Diamond DeShields escaped two close calls with injury to score 19 points, leading North Carolina one win closer to a sweet reunion with healing coach Sylvia Hatchell by beating top-seeded South Carolina 65-58 in the Stanford Regional semifinals on Sunday in Stanford, Calif.
Brittany Rountree converted a pair of free throws with 1:14 left and two more at the 36.4-second mark to help seal it for the No. 4 seed Tar Heels (27-9).
North Carolina will play in Tuesday night’s regional final against second-seeded Stanford.
Alaina Coates hit several key baskets down the stretch on the way to 22 points for South Carolina (29-5), which was held to 37.7 percent shooting while committing 13 turnovers.
North Carolina needs one more win to be reunited with Hatchell, whose doctors have said she could travel to the Final Four in Nashville, Tenn., after recently undergoing her final chemotherapy session for leukemia.
(4) Maryland 73, (1) Tennessee 62: Alyssa Thomas scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Terrapins (27-6) upset the Lady Volunteers (29-6) in Louisville, Ky.
Maryland reached its ninth regional final and first since 2012 against a program the Terps had beaten only four times previously and never before in the NCAA tournament.
The Lady Vols will miss the Final Four for a sixth straight season. Meighan Simmons scored 31 points for Tennessee.
(3) Louisville 73, (7) LSU 47: Shoni Schimmel scored 19 points, Tia Gibbs added five 3-pointers and the Cardinals (33-4) rolled the Tigers (21-13) in Louisville, Ky., to reach the regional final on their home floor.
Louisville rung up another rout highlighted by a season-best 12 3-pointers, with the two seniors leading the way. Schimmel was 3 of 5 from beyond the arc and three other Cardinals contributed.
LSU, on the other hand, went 31 minutes with just Danielle Ballard (24 points), Jasmine Rhodes (eight) and Theresa Plaisance (seven) scoring before other Tigers chipped in. By then the game was out of hand. The Tigers, who dressed just eight players, shot just 24 percent.
Louisville moved on to play Maryland on Tuesday night.
(2) Stanford 82, (3) Penn State 57: Chiney Ogwumike had 29 points and 15 rebounds, Mikaela Ruef produced a career performance on both ends, and the Cardinal (32-3) beat the Lady Lions (24-8) in Stanford, Calif.
Ruef recovered from getting poked in the eye early to contribute 11 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two steals. Amber Orrange added 18 points in Stanford’s ninth straight NCAA tournament home win.
Ariel Edwards scored 22 points for the Lady Lions, while leading scorer Maggie Lucas was held scoreless in the second half and finished with six.