PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Usha Gilmore scored 18 points with Natasha Pointer and Karlita Washington adding 11 apiece as second-seeded Rutgers advanced to the regional final for the second straight season with a 60-45 triumph over No. 11 UAB in the West Region.
Rutgers has never been to the Final Four and can change that Monday if it defeats top seed Georgia. With a Scarlet Knights win, C. Vivian Stringer can become the first coach in either men's or women's basketball to take three different teams to the Final Four. She guided Cheyney State in 1982 and Iowa in 1993.
UAB upset No. 6 Oregon and third seed Mississippi State to get to this point and did not go down without a fight. The Blazers scored seven straight points to pull within 44-43 with 7:17 left as Deanna Jackson scored five points and Brandi Stallings buried two free throws.
The Scarlet Knights took over en route to their eighth win in nine games. Shawnetta Stewart hit two field goals and Davalyn Cunningham added one as Rutgers took a 50-43 lead with 5:36 remaining.
Jackson connected to bring UAB within five, but the Scarlet Knights scored the final 10 points. Gilmore scored six points during the closing spurt with Stewart and Washington adding two each.
Gilmore shot 9-of-17 from the field for Rutgers, which shot 43 percent (25-of-58) overall and 47 percent (14-of-30) in the second half. Pointer dished out nine of the team's 18 assists and the Scarlet Knights committed just eight turnovers.
UAB was the first team from Conference USA to appear in the "Sweet 16", but its loss still means no 11th seed has ever made the regional finals.
Jackson finished with 17 points and seven rebounds with Mia Thrash adding nine points for the Blazers, who shot only 36 percent (16-of-44) and hit 2-of-16 3-pointers.