UConn Rolls Into Region Final
TRENTON, N.J. - It took almost a half for the Connecticut express to get rolling, and once it did California couldn't stop it. UConn freshman Tiffany Hayes scored a career-high 28 points as the undefeated Huskies beat fourth-seeded Cal 77-53 on Sunday to advance to their 14th region final in the past 16 seasons. UConn (36-0) continued its march toward the school's third perfect season. Trailing by eight late in the first half, the Huskies went on a 40-12 run over the next 20 minutes to take control of the game."As time went on the true character of this team came out," UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. "I love the way we handled the game in the second half. That was classic Connecticut basketball." Ashley Walker scored 21 to lead California (27-7). ARIZONA STATE 84, TEXAS A&M 69 The expected defensive battle turned into a shootout, and Arizona State had a little too much for Texas A&M. Briann January scored 22 points and the Sun Devils (26-8) scorched Texas A&M's pressing defense like no one else this season to advance to the second region final in school history. The Sun Devils shot a season-high 62 percent from the field against a team that had given up only 87 points in its two tournament games. Tanisha Smith had 19 points to lead the second-seeded Aggies (27-8). PURDUE 67, RUTGERS 61 OKLAHOMA CITY - Lakisha Freeman scored 18 points, and sixth-seeded Purdue held off a late rally to beat Rutgers and advance to the round of eight. FahKara Malone hit a key basket in the final minute and Jodi Howell added the clinching free throws with 6.2 seconds left for Purdue (25-10), which will play Tuesday in the region final. The Boilermakers became the second No. 6 seed this year to reach the round of eight, joining Arizona State. Purdue, which shot 52.9 percent from the field, will make its eighth appearance in a region final. The Boilermakers have made the Final Four three times, winning the 1999 national championship. Brittany Ray scored 19 points to lead Rutgers (21-13).