LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Notre Dame delivered on one promise by coach Muffet McGraw to look different without injured Brianna Turner, shifting from lobbing the ball inside to their star forward to throwing up perimeter shots with success.
The strategy certainly suited sophomore guard Arike Ogunbowale, who thrived from all over the court to help the top-seeded Irish maintain their dominance against Ohio State.
Ogunbowale had a career-high 32 points, Lindsay Allen added 16 and Notre Dame easily beat Ohio State 99-76 on Friday night in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Playing five days after losing Turner to a season-ending left knee injury, the top-seeded Irish posted their third-highest output this season while also scoring the most points against the Buckeyes. Ogunbowale seemed almost unstoppable in making 11 of 22 from the field to top her previous high by two points.
"It's evident that we don't have Bri in the paint, so it's spaced out a little bit more," said Ogunbowale, who made four 3s. "Coach told us to shoot our shot and be confident in what we were trying to do, and that's what we did."
Besides Allen, the Irish got 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds from freshman forward Erin Boley, a Kentucky native who started in Turner's place. The Irish tied one season best with 12 3-pointers on a season-high 24 attempts and made 19 of 20 free throws for a thorough win.
Mississippi State 75, Washington 64
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — It didn't matter that Mississippi State center Teaira McCowan had scored just six points through three quarters.
Her teammates told her to take over and she listened. She scored 20 of her career-high 26 points in the fourth quarter, and the Bulldogs defeated Washington 75-64 on Friday night to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time.
"They said, 'T, you've got to dominate,'" McCowan said. "Just taking that in, listening to my teammates, knowing I had to step up, take my team, like, further. That's when I had the look in my eye like, 'Nobody can stop you.'"
McCowan, a 6-foot-7 sophomore who entered the game averaging just over eight points per game, made 9 of 10 field goals in the final 10 minutes. She scored 11 points in the first 2:33 of the fourth quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a seven-point lead for the second-seeded Bulldogs (32-4). Mississippi State will play Baylor on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four.
McCowan also had 12 rebounds and a career-high six blocks, and now, the Bulldogs have reached a new level. Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said his team is getting overlooked.
"They're not getting a lot of credit right now," he said. "That's fine. You know what? We'll fly under the radar the whole way if we have to."
Plum, the NCAA's all-time scoring leader, scored 29 points on 10 for 25 shooting in her final college game.
Baylor 97, Louisville 63
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Baylor gave Louisville no shot at an upset this time.
Nina Davis scored 21 points to help top-seeded Baylor defeat Louisville 97-63 on Friday and advance to the Elite Eight.
The Lady Bears were a No. 1 seed in 2013 when they lost to Louisville in the Sweet 16 in Oklahoma City. This time, Baylor never trailed, and the game was tied for just 13 seconds — when it was scoreless. The Lady Bears led 25-9 at the end of the first quarter.
"We got off to a quick start, which is something we needed to do, something that we were focusing on," Davis said. "We were just getting out running. Everyone was running out on fast breaks. They were feeding me the ball and that's the kind of game we like to play. We like to push the ball and play up-tempo."
Beatrice Mompremier and Alexis Prince each scored 14 points for Baylor (33-3), which advanced to play Mississippi State on Sunday for a spot in the Final Four. The Bulldogs defeated Washington 75-64 in the early game Friday night.
Stanford 77, Texas 66
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Erica McCall had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Karlie Samuelson scored 15 points and Stanford outlasted Texas for a 77-66 victory on Friday night to reach the Lexington Region final of the NCAA Tournament. The Cardinal also out-rebounded the third-seeded Longhorns 41-35 to earn its second straight Elite Eight appearance, and will face top-seeded Notre Dame in Sunday's regional final. The Irish routed No. 5 seed Ohio State 99-76 in the other semifinal.