OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — To take down Brittney Griner and seemingly invincible Baylor, Louisville played a carefree offense, an unconventional defense and got one fearless final play against one of women's basketball's greatest players ever.
Monique Reid made two free throws after getting fouled by Griner on a desperation drive with 2.6 seconds left, lifting the fifth-seeded Cardinals to an 82-81 victory and one of the biggest upsets in the history of the tournament.
"It's an amazing feeling," said Reid, a 69 percent foul shooter. "It was great that I could actually hit those clutch free throws. I just wanted to get on top of a building and scream!"
Considered a lock for the Final Four — and prohibitive favorites to win a second straight championship — Griner and her Lady Bears (34-2) had won 32 straight games — and 74 of 75, including last season's unprecedented 40-0 run to the championship.
But the 6-foot-8 star didn't make a basket until the second half, then committed the foul that gave Louisville a chance to win.
"I saw Griner coming at me and I was like, 'I'm going to have to get past her.' I tried to make the layup and she took my head off," Reid said.
Louisville will play Tennessee in the regional final on Tuesday night for a berth in the Final Four. The Cardinals are trying to get back for the first time since losing in the 2009 title game.
Odyssey Sims scored 29 points, including two free throws with 9.1 seconds to go that gave Baylor its only lead at 81-80. Sims had one more chance to save the season, but she was off-target and late on a desperation heave.
Sims dropped to the floor after her miss, pulling her jersey over her face and kicking her legs as she lay flat on her back. Griner squatted near her and slapped the floor with both hands before pulling Sims up to her feet.
It was a stunning end of a remarkable college career for Griner, the second-highest scoring player in NCAA history. She also holds the career records for blocks and dunks.
"I'm just sad," Griner said. "I didn't do what I needed to do to get my team to the Elite Eight and just disappointment in myself."
Griner, who had averaged 33 points in Baylor's first two games in the tournament, didn't make a basket until she converted a putback with 15:20 left in the second half. She wound up with 14 points and 10 rebounds, making only four of her 10 shots and being a relative non-factor for her considerable stature.
Louisville surrounded Griner as she has been most of her career, using a zone defense Louisville coach Jeff Walz called the "claw and one."
He put one player in front of Griner and another behind her, and often another one in the vicinity.
"I think I could smell what toothpaste she used," Antonita Slaughter said. "I was in her face the whole time with my hands up."
Unusually, Griner's teammates were unable to hit outside shots and relieve the pressure.
Before the game, Lady Bears coach Kim Mulkey had said she didn't know what defense the Cardinals run and even Louisville's players admitted to being confused often.
"Most of the time we just scramble and it works out for us," Slaughter said.
The Cardinals went 16 for 25 from 3-point range, tying the NCAA tournament mark for 3-pointers reached by four other teams and making the most ever in the regional semifinals or beyond.
Louisville had been shooting just 31 percent on 3-pointers. Slaughter hit seven 3-pointers for 21 points and Shoni Schimmel had five 3s and 22 points as the Cardinals scored 11 more points than any other Baylor opponent this season.
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