Balanced UConn advances
The Huskies’ stellar defense stymied a high-powered Nittany Lions offense that averaged 87.5 points in the first two games of the NCAA women’s tournament.
It’s the seventh straight season that Connecticut has advanced to the regional finals. The Huskies will face No. 2 seed Kentucky on Tuesday night with a berth in the Final Four on the line.
Leading 36-27 late in the first half, UConn (32-4) used a 17-2 run spanning halftime to break the game open.
Mia Nickson scored 19 points and Maggie Lucas added 15 to lead Penn State (26-7).
-- Kentucky 79, Gonzaga 62—Keyla Snowden made five three-pointers for Kentucky, hitting a pair of them to turn back Gonzaga’s last charge.
Snowden had 17 points, going 5 of 9 from 3-point range, and Samarie Walker scored 16 with 12 rebounds for the Wildcats. It’s the second trip to the regional finals for Kentucky (28-6) in three years.
Kayla Standish scored 25 for Gonzaga (28-6), which reached the round of 16 for the third consecutive year.
-- Notre Dame 79, St. Bonaventure 35—At Raleigh, N.C., Natalie Novosel scored 16 points and Notre Dame advanced to the regional final.
Kalia Turner scored 14 points and Kayla McBride added 10 for the Irish (33-3).
They shot 52.5 percent, never trailed and led by 45 before matching a 22-year-old record for scoring margin in the regional round while cruising into the finals for the second straight year.
Notre Dame will play second-seeded Maryland on Tuesday night.
CeCe Dixon had 13 points and Doris Ortega added 11 for the Bonnies (31-4).
-- Maryland 81, Texas A&M 74—Laurin Mincy had 21 points and 12 rebounds to help Maryland rally past Texas A&M in the regional semifinals.
Alyssa Thomas added 21 points and nine rebounds for the Terrapins (31-4), who trailed by 18 in the first half and 11 midway through the second. But Maryland fought its way back and held the reigning national champion Aggies (24-11) to one basket in the final 7˝ minutes.
The Terrapins have won 10 straight and 13 of 14 since a home loss to Virginia Tech on Jan. 26. They’re back in a regional final for the first time since 2009, when they were in Raleigh as a No. 1 seed.
Freshman Alexia Standish scored 19 points to lead Texas A&M.