Freshman Whitney Hand is doing all she can to bring Oklahoma that national title Courtney Paris guaranteed.
Hand set career highs with 22 points and eight rebounds, and the top-seeded Sooners (31-5) rolled to a 70-59 win over fourth seed Pittsburgh in Oklahoma City on Sunday night to reach the regional finals of the NCAA tournament for the second time in school history.
Oklahoma put the game away with a 20-2 second-half surge that included a wild right-handed scoop shot by Hand that bounded into the basket. The Sooners were hardly bothered by foul trouble that kept Paris off the court much of the game, getting double-digit scoring from all five starters.
Shavonte Zellous scored 18 points on 7-for-20 shooting to lead the Panthers (25-8), who lost in the round of 16 for the second straight year.
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, which will play top-seeded Oklahoma. The Boilermakers became the second No. 6 seed this year to reach the round of eight, joining Arizona State.
Brittany Ray scored 19 points and Epiphanny Prince added 15 for seventh-seeded Rutgers (21-13), which upset second seed Auburn in the second round.
Connecticut 77, California 53: : Freshman Tiffany Hayes scored a career-high 28 points as the top-seeded Huskies (36-0) advanced to their 14th regional final in 16 seasons.
The Huskies will face Arizona State on Tuesday night with a trip to the Final Four at stake.
Ashley Walker scored 21 to lead the fourth-seeded Golden Bears (27-7), making their first trip to the regionals.
Maya Moore added 22 points, and Renee Montgomery had 13 for the Huskies. Moore is seven points short of breaking the UConn single-season record of 694 set by Kara Wolters in 1995-96.
Arizona State 84, Texas A&M; 69: : The Sun Devils played a near-perfect game in upsetting the second-seeded Aggies, advancing to the second regional final in school history.
Arizona State (26-8) shot a season-high 62 percent, got points from nine players, including 22 by Briann January, and did all the little things, winning the hustle plays, making the smart plays and even frustrating its opponents with four or five baskets as the shot clock expired.
Tanisha Smith had 19 points and Takia Starks added 18 for the Aggies (27-8).