LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Courtney Walker scored 25 points, and Texas A&M beat DePaul 84-65 on Saturday night to advance to the regional finals of the NCAA women's tournament.
The Aggies (27-8) led by 14 points at halftime and turned back two DePaul runs to move to a Monday night game against defending national champion Connecticut, which beat BYU 70-51 in its semifinal. Courtney Williams had 14 of her 15 points in the second half for Texas A&M.
DePaul (29-7) shot 40 percent, 28 percent in the first half, and struggled defensively against the physical Aggies. Jasmine Penny had 16 of her 24 points in the second half and Megan Rogowski added 14 points for the Blue Demons.
Notes from the Aggies’ 84-65 victory over DePaul in the Sweet 16.
• The Aggies are making their third trip to the Elite Eight, all since 2008 (2008, 2011, 2014), and looking for their second trip to the Women’s Final Four.
• Texas A&M’s senior class is 12-2 in the NCAA Tournament.
• Texas A&M is 21-9 all-time in 11 NCAA Tournament Appearances, including the 2011 National Championship
• Texas A&M is 20-4 since Dec. 28 and has won 10 of its last 12 games.
• The Aggies shot 60 percent from the field in the game, a school NCAA Tournament record.
• DePaul was held to a season-low 65 points and season-low 24 first-half points.
• Texas A&M held a 22-17 lead at the 7:00 mark of the first half … the Aggies shot 88 percent the rest of the way (7-of-8) while holding DePaul to just 17 percent (2-of-12) in extending the lead to 14 heading into the locker room.
• Attendance for Saturday was 9,585 at Pinnacle Bank Arena, the largest crowd so far this year for any NCAA Tournament session.
• With the victory, A&M advanced to its third Elite Eight in school history (2008, 2011, 2014).
• The Aggies improved to 22-9 in NCAA Tournament play … A&M is 20-7 in NCAA action under Gary Blair.
• Texas A&M has outscored opponents in this year’s tournament by an average of 16.7 points.
· Courtney Walker’s 25 points were one shy of her career high … it was the third-highest scoring output by an Aggie in NCAA play (30, Danielle Adams vs Notre Dame – 4/5/11; 28, Danielle Adams vs Rutgers, 3/22/11).
· Courtney Walker (25 points) became the ninth player in school history to score 20 points in an NCAA Tournament game … it was the 15th 20-point effort by an Aggie all-time in NCAA play … the game was Walker’s 10th 20-pt effort of the season.
· Jordan Jones dished out 6 assists, moving her season total to (259) … that ranks fifth all-time in SEC history.
• This is the fourth Elite Eight appearance for Gary Blair in his career. In addition to his three trips with Texas A&M, he took Arkansas to the Elite Eight (and Final Four) in 1998 with Arkansas
• This is Gary Blair’s 33rd NCAA Tournament win and 672nd career win
• Texas A&M takes on UConn at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, March 31 inside Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln with a trip to the Women’s Final Four on the line.
• The regional final matchup is between two of the last three National Champions, and features nine of the 12 active players in women’s college basketball who have played in and won a National Title game. This is the third consecutive season that UConn and A&M have met.
• Texas A&M has won its last three NCAA Tournament games against No. 1 seeds, knocking off three in a row in 2011.
• Texas A&M has not defeated team ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll (0-7).