Sydney Carter scored 22 points and Texas A&M finally beat Baylor – when it counted the most.
The Aggies are going to the NCAA Final Four for the first time in school history after a 58-46 victory over the top-seeded Lady Bears on Tuesday night in the Dallas Regional final.
Baylor and All-American Brittney Griner, who played in the Final Four last year in the 6-foot-8 center’s freshman season, will have to settle for the Big 12 regular-season and tournament trophies the still-young Bears (34-3) already won this season.
Texas A&M (31-5) had lost eight straight games against its Big 12 rival, including the previous three this season.
The Aggies blew a nine-point lead midway through the second half at Baylor last month. They squandered a 12-0 start in the Big 12 championship game just more than three weeks ago.
This time, coach Gary Blair’s team led from start-to-finish after Carter had a 3-pointer, an assist and a jumper in the game’s first 2 minutes for a 7-0 lead.
“Tonight was our night, we didn’t back into it,” Blair said. “We won the game fair and square.”
Sydney Colson added 12 points for Texas A&M, including some important scores after two free throws by Griner had put Baylor within 48-41 with 4 1/2 minutes left.
Colson blew by Griner and missed, but was fouled and made both free throws.
Connecticut 75, Duke 40: Maya Moore scored 28 points, including the 3,000th of her career, to lead the top-seeded Huskies (36-1) past the Blue Devils (32-4) in Philadelphia and gave them another trip to the Final Four.
UConn is two wins away from winning its third straight national championship that would match the school’s own run from 2002-04 and Tennessee’s from 1996-98.
Next up is Notre Dame on Sunday in the national semifinals. The two Big East teams are plenty familiar with each other, having played three times this season already. UConn won all of those matchups including a 73-64 victory in the Big East tournament championship game.
Once again rural Storrs, Conn., is the center of the college basketball world as both the men’s and women’s teams are in the Final Four. It’s the third time in the past seven years that both programs have advanced this far with 2004 culminating in dual titles.
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