First time for everything
St. Mary's gains historic 68-64 upset of Texas
Updated: Friday March 16, 2001 10:51 PM
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Triola Alexander scored a career-high 21 points as St. Mary's of California beat Texas 68-64 Friday night in the first round of the Mideast Regional for its first NCAA tournament victory.
The ninth-seeded Gaels (26-5), making only their second appearance in the tournament, have won 11 consecutive under first-year head coach Michelle Jacoby. St. Mary's will play top-seeded Tennessee, which blasted Austin Peay 80-38.
"We're making history, and it's a wonderful experience. This journey has been tremendous, and we're fighting for it not to end," Jacoby said.
"We're just overjoyed."
The loss sends No. 8 seed Texas (20-13) home after the first round for the third consecutive year and ends an injury-marred season for the Longhorns and head coach Jody Conradt.
"You can write this down -- we will be better next year," Conradt said.
Maybe it was jitters, but neither team shot well most of the game. They swapped the lead 13 times with 12 ties until the Gaels finally took control late with an 11-2 run.
Jermisha Dosty broke a 49-all tie with a basket that started the spurt, then Katie Davis hit a pair of 3-pointers and Hilary Parker's 3-pointer gave St. Mary's the largest lead of the game at 60-51 with 5:01 to go.
Texas pulled to 64-61 on a pair of free throws by Kaira White, but that was as close as the Longhorns would get.
"We started panicking at that point," Conradt said. "You can't ask for better looks at the basket than what we had. We were just not patient. We needed to get the game under control, but we just couldn't get a basket to fall."
Davis finished with 15 points for St. Mary's, which hit as many free throws (28-of-36) as Texas attempted.
Stacy Stephens led the Longhorns with 21 points and 17 rebounds, and JoRuth Woods added 10.
Neither team could get an advantage in a sloppy first half that
ended tied at 31. St. Mary's hit just seven shots before halftime,
but the Gaels kept themselves in the game at the free throw line
where they were nearly perfect in connecting on 14 of 15 attempts.