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College basketball

Vols dispatch Lions

©Associated Press

March 30, 2003


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- One more home victory, and Tennessee will pack its bags for the first time in this NCAA Tournament.

Gwen Jackson had 24 points and 14 rebounds as the Volunteers took a big early lead and defeated Penn State 86-58 Saturday in a Mideast Region semifinal.

Top-seeded Tennessee (31-4) advanced to its 18th region final in 22 tries and plays host to No.2 seed Villanova on Monday.

The Vols, trying to reach the Final Four for the 14th time, improved their record in tournament home games to 43-0. Tennessee played host to first- and second-round games before getting the region semifinal and championship in Knoxville.

The fourth-seeded Nittany Lions (26-9), who won their early round games by an average of 20.5 points, were overwhelmed by the Vols' strong defense and dominant rebounding. Tennessee had a 53-21 rebounding advantage.

Vols coach Pat Summitt was upset after the team's second-round win over Virginia because the Cavaliers outrebounded her team 42-41.

"I think our team was very mindful Virginia outrebounded them by one," Summitt said. "It's all about their mind-set."

Tennessee had a 14-point lead at halftime and stretched it to 59-41 in the first four minutes of the second.

The Vols' victory sets up an interesting coaching matchup. Summitt and Villanova's Harry Perretta became close friends during the summer after he visited Knoxville to give Summitt some tips on the motion offense.

VILLANOVA 53, COLORADO 51: Senior Katie Davis hit her fifth 3-pointer with 4:18 left to give the Wildcats their first lead.

It looked like Villanova's surprising season would end as the Wildcats (28-5) trailed by 11 in the second half.

Villanova has won seven straight, including a victory over Connecticut in the Big East tournament championship game on March 11 that snapped the Huskies' 70-game winning streak.

Sixth-seeded Colorado (24-8) had plenty of opportunities to reach its fourth region final in 11 tournaments. Tera Bjorklund scored 29, but she missed five straight shots in the final five minutes. Her worst miss came when she threw up a shot under pressure that hit the bottom of the backboard with Villanova up 50-49 and a minute left. Bjorklund scored with 7.5 seconds left to pull the Buffaloes to 52-51, but Davis hit the first of two free throws for the final margin.

Linda Lappe threw up a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer that did not reach the basket.

DUKE 66, GEORGIA 63: Iciss Tillis scored 21 and freshman Mistie Bass had 10 straight to spark a second-half run by top-seeded Duke in a Midwest Region semifinal in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Blue Devils overcame some shakiness on offense and an off night by All-America guard Alana Beard to win their 14th straight. Beard scored 12.

Marquita Driskell scored 16 to lead fifth-seed Georgia (21-10), which suited up just eight players. Christi Thomas added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Georgia's Ebony Felder made it a three-point game with a layup with 42 seconds left, and Duke couldn't get off a shot before the 30-second clock expired with 10 seconds left. But Blue Devils guard Sheana Mosch stole the ball from Alexis Kendrick with four seconds remaining, and Duke ran out the clock.

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