Virginia Tech women defeat Iowa 89-76

From staff and wire reports

BLACKSBURG, Va. ? Ieva Kublina had 26 points and four blocks and Carrie Mason scored 19 Sunday, leading eighth-seeded Virginia Tech past Iowa 89-76 in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament.

The Hokies (23-7), making their seventh NCAA appearance and fifth in seven years under coach Bonnie Henrickson, pulled in front by 19 early in the second half and won in the first round for the fifth straight time.

They will face Penn State in the second round on Tuesday night, also in Blacksburg.

Iowa (16-13), making its 15th NCAA appearance and third in four years under coach Lisa Bluder, drew within seven with about four minutes to play, but got no closer as the Hokies set a season high for points.

The loss was the first in eight first round games for Iowa and the fourth in five game to end this season. It came 16 days after Iowa's last game, an 81-54 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten quarterfinals.

Jennie Lillis led Iowa with 22 points and Kristi Faulkner had 20.

Kublina and Mason each made three 3s in the first half, which ended with the Hokies scoring 14 of the final 20 points to take a 40-27 lead.

Virginia Tech then opened the second half on 13-7 run to take a 53-34 lead, but then the Hawkeyes gpt the deficit down to seven at 74-67 with 4:05 left. But Kublina's two free throws and baskets by Kerri Gardin and Dawn Chriss pushed the margin back to 12 and the Hokies held on.

Former Morrow High standout Kirby Copeland had three points for Virginia Tech in the victory.

Middle Tennessee 67, North Carolina 62: SOUTH BEND, Ind. ? Patrice Holmes scored 18 points, including two free throws with 8.3 seconds left, to lead Middle Tennessee State to a 67-62 victory Sunday over No. 12 North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

This was just the second NCAA tournament victory in nine attempts for the 13th-seeded Lady Raiders, who play Tuesday against host Notre Dame. The Irish (20-1) beat Southwest Missouri State 69-65 in overtime Sunday. North Carolina lost in the first round of the tournament for the first time since 1985.

Krystle Horton had 16 points for Middle Tennessee, fomer Eagle's Landing High standout Keisha McClinic had 13 points and led the Lady Raiders with nine rebounds and Tia Stovall added 12 points and six rebounds.

Camille Little led the fourth-seeded Tar Heels with 19 points and Bell finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

The Lady Raiders (24-7) led 60-48 with 6:30 left, but Jessica Bell scored a pair of rebound baskets to spark a 10-0 run by the Tar Heels (24-7).

Fourth-seeded North Carolina cut the lead to 60-58 when Kenya McBee hit two free throws with 3:44 left.

North Carolina had a chance to tie the score at 64, but 6-foot-6 center Candace Sutton missed from underneath. McClinic hit a free throw to give the Lady Raiders a three-point lead. Ivory Latta then missed a 17-footer for North Carolina and Bell failed on a 3-pointer as the Tar Heels were 0-of-13 on 3-pointers.

Holmes then made the clinching foul shots for Middle Tennessee State, which was 14-of-15 from the line.

The Tar Heels outrebounded the Lady Raiders 46-37 and outscored them inside 48-34, but they couldn't overcome their 17 turnovers. Middle Tennessee scored 20 points off North Carolina's turnovers, while North Carolina had only 10 points off 14 turnovers by Middle Tennessee State.

After jumping to a 9-2 lead, Middle Tennessee went ahead 18-17 on a layup by Stovall with 7:59 left in the first half. The Lady Raiders led the rest of the way, including 35-26 at halftime.