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No. 7 W. Virginia women beat Texas in Big 12 semi

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Bria Holmes scored 23 points to help No. 7 West Virginia beat Texas 67-60 on Sunday in the Big 12 tournament semifinals.

Christal Caldwell added 15 points for the Mountaineers (29-3). West Virginia outscored Texas 28-14 from the free-throw line to win its 12th straight.

West Virginia advanced to play No. 9 Baylor in the championship game Monday night. The Mountaineers will try to win the tournament in their second year in the Big 12. Top-seeded Baylor and second-seeded West Virginia shared the regular-season title. Baylor beat No. 18 Oklahoma State 65-61 earlier Sunday.

Chassidy Fussell scored 15 points, and Nekia Jones added 14 for the Longhorns (21-11).

It was the rubber match in a tight series. West Virginia won the first regular-season meeting 56-49 in overtime at home, and Texas won the rematch 66-63 in Austin.

West Virginia led 28-21 at halftime. Neither team shot well in the first 20 minutes — Texas made 8 of 24 shots, and West Virginia was 8 of 26. West Virginia outscored Texas 9-3 on free throws before the break. Jones, a reserve, scored nine points in the first half to help Texas stay in the game.

West Virginia increased its lead to 37-28 on a jumper by Caldwell, yet Texas hung tough. Jones’ 3-point play cut it to 44-43 with just under 12 minutes to play, but Linda Stepney answered with a 3-point play on the other end.

West Virginia temporarily regained control with a 3-point play by Holmes to go up 55-46 with about eight minutes remaining.

Fussell converted a 3-point play with 5:39 to play, trimming West Virginia’s edge to 56-51, and Kelsey Lang’s layup on Texas’ next trip down the floor caused West Virginia to call a timeout. Texas chopped the Mountaineers’ lead to one, but Fussell fouled out with 3:49 to play.

Texas had the ball, down one, but Celina Rodrigo missed a 3-pointer and Caldwell made two free throws at the other end to give the Mountaineers a four-point lead and the control they needed.

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Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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