Iowa holds off pesky Mercer 66-61
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Megan Gustafson scored 30 points with 16 rebounds and second-seeded Iowa narrowly avoided a monumental upset, holding off No. 15 Mercer 66-61 on Friday for its first NCAA Tournament win in four years.
No 15 seed has ever won an NCAA Tournament game going 0-103 now.
Makenzie Meyer added 16 for the Hawkeyes (27-6), who survived the opening round at home despite committing 24 turnovers.
Hannah Stewart hit three consecutive baskets after Iowa got down by two with 4:19 to go, putting the Hawkeyes ahead 64-61. Stewart missed a jumper with 21 seconds left, but the ball knocked off a Mercer player.
Iowa’s Tania Davis then missed two free throws, but the Hawkeyes were bailed out of the ensuing scrum by the possession arrow.
Kathleen Doyle finally sealed it for Iowa with two free throws with 8.9 second to go.
No. 4 SOUTH CAROLINA 74, No. 13 BELMONT 52
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Te’a Cooper scored 13 points, Alexis Jennings added 12 points and nine rebounds, and South Carolina shook off a sluggish start to pull away from seed Belmont.
Tyasha Harris chipped in with 12 points and six assists and Doniyah Cliney added 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting for the Gamecocks, who won in their first game since getting upset by Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.
The Gamecocks (22-9) advanced to Sunday’s second round, where they’ll face either Bucknell or Florida State.
Darby Maggard had 13 points and Conley Chinn had 10 for Belmont (26-7).
No. 5 FLORIDA STATE 70, No. 12 BUCKNELL 67
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kiah Gillespie had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Florida State held on to beat Bucknell.
Nicki Ekhomu, Nausia Woolfork and Valencia Myers each had 15 points for the Seminoles (24-8), who advanced to play fourth-seeded South Carolina on Sunday.
Gillespie played big in the paint, helping Florida State outrebound Bucknell 44-23. She also hit a big 3-pointer in the closing minutes as the Seminoles battled back from a four-point deficit early in the fourth quarter.
Kate Walker led Bucknell (28-6) with 18 points.
No. 7 MISSOURI 77, No. 10 DRAKE 76, OT
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Jordan Roundtree hit a free throw after being fouled with 1.1 seconds left in overtime and Missouri beat Drake.
Sophie Cunningham scored 21 points and Cierra Porter had 18 for the Tigers (24-10), who can advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2001 with a win over second-seeded and host Iowa on Sunday.
The Tigers found Amber Smith open underneath for a 76-74 lead on a jumper with 20.8 seconds left. Maddy Dean pulled Drake even at the line, but Bulldogs star Becca Hittner hit Roundtree’s shooting hand while she was attempting a desperation 3. She missed the first free throw, hit the second and missed the third.
Drake got the rebound and after two timeouts, miraculously got Hittner — a 40 percent shooter from beyond the arc — a wide-open look at a 3. But it bounced off the back of the iron.
Hittner had 19 and Sara Rhine chipped in with 18 points for Drake (27-7),
No. 1 LOUISVILLE 69, No. 16 ROBERT MORRIS 34
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Asia Durr and Sam Fuehring each had 19 points, and Louisville scored 27 straight points in the first half to overwhelm Robert Morris.
The absences of suspended coach Jeff Walz and injured point guard Arica Carter didn’t affect the Cardinals (30-3), who led 32-4 early in the second quarter by holding the Colonials scoreless for nearly 15 minutes. Robert Morris (22-11) missed 17 consecutive shots during that drought before making three of five entering halftime, but the game was out of reach by then.
Natalie Villaflor had 13 points and Nneka Ezeigbo nine for the Colonials, who had won their last four games.
No. 2 UCONN 110, No. 15 TOWSON 61
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Napheesa Collier scored 23 points and UConn, in the unusual position of being a No. 2 seed, got off to its usual NCAA Tournament start with a rout of Towson.
Collier added 14 rebounds in putting up her fourth straight double-double and 21st this season.
Freshman Christyn Williams scored 21 points and Crystal Dangerfield added 20 for Connecticut (32-2), which had five players in double figures and scored more than 100 points for the fourth time this season.
Kionna Jeter had 20 points for Towson, which was making its first NCAA Tournament appearance and finishes the season 20-13.
No. 8 MICHIGAN 84, No. 9 KANSAS STATE 54
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Naz Hillmon scored 17 points off the bench, Nicole Munger and Kayla Robbins each added 13 and Michigan shot a season-high 56 percent to run away from Kansas State.
Michigan’s 17-5 surge over 5:10 in the second quarter provided a 43-28 halftime lead that expanded to as many as 37 late in the fourth. The Wolverines (22-11) owned rebounding 50-19 — including a 33-13 gap defensively — and paint scoring 52-26 while holding the Wildcats (21-12) to 36 percent shooting.
Christianna Carr had 21 points and Rachel Ranke 11 for Kansas State.
No. 10 BUFFALO 82, No. 7 RUTGERS 71
STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Summer Hemphill scored 23 points and Cierra Dillard added 20 as Buffalo upset Rutgers.
Hanna Hall and Autumn Jones each added 12 points for the Bulls (24-9), who will be looking to advance to the Sweet 16 for a second straight season.
Stasha Carey had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Rutgers (22-10), which has been without head coach C. Vivian Stringer since late February because of an undisclosed medical issue.
The Bulls trailed by two points after the second and third quarters, but took control of the game midway through the fourth.
Hemphill broke a 69-all tie with five straight points, capped by a layup off a steal by Dillard.
No. 4 TEXAS A&M 84, No. 13 WRIGHT STATE 61
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Chennedy Carter scored 27 points in her return from injury, with 14 coming in Texas A&M’s huge first quarter, to help the No. 4 Aggies cruise to an 84-61 win over No. 13 Wright State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Texas A&M, which is in the tournament for the 14th consecutive season, advances to the second round for the fourth straight year where it will play five-seed Marquette on Sunday.
The Aggies (25-7) led by 18 early after scoring 31 points in the first quarter. The game was tied at 5-all in the first before Texas A&M used a 17-3 run to take a 22-8 lead, and it was never close again.
Wright State (27-7) was led by Angel Baker’s 25 points.
No. 5 MARQUETTE 58, No. 12 RICE 54, OT
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Natisha Hiedeman scored 13 points, Allazia Blockton had 12 and Marquette overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to get a win over Rice.
The Golden Eagles (27-7), who are in the tournament for the third straight season, will play the winner of the Wright State-Texas A&M game.
Amani Wilborn made a jumper with 3 1/2 minutes left in overtime to put Marquette up 54-52 and extend its run to 11-0. Blockton extended the lead to 4 with a shot with just over a minute to go.
The Owls (28-4) ended a scoring drought of about seven minutes stretching back to the fourth quarter when Erica Ogwumike made a basket with 51 seconds left.
But Hiedeman made two free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining to make it 58-54 and secure the victory.
No. 1 MISSISSIPPI STATE 103, No. 16 SOUTHERN 46
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Anriel Howard scored 23 points, Teaira McCowan added 22 and Mississippi State rolled past Southern.
Mississippi State (31-2) didn’t have much trouble against the Jaguars, jumping out to a 37-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. Howard and McCowan both finished with double-doubles – McCowan had 16 rebounds and Howard had 12.
Bre’Amber Scott added 18 points and Jordan Danberry had 13. Jazzmun Holmes had 10 points and seven rebounds. Mississippi State shot 53 percent from the field.
Southern (20-13) briefly took a 3-2 lead early in the first quarter when Rishonti Cowart made a 3-pointer. That was the extent of the good news for the Jaguars, who gave up the next nine points and quickly fell behind.
The Jaguars were led by Skylar O’Bear, who scored nine points.
No. 2 OREGON 78, No. 15 PORTLAND STATE 40
Satou Sabally had 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to help Oregon to an easy victory over Portland State.
Ducks guard Sabrina Ionescu put the home crowd at Matthew Knight Arena on its feet with a stunning 3-pointer at the start of the second half and finished with 12 points and eight assists for the Ducks (30-4). Ruthy Hebard had 22 points and 12 rebounds.
Ashley Bolston had 19 points for the Vikings (25-8), making their first tournament appearance since 2010.
No. 4 MIAMI 69, No. 13 FLORIDA GULF COAST 62
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Beatrice Mompremier scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Miami needed an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter to come from briefly being behind and beat Florida Gulf Coast.
Endia Banks scored 14 and Mykea Gray added 10 for the Hurricanes (25-8), who wasted a 14-point second-half lead and were down by one early in the fourth before recovering.
Emese Hof had a 10-point, 12-rebound game for Miami, which plays fifth-seeded Arizona State on Sunday. The Hurricanes turned a 52-51 deficit into a 64-53 lead in the fourth, and escaped in the final moments.
Keri Jewett-Giles scored 24 for Florida Gulf Coast (28-5), whose 19-game winning streak was snapped.
No. 5 ARIZONA STATE 60, No. 12 UCF 45
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Courtney Ekmark scored 15 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, and Arizona State beat UCF.
Ekmark opened the game with a 3-pointer, then opened the second half with a pair of 3s. Those two quickly turned what was a 10-point halftime lead to a 16-point edge, and Arizona State (21-10) wound up winning a first-round game for the sixth consecutive season.
Kianna Ibis added 12 for Arizona State. Ibis had six points in a 10-0 run late in the third quarter that put the Sun Devils up by 22.
Kay Kay Wright led UCF (26-7) with 18 points.
No. 10 INDIANA 69, No. 7 TEXAS 65
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Jaelynn Penn had 24 points and Bendu Yeaney added 17 to help Indiana surprise Texas.
Brenna Wise and Ali Patberg contributed another 10 points apiece for the Hoosiers (21-12), who were making their first appearance in the tournament since the 2015-16 season.
Texas (23-10) was led by Danni Williams with 15 points. Joyner Holmes added 12 points and 12 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.
Indiana trailed 37-29 at the half but outscored Texas 23-12 in the third quarter and went into the final period leading 52-49. The game was back and forth from there.
No. 9 CLEMSON 79, No. 8 SOUTH DAKOTA 66
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Simone Westbrook scored 27 points, Danielle Edwards added 25 and Clemson pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat South Dakota.
Edwards made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to turn a tight game into a fairly comfortable victory. The 5-foot-7 senior made 10 of 17 shots, including 5 of 9 from 3-point range.
Clemson (20-12) trailed for much of the game until late in the third quarter, when Westbrook made a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 47-45 lead. The Tigers never trailed again, partly because of Edwards and partly because South Dakota’s shooting touch vanished.
South Dakota (28-6) shot just 3 of 19 from 3-point range in the second half. The Coyotes were in the NCAA Tournament after earning the first at-large bid in Summit League history.
Hannah Sjerven led South Dakota with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.