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Originally published Monday, March 23, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Tennessee's out early

Tennessee's title defense ended sooner than expected, wrapping up the worst season ever for Pat Summitt's vaunted program.

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Tennessee's title defense ended sooner than expected, wrapping up the worst season ever for Pat Summitt's vaunted program.

Ball State stunned the two-time defending national champions 71-55 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday night, snapping one of the more remarkable streaks in college basketball history.

The Volunteers (22-11) had never lost on the opening weekend of the tournament, going 42-0 through the years.

Tennessee also became the first defending champ to lose in the first round of the women's tourney. Old Dominion won the title in 1985 and failed to make the tournament the following year.

"I thought we were tentative, maybe uptight," Summitt said. "But you have to give credit where credit is due and that's to the Ball State basketball team. They had a lot more toughness. They beat us to loose balls. They made shots."

The 12th-seeded Cardinals (26-8), who were making their NCAA debut, will play Iowa State in the second round on Tuesday.

Porchia Green led Ball State with 23 points, Audrey McDonald added 18, and the Mid-American Conference champions dominated the second half to capture the biggest win in school history.

"Their guards did an awesome job," said Tennessee's Angie Bjorklund, the University High School of Spokane product who had 14 points. "We need to get down and defend no matter what and we didn't do that today."

Other Berkeley Regional games

At Michigan St. 60, Middle Tennessee 59

Alysha Clark scored 34 points but none in the last 11-plus minutes and fouled out with 1 ½ minutes left. That gave the ninth-seeded Spartans (21-10) the boost they needed for a win over No. 8 seed Middle Tennessee (28-6).

Duke 83, Austin Peay 42


In East Lansing, Mich., Chante Black led the Blue Devils' (27-5) balanced offense with 14 points.

Emily Pollock scored 13 and Nicole Jamen had 10 for the 16th-seeded Govs (17-16).

Iowa St. 85, East Tennessee St. 53

Alison Lacey made six of Iowa State's record-tying 16 three-pointers and the fourth-seeded Cyclones (25-8) routed East Tennessee State (20-11) in Bowling Green, Ky.

Trenton Regional

At Connecticut 104, Vermont 65

Tina Charles scored 32 points and Renee Montgomery had 19 — all in the first half — to help the top-seeded Huskies rout No. 16 seed Vermont (21-12) in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

The Huskies (34-0) entered the NCAAs unbeaten for the fourth time in school history.

Florida 70, Temple 57

Sha Brooks scored 18 points and eighth-seeded Florida (24-7) beat Temple (21-10) in Storrs, Conn.

Minnesota 79, at Notre Dame 71

Notre Dame's (22-9) home-court advantage was no match for Minnesota's three-point shooting and strong rebounding.

Emily Fox scored 23 points and Katie Ohm added 15 to pace the Gophers (20-11), who shot 49 percent from the field.

Texas A&M 80, Evansville 45

Texas A&M's smothering defense was too much for upstart Evansville (15-19) in South Bend, Ind.

The Aggies forced a season-high 30 turnovers, leading to 43 points, and Danielle Gant scored 21 to lead Texas A&M (26-7) over the Purple Aces.

Raleigh Regional

Baylor 87, Texas-San Antonio 82 (OT)

In Lubbock, Texas, Jessica Morrow and Melissa Jones each hit two free throws in the final 23 seconds of overtime and second-seeded Baylor beat Texas-San Antonio without coach Kim Mulkey.

Mulkey was hospitalized earlier in the day after suffering a reaction to medication she was taking following removal of a kidney stone on Friday in Waco. Jones scored eight of her 21 points in overtime for Baylor (28-5).

Leon Barmore, whom Mulkey played for and coached with at Louisiana Tech, coached the Bears in the win.

Amber Gregg scored 23 points for UTSA (24-9), which was playing in its second NCAA tournament.

The Roadrunners were bidding to become the first No. 15 seed ever to win a game in the NCAA tournament. The No. 2 seeds had won every matchup by at least five points since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994.

Utah 60, Villanova 30

Sent clear across the country to College Park, Md., to play in the NCAA tournament, Kalee Whipple and Utah (23-9) figured they might as well extend their stay.

Whipple had 15 points and eight rebounds, all the while playing tough defense on Villanova star Laura Kurz, and the Utes overwhelmed the poor-shooting Wildcats (19-14).

At Maryland 82, Dartmouth 53

Maryland's opening game in the NCAA tournament can best be summed up by the halftime score: Kristi Toliver 23, Dartmouth 23.

Toliver finished with 27 points on 11-for-14 shooting, and the third-ranked Terrapins (29-4) extended their winning streak to 13. Dartmouth finished 18-11.

At LSU 69, Wisconsin-Green Bay 59

Allison Hightower scored 26 points and sixth-seeded Louisiana State (19-10) advanced with a victory over 11th-seeded Wisconsin-Green Bay (29-4).

Louisville 62, Liberty 42

Angel McCoughtry and Candyce Bingham each scored 12 points in a short night's work, leading Louisville (30-4) to a victory over Liberty (24-9) in Baton Rouge, La.

South Dakota St. 90, TCU 55

South Dakota State (32-2) made a tournament-record-tying 16 three-point shots in its NCAA tournament debut and beat Texas Christian (20-11) in Lubbock, Texas.

Oklahoma City Regional

Oklahoma 76, Prairie View 47

Danielle Robinson scored 15 points, Ashley Paris had 14 and the top-seeded Sooners (29-4) overcame a sluggish start to beat Prairie View A&M (23-11) in Iowa City, Iowa.

Georgia Tech 76, at Iowa 62

Jacqua Williams scored 23 points and 6-foot-5 freshman Sasha Goodlett came up big in her NCAA tournament debut with 16 points and 13 rebounds, leading Georgia Tech (22-9) past host Iowa (21-11).

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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