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Tulsa Women Earn First NCAA Tournament Victory

Megan Moody scored 20 points against NC State Saturday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Megan Moody scored 20 points against NC State Saturday. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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March 19, 2006

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NC State Highlights

ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) - Megan Moody made sure Tulsa's first appearance in the NCAA tournament wasn't a one-game affair.

The senior scored 20 points and the Golden Hurricane converted seven free throws in the final minute to hold off North Carolina State 71-61 on Saturday night.

Tulsa will play DePaul, a 68-43 winner over Liberty, in the second round of the San Antonio Regional on Monday.

Moody shot 8-for-15, 2-for-2 on 3-pointers, and grabbed eight rebounds. Tandem Mays and Emily Jaskowiak scored 17 apiece, and Mays had seven assists.

Jillian Robbins, the Conference USA player of the year, had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Tiffany Stansbury scored 11 for North Carolina State.

Back-to-back baskets by Moody made it 55-40 with 11:31 left, and the Golden Hurricane (26-5) withstood several pushes by the Wolfpack. They didn't blink when NC State scored six straight to pull within nine.

Instead, after a blocking foul against Stansbury, Moody caught the inbounds pass and hit a jumper with about 6 minutes left. Robbins then banked in a shot near the top of the key to make it 59-46.

NC State (19-12) made another charge in the closing minutes.

The lead dwindled to eight on Billie McDowell's 3-pointer and was down to five - 62-57 - after a jumper by Keisha Brown with 1:48 left. A long jumper by McDowell that was initially ruled a 3 made it 66-61 in the final minute.

But Jaskowiak hit two foul shots to make it a seven-point game with 47.5 seconds left. Mays hit three in the final 34 seconds to preserve the victory.

A Tulsa program that was reborn in 1996 after being disbanded in 1987 earned its first NCAA berth by winning Conference USA's regular-season and tournament championships. The Golden Hurricane's accomplishments came with a new coach (Charlene Thomas-Swinson), offense (the triangle) and defense (matchup zone) after back-to-back 19-win seasons and WNIT appearances.

They started three seniors and two juniors and scored the game's first seven points.

NC State, meanwhile, committed four turnovers and missed its first eight shots before Ashley Key made an elbow jumper 5:14 into the game.

Moody made two free throws, a 3-pointer and another basket during a 13-2 run that turned a 19-15 deficit into a 28-21 lead for Tulsa with about 3 minutes left in the first half.

And the Golden Hurricane went into the locker room with a flourish.

A 3-pointer by Kara Pongonis-Paslay made it a nine-point game in the final minute. A bad pass to Gillian Goring led to Mays driving the lane and, in mid-air, scooping the ball off the glass in the final seconds to make it 38-27.

Moody, Mays and Jaskowiak each had nine points in the first half, and the Golden Hurricane hit 14 of 29 shots, including three of four 3-pointers.

Tulsa Post-Game Notes #5 Tulsa vs. #12 North Carolina State NCAA Tournament • First Round • San Antonio Regional Saturday • March 18, 2006 • Allstate Arena • Chicago, Ill.

• Tulsa improved to 26-5 on the season. The first 20-win season in school history.

• Tonight's game was the 31st contest for the Golden Hurricane, tying the most games in school history, previously established in 2003-04 when Tulsa had a 19-12 record.

• Now playing its 31st game of the season, Tulsa has used the same starting lineup in all 31 contests.

Emily Jaskowiak had her seventh double-figure scoring game in the last eight contests.

Jillian Robbins had her 21st double-double of the season and 46th of her career with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Tulsa is 18-3 this year when Robbins has a double-double.

Megan Moody had her fourth 20-point scoring game of the season.

Jillian Robbins became Conference USA's all-time single-season rebounding leader with 401 rebounds this season.

• Tulsa shot over 80-percent from the free throw line for the 11th time this season, and has a 9-2 record when doing so.

• Tulsa improved to 24-2 when leading at halftime, as the only losses came at Missouri State and at UTEP.

• Tulsa is now 6-0 on a neutral court this season.

• In three post-season tournament games in her career, Jillian Robbins has averaged 19.3 points and 13.7 rebounds.

• When attempting at least four three-pointers in a game this year, Tulsa had its third game shooting better than 60-percent from three-point range. Tulsa shot .667 from three-point range, the second-best percentage of the year.

• In her last four games, Kara Pongonis-Paslay has dished out 23 assists and has had just five turnovers.

• Tulsa's win over North Carolina State is the third win in four games against an ACC opponent in the last two years.

NC State was just 12-of-29 and committed 12 turnovers during the first 20 minutes.