ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Pitt's Shavonte Zellous scored 19 points and grabbed a key late rebound to lead the No. 6 seeded Panthers to a 67-59 win over No. 3 seed and former national champion Baylor.
Pitt (24-10) is in a regional semifinal for the first time in school history. Baylor (25-7) lost in the second round for the second year in a row and the difference turned out to be Zellous and Marcedes Walker.
The Bears were led by their frontline duo of Danielle Wilson with 15 points and Rachel Allison with 14. Guard Angela Tisdale finished with 13.
But Pittsburgh's dynamic duo simply took over the Panthers' offense and the game in the second half.
Walker, an intimidating 6-foot-4 center, scored 12 of her 17 points in the second half and grabbed nine rebounds before fouling out with 5:28 left. She got the last two fouls in a span of less than a minute and Pitt's 53-49 lead at the time was in jeopardy.
But Zellous took the Panthers the rest of the way. She hit three free throws after being fouled behind the arc, then outhustled a Baylor player to a loose-ball rebound with 37 seconds left and the Panthers up 61-54.
A 3-pointer by Tisdale with 26.9 seconds got the Bears within 61-57, but it was too little too late, especially after Baylor guard Kelli Griffin was whistled for an intentional foul with 24.5 seconds left.
Sophronia Sallard hit both free throws off the call and the Panthers got two more free throws by point guard Mallorie Winn sealed it.
Pitt will play the winner of the Stanford-UTEP game in the regional semifinals next week in Spokane.
The Panthers won despite going nearly nine minutes without a field goal in the second half. A putback basket by Taneisha Harrison with 1:57 left ended the drought, but Pitt had enough of a cushion after hitting its first five shots of the second half.
Baylor could get no closer than 56-53 as both teams, showing the effects of playing at mile-high altitude and the pressure of the NCAA tournament, traded turnovers and missed free throws late in the game.
With Pitt able to shut down Tisdale - the Bears' leading scorer with a 16.5 average - through the first 11 minutes, the 6-3 Wilson became the Bears' go-to option. The sophomore responded well, scoring 15 points in the first half while hitting 6 of 9 shots.
Tisdale, who scored 26 points in Baylor's 88-67 opening round win over Fresno State on Saturday, went scoreless through the first 11 minutes Monday.
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