GREENSBORO, N.C. - C. Vivian Stringer and her scrappy Rutgers team are headed to the Final Four.
Kia Vaughn had 17 points and 10 rebounds while dominating the paint to power the Scarlet Knights to a 64-45 victory over Arizona State on Monday night in the Greensboro Regional final, clinching Rutgers' second trip to the national semifinals.
Matee Ajavon had 20 points, Essence Carson added 11 and Epiphanny Prince had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Knights (26-8), who led by as many as 24 points and held a 48-26 rebounding advantage in winning their seventh straight.
Now it's on to Cleveland, where they will face LSU from the Fresno Regional on Sunday in the Final Four.
The fourth-seeded Knights (26-8) almost saw their season end Saturday when top-seeded Duke had a chance to win it in the final second. But Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Lindsey Harding missed two free throws with 0.1 second left and Rutgers escaped with a stunning 53-52 upset.
The youthful Knights - with five freshmen and no seniors on the roster - had no trouble dodging a letdown, thoroughly dominating third-seeded Arizona State and pulling another upset to reach the Final Four for the second time and first since 2000.
Stringer, the first coach to lead three programs into the Final Four, is headed to college basketball's biggest stage for the fourth time.
FRESNO, Calif. - The talk coming into the NCAA tournament was about the coach LSU was missing. It's the center who is still dominating the middle that lifted the Lady Tigers to their fourth straight Final Four.
Sylvia Fowles overpowered Connecticut with 23 points, 15 rebounds and an intimidating defensive performance that led third-seeded LSU over the top- seeded Huskies.
A team in turmoil heading into the tournament after head coach Pokey Chatman abruptly resigned March 7 amid allegations of improper conduct with a former player, LSU (30-7) shook off any distractions and won four straight games under acting coach Bob Starkey.
The longtime assistant for both the men's and women's programs at LSU has an undefeated record as a head coach and looks to end his career that way with two more wins next week in Cleveland. Starkey said he has no aspirations to become the full-time coach.
Connecticut (32-4) will be left watching the Final Four for the third straight year after making it that far the previous five seasons. This matches UConn's longest Final Four drought since making its first in 1991.
Renee Montgomery led UConn with 17 points and Mel Thomas added 13.
It was the Huskies' most lopsided tournament loss since losing 75-47 to Vanderbilt in the second round in 1992.
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