Lindsay Whalen scored 27 points, while Janel McCarville added 20 points and 18 rebounds as the seventh-seeded Gophers beat top-seeded Duke 82-75 in the finals of the Mideast Regional at Norfolk, Va.
The Gophers will take on Connecticut on Sunday night at 8 p.m. CST in New Orleans for a berth in the national title game.
While Whalen and McCarville were their usual stellar selves, the Gophers would not have advanced without the contributions of their underrated forwards. Senior Kadidja Andersson scored 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and filled in admirably for McCarville when she sat out with foul trouble.
But the best effort of the night was provided by sophomore forward Shannon Bolden, who not only held Duke all-American Alana Beard to 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting, but hit all three of her 3-pointers in the second half, including a bomb from the corner that put the Gophers ahead for good at 62-59.
The Gophers hit 10 of 12 free throws in the final minute to keep the Blue Devils at arm's length.
Duke weathered an 0-for-12 shooting stretch in the first half and rallied to trail by only 7 at the half. McCarville picked up her fourth foul early in the second half and hit the bench until there were less than 10 minutes to play, but she thrived in the final minutes, avoiding her fifth foul and taking advantage of Duke's weaknesses inside.
Bring on UConn!
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