GREENVILLE, N.C., Toni Paisley pitched a four-hit shutout, striking out six and hitting a batter, to propel the East Carolina Pirates to a 2-0 softball victory over Maine Thursday.
Paisley (13-1) was backed by only five hits, but East Carolina scored two unearned runs in the fourth inning. Sissy Jimenez reached on a throwing error and pinch runner Taylor Megargel took second on Abby Wynne’s single. One out later, Suzanne Riggs hit a two-run double to center field.
Riggs added another single for the Pirates.
Meghan McLain doubled among the four hits for UMaine. Kylie Sparks allowed four hits and two unearned runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out two, to take the loss.
Maine (7-16) 000 000 0 — 0 4 2
E. Carolina (18-6) 000 200 x — 2 5 1
Sparks, Kelley (5) and MacDowell; Paisley and Lee
Kansas 63, OSU 62
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mario Little’s three-point play broke a tie with 71 seconds to go and Oklahoma State missed a desperation heave at the buzzer, allowing No. 2 Kansas to escape with a 63-62 victory Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 tournament.
Big 12 player of the year Marcus Morris, shut down most of the second half, hit a key 3-pointer for the Jayhawks (30-2), who play Colorado in the semifinals Friday night. Kansas trailed by as many as eight until Oklahoma State (19-13) got in deep foul trouble in the second half.
Keiton Page had 23 points and Jean-Paul Olukemi had 17 for Oklahoma State, which did a good job of keeping Marcus and Markieff Morris away from the basket and forced the Jayhawks out deep. They put up 25 3-pointers but made only five.
Kansas finished just 12 of 21 from the foul line while the Cowboys were 18 for 21.
UConn 76, Pitt 74
NEW YORK — Kemba Walker hit the winning basket on a classic stepback jumper at the buzzer and Connecticut stunned Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.
Walker got the ball at the top of the key with 15 seconds left and found himself guarded by 6-foot-10 Gary McGhee after the Panthers switched on a screen. The shifty guard used a crossover and shoulder roll to dump McGhee to the ground, then calmly swished the shot.
The Huskies (24-9) have won three games in three days after a late-season slide sent them to the No. 9 seed in the Big East tournament. They’ll face fourth-seeded Syracuse in the semifinals Friday night.
Walker finished with 24 points, his third straight outstanding performance at Madison Square Garden. Jeremy Lamb added 17 and Alex Oriakhi had 13 for the Huskies.
Pitt sharpshooter Ashton Gibbs drilled his sixth 3-pointer to tie it at 74 with 47.9 seconds left. Gibbs finished 10 of 13 from the field — including 6 for 7 on 3s — and scored 27 points for the Panthers (27-5), who fell to 0-3 when earning a double-bye in the conference tournament.
Notre Dame 89, Cincinnati 51
NEW YORK — Ben Hansbrough led a brutally efficient attack with 23 points and Notre Dame dismantled one of the nation’s best defenses in a quarterfinal rout of Cincinnati at the Big East tournament.
The league’s player of the year had plenty of help.
Carleton Scott scored 18 points and Tim Abromaitis had 17 for the Fighting Irish (26-5), who have already won more games than in any other season under longtime coach Mike Brey.
Sporting its highest national ranking since December 1980, second-seeded Notre Dame rolls into the semifinals Friday night having won five straight games and 12 of 13 overall.
Dion Dixon scored 15 points for the Bearcats (25-8), who shot just 32.8 percent from the field and 8 of 17 at the foul line. They went the final 7:25 without scoring.
BYU 64, TCU 58
LAS VEGAS — Jimmer Fredette scored 24 points and BYU overcame a slow start to edge TCU in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinals.
With suspended teammate Brandon Davies watching from the bench in street clothes, the top-seeded Cougars (29-3) had a tougher time than expected against a TCU team that went 1-15 in conference play before snapping a 13-game skid with a win over Wyoming in the play-in game 24 hours earlier.
Next, they’ll face nemesis New Mexico, which has handed BYU two of its three losses this season — and by an average of 13.5 points.
The Cougars trailed the ninth-seeded Horned Frogs 34-33 at halftime and didn’t take the lead for good until the 12:44 mark, when Jackson Emery swished a 3-pointer to break a 40-all tie.
Still, the Cougars couldn’t shake the Horned Frogs (11-22), who got 15 points apiece from Hank Thorns and Greg Hill.
Texas 74, Oklahoma 54
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jordan Hamilton and Tristan Thompson each had a double-double, helping Texas cruise past Oklahoma in a lopsided quarterfinal at the Big 12 tournament.
The Longhorns, who beat Oklahoma for the third time this season and 11th in 13 meetings, led by as many as 25 and never let the Sooners (14-18) get closer than 13 after that.
Hamilton had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Thompson totaled 13 points and 11 boards for second-seeded Texas (26-5), which lost three of its last five in the regular season to finish second in the Big 12 behind Kansas.
Oklahoma got 17 points from Cade Davis in a foul-plagued game. The Longhorns had a 39-23 rebounding edge and held the Sooners to 3-of-13 shooting from behind the 3-point line.
Syracuse 79, St. John’s 73
NEW YORK — Brandon Triche had a season-high 22 points and freshman center Fab Melo scored a career-high 12, including two layups in the final 2 minutes, to help Syracuse beat St. John’s in the Big East quarterfinals.
Melo, a 7-foot native of Brazil who has been inconsistent in his rookie season, gave the fourth-seeded Orange (26-6) the lead for good at 70-68 with a layup off an inbounds pass with 2 minutes left. He added another layup on a bounce pass from Triche that made it 74-70 with 32 seconds left.
Dwight Hardy had 22 points for the Red Storm (21-11), who reached the quarterfinals with a controversial win over Rutgers.
St. John’s, which entered 8-1 at Madison Square Garden this season (the only loss to Syracuse), stayed close in the second half despite playing without versatile senior D.J. Kennedy, who injured his right knee 5½ minutes into the game and didn’t return.
Red Storm coach Steve Lavin called it a serious injury, which means Kennedy might not be available for the school’s first NCAA tournament game since 2002.
Arizona 78, Oregon St. 69
LOS ANGELES — Derrick Williams scored 22 points and Arizona rode its 3-point shooting to a victory over Oregon State in the Pac-10 tournament quarterfinals.
The top-seeded Wildcats (26-6) advanced to play fourth-seeded Southern California in Friday’s semifinals at Staples Center.
Kevin Parrom added 13 points, helping the Wildcats end a three-year skid in the tourney quarterfinals. A year ago, they lost to UCLA and finished 16-15, ending the school’s streak of 25 consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
Now, Arizona remains on track to add its first league tourney title since 2002 to the regular-season championship it wrapped up last weekend. Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson, who began the school’s NCAA tourney streak in 1985, was in the crowd.
Williams, the Pac-10 player of the year in his second season, was 5 of 6 on 3-pointers. Lamont Jones went 3 of 6 from beyond the arc and finished with 13 points.
Jared Cunningham scored 23 points for the Beavers (11-20), who split with Arizona in the regular season.