Top 25 Capsules

              The Rice bench celebrates with Rice guard Sydne Wiggins (2) after she hit a 3-pointer in the final minute of an NCAA college basketball game against Middle Tennessee in the championship game of the Conference USA women's tournament, Saturday, March 16, 2019, in Frisco, Texas. Rice won 69-54. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Becca Hittner, the two-time Missouri Valley player of the year, scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half to propel No. 21 Drake into the conference tournament championship game with a 65-54 win over fourth-seeded Illinois State on Saturday.

Sara Rhine added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (27-5), who take a 12-game winning streak into the title game they have won the past two years. Drake faces second-seeded Missouri State on Sunday.

Drake led most of the first quarter but Illinois State (19-12) led throughout the second quarter before the half ended tied at 26. The Redbirds built a six-point with less than four minutes to go in the third when the Bulldogs put together a 14-0 run in less than three minutes. Most of the damage came at the foul line as Drake was 8 of 10.

Tete Maggett hit five 3-pointers and scored 21 points for the Redbirds.


FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Nancy Mulkey scored 24 points and No. 24 Rice rallied in the second half to defeat Middle Tennessee 69-54 in the Conference USA championship game for the Owls’ third NCAA Tournament berth and school-record 21st straight win.

Erica Ogwumike, the C-USA player of the year, added 15 points despite dealing with foul trouble. Jasmine Smith and Nicole Iademarco had 10 points apiece for the Owls (28-3), who tied Quinnipiac for the second-longest winning streak in the country behind Baylor (23).

Mulkey, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Oklahoma, was named the tournament Most Valuable Player after blocking eight shots to give her a school record 89 for the season.

In putting together just the league’s third unbeaten season, Rice won 60-47 at Middle Tennessee.