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Webb lifts LSU women to upset of Penn State, 71-66

Wednesday - 3/27/2013, 3:40am  ET

LSU guard Adrienne Webb (10) drives to the basket past Penn State guard Alex Bentley (20) during the first half of a second-round game in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La., Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

The Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- Adrienne Webb pumped a fist in the air as she was lifted up by teammate Theresa Plaisance, basking in the wild cheers of the heavily pro-LSU crowd.

With the best shooting night of her career and a relentless effort on defense, the feisty senior guard helped send LSU through to the regional semifinals for the first time since 2008.

Webb scored a career-high 29 points, including two crucial free throws with 22 seconds left, and LSU upset third-seeded Penn State 71-66 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Tuesday night.

"I had to play my hardest in (potentially) our last game, because it's do or die," said Webb, who also defended Big Ten player of the year Maggie Lucas and helped hold her to 2-for-10 shooting. "I really had to assert myself."

Bianca Lutley overcame foul trouble and scored 18 points, including a tough floater in traffic in the final minute to give LSU the lead and added another key free throw to make it a four-point game with 8.3 seconds to go.

Webb was 10 of 16 in what would have been her last game had No. 6 seed LSU (22-11) lost. Instead, she carried LSU to a Spokane Regional semifinal against California on a night when the Lady Tigers had only seven available players.

"Adrienne Webb is one of hardest-working players I've ever coached," LSU coach Nikki Caldwell said. "Her competitive spirit on the defensive end allowed her to really have the attitude you have to have when you face a player like Lucas."

"Her mental toughness is something she has fostered throughout the offseason," Caldwell added. "So she's been training for this type of game, this type of environment, this type of situation."

Nikki Greene had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and Alex Bentley scored 14 for Penn State (26-6), whose loss meant all four No. 3 seeds were out of the tournament. It's the first time in a decade that none of the four third-seeded teams made it to the Sweet 16.

In Tuesday's other games:

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OKLAHOMA CITY REGIONAL

BAYLOR 85, FLORIDA STATE 47

WACO, Texas (AP) -- Brittney Griner provided a most appropriate goodbye in her final home game for Baylor: a trio of dunks and another double-double.

Griner had 33 points and a career-high 22 rebounds to go with her three highlight dunks to lead the defending national champions to victory.

With former President George W. Bush in the crowd packed into the Ferrell Center to bid Griner farewell, the 6-foot-8 two-time All-American delivered.

The top-seeded Lady Bears (34-1) are in the round of 16 for the fourth year in a row. They play Louisville on Sunday in the semifinals of the Oklahoma City Regional.

Leonor Rodriguez scored 11 for No. 8 seed Florida State (23-10).

LOUISVILLE 76, PURDUE 63

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Sara Hammond had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help Louisville advance to the round of 16 for the second time in three years and fourth time in six years.

With men's coach Rick Pitino watching from the stands, Antonita Slaughter scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half for the fifth-seeded Cardinals (26-8).

Sam Ostarello had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (25-9), who had a five-game winning streak snapped and have lost in the second round three straight years.

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BRIDGEPORT REGIONAL

DELAWARE 78, NORTH CAROLINA 69

NEWARK, Del. (AP) -- Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points in her final home game, and Delaware rallied past foul-plagued North Carolina to advance to the round of 16 for the first time in school history.

The sixth-seeded Blue Hens (32-3) trailed 50-42 with 15:31 left before coming back to extend their school-record winning streak to 27 games and eliminate No. 3 seed North Carolina (29-7). Delaware will travel to Connecticut to face second-seeded Kentucky in the Bridgeport Regional semifinals Saturday.

Vice President Joe Biden was among those in the second straight sellout crowd at Delaware's compact arena.

Waltiea Rolle scored 23 points for the Tar Heels, but the 6-foot-6 senior was in foul trouble for much of the second half and finally picked up her fifth with 4:08 left.

KENTUCKY 84, DAYTON 70

NEW YORK (AP) -- A'dia Mathies followed the worst game of her career with one of her best, matching a personal high with 34 points to lead second-seeded Kentucky over seventh-seeded Dayton.

With Kentucky (29-5) clinging to a 46-44 advantage early in the second half, Mathies scored 10 points during a 16-3 run to help the Wildcats take control.

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