Skylar Diggins flashed a smile as she went in for a fast-break layup for the opening basket against Vermont, as if she knew what was coming.
After making just one basket from the field in Notre Dame’s first-round game, Diggins had a season-high 31 points, plus 7 steals and 6 assists to lead second-seeded Notre Dame to an 84-66 victory over 10th-seeded Vermont last night in South Bend, Ind., in the second round.
Diggins set the tone for the Irish (29-5) and their pressing defense as they finished with 19 steals and forced the Catamounts (27-7) into a season-high 25 turnovers.
Vermont’s May Kotsopoulos finished with 12 points and Courtnay Pilypaitis had 11.
Notre Dame advanced to the Kansas City Regional semifinal against Oklahoma, their eighth trip to the round of 16 in last 14 years.
Alissa Sheftic and Kendra Seto added 14 points each for Vermont and Sofia Iowbi added 11. Nebraska 83, UCLA 70 — Dominique Kelley scored a career-high 22 points, Kelsey Griffin added 18 points and 14 rebounds, and the top-seeded Cornhuskers (32-1) took apart the Bruins (25-9) in Minneapolis to advance to the Kansas City Regional semifinal against No. 4 seed Kentucky.
Oklahoma 60, Ark.-Little Rock 44 — Abi Olajuwon had 19 points and 11 rebounds and the third-seeded Sooners (25-10) made the most of a sloppy first half to beat the 11th-seeded Trojans (27-7) in Norman, Okla., in the Sacramento Regional.
San Diego State 64, West Virginia 55 — Jene Morris scored 27 points and Quenese Davis added 19, sending the No. 11 Aztecs (23-10) to another big upset, this time over the No. 3 Mountaineers (29-6) in Austin, Texas in the Memphis Regional.
Xavier 63, Vanderbilt 62 — Amber Harris led a last-minute Xavier comeback and made the go-ahead layup with 12.3 seconds left in Cincinnati, rallying the third-seeded Musketeers (29-3) over the Commodores (23-11) to take a 20-game winning streak into its Sacramento Regional semifinal game against Gonzaga Saturday.
Mississippi State 87, Ohio State 67 — Alexis Rack drove through and around a slow-to-react defense for 30 points and the seventh-seeded Lady Bulldogs (21-12) upset the second-seeded Buckeyes (31-5) in Pittsburgh and will play Florida State Sunday in the Dayton Regional.
Iowa State 60, Wisconsin-Green Bay 56 — Kelsey Bolte scored 15 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:11 left, and the fourth-seeded Cyclones (25-7) held on to beat the 12th-seeded Phoenix (28-5) in Ames, Iowa, and will meet unbeaten Connecticut Sunday.