NCAA women’s tournament
Vanessa Nygaard scored 23 points and Stanford came back after nearly surrendering an 18-point lead to beat Auburn 71-57 Monday night in Seattle to earn a berth in the women’s NCAA Final Four.
The victory in the NCAA West Regional marked a school-record 23rd straight win for the Cardinal (29-2). Stanford earned a spot in Friday’s semifinals in Charlotte, N.C., against Georgia. In the other semifinal, defending national champion Connecticut takes on Tennessee.
Kate Starbird had 17 points and Olympia Scott added 15 for Stanford against Auburn. Samantha Williams topped the Tigers (23-9) with 15 points.
Stanford led 38-20 with 2:01 left in the first half and was in front 38-26 at halftime.
The Tigers came out and outscored the Cardinal 13-3 in the first 6:25 of the second half to cut the deficit to 41-39. Stanford never let Auburn get any closer.
Georgia 90, Louisiana Tech 76: At Nacogdoches, Texas, Saudia Roundtree scored a career-high 37 points and led a second-half surge that carried the Bulldogs into the Final Four.
Georgia (27-4) overcame an 11-point deficit in the second half to win the Midwest Regional and advance to the semifinals in Charlotte. Louisiana Tech (31-2) had won 15 in a row.
Georgia outscored the startled Lady Techsters 30-10 during an 11-minute span, holding them scoreless for 4:47.
Roundtree led the run with 13 points. She made 12 of 13 free throws, including seven in a row in the final minutes.
Tennessee 52, Virginia 46: At Charlottesville, Va., Tennessee overcame a ferocious defensive effort by Virginia (26-7) with one of its own and advanced to its ninth Final Four.
Held to 19 percent shooting and 14 points in the first half, Tennessee limited the Cavs to 21 percent shooting and 19 points the second half.
The defensive pressure allowed Tennessee to rally from a 17-point deficit and win the third straight NCAA thriller between the teams.
Latina Davis scored all 12 of her points in a take-charge second half, when the Vols (30-4) made 15 of 28 shots.
Connecticut 67, Vanderbilt 57: At Rosemont, Ill., Connecticut accomplished what no one else had in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament. The defending national champions stopped Vanderbilt’s Sheri Sam and earned a repeat trip to the Final Four.
Sam had burned Vanderbilt’s first three NCAA opponents for a 32.3 scoring average and 75 percent shooting. But with various Connecticut players shadowing her every move, Sam went just 3 for 9 in the first half and finished with 16 points.
Kara Wolters led UConn with 17 points, while Jamelle Elliott and Nykesha Sales each scored 16.