LSU 84, Santa Clara 78
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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ Doneeka Hodges had 22 points, and Aiysha Smith had 17 points and 12 rebounds as sixth-seeded Louisiana State beat Santa Clara 84-78 in the first round of the West Region on Friday night.
LSU (18-11), ranked No. 22, shot 50 percent and was 6-for-11 from 3-point range. The Tigers will face third-seeded Colorado, which beat Southern 88-61, in the second round on Sunday.
Santa Clara (21-10), one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, was just 7-for-21 from long range. Julie Butler led the Broncos with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Santa Clara took a 69-66 lead on a 3-pointer by Tammy Annas, but LSU followed with a 10-2 run. Ke-Ke Tardy capped it with a free throw that put the Tigers up 76-71 with four minutes left.
Santa Clara’s Caroline Gruening cut it to 76-73 with a three-point play, then Kendra Rhea and Courtney Cushing each hit two free throws to put the Broncos up by two with 2:24 left.
LSU’s Temeka Johnson tied it at 78 with a jump shot, then Scholanda Dorrell hit a runner after an offensive rebound to put the Tigers up by two with 35 seconds left. Johnson hit two free throws to put LSU up 82-78 with 17 seconds left after Rhea was called for traveling.
Gruening missed a 3-pointer with six seconds left, and Johnson ended it with a breakaway layup at the buzzer.
Johnson finished with 16 points and seven assists.
Gruening, eighth nationally in 3-point shooting at 45 percent, was 3-for-10 from long range and finished with 14 points.
It was the 1,000th game in the history of the women’s NCAA tournament.