The red hot Lady Bears are headed to the Final Four, a feel-good story for a Texas school usually on the sidelines when titles are passed around.
Sophia Young scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and No. 2 seed Baylor beat top-seeded North Carolina, 72-63, last night in the finals of the Tempe Regional.
Young, whose mother came from the West Indies to see her play for the first time, was named the regional's Most Valuable Player.
The Lady Bears (31-3) extended their school-record winning streak to 18 games, leading by as many as 19 points in the second half against the Tar Heels (30-4), who had won 17 straight entering the game.
Chameka Scott, 0 for 9 from 3-point range in her previous two games, was 4 for 8 against North Carolina and scored 18 points for Baylor. Steffanie Blackmon added 14 points.
North Carolina, trying to join the Tar Heel men in the Final Four, shot just 32 percent. Ivory Latta, North Carolina's 5-foot-6-inch point guard, scored 21 but was bounced around all night by the Baylor defense and was just 6 for 21 shooting, 3 for 12 on 3-pointers. Leah Metcalf scored 11 and Nikita Bell 10 for the Tar Heels.
Baylor advanced to the women's Final Four for the first time in school history. The Lady Bears, who hadn't even been to a regional final before, will play LSU in the national semifinals Sunday in Indianapolis.
LSU 59, Duke 49 -- Finally met with a challenge in the tournament, Louisiana State was up to the task. The top-seeded Lady Tigers are going to a second straight Final Four after beating second-seeded Duke in the Chattanooga Regional final.
LSU was down early but tied it at halftime, went ahead in the opening minutes of the second half, and never trailed again.
All-American Seimone Augustus finished with 24 points and Sylvia Fowles added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Lady Tigers (33-2).
LSU beat its first three opponents in the tournament by an average of 36 points, but the competition was much tougher last night.
The Blue Devils (31-5) had a good game plan to go inside and take advantage of their bigger post players, and it worked early. Duke was ahead by as many as 12 in the first half, putting the Lady Tigers in their biggest deficit of the season.
Then LSU turned up its defensive pressure, tipping passes and blocking shots, and brought in Fowles, the 6-foot-5-inch freshman, from the bench to help clog up the middle. She helped the Lady Tigers outrebound Duke, 42-27.