SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Courtney Vandersloot did a little of everything again, scoring 29 points, handing out seven assists and getting seven steals, and 11th-seeded Gonzaga advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history with a 76-69 win against Louisville on Saturday night.
Playing less than two miles from their campus, the Bulldogs (31-4) sent the blood pressure rising for the 10,000 or so hometown fans in attendance after nearly squandering all of a 20-point second half lead. Along the way, they became the lowest seed to ever reach a regional final and get a chance Monday night to become the first school from outside the six major conferences to reach the Final Four in a decade.
Shoni Schimmel led seventh-seeded Louisville (22-13) with 18 points, but didn't find her shot until midway through the second half, missing 12 of her first 13 attempts. Keshia Hines scored a season-high 17, but the Cardinals got just five minutes out of leading scorer Monique Reid, who suffered a right groin strain. Reid said she actually felt it pop in pregame warmups and tried to go early but knew within the first 90 second she wouldn't be able to do much. She returned briefly in the second half but finished with just two points.
No. 1 seed Stanford pulls away for win over UNC
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Nnemkadi Ogwumike and her freshman sister Chiney scored 12 of Stanford's final 15 points and the top-seeded Cardinal held on in the final minute for a 72-65 win over No. 5 seed North Carolina on Saturday night in the Spokane Regional semifinals.
Leading 67-65 and having just forced a North Carolina turnover, Chiney grabbed an offensive rebound after her sister's miss and scored while being fouled with 39.7 seconds left to put the Cardinal up four. North Carolina committed turnovers on four of its final five possessions and didn't make a field goal in the final 3:42.
Stanford (32-2) will face 11th-seeded Gonzaga on Monday night in the regional final.
Nnemkadi Ogwumike led the Cardinal with 19 points. Italee Lucas led North Carolina (28-9) with 22 points.
Lady Vols back in Elite Eight
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - It took a while for Shekinna Stricklen and mighty Tennessee to get going. When they did, it was only a matter of time until the Lady Vols took their accustomed spot in the Elite Eight.
Stricklen scored 20 points and touched off a critical 11-3 second-half run to power top-seeded Tennessee past Ohio State 85-75 Saturday in a NCAA regional semifinal.
The Lady Vols (34-2) won their 25th consecutive game, but only took control with their charge in the final minutes.
Meighan Simmons added 18 points and Kelley Cain had 16 for Tennessee, pursuing a ninth NCAA title. The Lady Vols meet Notre Dame in the regional championship game on Monday night, with a trip to the Final Four in Indianapolis on the line.
Samantha Prahalis had 22 points, Jantel Lavender 19, Brittany Johnson 16 and Tayler Hill 12 for Ohio State (24-10).
N.D. 78, Oklahoma 53
DAYTON, Ohio - No overtime this time. Notre Dame's defense needed less than a half to end the drama.
Brittany Mallory scored season-high 20 points Saturday, and Notre Dame's defensive pressure took its toll in a 78-53 win over Oklahoma that sent the second-seeded Fighting Irish to the regional final.
Notre Dame (29-7) will play top-seeded Tennessee on Monday. The Lady Vols (34-2) pulled away from Ohio State in the second half for an 85-75 win - their 25th straight - in the other semifinal.
Nicole Griffin scored 18 points for Oklahoma (23-12), which reached the Final Four each of the last two years. Notre Dame's go-for-the-ball pressure crumpled the Sooners' guard-driven offense, which had only eight field goals and 14 turnovers in the decisive first half.
It was the third time in the last four years that the Sooners and Fighting Irish met in the NCAA tournament. The first two games dripped with drama and went to overtime. Notre Dame won the first time, 79-75 in the second round in 2008. Oklahoma got the rematch, 77-72 last year in a regional semifinal in Kansas City.