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March 13, 1998

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – DeMya Walker scored 15 points in the second half tospark No. 17 Virginia’s rally from a 19-point deficit to a 77-68 victory overSMU in an NCAA tournament East Regional first-round game Friday night.

Walker, who finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and twoblocks, made five free throws in the final 1:21.

Erin Stovall scored 19 points and Mimi McKinney, a reserve who was scorelessduring five minutes in the first half, had all 14 of her points during a 40-10run by the Cavaliers (19-9) in the final 13 1/2 minutes of play.

Karen Blair had 21 points for the Mustangs (21-8) and Karlin Kennedy had 13points and eight rebounds.

The teams battled on equal terms most of the first half until Blair starteda 14-3 SMU run with two free throws with 6:20 remaining.

The Mustangs went on to a 40-33 halftime lead, and Blair capped a 16-4 surgein the first 6:06 with a layup, her third basket of the flurry.

But SMU scored only four more field goals, including a layup by Blair withsix seconds left.

McKinney led the charge back, stealing the ball twice and driving for layupsearly in the Virginia rally that cut SMU’s lead to 56-46 with 12:05 to go.Thirty-nine seconds later, McKinney dropped in a 3-pointer, and the Cavaliershad their deficit in single digits at 56-49.

Erin Stovall regained the lead for Virginia at 60-59 with a spin move andshort jumper, and McKinney put the Cavaliers ahead for good 67-66 at the 2:23mark with her fourth steal and another layup.

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