By Jeff Latzke, AP Sports Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY —
In one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NCAA women’s tournament, fifth-seeded Louisville got a stunning 82-81 upset of defending national champion Baylor in the regional semifinals on Sunday night.
Shoni Schimmel scored 22 points and Monique Reid hit two free throws with 2.6 seconds left to send the Cardinals to the win.
Odyssey Sims scored 29 points and hit a pair of free throws with 9.1 seconds left to give the Lady Bears (34-2) their only lead of the game.
Reid caught an inbounds pass near the baseline after that and went coast to coast before getting fouled by All-American Brittney Griner on her way to the basket.
Sims had one last chance to save Baylor’s season after Reid’s free throws, but was off-target and late on a desperation heave.
The Lady Bears had been practically invincible for the past four months, winning 32 straight games mostly by double digits.
Louisville (27-8) tied an NCAA record with 16 3-pointers to pull off the upset.
“I told our kids we’re going to come out and fire it up. We got nothing to lose,” Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. “Our goal was to make this a street ball game.”
Sims dropped to the floor after her miss, pulling her jersey over her face and kicking her legs as she lay flat on her back.
Griner squatted near her and slapped the floor with both hands before pulling Sims up to her feet.
It was the end of a remarkable college career for Griner, a record-setting 6-foot-8 post player who ended up as the second-highest scoring player in NCAA history.
Griner, who had averaged 33 points in Baylor’s first two games in the tournament, didn’t make a basket until she converted a putback with 15:20 left in the second half. She wound up with 14 points and 10 rebounds, making only four of her 10 shots and being a relative non-factor for her considerable stature.