Doty and Lucas both rivals and friends

PAT EATON-ROBB Associated Press Published:

KINGSTON, R.I. (AP) -- Germantown Academy coach Sherri Retif plans to attend the Penn State-Connecticut regional semifinal wearing a neutral shade of blue.

UConn's Caroline Doty and Penn State's Maggie Lucas both starred at the Pennsylvania prep school, where Retif says they were "legends."

"I actually went to the high school I went to because of (Doty)," said Lucas, who was two years behind her mentor. "I wanted to compete with her every day. She's an unbelievable competitor, a great friend and I'm excited to be playing against her again."

Lucas took over as the starting point guard when Doty went down during her senior season with a torn ACL.

Doty who has suffered through two other knee injuries in college is averaging 5 points a game this season. Lucas averages almost 20 points a game and scored 30 in the Nittany Lions win over LSU.

"She was a great player in high school too, but to see her grow and keep getting better for the past two years in college and what she's done to the Penn State program is unbelievable and I'm just happy to call her my friend," Doty said.

The two also are fierce competitors, and spent part of their time off the court in prep school trying to one-up each other in a "prank war."

"Somehow, I always got a cake thrown in my face and then I'd get in trouble with our coach," Lucas said. "We definitely were pranksters and would cause a little trouble."

UConn coach Geno Auriemma said he did not recruit Lucas, not because he didn't like her game, but because there was really no point.

"Maggie Lucas was set on going to Penn State from the time she was a sophomore in high school," he said. "It really didn't matter if anybody wanted to recruit her or didn't want to recruit her, she had made that decision that she was going to Penn State."

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RALLYING LADY VOLS: Tennessee went into halftime down by five points to Kansas, marking the 10th time this season the Lady Vols have either been tied or were trailing at the break.

It didn't matter against the Jayhawks, as Tennessee outscored them 54-38 in the second half of an 84-73 win. But the Lady Vols likely won't have the same luxury against top-seeded Baylor, who they'll face Monday night.

"We tend to not bring the energy during the first half. I'm not really sure why. We arent as energetic as we are in the second half. We know if we put ourselves in a hole in the first half we have to come out twice as hard in the second half," Tennessee's Glory Johnson said. "We just want to get to a point where we play a full 40-minute game with intensity and energy in the first half and second half. We are still working on it, but we are getting there."

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STARS LINING UP?: Maryland is a No. 2 seed and faces a third-seeded defending national champion from the Big 12 in the round of 16.

Sound familiar? That scenario worked out pretty well for the Terrapins in 2006 -- so it's no surprise coach Brenda Frese's is hoping history repeats itself.

In 2006, Maryland knocked off reigning national champ Baylor in the regional semifinals and went on to win its first NCAA title. This year the Terrapins drew Texas A&M in the round of 16 at the Raleigh Regional.

"Kind of a familiar situation for our team and our program," Frese said. "We have been in this situation before, and we're familiar with it."

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SWEET TWEETS: The biggest celebrity at the Raleigh Regional is Notre Dame guard Skylar Diggins -- at least if that's measured by her number of Twitter followers.

Among the 162,000 -- and counting -- people who follow her Tweets include Lil Wayne and Chris Brown.

"I've had the ability to meet a lot of new people, a lot of new fans," Diggins said. "And Twitter does a great job of making a direct connection between fans and myself, and things like that. ... You kind of just take it in stride and, at the same time, just stay humble, stay yourself."

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THEY'LL TAKE HIS CALL: The biggest Bonnie of them all surprised St. Bonaventure coach Jim Crowley with a congratulatory phone call for his team.

Bob Lanier gave Crowley a call during a practice earlier this week to wish the Bonnies luck in the regional semifinals against Notre Dame, the coach said.

"That was probably the only interruption on a cell phone that coach would be OK with during practice," guard Jessica Jenkins said.

Lanier led St. Bonaventure to the 1970 Final Four before beginning a 14-year NBA career in which he averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1992. The court at the school's Reilly Center bears his name.

"Down in our little place, we don't get many Hall of Famers," Crowley said. "Our kids were really impressed that Bob would take the time to do that, and his message was very genuine. He just talked about, 'Go down there and compete. You know who you are, and enjoy it, and don't be afraid of the moment.'"

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RATINGS FLAT: Ratings for this year's women's tournament are almost identical to a year ago.

The games, shown on ESPN2, earned a 0.4 share in the first two rounds of the tournament. About 382,000 households watched those games this season, compared to about 373,000 last year.

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Associated Press sports writers Luke Meredith and Joedy McCreary contributed to this report