Baylor ousts top seed Vols West Virginia topples Kentucky for East title
• Photo gallery: NCAA basketball Saturday
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Freshman sensation Brittney Griner has grown up a lot this season — just ask Tennessee.
Griner scored 27 points and blocked 10 shots, leading fourth-seeded Baylor to a 77-62 win over the top-seeded Lady Vols yesterday to advance to the NCAA's Midwest Regional finals.
"She was the X factor," said Tennessee coach Pat Summitt, whose team was taken out in the first round last season.
Baylor's only other appearance in the round of eight was in 2005, the same year it won the national championship. The Lady Bears (26-9) play No. 2 seed Duke (30-5) tomorrow night.
Tennessee (32-3) successfully limited the 6-foot-8 Griner in its 74-65 win over Baylor in the first game of the season but couldn't do it again even with as many as four players on her at a time. Griner hit several shots while double-teamed or passed to an open teammate for an easy layup.
"You're watching a phenom out here play above the rim," Mulkey said. "That's what needs to be written in every article from this day forward, because she's such a sweet child as you can see."
Griner had been somewhat tentative on offense since she was suspended for two games after throwing a punch against a Texas Tech player in early March. She was back to her dominant self on both ends of the court.
DUKE 66, SAN DIEGO STATE 58
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Jasmine Thomas and Duke put an end to San Diego State's surprising NCAA tournament run while putting the Blue Devils a win away from their first Final Four since 2006.
Thomas matched her career-high with 29 points, and second-seeded Blue Devils (30-5) beat the 11th-seeded Aztecs (23-11) to notch their eighth 30-win season in the past decade and moved to their first regional final since 2006 when they lost in overtime to Maryland in the national championship game.
"She's just a very hungry player, someone who loves to get out there and dictate and on both sides of the ball," Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "A lot of emphasis goes to her scoring, which is incredible."
STANFORD 73, GEORGIA 36
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Jayne Appel had 17 points and five rebounds in 24 minutes while playing on a tender right ankle as the top-seeded Cardinal (34-1) rolled into the Sacramento Regional final with a rout of the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (25-9).
Stanford used a 26-4 run to build a 37-15 halftime lead, and held Georgia to 12-for-59 shooting overall. The Lady Bulldogs were 4 of 22 from 3-point range.
XAVIER 74, GONZAGA 56
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ta'Shia Phillips had 22 points and 14 rebounds, Katie Rutan added 15 points and the third-seeded Musketeers (30-3) gained their first NCAA tournament regional final in nine years by beating the Bulldogs (29-5) for their 21st straight victory.
Xavier's punishing low-post tandem of the 6-foot-6 Phillips and the 6-5 Harris was just too tall and too tough for Gonzaga, which had its own 20-game winning streak snapped.