GREENSBORO, N.C. — Lauren Cox had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Baylor earned its first Final Four berth since 2012 by beating Iowa 85-53 on Monday night in the Greensboro Regional final.

Didi Richards added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Chloe Jackson had 14 points and the Bears (35-1) – the top overall seed – won their 27th straight game by shooting 53 percent, clamping down on All-American Megan Gustafson and her supporting cast and holding the nation’s best shooting team to a season-worst 32 percent.

Now it’s on to Tampa, Florida, for the school’s fourth Final Four and its first in seven years – when the Bears won their second national championship.

The 6-foot-4 Cox – a third-team AP All-America pick – and fellow twin tower Kalani Brown, a 6-7 second-team All-American, teamed up to dominate both the glass and the heavily-hyped matchup with Gustafson, the nation’s leading scorer at 27.9 points per game.

Brown finished with 14 points, and Baylor held a 47-26 rebounding advantage with 20 second-chance points to six for Iowa.

Gustafson finished with 23 points on 9-of-17 shooting, but was held without a rebound in the second half for second-seeded Iowa (29-7). Kathleen Doyle and Tania Davis each had 10 points.


Baylor will face Oregon on Friday night in the national semifinals.

NOTRE DAME 84, STANFORD 68: Jackie Young scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead defending national champion Notre Dame back to the Final Four with a victory in the Chicago Regional final.

The Fighting Irish (34-3) are headed to the Final Four for the ninth time and will face UConn on Friday in a semifinal rematch from last year.

ALL-AMERICA TEAM: Connecticut senior forward Napheesa Collier was one vote shy of unanimous selection on The Associated Press All-America team, which was announced Monday.

Collier, who averaged 20.9 points and 10.5 rebounds during the regular season for a team that reached its 12th straight Final Four, is joined on the All-America team by Iowa’s Megan Gustafson, Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, Louisville’s Asia Durr and Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan.

Voting was done before the NCAA tournament by the 28-member national media panel that votes on the AP Top 25.



ST. JOSEPH’S 15, SOUTHERN MAINE 7: Michael Finn’s seven goals powered the Monks (9-2) past the Huskies (3-4) in Gorham.

Finn scored twice in the third quarter as the Monks pulled away from a 6-6 halftime tie to take a 9-7 lead, then added three goals and two assists in the fourth quarter.

Brendan Martin added three goals for the Monks, who got two apiece from Tyler Retalic and Zack Hamilton.

Jake Schoenberg, Bryce Randall, Steve Gilbert, Nick James, Paul Leonardo, Tristan Dundas and Andrew Eno scored for USM.



KENTUCKY: Coach John Calipari has agree to a contract that will allow him to finish his career with the Wildcats.

Men’s basketball spokesman Eric Lindsey confirmed via text to The Associated Press that the school reached a new deal with the Hall of Fame coach but did not provide details. Calipari’s current deal runs through the 2023-24 season, with a base annual salary of $8 million plus incentives.

BELMONT: Rick Byrd, ranked 12th all-time among Division I coaches with 805 career victories, is retiring after 33 years

Byrd, who turns 66 on April 30, led Belmont to 10 regular-season conference championships and seven tournament titles since 2006.

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