March 22, 2006
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) - Boston College seemed an unlikely candidate to pull the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament.
Snapping out of a late-season slump, the eighth-seeded Eagles made Ohio State the first No. 1 seed to exit the NCAAs with a 79-69 victory in the second round of the Albuquerque Regional on Tuesday night.
Kindyll Dorsey scored 24 points and hit six 3-pointers, a school record for a tournament game, to lead the Eagles.
The Buckeyes became the first top seed eliminated in the second round since Texas Tech in 1998.
"We did not defend the 3-point shot well at all," Ohio State coach Jim Foster said. "We did a great job on Dorsey in December. Tonight we did not do a good job at all."
While it was a surprise to see the Buckeyes (29-3) struggle, it was every bit as stunning that the Eagles managed to right themselves and reach the regional semifinals.
Boston College (21-11) had lost five straight entering the tournament, but won two games in three days at a site - Mackey Arena - where Ohio State has won only twice since 1994. The Eagles now face fifth-seeded Utah on Saturday as they continue their quest to go home for the Final Four in Boston.
"That's all we heard is we lost five in a row," Boston College coach Cathy Inglese said. "All we worked on was our execution on defense."
The Buckeyes, in contrast, had been cruising. They came into the tournament crowned Big Ten regular-season and tourney champs, and had just taken over the nation's longest winning streak when they won No. 20 Sunday against 16th-seeded Oakland.
But the most debated of this year's top seeds also proved the most vulnerable.
Ohio State fell one game short of tying the school's single-season record for wins and lost in the second round for the third time in four years. They also lost guard Brandie Hoskins, who appeared to injure her left ankle with 1:17 left. There was no immediate update on the injury.
Big Ten player of the year Jessica Davenport led the Buckeyes with 21 points and seven rebounds - not enough to avoid their first loss since Jan. 1, which was also at Purdue.
"We didn't come out on the level we needed to, especially in the first four minutes," said Marscilla Packer, who had 16 points for the Buckeyes. "We were scoring, but we weren't stopping them."
For Boston College, it was a stark contrast from their overpowering victory against Notre Dame two days earlier.
This time, Dorsey loosened up the defense from outside and Brooke Queenan, who had 19 points and five rebounds, connected on a variety of midrange jumpers and drives.
The combination allowed the Eagles to take control quickly with a 12-2 run as they built a 20-9 lead.
The Buckeyes looked out of sync much of the night.
Davenport was not much of a factor in the first half, and they shot a dismal 37.8 percent from the field in the second half. But they still managed to rally twice.
Ohio State used a 13-5 first half run to tie the score at 31 only to watch Boston College close out the half with five straight points to take a 38-35 lead.
In the second half, the Buckeyes finally took a 48-46 lead when Kim Wilburn hit a 15-footer with 10:47 left.
This time the Eagles tied it with two free throws from Sarah Marshall and went on a 15-5 run to make it 61-53. Boston College sealed the victory with a late 8-2 run late that extended the margin to 70-60 - and sent them to their third regional semifinal in four years.
"We certainly want to play in Boston," Inglese said. "But right now, it's New Mexico."