RUSTON, Louisiana (Ticker) -- Coach Leon Barmore could not have envisioned his final home game being any tougher than this.
Freshman Catrina Frierson made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left as top seed Louisiana Tech survived a scare against No. 9 Vanderbilt, 66-65, in a second-round Midwest Region battle.
The Lady Techsters improved to 13-0 in second-round contests with 12 of them taking place here. They are 32-0 at home in the NCAA Tournament but travel to Kansas City, Missouri to face fourth-seeded Old Dominion for Saturday's regional semifinals.
Barmore announced Friday he was retiring, effective July 1, after his 23rd season at Louisiana Tech and 18th as coach. He improved his record with the Lady Techsters to an astounding 519-76, which includes nine Final Fours and the 1988 national title.
Ayana Walker hit a jumper with 51 seconds left to put Louisiana Tech ahead, 64-61. But freshman Chantelle Anderson cut Vanderbilt's deficit to one with two free throws with 43 seconds to play.
The Commodores got back the ball via the possession arrow with 28 seconds reminaing when Frierson missed a jumper and teams tied up on the rebound. Freshman Ashley McElhiney was fouled by senior Christie Sides and calmly hit two foul shots with 14 seconds to play, giving the Commodores a 65-64 lead -- their first since midway through the first half.
Louisiana Tech All-American Tamicha Jackson missed a baseline jumper and Frierson was fouled while grabbing the offensive rebound. She became the third freshman in 43 seconds to hit two cruicial foul shots as she put the Lady Techsters on top.
Jackie Holmes received the inbounds pass but traveled with one-tenth of a second left and the Commodores were denied their first trip to the regionals since 1997.
Frierson scored 18 points, Walker added 16 and Jackson 11 for Louisiana Tech, which won its 20th straight overall. It overcame 39 percent (26-of-66) shooting, including 31 percent (10-of-32) in the second half.
Anderson scored 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting, Jillian Danker chipped in 15 and Chavonne Hammond 10 for Vanderbilt, which shot 38 percent (21-of-55) overall and 32 percent (10-of-31) in the second half.