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Delaware women beat North Carolina, 78-69, in NCAAs

  • Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, front, drives around North Carolina forward Xylina McDaniel (34) and center Waltiea Rolle during the first half of a second-round game in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament in Newark, Del., Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, front, drives around North Carolina forward Xylina McDaniel (34) and center Waltiea Rolle during the first half of a second-round game in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament in Newark, Del., Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

  • Delaware's Elena Delle Donne, front, drives around North Carolina forward Xylina McDaniel (34) and center Waltiea Rolle during the first half of a second-round game in the women's NCAA college basketball tournament in Newark, Del., Tuesday, March 26, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points in her final home game, and Delaware rallied past foul-plagued North Carolina, 78-69, last night to advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament 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 next travel to Connecticut to face Kentucky.

Vice President Joe Biden was among those in the second straight sellout crowd at Delaware’s compact arena. Most of the fans wore royal blue, yellow, or a combination of both. Most of them were standing during the final five minutes of the game, when it became apparent the Blue Hens and Delle Donne would be playing at least once more this season.

Delle Donne missed 18 of 28 field goal tries, but the 6-foot-5 senior went 11-for-13 at the line and now has 3,006 points during a sensational career in her home state.

Trumae Lucas scored 20 for the Blue Hens and Danielle Parker contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds.

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

North Carolina point guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, who scored a career-high 30 points against Albany in the tournament opener, played the final 11:55 with four fouls and finished with four points on 1-for-13 shooting.

BRIDGEPORT REGIONAL

Kentucky 84,
Dayton 70

A’dia Mathies rebounded from the worst game of her career to match her career high with 34 points and lead second-seeded Kentucky over seventh-seeded Dayton.

The Wildcats (29-5) will face Delaware in the semifinals of the Bridgeport Regional on Saturday.

Clinging to a 46-44 advantage early in the second half, Mathies scored 10 points during a 16-3 run to take control of the game.

The two-time SEC player of the year hit two 3-pointers, including one to cap the burst and make it 62-47. She didn’t hit a field goal in the first round win over Navy. She made 13 of 17 against Dayton.

Andrea Hoover scored 22 points to lead the Flyers (28-3), got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

OKLAHOMA CITY REGIONAL

Louisville 76, Purdue 63

Sara Hammond had 21 points and 10 rebounds to help fifth-seeded Louisville beat Purdue and advance to its second NCAA tournament regional semifinal in three years.

The Cardinals (26-8) will play either top-seeded Baylor or Florida State on Sunday in Oklahoma City in the program’s fourth regional semifinal in the last six years.

The fourth-seeded Boilermakers (25-9) snapped a five-game winning streak and now have lost in the second round three straight years.

Antonita Slaughter scored 14 of her 16 points in the first half for Louisville. Shoni Schimmel had 14.

Sam Ostarello led Purdue with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

NORFOLK REGIONAL

Duke 68, Oklahoma State 59

Elizabeth Williams had 16 points and 12 rebounds, and Duke rallied to beat Oklahoma State in the second round.

Haley Peters added 15 points and 13 rebounds while Tricia Liston scored eight of her 13 in the final six-plus minutes and Chloe Wells also finished with 13 for the second-seeded Blue Devils (32-2). They advance to face sixth-seeded Nebraska in the regional semifinals on Sunday in Norfolk, Va.

Duke trailed by 15 points in the first minute of the second half before outscoring the seventh-seeded Cowgirls 47-23 to reach the tournament’s second weekend for the 15th time in 16 years.

Liz Donohoe had 14 points to lead Oklahoma State (22-11).

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