2001 NCAA Women's Tourney

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finalfourheadercenter.gif (2633bytes) 1988 Champs 1988 chart

Site: Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Wash.

Tournament MVP: Erica Westbrooks, Louisiana Tech.

In one of the closest women's tournament finals, Lousiana Tech bounced back from its 1987 championship-game loss to nudge Auburn. Paced by Westbrooks's 25 points, the Lady Techsters finally pulled ahead late in the game.

Auburn's Ruthie Bolton had beaten Teresa Weatherspoon for 16 points in the first half, as the Lady Tigers took a 31-19 lead. But over the last 20 minutes, Weatherspoon flawlessly directed Tech's attack (seven assists, one turnover) and energetically disrupted Bolton's (no points, six turnovers). Westbrooks came up with six steals and limited Auburn's limping All-America, Vickie Orr, to 11 points.

High Scorer: Long Beach State's Penny Toler led all scorers with a 24.8 average over four games.

Worth the Wait: Louisiana Tech's Leon Barmore became the first male coach to win a national title since the inception of the women's NCAA Tournament in 1982. "I resent women who ... didn't want me to win today," he said afterward.

Quotable: "They popped the teeth in place, wired me up, and I was ready to go," said Lousiana Tech's Nora Lewis, who had undergone oral surgery before facing Tennessee in the Final Four.

Game Within a Game: To calm the nerves of his players prior to the semifinal matchup with Long Beach State, Auburn head coach Joe Ciampi had the team play Pictionary. "I got worried when Ruthie [Bolton] drew the clue, 'six feet under,'" Ciampi said.

Interesting Fact: Louisiana Tech and Auburn combined to score 110 points in the final, the lowest ever in a women's final.

Record-setter: Virginia's Donna Holt set the three-point percentage record. Versus St. John's, Holt went 5-for-5 from beyond the arc.

All-Tournament Team: Erica Westbrooks, Louisiana Tech; Teresa Weatherspoon, Louisiana Tech; Diann McNeil, Auburn; Ruthie Bolton, Auburn; Penny Toler, Long Beach State.


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