March 25, 2003
By DAN LEWERENZ
Associated Press Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Kelly Mazzante scored 27 points to lead fourth-seeded Penn State to a 77-67 victory over fifth-seeded South Carolina in the Mideast Regional on Tuesday.
The Lady Lions (26-8) advance to the round of 16 and face top-seeded Tennessee on its home court Saturday in Knoxville, Tenn.
South Carolina (23-8) could not handle Penn State’s pressure defense. Kelly Morrone hit a 3-pointer to bring the Gamecocks to 46-35 with 12:15 left, but that’s as close as they would get until it was too late.
On the next possession, Mazzante scored off her own steal to start a 12-2 run. Tanisha Wright then stole the South Carolina inbounds pass, feeding Mazzante for another basket. Jessica Brungo’s layup made it 58-37 with 11:58 left.
Wright finished with 16 points, and Brungo had 10. Jess Strom had eight points and eight assists.
Jocelyn Penn, who came in as the nation’s fifth-leading scorer at 24 points per game, hit a 3-pointer with 1:25 left to start a 12-1 South Carolina run, and Morrone’s 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds made it 77-67.
Penn finished with 21 points, but most of them came when the game was out of reach. Cristina Ciocan had 14 points when she fouled out with 7:10 left, and Petra Ujhelyi scored 11.
The Lady Lions held South Carolina without a field goal for almost 8? minutes in the first half while going on a 17-1 run. Mazzante started the run with a layup and a fadeaway jumper, and Wright had four baskets in a row before Jennifer Brenden hit a jumper to make it 30-13.
Penn had just two points for the Gamecocks in the first half, and Penn State led 37-23 at halftime.