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Connecticut ends Yow's run, advances to regional final

Mar 25, 2007 - 4:09 AM FRESNO, California (Ticker) -- North Carolina State could only keep Charde Houston bottled up so long.

Houston scored 14 of her 18 points as top-seeded Connecticut held off No. 4 seed North Carolina State, 78-71, in the Fresno Region semifinal.

The Huskies' win ended the emotional run of Wolfpack coach Kay Yow, who is battling stage IV cancer which forced her to miss 16 games this season for treatment.

Big East Freshman of the Year Tina Charles added 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting as the Huskies avoided being the second No. 1 seed to fall. Duke lost to Rutgers earlier Saturday in the Greensboro Regional.

UConn (32-3) will play Louisiana State or Florida State in Monday's regional final. Kalana Greene added 17 points as the Huskies had four players in double figures and shot 55 percent (15-of-27) from the floor in the second half.

Trailing, 37-36, at the break, the Huskies opened the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 47-39 lead. Houston scored eight of the team's 11 points and shot 5-of-8 in the second half.

The Wolfpack (25-10) never led after that run but was still within four at 68-64 with 2:21 left before UConn closed out the game at the free-throw line, hitting 10-of-12 in the final 1:58. Overall, the Huskies were 19-of-23 from the stripe.

The inside duo of Gillian Goring and Khadijah Whittington dominated early as they each scored 10 points in the first half and help N.C. State outrebound UConn, 21-11.

However, UConn switched to a packed in 2-3 zone and held Goring scoreless and Wittington to one field goal in the second half.

In November, Yow left the team for treatment of her cancer, initially diagnosed 20 years ago.

When she returned, the Wolfpack won 12 of their next 14 games, including knocking off then-No. 1 Duke and No. 2 North Carolina in a two-week span.