Niesa Johnson’s 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation tied the game and her two free throws in the fourth overtime were the winning points as Alabama edged Duke 121-120 in a women’s NCAA East Regional second-round game Saturday night at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
It was the longest game in NCAA women’s tournament history.
Until Saturday’s marathon, the longest women’s NCAA tournament games went three overtimes - when Tennessee beat Mississippi 90-83 in the 1983 Mideast Regional final, and when Oklahoma State edged Michigan State 96-94 in the Midwest Regional semifinals in 1991.
Alabama is 22-8 and Duke finished 22-9.
At Storrs, Conn., Jennifer Rizzotti scored 20 points as undefeated and top-seeded Connecticut ripped eighth-seeded Virginia Tech 91-45.
Connecticut’s Rebecca Lobo scored seven of her nine first-half points in a game-opening 11-0 run. A 15-2 burst, capped by two Nykesha Sales free throws, made it 29-6 midway through the period. The Huskies improved to 31-0. Virginia Tech finished 22-9.
At Charlottesville, Va., Florida shut down Virginia’s best inside player, so the No. 10 Cavaliers tied a school record with 11 3-pointers to defeat the Gators 72-67.
Freshman Monick Foote hit 7 of 12 3-pointers and scored 23 points - two better than her previous career high - as Virginia (26-4) advanced to the round of 16 for the ninth consecutive year.
At Ruston, La., powered by 19 points from guard Vickie Johnson, eighth-ranked Louisiana Tech defeated Oklahoma 48-36.
Oklahoma, the No. 7 seed in the region, ended its season 22-9.
Tech (28-4) has beaten the Sooners all four times they have met, but this was the first time in the NCAA Tournament. Oklahoma was the 65th straight unranked opponent to lose to Tech, which also stretched its homecourt NCAA Tournament record to 19-0.
At San Diego, Tonya Kirk scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half - including 3 of 3 from 3-point range - to carry No. 16 Purdue to a 62-51 win over Montana.
Stacey Lovelace added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Danielle McCulley had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the 16th-ranked Boilermakers (23-7).
At Chapel Hill, N.C., Charlotte Smith scored 17 of her 21 points in the first half as defending national champion and 10th-ranked North Carolina held off a Seton Hall charge for a 59-45 win.
The Pirates (24-9) hit three of their first 16 shots, yet were down just 10-6 in the opening 7 minutes as the Tar Heels (30-4) also were slow to get going.
Smith produced 15 of her first-half points in the remaining 12 minutes, and her inside bucket with 2:09 left in the period gave North Carolina a 29-16 edge on the way to a 34-19 halftime lead.
At Stanford, Calif., Kate Starbird scored a career-high 28 points and second-seeded Stanford overpowered Southern Methodist 95-73. Kristin Folkl added 19 points in another dynamic outing off the bench and Kate Paye had 14 points, including four of Stanford’s 10 3-pointers.
The Cardinal (28-2) will play North Carolina next Thursday at Los Angeles.
At Knoxville, Tenn., All-American Nikki McCray scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures as Mideast top seed Tennessee crushed cold-shooting Florida International 70-44.
Tennessee (31-2) advances to the Mideast Regionals beginning Thursday in Knoxville. The Vols are 24-0 in NCAA games played in Knoxville.
Ninth-seeded Florida International finishes 27-5.
At Lubbock, Texas, freshman Alicia Thompson scored 16 points off the bench as No. 5 Texas Tech beat Wisconsin 88-65.
The Raiders (32-3), who trailed most of the first half, broke away from a 32-30 halftime lead by outscoring the No. 10 Badgers 56-35 in the second half.
Wisconsin (20-9) took a 10-4 lead and stayed out front most of the first half - a time when the Raiders’ centers struggled to find the basket. Michi Atkins went 5 of 13 and Melinda White was 1 of 6.
At Boulder, Colo., Isabelle Fijalkowski scored 23 points and Erin Scholz pulled down 19 rebounds as No. 2 Colorado used its superior inside game to stampede Southwest Missouri State 78-34. The Buffaloes (29-2), the top seed in the regional, extended their winning streak to 24 games in advancing to the regional semifinals next week in Des Moines, Iowa. Southwest Missouri finished 21-12.
xxxx NCAA women Today’s games At times PST Mideast Regional At E.A. Diddle Arena, Bowling Green, Ky.: Oregon State (21-7) vs. Western Ky. (27-3), 12:30 p.m. Midwest Regional At the Smith Center, Washington: Drake (25-5) vs. George Washington (25-5), 11 a.m. At Georgia Coliseum, Athens, Ga.: Louisville (25-7) vs. Georgia (25-4), 11:30 a.m. At Recreation Hall, State College, Pa.: North Carolina State (21-9) vs. Penn State (26-4), 11 a.m. West Regional At Memorial Gym, Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt (27-6) vs. Memphis (22-7), noon