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College basketball

Hokies avoid upset in final second

©Associated Press

March 23, 2003

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Carrie Mason drove the lane for an uncontested layup with one second to go, giving Virginia Tech a 61-59 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday.

The Hokies, the No. 7 team in the East Region, led 59-53 with just over three minutes left after consecutive 3-pointers by Ieva Kublina and Chrystal Starling.

But Fallon Stokes hit two free throws and Alex Stewart scored too, pulling the No. 10-seeded Yellow Jackets within 59-57 with a minute remaining.

Then after Virginia Tech's 20th turnover, Stokes scored on a fastbreak layup to tie the score with 18 seconds left. Mason, pressured in the backcourt, called a timeout. After the Hokies got the ball in play, she took it straight to the basket for the winning points.

Kublina led Virginia Tech with 18 points and Starling added 15. Stokes had a game-high 25 points for the Yellow Jackets.

The Hokies led the entire first half by as many as 10 points but were hurt repeatedly by turnovers and fouls. Georgia Tech pulled within 29-28 at halftime, then took its first lead on two straight baskets at the start of the second half by Stewart, who finished with 10 points.

BOSTON COLLEGE 73, ODU 72: Amber Jacobs' jumper with 3.3 seconds remaining lifted the Eagles in Norfolk, Va.

Boston College inbounded the ball with 21 seconds left and missed two shots under the basket before Jacobs made her shot from the top of the key.

Old Dominion scored eight straight points, capped by Shareese Grant's jumper in the paint with 1:40 left, to go up 72-68.

PURDUE 66, VALPARAISO 51: The Boilermakers forced eight of Valparaiso's season-high 23 turnovers during a 24-2 first-half run in West Lafayette, Ind. Erika Valek had 23 points for the Boilermakers, who scored 32 off of turnovers. Consecutive baskets by Jamie Gutowski gave the visiting Crusaders their biggest lead at 18-9, just before Purdue's run. Valparaiso reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time as Mid-Continent Conference champion.

VANDERBILT 54, LIBERTY 44: Ashley McElhiney scored 17 for the Commodores in Norfolk, Va. Liberty, the No. 13 seed, trailed the entire game but closed to 37-34 on a layup by Katie Feenstra with a little over nine minutes left. Vanderbilt responded with a 9-0 run to push the lead to 13 with less then five minutes to go. Daina Staugaitiene scored 13 to lead the Flames, who have been to the NCAA Tournament the past seven years and never have advanced past the first round.

Mideast Region

TENNESSEE 95, ALABAMA ST. 43: Playing on its campus against an NCAA Tournament newcomer, the top-seeded Vols were in control from the start, leading 12-0 after 31/2 minutes. Shyra Ely had 17 points and eight rebounds and reserve Brittany Jackson scored 16 for Tennessee (29-4). Tennessee can reach the Final Four without leaving the comfort of home; the Vols are scheduled to play not only the first two games at home, which most top teams traditionally do in the women's tournament, but the region semifinals and final as well. Alabama State shot 24 percent (17-of-70). Shameka Jackson, the SWAC player of the year, had 11 points and eight rebounds for the Hornets.

VIRGINIA 72, ILLINOIS 56: Anna Crosswhite and Brandi Teamer each scored 17 for the eighth-seeded Cavaliers. Virginia came out strong in the second half with a 12-3 run, started by Crosswhite's 3-pointer. LaTonya Blue capped it with another 3-pointer that gave the Cavaliers a 45-34 lead with 15:29 to go. Cherisse Graham, Virginia's top scorer at 15.2 points a game, was held to six points, all free throws. She was 0-of-5 from the field.

Midwest Region

GEORGIA 80, CHARLOTTE 61: Christi Thomas scored a career-high 31 and had eight rebounds for the host Bulldogs, the No. 5 seed. Monica League and Krystion Obie scored 12 apiece for the 49ers, making their NCAA Tournament debut. The 49ers led 18-16 eight minutes in but Georgia went on a 13-0 burst, led by 16 at halftime and were never threatened again. Jessica Pierce came off the bench to score 12 and guard Alexis Kendrick added 10 for Georgia.

RUTGERS 64, W. KENTUCKY 52: Cappie Pondexter scored 13 of her 21 in the final 11 minutes for the Scarlet Knights, who overcame an eight-minute scoreless drought in the second half in Athens, Ga. Pondexter added 10 rebounds, five assists and six steals and Chelsea Newton scored 14 for the No. 4 seed. The Hilltoppers overcame a 31-23 halftime deficit by scoring 11 consecutive points early in the second half. Rutgers countered with an 11-0 run and again scored 11 unanswered points later in the half.

MISS. ST. 73, MANHATTAN 47: Tan White made five 3-pointers and scored 22 for the Bulldogs in Albuquerque, N.M. The No. 3 seed cruised into the second round as Manhattan missed its first 13 shots and 21 of its first 24. Guard Siobhan Kilkenny got a basket with 12:14 left in the half to halt an 11-0 run by Mississippi State. By halftime the score was 36-14; that was the fewest points in the first half this season for the Jaspers.

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