four months, winning 32 straight games mostly by double digits.
Louisville (27-8) tied an NCAA record with 16 3-pointers to pull off the upset.
“I told our kids we’re going to come out and fire it up. We got nothing to lose,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “Our goal was to make this a street ball game.”
Sims dropped to the floor after her miss, pulling her jersey over her face and kicking her legs as she lay flat on her back.
Griner squatted near her and slapped the floor with both hands before pulling Sims up to her feet.
It was the end of a remarkable college career for Griner, a record-setting 6-foot-8 post player who ended up as the second-highest scoring player in NCAA history.
Griner, who had averaged 33 points in Baylor’s first two games in the tournament, didn’t make a basket until she converted a putback with 15:20 left in the second half. She wound up with 14 points and 10 rebounds, making only four of her 10 shots and being a relative non-factor for her considerable stature.
Louisville surrounded Griner as she has been most of her career, and her teammates were unusually unable to hit outside shots and relieve the pressure.
It was Sims who eventually led Baylor’s attempted comeback from a 17-point deficit in the final 7½ minutes, after Louisville’s barrage of 3-pointers finally came to an end.
Sims hit a pair of free throws and then got a steal in the backcourt for a layup that got Baylor back within a dozen, and the Lady Bears put together a 19-4 run to get within striking distance in the final 2 minutes.
Walz was called for a technical foul for arguing after he watched a scoreboard replay of an offensive foul whistled against Bria Smith, with a Baylor defender sliding under her after she took off.
Sims hit the resulting free throws and then a runner to get the Lady Bears within 78-76 with 1:49 to play.
After a Megan Deines layup off a baseline inbounds play, Sims answered with a 3-pointer to cut it to one with 35.8 seconds left. She then hit two free throws to put Baylor ahead after Jude Schimmel fumbled an inbounds pass under her own basket, Griner picked it up and passed it to Sims.
The Lady Bears still couldn’t close it out.
Antonita Slaughter hit seven 3-pointers for 21 points and Shoni Schimmel had five 3s.
As a team, Louisville was 16 for 25 to tie the NCAA tournament mark reached by four other teams and make the most ever in the regional semifinals or beyond.
Three Cardinals starters fouled out, starting with Shoni Schimmel with 4:21 left, with a 23-14 foul disparity in the game.
Duke 53, Nebraska 45
Norfolk, Va. — Tricia Liston scored 17 points and Duke shook off a slow start to beat Nebraska in the semifinals of the Norfolk Regional of the women’s NCAA tournament.
Notre Dame 93, Kansas 63
Norfolk, Va. — Skylar Diggins scored 22 of her 27 points by halftime Sunday and became the school’s career scoring leader, helping the top-seeded Fighting Irish roll to victory against Kansas in the semifinals of the Norfolk Regional.
Tennessee 74, Oklahoma 59
Oklahoma City — Kamiko Williams scored 15 points, Cierre Burdick had 13 and second-seeded Tennessee routed Oklahoma in the regional semifinals of the NCAA women’s tournament.
The Lady Vols (27-7) opened a 20-point lead in the first half and never let Oklahoma make a comeback, improving to 26-5 in regional semifinals.
The Lady Vols have lost in the regional finals the past two seasons and haven’t made it to the Final Four since winning the national title in 2008.
Tennessee also went through an Oklahoma City regional on its way to the championship that season, with Candace Parker leading the way.
The Lady Vols dissected Oklahoma’s defense early on, getting easy baskets right under the hoop and putting together a 20-3 run to take control while keeping the Sooners’ hometown crowd from getting involved.