STATE COLLEGE — Maggie Lucas and Dara Taylor each scored 22 points to send Penn State into the Sweet 16 with a 83-61 win over Florida on Tuesday night.
The third-seeded Lady Lions (24-7) will play at No. 2 Stanford (30-3) on Sunday.
Lucas, the two-time Big Ten player of the year, surpassed the 2,500 career-point milestone and led the Lady Lions to the NCAA tournament regional semifinal for the second time in three seasons.
Ariel Edwards added 16 points for Penn State. The Lady Lions are in the Sweet 16 for the 13th time.
Kayla Lewis led the 11th-seeeded Gators (20-13) with 20 points and nine rebounds. Jaterra Bonds scored 14.
Led by Lucas and Taylor, the Lady Lions controlled the game from the opening tip, and gave the home crowd one more big win to savor.
Edwards hit a jumper and Taylor drove for a layup, giving the Lady Lions a 15-point lead to start the second half and force Florida into a timeout.
Lucas soon hit her third 3 of the game and her fourth was a big one that put them up 56-36. Lucas, PSU’s emotional leader, pumped her first and directed an exuberant shout toward the fans.
She swished a free throw early in the second half for her 2,500th career point.
Connecticut 91, St. Joseph’s 52
STORRS, Conn. — Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had the third triple-double in UConn history as the Huskies moved into their 21st straight NCAA regional semifinal with a rout of Saint Joseph’s.
Mosqueda-Lewis had 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, to lead five players in double figures for the top-ranked Huskies (36-0), who won their 42nd straight game.
Maryland 69, Texas 64
COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Alyssa Thomas scored all 16 of her points in the second half, and Maryland squeezed past cold-shooting Texas to reach the Sweet 16.
Texas trailed by 11 points with 9:24 left, but an 8-0 run cut the deficit to 65-64 with 43 seconds left. After Maryland’s 16th turnover of the game, Chassidy Fussell missed a 3-point try and Maryland’s Laurin Mincy made two free throws for a three-point lead.
North Carolina 62, Michigan State 53
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Freshman Diamond DeShields had 24 points and a season-high 12 rebounds to help North Carolina beat Michigan State.
Fellow rookie Allisha Gray added 10 points for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-9), who led by nine at halftime then dominated the opening minutes of the second half to turn the game into a rout. North Carolina ran off 14 straight points to blow the game open, with DeShields scoring twice during that flurry to build a 57-31 lead with 11½ minutes left that allowed the Tar Heels to coast to the Stanford Regional’s round of 16.