NORFOLK, Virginia (Ticker) -- Lucienne Berthieu scored 22 points and Natalie Diaz added five of her 19 during a decisive run as fourth seed Old Dominion advanced to the "Sweet 16" with a 96-76 triumph over No. 12 Southern Methodist in the Midwest Region.
The Lady Monarchs (29-4) have won 11 straight NCAA Tournament contests at the ODU Fieldhouse and are headed to the regionals for the fifth straight season. They will face Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
D-dra Rucker nailed a 3-pointer to bring the Mustangs (22-9) within 60-54 with 8:54 left. But Old Dominion scored the next 12 points, opening an 18-point cushion with 6:31 to play. Berthieu added four points in the spurt and Diaz, who was 3-of-4 from 3-point range, hit from beyond the arc to close the run.
Old Dominion shot 50 percent (16-of-32) in the second half and cruised to its 15th straight win.
Berthieu made 12-of-19 free throws in her second game since returning from an eight-game absence due to a shoulder injury. She also came off the bench Saturday, scoring 19 points in a win over Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Hamchetou Maiga had 15 points and 20 rebounds, Alli Spence scored 11 points and Okeisha Howard 10 for the Lady Monarchs, who shot 50 percent (30-of-60) from the floor and made 30-of-43 free throws.
Rucker scored 27 points, making 12-of-13 foul shots. Anika Calvert added 16 points for the Mustangs, who hit just 36 percent (25-of-69) from the floor.
SMU fell in the second round for the second straight year and never has advanced to the regionals.