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Duke, Stanford advance as seeds hold in Fresno regional

Nnemkadi Ogwumike

Stanford’s Nnemkadi Ogwumike gestures after scoring against South Carolina during the first half of an NCAA women’s tournament regional semifinal college basketball game, Saturday, March 24, 2012, in Fresno, Calif. The winner will play Duke Monday in the regional finals.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)


Just like in Des Moines the top two teams in the Fresno regional will play for the right to go to the Women’s Final Four in Denver, as top-seed Stanford and No. 2 seed Duke advanced with wins on Saturday night.

The opening game of the doubleheader turned on a basket at time expired in the first half, as a Tricia Liston 3-pointer capped a 12-0 Duke run. The Blue Devils were even better in the second half, rolling to a 74-47 win over No. 3 seed St. John’s.

Shea Selby led the way for Duke (27-5) with a career-high 18 points and Liston added 15, and defensively the Blue Devils limited St. John’s to 29% shooting from the field and 1 of 8 from three in the second half.

Da’Sheana Stevens led the Red Storm (24-10) with 19 points in her final game in a St. John’s uniform but she was their lone double-figure scorer. Duke outscored St. John’s 48-28 in the paint and scored 24 points off of 19 Red Storm turnovers.

Stanford (34-1) will present a major challenge for Duke in the form of the Ogwumike sisters, Nneka and Chiney. Nneka was the star for the Cardinal on Saturday night, scoring 39 points and grabbing ten rebounds in their 76-60 win over No. 5 seed South Carolina.

Chiney posted a double-double with 11 and ten rebounds and Toni Kokenis scored 12 and grabbed seven boards. The Cardinal did allow South Carolina (25-10) to grab 16 offensive rebounds but the Gamecocks were unable to make them pay.

Stanford limited South Carolina to 36.8% shooting on the night, and the Cardinal would put the game away with a 16-4 run just past the halfway point of the second half.

Also advancing on Saturday were Baylor and Tennessee, who will meet in the Des Moines regional final on Monday night.

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.