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Originally published March 22, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Page modified March 22, 2014 at 7:50 PM

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Top-seeded Tennessee pulls away from No. 16 seed Northwestern State in NCAA women’s tournament

Lady Vols overcome illness to coach Holly Warlick for 14th win in past 15 games.

The Associated Press

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Northwestern State capped a season full of surprises by threatening to produce the biggest stunner of all.

The Demons can only wonder what might have resulted if they’d hit a few more open shots.

Seeking to become only the second No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament, Northwestern State was tied with Tennessee early in the second half before the Lady Vols pulled away for an opening-round 70-46 victory.

“We didn’t try to focus on what other people thought was a mismatch,” Northwestern State forward Trudy Armstead said. “We just tried to come out and compete as much as possible.”

The Lady Vols (28-5) won despite scoring just four points and making no baskets in the last eight minutes of the first half. Northwestern State (21-12) also struggled to shoot the ball and went just 3 of 19 from three-point range.

Tennessee withstood an illness to head coach Holly Warlick, who said she came down with a stomach illness at about 2 a.m. Warlick said she initially feared she might not even be able to coach Saturday, but she made it to the game after undergoing IV treatments.

Warlick missed the team’s morning shoot-around. She joined her team for the game and sat on an orange stool during the first half while assistant coach Kyra Elzy stood and shouted instructions. Warlick stood throughout the second half and was much more animated as Tennessee gradually pulled away for its 14th win in its last 15 games.

Northwestern State (21-13), trying to become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed since Harvard stunned Stanford in 1998, forced a 22-22 tie early in the second half before the Lady Vols (28-5) scored 12 straight points to seize control.

Other Louisville Regional

St. John’s 71, USC 68

In Knoxville, Tenn., Briana Brown sank a three-pointer with four-tenths of a second left to give No. 8 seed St. John’s (23-10) a victory over No. 9 seed USC (22-13).

USC guard Brianna Barrett’s desperation shot at the buzzer from at least 35 feet away bounced off the backboard and front rim.

Stanford Regional

Stanford 81, South Dakota 62

In Ames, Iowa, Chiney Ogwumike scored 23 points to become the Pac-12’s career scoring leader, and Stanford used a couple of big runs to pull away from 15th-seeded South Dakota (19-14).

The Cardinal (30-3), seeded No. 2 in the regional it will host next weekend, advanced to a Monday game against No. 10 Florida State.

Ogwumike, the Pac-12 player of the year, passed former Stanford great Candice Wiggins as the conference’s all-time scoring leader. Ogwumike now has 2,652 points.

Florida State 55, at Iowa State 44

Natasha Howard had her school-record 15th double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds, and 10th-seeded Florida State (21-11) defeated cold-shooting Iowa State (20-11).

Lincoln Regional

DePaul 104, Oklahoma 100

In Durham, N.C., Megan Rogowski scored 24 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer with 40.5 seconds left to help DePaul beat Oklahoma.

Chanise Jenkins had 21 points and Brittany Hrynko 19 for the seventh-seeded Blue Demons (28-6). They blew a 19-point lead with under 16 minutes left, then rallied for a wild win.

Aaryn Ellenberg had 36 points and seven three-pointers for the 10th-seeded Sooners (18-15), who set a tournament record for most points by a losing team in a regulation game. The 204 combined points also made it the highest-scoring regulation game in the history of the NCAA women’s tournament.

Brigham Young 72, N.C. State 57

In Los Angeles, Lexi Eaton scored 25 points, Jennifer Hamson finished one block shy of a triple-double, and 12th-seeded BYU (27-6) upset No. 5 North Carolina State (25-8).

Hamson, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, finished with 12 points and tied her career highs with 19 rebounds and nine blocks.

Nebraska 75, Fresno State 55

In Los Angeles, Jordan Hooper had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and fourth-seeded Nebraska (26-6) defeated Fresno State (22-11).

Emily Cady had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Cornhuskers.

At Duke 87, Winthrop 45

Tricia Liston scored 20 points and Duke routed Winthrop (24-9).

Freshman Oderah Chidom had 17 points for the second-seeded Blue Devils (28-6).

Notre Dame Regional

Notre Dame 93, Robert Morris 42

In Toledo, Ohio, Michaela Mabrey scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half, and top-seeded Notre Dame (33-0) breezed to a victory in its NCAA tournament opener against 16th-seeded Robert Morris (21-12)

Arizona State 69, Vanderbilt 61

In Toledo, Ohio, Katie Hempen scored 16 points, and ninth-seeded Arizona State (23-9) handed eighth-seeded Vanderbilt (18-13) a rare first-round loss in the NCAA tournament. Vanderbilt was making its 15th straight NCAA tournament appearance and had lost in the first round only once in the previous 11 years.

California 64, Fordham 63

In Waco, Texas, Brittany Boyd scored 22 points, including the winning jumper with 14 seconds left, and California (22-9) survived for a victory over feisty Fordham (25-8).

California, a Final Four team last season, held on when Erin Rooney’s final shot for the Rams came up short.

At Baylor 87, Western Kentucky 74

Nina Davis had 32 points and 10 rebounds in her NCAA tournament and Odyssey Sims scored 31 points for Baylor (30-4) in a victory over Western Kentucky (24-9).

With coach Kim Mulkey watching the game from her house while serving an NCAA suspension, the Bears advanced to play California.

At Kentucky 106, Wright State 60

Jennifer O’Neill scored 21 points, Samarie Walker had 12 points and 14 rebounds, and third-seeded Kentucky (25-8) crushed No. 14 Wright State (26-9).

Kentucky shot 55 percent from the field, grabbed a school-record 67 rebounds and had 12 blocks.

Syracuse 59, Chattanooga 53

In Lexington, Ky., Syracuse guard Brittney Sykes had 13 points and 12 rebounds before injuring her right knee midway through the second half as the sixth-seeded Orange (23-9) beat Chattanooga (29-4) for its first NCAA tournament win.

At Purdue 84, Akron 55

Whitney Bays scored 20 points as Purdue (22-8) routed Akron (23-10).

Oklahoma State 61, Florida Gulf Coast 60 (OT)

In West Lafayette, Ind., Tiffany Bias’ driving layup with 41 seconds remaining in overtime lifted No. 5 seed Oklahoma State (24-8) over No. 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-8).

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