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Women's Basketball Cruises Past Houston In Opening Round, 65-43

Kathrin Ress and Houston's Joann Overstreet go for a loose ball in the first half.

Kathrin Ress and Houston's Joann Overstreet go for a loose ball in the first half.

March 20, 2005

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By AARON BEARD
AP Sports Writer

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Clare Droesch scored a season-high 23 points to lift Boston College past Houston 65-43 in the first round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.

Brooke Queenan added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Eagles (20-9), seeded seventh in the Chattanooga Regional. Boston College won its first-round game for the fifth time in six tries, advancing to face No. 2 seed Duke on Tuesday.

Sancho Lyttle finished with 12 points to lead the 10th-seeded Cougars (21-9).

Boston College shot 54 percent in the first half and shut down Lyttle, who came in averaging 19 points and a national-best 12 rebounds a game. Houston shot just 7-for-26 in the opening half, falling behind 34-17 at the break and never made a serious push after that.

Houston shot just 21 percent for the game.

Boston College improved to 5-5 without Jessalyn Deveny, the team's leading scorer who sustained a season-ending ruptured right Achilles' tendon last month. The Eagles were ranked 16th before losing Deveny's 17 points a game, but have had strong performances from several players to get back to the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight year.

Droesch, who came in averaging 9.1 points a game, provided the latest boost. She went 7-for-12 from the field and hit three 3-pointers to go with eight rebounds.

She has scored in double figures in five of the last eight games after doing so just seven times in the first 19 games - including her previous season-best of 18 points in the opener against Western Michigan.

Lyttle finished with a season-low three rebounds and shot 5-for-17 before fouling out with her team trailing 48-33 with 8:25 left.

The win sets up a second-round matchup between future conference rivals. The Eagles leave the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference after this season, becoming the ACC's 12th member.

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