March 21, 2007

Men's NIT: (1) West Virginia 71, (6) N.C. State 66

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Frank Young scored 25 points, including 14 straight in the second half, and West Virginia defeated North Carolina State 71-66 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.

Young set the single-season school record with his first 3-pointer, then buried five more, including three in the last six minutes to help West Virginia advance to its first NIT semifinal since 1981. Young has 107 3-pointers for the year, eclipsing the mark of 101 set by Chris Leonard in 1992.

The Mountaineers (25-9), the top seed in the East Region, beat N.C. State for the second time this season. The sixth-seeded Wolfpack (20-16) had won five of their last six but couldn't contain Young, who hit consecutive 3-pointers to give WVU a 64-62 advantage with 2:52 left.

Alex Ruoff followed with another 3-pointer as the Mountaineers grabbed the edge for good at 67-65 with 2:00 left.

N.C. State's Courtney Fells missed a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with four seconds remaining. West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler then made two free throws, setting off a celebration at the Coliseum in Morgantown. Loudspeakers blared John Denver's "Country Roads" and Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York."

The Mountaineers play South Region top seed Mississippi State in the semifinals on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Ruoff finished with 15 points and had a career-high 11 assists. DaSean Butler added eight points off the bench.

N.C. State was led by Brandon Costner with 25 points. Engin Astur added 14 and Gavin Grant scored 12.

West Virginia built a 24-16 lead with 6:00 left in the first half. N.C. State, playing its seventh game in two weeks, narrowed the gap to 28-26 at the break, and then took its first lead, 34-33, on Atsur's 3-pointer with 17 minutes remaining.

The lead changed 13 times and there were six ties.

West Virginia's 25 wins are its most in 19 years.

N.C. State. which lost to West Virginia 71-60 on Dec. 6, has dropped four consecutive games to the Mountaineers, two of which have come in the NIT.

West Virginia won the NIT in 1942.

Women's NCAA: Ole Miss 89, Maryland 78

Maryland fell into Mississippi's trap and the defending NCAA champion never got out.

Mississippi used its stifling defense to steal the ball 15 times and force 29 Maryland turnovers and the Rebels upset the second-seeded Terrapins 89-78 in the Dayton Regional on Tuesday night.

Armintie Price scored 28 points to lead the Rebels (23-10), who will play No. 3 Oklahoma in the Dayton Regional semifinals. The third-seeded Sooners beat Marquette 78-47 on Monday.

Kristi Toliver led Maryland (28-6) with 24, including 14 in the second half when the Terps cut a 23-point lead to seven.

North Carolina State 78, Baylor 72, OT

Khadijah Whittington scored 15 of her career-high 23 points after halftime to extend the fourth-seeded Wolfpack's emotional season.

The win gave Hall of Fame coach Kay Yow her first trip to the NCAA tournament's round of 16 in six years, sending the Wolfpack (25-9) to a matchup with Connecticut. N.C. State has won 12 of 14 since Yow returned from a 16-game leave to concentrate on her cancer treatment.

Bernice Mosby scored 26 points to lead the fifth-seeded Lady Bears (26-8), who were trying to reach the round of 16 for the fourth straight year.

Rutgers 70, Michigan State 57

Kia Vaughn had 12 of her 16 points in the first half and fourth-seeded Rutgers won on the Spartans' home court.

As a reward, the Scarlet Knights (24-8) play the top-seeded Duke Blue Devils on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. -- about 50 miles from their campus.

Victoria Lucas-Perry scored 17, Rene Haynes had 14 points and Aisha Jefferson added 13 for the Spartans (24-9).

Bowling Green 59, Vanderbilt 56

Amber Flynn scored 19 points and seventh-seeded Bowling Green moved into the NCAA tournament's round of 16 for the first time in school history.

The Falcons (31-3) became the first Mid-American Conference team to reach the round of 16. They will face No. 3 seed Arizona State on Saturday.

Liz Sherwood scored 18 points for Vanderbilt (28-6), but the Commodores trailed by 13 at the half and their second-half comeback fell short.

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