NCAA Women's Tourney

South Carolina, NC State advance to women's Final Four

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Tessa Johnson scored 15 points, Kamilla Cardoso added 12 and undefeated South Carolina advanced to the Final Four of the women’s NCAA Tournament with a 70-58 win over Oregon State on Sunday.

South Carolina made it to the national semifinals unbeaten for the second straight season. The Gamecocks lost to Caitlin Clark and Iowa in the Final Four last year. This time, with an entirely new starting lineup, coach Dawn Staley has her group on the verge of the school’s third national championship.

The Gamecocks, who have made the Final Four in four straight years, will play N.C. State on Friday night in Cleveland. Two more wins by South Carolina would make the Gamecocks the 10th school to finish a season undefeated and the first since UConn did it in 2016.

Top-seeded South Carolina (36-0) led by four at the half and built a 14-point lead before No. 3 seed Oregon State (27-8) got within 62-58 with 3:55 left in the game. But the Beavers then missed their final seven shots.

PORTLAND REGIONAL 4

NO. 11 NC STATE 76, NO. 4 TEXAS 66

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Aziaha James made a career-high seven 3-poiners and scored 27 points, and third-seeded North Carolina State earned its first trip to the Final Four of the women’s NCAA Tournament since 1998, beating top-seeded Texas in a game played with 3-point lines at different distances on opposite ends of the court.

River Baldwin added 16 points for N.C. State (31-6), which will face unbeaten South Carolina in the national semifinals in Cleveland on Saturday. The Gamecocks beat Oregon State in Albany, New York, earlier Sunday.

Madison Booker, one of the top freshmen in the country along with Southern California’s JuJu Watkins, finished with 17 points to lead the Longhorns (33-5), who were vying for their first Final Four since 2003.

Before the Portland 4 Region final, Texas coach Vic Schaefer and N.C. State’s Wes Moore conferred with officials about a visible difference between the 3-point lines.

The NCAA acknowledged a discrepancy but said both coaches agreed to play on. Four previous games in Portland were played without anyone saying anything publicly about the issue. The court will be corrected before Monday’s Elite Eight game between USC and UConn, the NCAA said.


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