0

SUNDAY'S NCAA WOMEN'S TOURNEY ROUNDUP: UConn blows out Southern

Photo by Scott Chancey

Photo by Scott Chancey

NORFOLK, Va. -- Tina Charles scored 22 points and Maya Moore added 21 to help No. 1 Connecticut beat Southern University 95-39 in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament Sunday.

Charles made her first nine shots for the Huskies (34-0), who extended their record winning streak to 73 games. UConn has won all of them by double digits.

Southern (23-9) actually led 2-0 after a short bank shot by Freda Allen, but the Huskies immediately asserted themselves with a 15-2 burst. After consecutive 3-pointers pulled the Jaguars within 20-12, Connecticut got points from seven players in an 18-4 run and coasted the rest of the way.

Hannah Kador led the Jaguars with 10 points, but shot just 3 for 22.

No. 2 OHIO STATE 93, No. 15 ST. FRANCIS 59: Jantel Lavender dominated inside for Ohio State with 23 points and 16 rebounds against smaller Saint Francis, Pa. and the Buckeyes opened up a 27-point lead before halftime during a rout.

Lavender, the three-time Big Ten player of the year, starting guard Tayler Hill and two reserves became ill after eating sandwiches following practice Saturday, but the Buckeyes weren't slowed by the sickness or by St. Francis.

The Buckeyes (31-4) reeled off runs of 11-0, 19-2 and 13-3 before halftime, taking control from the start and never allowing the Red Flash (17-15) to build any confidence or momentum.

Britney Hodges and Brittany Lilley scored 16 points and Samantha Leach had 14 for Saint Francis, which is 0-10 in NCAA play, losing each time by at least 15 points.

No. 4 IOWA STATE 79, No. 13 LEHIGH 42: Anna Prins scored 21 points and Iowa State celebrated Alison Lacey's return to the lineup with a victory over Lehigh.

Lacey, who missed the previous four games with pneumonia, looked healthy while playing 29 minutes. The all-Big 12 guard had seven points, seven assists and four rebounds as the fourth-seeded Cyclones (24-7) moved into a second-round game Tuesday night against No. 12 seed Wisconsin-Green Bay, which upset Virginia 69-67.

Chelsea Poppens added 18 points and Kelsey Bolte 12 for Iowa State, which scored the first 12 points and was never threatened in snapping Lehigh's 16-game winning streak.

Emily Gratch had 12 points to lead Lehigh (29-4), the Patriot League champion. Patriot League teams have lost 18 straight NCAA tournament games.

No. 12 WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY 69, No. 5 VIRGINIA 67: Celeste Hoewisch scored 23 points and Wisconsin-Green Bay let most of a 16-point lead slip away before holding on to beat Virginia.

After it appeared the Phoenix (28-4) would win in a rout, fifth-seeded Virginia forced a slew of turnovers by turning up its defensive pressure and cut the lead to 64-63 on Ariana Moorer's two free throws with 32.7 seconds left.

But Wisconsin-Green Bay steadied just enough to make five free throws in the closing seconds to move into the second round.

It was a disappointing ending for Virginia's Monica Wright, the ACC player of the year and the school's career scoring leader. Wright did her part with 34 points and nine rebounds, but didn't get the help she needed from her teammates.

No. 7 MISSISSIPPI ST 68, No. 10 MTSU 64: Alexis Rack and Chanel Mokango led a frantic rally as Mississippi State, down nine points to Middle Tennessee State and national scoring leader Alysha Clark with 41/2 minutes remaining, surged back for a victory.

The Bulldogs (20-12) will meet Ohio State (31-4) on Tuesday in a rematch of the Buckeyes' 64-58 victory in Columbus in the second round last season. Ohio State beat St. Francis, Pa., 93-59 earlier Sunday.

Rack and Mokango teamed for all but six of Mississippi State's 40 points in the second half as the Bulldogs came back from deficits of as many as 15 points in the first half and 10 points in the second half. Rack scored 21 after missing all four of her shots in the first half and Mokango added 20 points.

No. 8 TEMPLE 65, No. 9 JAMES MADISON 53: Qwedia Wallace scored 21 points and Temple beat James Madison, setting up a matchup with coach Tonya Cardoza's mentor.

Kristen McCarthy and LaKeisha Eaddy added 15 points each for Temple (25-8), which gained its first victory in the tournament since it beat Nebraska in opening round in 2007.

James Madison (26-7), which came in on an eight-game winning streak, fell behind early and spent the entire game trying to get back to even. The Dukes never quite got there.

Dawn Evans led the James Madison with 18 points and Tarik Hislop had 14.

SACRAMENTO REGIONAL

No. 3 XAVIER 94, No. 14 ETSU 82: Xavier avoided an unprecedented upset on its home court Sunday, following the inside domination by Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips en route to a victory over East Tennessee State.

No third-seeded team has ever lost to a No. 14. Xavier (28-3) overcame a flurry of ETSU 3s and a late surge to get its first NCAA tournament win since 2001.

Harris, the Atlantic 10's player of the year, had a season-high 31 points. Phillips had 23 points and 21 rebounds, helping Xavier dominate the boards 52-34.

Undersized ETSU (23-9) made 15 3-pointers and got a career-high 30 points from Tarita Gordon, whose jumper cut it to 81-80 with 2:45 left. Harris and Phillips took it from there.

No. 6 VANDY 83, No. 11 DEPAUL 76: Merideth Marsh scored nine of her 26 points in overtime Sunday, rallying Vanderbilt to a victory over DePaul.

Marsh became Vanderbilt's career 3-point leader in the first half, when the Commodores (23-10) pulled ahead by 11. The Blue Demons (21-12) made a comeback behind point guard Sam Quigley, who sat most of the half with three fouls.

With the score tied at 64, both teams missed shots in the final minute of regulation. Marsh had a three-point play and a fastbreak layup as Vanderbilt ran off the first 11 points in overtime. Anna Martin led DePaul with 20 points.

Vanderbilt is making its 11th straight NCAA tournament appearance, trying to reach the round of 16 for the fifth time in seven years.

KANSAS CITY REGIONAL

No. 1 NEBRASKA 83, No. 16 NO. IOWA 44: Kelsey Griffin had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Nebraska to an easy win over Northern Iowa.

Dominique Kelley added 11 points for the Cornhuskers (31-1), the top-seeded team in the Kansas City regional.

Lizzie Boeck had 10 points and eight rebounds for Northern Iowa (17-16), one day after the Panthers men's team busted brackets across the country by beating No. 1 Kansas in the second round of the tournament.

After a shaky start, the Huskers bounced back from a loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 tournament semifinals to show that they are still a team to be reckoned with.

Nebraska forced 17 turnovers and outscored the Panthers 22-7 in the first nine minutes of the second half to blow the game open.

No. 2 NOTRE DAME 86, No. 15 CLEVELAND ST 58: Becca Bruszewski scored 14 points, Ashley Barlow added 13 and Notre Dame overcame a 31-point performance by Cleveland State's Kailey Klein, including 21 in the first half, to beat the Vikings.

Stephanie Crosley scored a layup for Cleveland State (19-14) for the game's first basket and added another shot inside with 73 seconds left in the first half. In between, Klein scored all of the Vikings' other points in the half.

It wasn't enough, though, as the Fighting Irish (28-5) cruised to the victory after losing to Minnesota at home in the opening round of last year's NCAA tournament. Notre Dame will host Vermont (27-6) in the second round Tuesday night.

No. 3 OKLHOMA 68, No. 14 SO. DAKOTA ST 57: Nyeshia Stevenson scored 17 points, Abi Olajuwon added 15 and Oklahoma held on through a late dry spell on its home floor to beat South Dakota State.

The Sooners (24-10) managed only one basket in the final 7 minutes as their offense stalled against the Jackrabbits' zone defense. But No. 14 seed South Dakota State (22-11) couldn't close the gap quickly enough, and Oklahoma moved into the second round for the fifth straight year and the ninth time in the last 11 seasons.

Coming off a Final Four appearance last season, the Sooners could never deliver a knockout punch in the second half against the Summit League champions.

Kristin Rotert scored 13 points and Maria Boever had 12 for South Dakota State, which got within seven down the stretch.

No. 10 VERMONT 64, No. 7 WISCONSIN 55: Courtnay Pilypaitis scored 25 points, May Kotsopoulos added 14 and Vermont survived squandering a 14-point lead in the first half to beat Wisconsin, the Catamounts' first NCAA tournament victory in six tries.

The Catamounts (27-6) bucked the trend of the higher seed winning in this year's tournament by overcoming missing their first nine shots of the second half. Wisconsin (21-11) opened the second half on a 12-0 run to go ahead 37-33.

But the Badgers, who had come back from double-digit deficits three times this season, couldn't hold off the Catamounts. After Kotsopoulos hit a 3 to tie the score at 39, Pilypaitis scored on a layup, then added another basket 19 seconds later.

After Alyssa Karel hit a 3 for Wisconsin, Vermont went on a 9-2 run to extend the lead to 55-46. Wisconsin never got closer than four points.

No. 8 UCLA 74, No. 9 NC STATE 54: Jasmine Dixon powered UCLA with 17 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Bruins to a victory over North Carolina State.

Erica Tukiainen was the catalyst from the outside with 12 points on three 3-pointers, and UCLA (25-8) pulled away down the stretch in the second half with a flurry of steals and fast-break layups.

The Bruins will play top-seeded Nebraska in the second round on Tuesday at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.

Marissa Kastanek had 21 points and Nikitta Gartrell added 13 points for North Carolina State (20-14). Ten of Gartrell's points came in the first 13 minutes.

UCLA's only losses since mid-January are to Pac-10 rival and No. 1 seed Stanford. The Bruins went 14 for 15 from the free throw line.

MEMPHIS REGIONAL

No. 3 WEST VIRGINIA 58, No. 14 LAMAR 43: Liz Repella had 15 points and 11 rebounds and West Virginia bolted to a big early lead and cruised to a win over Lamar.

West Virginia (29-5) dominated the rebounding 48-28 and pushed around much smaller Lamar the entire game. Lamar (26-8) started three players under 6-feet in its first NCAA tournament game since 1991.

Sarah Miles had 11 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals for the Mountaineers, who never trailed and raced to a 19-3 lead.

Defensively, West Virginia held Lamar's 5-2 point guard Jenna Plumley, an Oklahoma transfer and Southland Conference player of the year, to nine points on 3 of 11 shooting before she fouled out. Plumley had made 6 3-pointers for the Sooners in a tournament game on the same court in 2007.

No. 11 SAN DIEGO ST 74, No. 6 TEXAS 63: Jene Morris scored 32 points and San Diego State stunned Texas on the Longhorns' home court.

Morris put on a dazzling display of 3-point shooting and quick-burst drives to the basket that tormented Texas the entire game. She made four 3-pointers as the Aztecs (22-10) built a 19-point lead in the first half, then made the big shots and plays again in the second to put down Texas rallies.

It was the second year in a row San Diego State has pulled off a first-round upset. The Aztecs were a No. 10 seed when they beat No. 7 DePaul last season.

Freshman center Cokie Reed scored 16 for Texas (22-11), which couldn't get anything going in front of the home fans. The Longhorns shot 33 percent, including 1 of 13 from 3-point range.