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NCAA Women's Tournament Recap (Xavier-Connecticut)

Posted: Mon March 15, 1999 at 1:31 a.m EST

STORRS, Connecticut (Ticker) -- Freshman Tamika Williams made two free throws with 7.1 seconds remaining as top-seedeed Connecticut edged upset-minded Xavier, 86-84, in the second round of the Mideast Region of the NCAA Women's Tournament.

Xavier (24-9) had two chances to tie but both Nicole Levadusky and Taru Tuukkanaen missed badly with desperation attempts.

The Huskies (29-4) are into their sixth Sweet 16 and will face Iowa State in the regional semifinal on Saturday in Cincinnati.

The Muskateers stunned the sellout crowd at Gampel Pavillion, leading by as many as 10 points in the second half. Xavier took an 84-78 advantage with 2:16 but Connecticut kept the Muskateers scoreless the rest of the way.

Williams cut the deficit to four points with a short jumper with 1:58 left. Following a turnover by Nikki Kremer, Ashja Jones scored to make it 84-82 with 1:27 to go. Svetlana Abrosimova tied the game 20 seconds later on a five-foot jumper.

Kremer was fouled with 37 seconds left but 5-9 senior, a perfect 8-of-8 from the line up to that point, missed both.

"I hope I can put it aside," Kremer said. "I know those free throws will be with me for a while. I wanted to be the one to shoot them. I've always wanted to be the one to shoot them, this time I just did not make them like I usually do."

Following a timeout, Shea Ralph missed an off-balance jumper, but Williams grabbed the rebound, missed and rebounded again for the 15th offensive rebound for UConn before being fouled.

"I just wanted to take my time, go through the routine, bounce the ball, spin it, follow through and put it up," said Williams. "I've never had to win the game with two free throws. Maybe a last second shot to win a game....but never free throws."

Williams paced Connecticut with 19 points and led their dominiance on the inside. The Huskies outrebounded Xavier, 39-28, and outscored them, 42-26 on the inside.

Kremer led five Xavier players in double figures with 23 points and Levandusky added 15.

© 2000 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP

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