Washington Advances Past Minnesota, 73-69

March 18, 2006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Kristen O'Neill scored four points in the final minute, including a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 56.6 seconds left, and Washington beat No. 25 Minnesota 73-69 Saturday.

Ninth-seeded Washington, which won its first NCAA tournament game since 2003, advances to play either No. 1 seed LSU or 16th-seeded Florida Atlantic in the second round of the San Antonio Regional on Monday night.

It was an exceptionally close second half, with neither team leading by more than four points for the final 15:14. O'Neill's 3 snapped a 67-all tie. Minnesota had a chance to send the game into overtime trailing 71-69, but Brittney Davis turned the ball over on a drive with 5 seconds left.

Andrea Plouffe led Washington (19-10) with 15 points, while O'Neill finished with 10. Breane Watson had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Cameo Hicks scored 10.

Kelly Roysland scored a career-high 23 points for Minnesota (19-10), which lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in six trips. The Golden Gophers had reached the regional semifinals in each of the past three seasons.

The loss ends a four-year run of 20-win seasons for Minnesota.

Washington grabbed a season-high 23 offensive rebounds and held a 50-38 rebounding advantage.

The Huskies hung in the game in the first half thanks to their rebounding. Washington shot just 34 percent from the floor, but had 13 offensive rebounds and a 9-0 run midway through the half, and trailed just 34-32 at halftime.

Roysland scored 14 points in the first half to lead the way for Minnesota.

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