LSU ends Green Bay’s 24-game winning streak
Danielle Ballard capped a 16-point performance by hitting a key free throw with four seconds to go, and LSU held off Green Bay, 75-71, last night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Theresa Plaisance also scored 16, Adrienne Webb 15 and Bianca Lutley 13 for sixth-seeded LSU (21-11), which saw an 18-point lead nearly evaporate in the second half, but survived to meet Penn State in the second round of the Spokane Regional tomorrow.
Sarah Eichler scored 22 for No. 11 seed Green Bay (29-3), the Horizon League champion, which had its 24-game winning streak end as it was bounced from the tournament in the first round for the first time since losing to LSU in Baton Rouge in 2009.
Adrian Ritchie added 16 points for the Phoenix but fouled out with 3:05 left.
PENN STATE 85, CAL POLY 65
Maggie Lucas scored 19 points, Alex Bentley added 18 and third-seeded Penn State overwhelmed NCAA women’s tournament newcomer Cal Poly.
While the dynamic Lucas scored from all over the court, Penn State (26-5) also used its size advantage to assert itself inside on both ends.
The 6-foot-2 Mia Nickson, 6-3 Talia East and 6-4 Nikki Greene combined for 32 rebounds, and the Lady Lions outrebounded Cal Poly 52-40 overall.
Penn State outscored the Mustangs 44-28 in the paint.
STANFORD 72, TULSA 56
Chiney Ogwumike had 29 points, eight rebounds and three assists, and top-seeded Stanford pulled away in the second half from the 16th seed.
Amber Orrange added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Cardinal (32-2), who needed more than a half to get rolling while playing at home in Maples Pavilion coming off final exams and a two-week layoff since winning the Pac-12 tournament.
Conference Player of the Year Ogwumike took charge in Stanford’s quest for a sixth straight Final Four after her big sister, Nneka, became the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft and the league’s rookie of the year with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Michigan 60, Villanova 52
Kate Thompson hit a key 3-pointer down the stretch and another late jumper to finish with 17 points, and No. 8 seed Michigan overcame a cold-shooting first half to beat ninth-seeded Villanova.
Jenny Ryan added 13 points, three assists and two steals as a close-knit Wolverines starting lineup featuring four seniors extended their season for another game by shooting 61.9 percent in the second half.
And it gets tougher now. Michigan (22-10) will face top-seeded Stanford (32-2) on the Cardinal’s home floor tomorrow night for a spot in the Spokane Regional semifinals next weekend.
Michigan second-leading scorer Rachel Sheffer had 16 points and matched her career high with 13 rebounds for her sixth straight game scoring in double figures.
Laura Sweeney scored 16 points and Devon Kane added 12 to lead Villanova (21-11).
No. 2 KENTUCKY 61, No. 15 NAVY 41
DeNesha Stallworth scored 18 points and Jennifer O’Neill added nine of her 12 points in the second half to lead Kentucky over Navy.
The Wildcats (28-5) trailed by one at the half before O’Neill, who grew up in New York, took over. She hit a quick 3-pointer to start a 12-2 run. The sophomore guard had seven points, a steal and an assist during the burst.
Kentucky had been off for 14 days since losing in the SEC tournament title game and looked rusty early on. Two-time SEC player of the year A’dia Mathies didn’t have a field goal for the first time in her career.
Alix Membreno and Jade Geif scored nine each to lead Navy (21-12), which was trying to become the first 15 seed to win a game in NCAA tournament history.
No. 3 NORTH CAROLINA 59, No. 14 ALBANY 54
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored a career-high 30 points, and North Carolina squeezed past Albany to stagger into the second round of the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina trailed 28-23 at halftime and 48-44 with just under 10 minutes left before rallying behind Ruffin-Pratt, who scored 17 of the Tar Heels’ final 21 points – including two clinching free throws with 10.8 seconds left.
Waltiea Rolle had 14 points and 14 rebounds for North Carolina (29-6), which will next face sixth-seeded Delaware (31-3) tomorrow night.
No. 6 DELAWARE 66, No. 11 WEST VIRGINIA 53
Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points and led a second-half surge that carried Delaware past West Virginia.
Playing on their home floor before a sellout crowd, the Blue Hens trailed 33-26 at halftime before bouncing back to extend their school-record winning streak to 26 games.
Delaware (31-3) had never won an NCAA tournament game before last year. The Blue Hens have yet to reach the round of 16, a milestone they will seek to accomplish tomorrow night against North Carolina.
Delle Donne, a 6-foot-5 senior, scored 17 points after halftime. She finished 10-for-24 from the floor, went 12-for-13 at the foul line and had seven rebounds.
Ayana Dunning had 15 points and 10 rebounds for 11th-seeded West Virginia (17-14), which closed the season with a four-game losing streak.
No. 7 DAYTON 96, No. 10 ST. JOHN’S 90, 2OT
Andrea Hoover scored a career-high 24 points and Dayton outlasted St. John’s.
It was the first double overtime game in the tournament since 2000 when Vanderbilt beat Kansas.
Brittany Wilson hit a 3-pointer and Kelley Austria had a three-point play to make it 90-86 with 2:11 left in the second extra period. After St. John’s failed to score, Olivia Applewhite added a basket with 47 seconds left to seal the win.
The Red Storm (18-13) trailed by 13 with 5:30 left in regulation before rallying. Nadirah McKenith hit a layup with one-tenth of a second left in regulation to force OT. Dayton’s Amber Deane tied it with 15 seconds left in OT to force a second one
McKenith led her team with 22 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds before fouling out.
No. 2 DUKE 67, No. 15 HAMPTON 51
Tricia Liston scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half and Duke pulled away to beat Hampton.
Elizabeth Williams added 18 points and Haley Peters finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (31-2).
They watched Hampton trim their 19-point lead to six before recovering with a 23-8 run that gave them their 20th straight NCAA tournament-opening victory.
Keiara Avant had 18 points to lead 15th-seeded Hampton (28-6), and her jumper with just over 10 minutes left capped a furious 27-14 rally that pulled the Pirates to 46-40.
But Duke locked down defensively – forcing Hampton to miss 12 of its next 15 shots – and scored on five straight trips to regain some separation and end the Pirates’ 19-game winning streak.
No. 7 OKLAHOMA STATE 73, No. 10 DEPAUL 56
Toni Young scored 20 of her 25 points in the first half to help Oklahoma State beat DePaul.
Liz Donohoe added 14 points for the seventh-seeded Cowgirls (22-10), who blew nearly all of a 16-point lead before taking back control with a 13-0 run. Young also grabbed 13 rebounds.
Oklahoma State shot 46 percent to earn its first tournament win in three years, sending the Cowgirls to tomorrow night’s second round to face No. 2 seed and site host Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Anna Martin scored 12 points for the 10th-seeded Blue Demons (21-12).
NOTRE DAME 97, TENNESSEE-MARTIN 64
Jewell Loyd scored 27 points and top-seeded Notre Dame blew past Tennessee-Martin.
Kayla McBride had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Fighting Irish (32-1), who have won 27 straight heading into tomorrow’s second-round matchup with Iowa.
Heather Butler scored 23 of her season-high 37 points in the first half to keep UT-Martin (19-15) in the game. But Notre Dame closed the first half on an 11-0 run and jumped ahead 60-33 with 17 minutes left.
IOWA 69, MIAMI 53
Samantha Logic had 23 points with 11 rebounds and host Iowa beat eighth-seeded Miami, snapping a two-game losing streak in the NCAA tournament.
Melissa Dixon added 13 points in the second half for the Hawkeyes (21-12).
Iowa broke open a stalemate with an 18-3 run to jump ahead 58-44 with 7:07 left. Miami (21-11), which was up by seven early in the second half, shot just 3 of 19 from 3-point range and 30 percent overall.
Morgan Stroman had 15 points and Shawnice Wilson had 15 points and 18 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who committed 24 turnovers.
OKLAHOMA CITY REGIONAL
No. 4 PURDUE 77, No. 13 LIBERTY 43
Courtney Moses scored 21 points, shooting 5-of-8 from 3-point range, and Purdue routed Liberty.
The Boilermakers (25-8) improved to 19-1 in the first round with their 16th straight victory to open the tournament.
Liberty (27-7) hadn’t played a Big Ten team since 2005 when the Lady Flames beat Penn State for their first NCAA tournament win. Liberty had the nation’s best rebounding margin with a 17.5 advantage per game, but couldn’t beat Purdue on the boards in ending a 14-game winning streak.
Sam Ostarello had 10 points and 17 rebounds for Purdue. KK Houser added 15 points.
Devon Brown led Liberty with 21 points.
No. 5 LOUISVILLE 74, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 49
Shoni Schimmel scored 20 points, and fifth-seeded Louisville beat Middle Tennessee for its fifth straight opening NCAA tournament win under Coach Jeff Walz.
Louisville (25-8) will play No. 4 seed Purdue tomorrow night in the second round.
Middle Tennessee (25-8) had won seven in a row. The Blue Raiders have dropped six straight first-round NCAA games.
Monique Reid added 15 points for Louisville. Bria Smith had 10 points and 10 rebounds with six assists, while Jude Schimmel added 11 points.
The Cardinals now are 4-1 all-time against Middle Tennessee, and they jumped on the Blue Raiders from the start.
Kortni Jones led Middle Tennessee with 14 points, and Icelyn Elie added 13. Ebony Rowe had her 21st double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
FLORIDA STATE 60, PRINCETON 44
Leonor Rodriguez and Morgan Toles each scored 12 points and Florida State beat Princeton.
The Seminoles won their 10th straight first-round game and denied the Tigers their first NCAA tournament victory.
The eighth-seeded Seminoles (23-9) returned to the NCAAs a year after a seven-season tournament streak ended. Their last first-round loss – one of just two in school history – came in 1990.
Florida State will play No. 1 seed Baylor in the second round.
Niveen Rasheed nine points on 3-of-15 shooting for the Tigers (22-7).
BAYLOR 82, PRAIRIE VIEW A&M 40
Brittney Griner had 33 points, 10 rebounds, six blocks and another dunk, and defending champion Baylor opened the NCAA tournament with a rout of Prairie View A&M.
Griner’s record 15th dunk was the first of several plays that drew big roars from the crowd with the game well in hand in the second half. The Lady Bears (33-1), the overall No. 1 seed, won their 31st straight game since an early-season loss to Stanford, another top seed.
Gabrielle Scott led Prairie View (17-15) with 14 points off the bench.