Utah forward Joh-Teena Filipe celebrates hitting a 3-point shot against Boston College during the first half Saturday at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M.
March 26, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Utah scoring star Kim Smith had one of the toughest shooting nights of her career, but the Utes still beat Boston College to advance to their first NCAA tournament regional final.
Utah also became the first member of the Mountain West Conference ever to reach the Elite Eight. None of the nine current members of the league had ever advanced past the regional semifinal round until Saturday night.
Fifth-seeded Utah (27-6) will play second-seeded Maryland (31-4) in Monday night's regional final, with the winner advancing to the Final Four. Maryland beat defending national champion Baylor 82-63.
Boston College (21-12) had three late chances to force overtime but Brooke Queenan, who led the eighth-seeded Eagles with 21 points, missed two 3-pointers and Kindyll Dorsey another in the final 17 seconds. Queenan's last shot, with 2 seconds left came up short and the Utes rebounded the miss and started their celebration.
Filipe matched her season high with 11 points for the Utes. Thorburn and Larsen each scored 10. That was enough to make up for Smith's shooting problems. The Utah senior scored just seven points - only the second time this season she has failed to break double-figures. She was 3-for-13 from the field.
Utah got the win despite going scoreless over the final 4:31, but the Eagles couldn't take advantage.
Boston College, which ousted No. 1 seed Ohio State in the second round, trailed through much of the game. With the exception of Queenan, who was 9-for-17 from the field, most of the Eagles struggled offensively. Dorsey, who set a NCAA tournament school record with six 3-pointers in the 79-69 win over Ohio State, went scoreless and was 0-for-5 on 3s.
Smith, who has scored 20 or more points 40 times in her career, contributed to the win with team highs of eight rebounds and six assists. Her best offensive moment came with 8:02 left when she muscled her way inside to bank in a basket that just beat the shot clock and put the Utes up 55-46.
Utah, which had to rally from 15-point deficits in first and second round wins over Middle Tennessee State and Arizona State, led 53-42 with 9:42 left on a 3-point play by Jessica Perry.
Boston College, which also was trying to reach a regional final for the first time, hung in behind Queenan. After playing just 10 minutes in the first half because of foul trouble, she scored back-to-back baskets to open the second half.
But her shots failed to fall down the stretch.