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In the first of two Lincoln Regional second-round upsets Monday night, DePaul's defense (No. 30 - Megan Podkowa; No. 14 - Jessica January) kept Duke and Ka'lia Johnson (14) off-balance the whole game. (Photo by Orin Day/dwhoops.com/ACCWBBDigest.com)
In the first of two Lincoln Regional second-round upsets Monday night, DePaul's defense (No. 30 - Megan Podkowa; No. 14 - Jessica January) kept Duke and Ka'lia Johnson (14) off-balance the whole game. (Photo by Orin Day/dwhoops.com/ACCWBBDigest.com)

2014 NCAA Tournament - Lincoln Regional Second Round Wrap: DePaul, BYU punch tickets to Sweet 16 in major upsets

Contributor
March 25, 2014 - 6:04am

The second round held some big surprises Monday night in the Lincoln bracket of the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. In Durham, N.C., seventh-seeded DePaul, which on Saturday, had survived a near-upset by Oklahoma, topped second, seeded Duke on its home court, 74-65. On the opposite side of the counntry, in the Los Angeles subregional, Brigham Young, the Lincoln Regional's 12-seed, knocked out third-seeded Nebraska, 80-76, to become just the third 12-seed in NCAA Tournament history to make it to the Sweet 16. The Huskers now face the unhappy prospect of returning home to Lincoln to host a regional tournament in which they'll no longer be playing.

AT DURHAM

CAMERON INDOOR STADIUM, DUKE UNIVERSITY

Round Two Results: Monday, March 24, 2014

(7) DePaul 74, (2) Duke 65

See "Blue Demons topple 2-seeded Blue Devils in Durham, now destined for Sweet 16," by Rob Clough.

DePaul moves on and Duke stays home, as the Blue Demons poured in 14 three-pointers Monday night in Durham to snap Duke’s 19-game winning streak at Cameron arena and punch its ticket to Lincoln, Neb., for the Sweet 16. DePaul joins Connecticut, Notre Dame and North Carolina as the only teams to beat the Blue Devils on their home court this season.

DePaul was led by junior point guard Megan Rogowski, who had 22 points, including six three-pointers, and sophomore wing Megan Podkowa, who contributed 18 points while going a perfect four-for-four from beyond the arc.

DePaul's offensive push was obvious --  it's hard to overlook such a hailstorm of threes -- but it was DePaul’s defensive pressure that held Duke to only 24 first half-points, the lowest in school history, that opened the door to the upset.

“We just got a little bit rattled with how aggressive and how much pressure they put on us," said Duke forward Haley Peters. DePaul focused on the inexperience of Duke's point guards, called in to  fill the void left by injuries to starters Chelsea Gray and Alexis Jones, to create 21 Blue Devil turnovers.

“You don’t just decide on a whim to press somebody. A pressure package is part of a philosophy that needs to be worked on an entire year, said Doug Bruno DePaul’s head coach.

This combination of three-point hail storm and defensive pressure helped lead the Blue Demons to their first appearance Sweet 16 appearance since 2011, as they move on to Lincoln, Neb., to face the winner of Tuesday's second-round match-up between James Madison and Texas A&M.

AT LOS ANGELES

PAULEY PAVILION, UCLA

Round Two Results: Monday, March 24, 2014

(12) Brigham Young  80, (4) Nebraska 76

See "BYU upsets Nebraska, 80-76, to advance to Sweet 16 in Lincoln Regional,"  by Sue Favor.

BYU powered past Nebraska , 80-76, Monday, in their second-round contest at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles and are now headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2002. The Cougars pulled off the huge upset over fourth-seeded Nebraska thanks to a 15-point, 14-rebound double-double from 6-7 center Jennifer Hamson and a career-high-tying 18 points from junior forward Morgan Bailey.

“We started out attacking inside and then working outside. It opened up shots for the guards,” said Bailey.

BYU led at halftime, 41-30, with Bailey leading all scorers at that point in the game with 12 points.

With the Nebraska defense focused on shutting down Hamson, Bailey was left open to pick up the scoring slack for the Cougars.

“We determined we were going to play off some kids and it burned us,” said Nebraska head coach Connie Yori, referring to her defenders sagging off Bailey.

“We were focused on her [Hamson] and getting her off the boards as best as we could,” added Nebraska forward Hailie Sample, a junior.

But though that might have been the game plan, Nebraska fell short in its execution, as BYU, led by Hamson's 15 boards, out-rebounded the Cornhuskers, typically a strong rebounding team in their own right, by a 40-31 margin. Moreover, while Nebraska was able to take a 9-8 edge on the offensive glass, BYU was by far more effective in capitalizing on those opportunities. The big difference in a very close game: BYU's 17 second-chance points, to Nebraska's three second-chance points. 

"It's nice to have a good balanced team," BYU coach Jeff Judkins said of the Cougars' team effort, which saw the BYU bench contribute 17 points in a close game where that additional scoring punch would prove critical.

Tear’a Laudermill scored a game-high 22 points for Nebraska, including 12 points down the stretch that put the Huskers in position to save their season. Jordan Hooper, Nebraska’s season leading scorer, added 20 points, and Sample ( 10 points, 10 rebounds) and Emily Cady (13 points, 10 boards) each chipped in a double-double. But even that would not be enough as BYU, now with 28 wins, the most in school history, moves on to play the winner of Tuesday night's Connecticut – St. Joseph contest in the Sweet 16 of the Lincoln Regional next weekend.

Looking Ahead to Tuesday's Lincoln Regional Second-Round Match-ups

Round Two:  (1) Connecticut (35-0) vs (9) St. Joseph (23-9)  --Tuesday, March 25 – 7 p.m. EDT (Storrs, Conn.)

Round Two:  (3) Texas A&M (25-8) vs (11) James Madison (29-5)  --Tuesday, March 25 – 9:30 p.m. EDT (8:30 p.m. CDT)(College Station, Tex.)


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