By TOM CANAVAN
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- Tara Mitchem scored a career-high 40 points and Southwest Missouri State overcame a rare sub-par game by Jackie Stiles to beat Toledo 89-71 in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament on Saturday night.
AP Sports Writer
Stiles, the all-time leading scorer in women's college basketball, had a season-low 13 points before leaving with about nine minutes to play after being knocked woozy when she was hit in the temple running into a pick at half court.
|Toledo center Melantha Herron, right, grabs the ball as Southwest Missouri forward Cathy Deer tries to go to the basket. (AP Photo/Daniel Hulshizer)
The senior guard, who averaged 30.7 points, lay on the floor for about 20 seconds before being helped to the bench, where trainers examined her to determine whether she sustained a concussion.
Stiles never returned, but Southwest Missouri (26-5) did not need her. The Lady Bears were in the midst of a 26-2 run that advanced them to a second-round West Regional game on Monday night against the winner of the Rutgers-Stephen F. Austin game player later at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
Mitchem's 40-point performance was the most in a NCAA women's tournament game since Cindy Brown had 40 for Long Beach State against Ohio State on Mar. 21, 1987. Mitchem hit 13 of 20 shots from the field.
Carly Deer hit four 3-pointers and scored 16 of her 21 points in the second half when Southwest Missouri shot 59 percent from the field. The Lady Bears, the champions of the Missouri Valley Conference, hit 11 of their first 15 shots in the second half in ending a school-record 16-game winning streak by Toledo (25-6).
Kahli Carter had 21 points and Melantha Herron had 20 for the Rockets, the champions of the Mid American Conference.
Toledo had an outstanding first half, using a strong inside game with Herron and Carter and a tough box-and-one against Stiles to take a 32-31 halftime lead.
Stiles hit only 1 of 4 shots from the field -- a fastbreak layup -- and had only four points.
However, Southwest Missouri put everything into high gear after Herron scored inside with 16:35 to play to give Toledo its last lead, 42-41.
Mitchem, who was averaging 12.6 points and who previous career high was 24, hit a jumper to ignite a 14-point run in which she and Stiles each scored seven point apiece.
After Shekinah Brazzle broke the run with two free throws for Toledo, Deer hit two 3-pointers and scored eight points in a 12-0 run that stretched the lead to 67-44.
Stiles was hurt in that sequence running into a pick by Carter, a 6-foot power forward who is the most solid player on Toledo's roster.
The win was the 300th for Southwest Missouri State coach Cheryl Burnett.