Top-ranked and defending champion Baylor University was eliminated from the national women’s college basketball tournament after losing for the first time in 4 1/2 months, an 82-81 defeat against Louisville.
Monique Reid made two free throws with 2.6 seconds remaining as Louisville ended Baylor’s 32-game winning streak last night in Oklahoma City. Reid’s winning free throws came after Baylor erased a 19-point second-half deficit to take its first lead of the game with 9.1 seconds left.
Louisville advances to the final eight of the National Collegiate Athletic Association women’s championship, while Baylor (34-2) lost for the first time since a 71-69 setback against Stanford University at a November tournament in Hawaii.
Brittney Griner, the second-leading scorer in women’s college basketball history, had 14 points and 10 rebounds in her final college game and was called for the foul that sent Reid to the free throw line for the winning points. Odyssey Sims led Baylor with 29 points and took a final shot, but her desperation 3-pointer came after the final buzzer.
“We were right there,” Sims said at a news conference. “Just couldn’t finish it.”
Shoni Schimmel had 22 points and Antonita Slaughter added 21 for Louisville (27-8), which shot 64 percent from 3-point range, making 16-of-25 attempts.
Fifth-seeded Louisville advanced to the regional final in Oklahoma City against No. 2 Tennessee, which reached the final eight today with a 74-59 win over Oklahoma.
Notre Dame, the No. 1 seed in the Norfolk regional, routed Kansas 93-63 yesterday to move within a win of the Final Four. Notre Dame will next face No. 2 Duke, which beat Nebraska 53-45.