* Tournament Thus Far: Duke beat No. 16 Georgia State, 66-48; beat No. 8 Utah, 65-54; beat No. 5 Georgia, 66-63. Texas Tech beat No. 15 Southwest Missouri State, 67-59; beat No. 7 UC Santa Barbara, 72-68; beat No. 6 New Mexico, 71-48.

* How Duke Will Win: The Blue Devils rely on experience and talent. Seven players were on last year's Final Four team. Junior guard Alana Beard, one of the most exciting players to watch this season, is as good a defender as she is a scorer. She did not play well in the regional semifinal against Georgia, but Duke pulled out the win because of its tough defense and strong play by Iciss Tillis and Mistie Bass. The Blue Devils held their three NCAA opponents to 55 points per game.

* How Texas Tech Will Win: The inside-outside combination of Plenette Pierson and Jia Perkins has carried the Lady Raiders this season. Pierson is formidable inside, averaging a double-double in the NCAA tournament (18.7 ppg, 10 rpg). Perkins, the team's second-leading scorer (16.3 ppg), creates offense off her defense. She leads the team with 2.6 steals per game and has scored in double figures in 33 of 34 games this season.

* Key Matchup: Beard vs. Perkins. Perkins is a tenacious defender, but Beard, who has lost only nine games since putting on a Blue Devils uniform three years ago, will try to get Perkins in foul trouble by attacking the basket.


Percentage of points Duke guard Alana Beard scores at the free throw line. Beard has made 185 free throws this season and has 756 points.