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Oklahoma City Women's Regional: Louisville stuns defending champ Baylor

Cardinals blow 19-point lead but hang on to eliminate No. 1-ranked Bears.
BY GINA MIZELL Published: March 31, 2013
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photo - Baylor's Brittney Griner (42) and Odyssey Sims (0) react following their loss to Louisville at the Oklahoma City Regional for the NCAA women's college basketball tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Baylor's Brittney Griner (42) and Odyssey Sims (0) react following their loss to Louisville at the Oklahoma City Regional for the NCAA women's college basketball tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Sunday, March 31, 2013. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Louisville also found a way to neutralize Brittney Griner on the offensive end by consistently keeping three players around her in a variation of a box-and-1 zone. She finished with just 10 attempted shots — making her first in the second half — and 14 points while adding 10 rebounds in her final collegiate game.

“I think I could smell what toothpaste she used,” Louisville's Antonita Slaughter said with a laugh. “I was in her face all the time with my hands up.”

Not only was Louisville keeping pace with Baylor. The Cardinals were ahead by 19 with 12:14 to play.

Still, Baylor made a late charge, outscoring the Cardinals 24-6 during a seven-minute stretch to take a one-point lead on a pair of Sims free throws with less than 10 seconds left.

But Louisville's Monique Reid was fouled by Griner on a layup attempt on the Cardinals' ensuing possession and drilled both free throws to take the lead. Sims then could not get off a final heave before the buzzer.

So Griner's college ends in Oklahoma City, with the 6-foot-8 center leaving as the NCAA's second-leading scorer but with just one national title.

Meanwhile, Louisville moves on to face No. 2 seed and traditional power Tennessee — which beat Oklahoma 74-59 earlier Sunday — for a spot in the Final Four.


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