Western Athletic Conference rivals have known for some time what Colorado State's Becky Hammon and Katie Cronin can do with a basketball.
Now Drake knows, too.Hammon and Cronin shot the fifth-seeded Bulldogs out of the NCAA women's basketball Saturday, leading the 12th-seeded Rams to an 81-75 victory in a Midwest Regional game in West Lafayette, Ind.
Hammon scored 33 points, Cronin had 22 and they led a second-half run that put Colorado State (24-5) in control. They each had nine points as the Rams outscored the Bulldogs 23-6 to erase a 10-point Drake lead.
"This was certainly not our best game of the year, but it was our biggest," said Colorado State's first-year coach, Tom Collen.
"When you're down 10 points in the second half of a single elimination tournament and you keep your head up, your poise and your confidence, I think that says a lot."
Colorado State never trailed after Hammons' layup put the Rams ahead 50-48 with 10:36 left and sent the 22nd-ranked Bulldogs (25-5) to just their second loss in 25 games.
Haley Sames and Keisha Cox led Drake with 15 points each. Kiersten Miller, Drake's leading scorer with an 18.7 average, spent most of the first half on the bench after getting two quick fouls and didn't score until the second half, finishing with 13 points.
Colorado State's victory was part of a night of upsets in the women's tournament as two No. 11 seeds and a No. 10 seed also advanced.
In Champaign, Ill., 11th-seeded Cal Santa Barbara upset No. 6 seed Vanderbilt 76-71 in the Mideast, handing the Commodores their earliest exit in coach Jim Foster's seven seasons.
Virginia Tech, seeded 11th in the West, knocked off sixth-seeded Wisconsin 75-64 in Gainesville, Fla., and 10th-seeded Louisville beat No. 7 seed Utah 69-61 in a West Regional game at Durham, N.C.
In a game that certainly wasn't an upset, No. 1-ranked Tennessee began its quest for an unprecedented third straight national title with a 102-58 thumping of Liberty in a Mideast game matching the nation's only unbeaten teams.
Also in the Mideast, Iowa State beat Kent 79-76 and Rutgers got by Oregon 79-76 in Ames, Iowa, and Western Kentucky beat Stephen F. Austin 88-76 in Knoxville, Tenn. In the Midwest, Clemson beat Miami 60-49 at Ruston, La.
In late games Saturday, it was Illinois vs. Wisconsin-Green Bay in the Mideast; Hawaii vs. Arkansas, Stanford vs. Harvard, Florida vs. Montana and Duke vs. Middle Tennessee State in the West; and Purdue vs. Washington and Louisiana Tech vs. Holy Cross in the Midwest.
Second-round play begins Sunday at eight sites and continues on Monday.
At Champaign, Ill.
CAL SANTA BARBARA 76, NO. 18 VANDERBILT 71 : Stacy Clinesmith scored 20 points, including five 3-pointers, and Cal Santa Barbara held Vanderbilt scoreless in overtime. Beth Ostendorf's 18 points lead Vandy (20-9), which had made the round of 16 in each of Foster's previous six seasons as coach.
At Ames, Iowa
NO. 24 IOWA STATE 79, KENT 76: Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly hyperventilated after his fourth-seeded team's close call with the 13th-seeded Golden Flashes and had to be helped to the locker room. But he was able to attend the postgame press conference.
"It just got a little lightheaded," Fennelly said. "I thought I was going to faint, to be honest with you."
RUTGERS 79, OREGON 76: Tomora Young hit an NBA-range 3-pointer with 25.5 seconds left and Linda Miles hit two late free throws to give Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer a victory on her return to Iowa. It was Stringer's first game in the state since moving to Rutgers (21-9) in 1995 after 12 seasons at Iowa.
At Knoxville, Tenn.
NO. 1 TENNESSEE 102, LIBERTY 58: Tennessee All-American Chamique Holdsclaw had 22 points and 13 rebounds in the first meeting of undefeated teams in the NCAA tournament. It was tied at 12 early, but Tennessee (34-0) then went on a 13-2 run and dominated from then on. Sharon Wilkerson led Liberty (28-1) with 26 points.
NO. 15 WESTERN KENTUCKY 88, NO. 19 STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 76: Leslie Johnson scored 24 points and Danielle McCulley had 22 as Western Kentucky (26-8) took control in the second half. Katrina Price scored 23 for Stephen F. Austin (25-4).
At Ruston, La.
NO. 14 CLEMSON 60, MIAMI 49: Clemson was balanced as always with Itoro Umoh scoring 15 points, Amy Geren 13 and Nikki Blassingame 10. Blassingame hit two straight baskets to put Clemson (25-7) back in control after Miami (19-10) had drawn to 46-45 with 7:21 left. Cassaundra Wimes led Miami with 13 points.
At Gainesville, Fla.
VIRGINIA TECH 75, WISCONSIN 64: Freshman Amy Wetzel scored 28 points to key Virginia Tech's upset, only the 10th time a No. 11 seed as won a first-round game. The Hokies (22-9) never trailed after taking a 40-39 lead early in the second half. LaTonya Sims, also a freshman, led Wisconsin (21-10) with 20 points.