The Women’s NCAA Tournament kicked off with an eventful Day 1, when the top players got off to a strong start. You missed this:
CONNECTICUT 102, HIGH POINT 59
SAN ANTONIO UConn did fine without coach Geno Auriemma, with Paige Bueckers scoring 24 points to lead the top-seeded Huskies to a 102-59 victory at High Point on Sunday evening in the first round of the Women’s NCAA tournament.
Auriemma is recovering from the coronavirus and missed the opener. Associate head coach Chris Dailey filled in for the Hall of Famer, which will also miss Tuesday’s second-round match against Syracuse in the River Walk region.
Dailey comes in for Auriemma 11-0 during their time together at UConn (25-1). The Huskies also missed assistant coach Shea Ralph, who left San Antonio after one of her relatives contracted COVID-19.
Olivia Nelson-Ododa added 22 points.
Skyler Curran led the Panthers (22-7) with 14 points.
– Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 22, 2021
SYRACUSE 72, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 55
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Emily Engstler scored 18 points and eighth-seeded Syracuse pulled away to beat ninth-seeded South Dakota State.
Engstler made three 3-pointers for Syracuse in the fourth quarter (15-8).
Paiton Burckhard had 17 points for South Dakota State (21-4).
BAYLOR 101, JACKSON STATE 52
Moon Ursin scored a career-high 24 points and second-seeded Baylor sent Jackson State.
All-American NaLyssa Smith added 18 points in 8-of-9 shooting and had 10 rebounds for the Bears (26-2). They will take on Virginia Tech in the second round.
Keshuna Luckett led the 15th seeded Tigers (19-6) with 15 points.
VIRGINIA TECH 70, MARQUETTE 63
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) Elizabeth Kitley had 23 points and seventh seed Virginia Tech built a big lead to hold off tenth seed Marquette.
Kitley also had eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks for Virginia Tech (9-15).
Van Kleunen led Marquette (19-7) with 18 points.
TENNESSEE 87, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 62
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Rennia Davis had 24 points and 14 rebounds and No. 3 seed Tennessee used a dominant second half to beat 14th-seeded Middle Tennessee.
Rae Burrell scored 22 points and Jordan Walker had nine points and 14 rebounds for Tennessee (17-7). The Vols outperformed the Blue Raiders (17-8) 56-21.
Tennessee takes on Michigan in the second round.
Anastasia Hayes scored 26 points for Middle Tennessee.
MICHIGAN 87, FLORIDA GULF COAST 66
Leigha Brown scored 28 points, including 17 straight for sixth-seeded Michigan, and the Wolverines defeated 11th seed Florida Gulf Coast.
Big Ten player of the year Naz Hillmon finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Wolverines (15-5).
Kierstan Bell had 25 points for Florida Gulf Coast (26-3). The Eagles have won 15 in a row.
KENTUCKY 71, IDAHO STATE 63
Rhyne Howard and Chasity Patterson each scored 14 runs and fourth-seeded Kentucky beat 13th-seeded Idaho State.
Blair Green added 10 points for the Wildcats (18-8). They play against Iowa in the second round.
Diaba Konate led the Big Sky champion Bengals (22-4) with 16 points.
IOWA 87, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 72
Freshman Caitlin Clark, the nation’s leading goalscorer, had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, and fifth-seeded Iowa beat twelfth-seeded Central Michigan.
Monika Czinano also scored 23 points for Iowa (19-9).
Micaela Kelly had 23 points for Central Michigan (18-9).
The women #Mart madness tips today!
Here are some Canadians to watch out for. pic.twitter.com/7WKukqidLs
– Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 21, 2021
STANFORD 87, UTAH VALLEY 44
Kiana Williams scored 20 points as she became Stanford’s career leader in 3-pointers and the top-seeded cardinal overwhelmed Utah Valley.
Stanford was never left behind after Williams, who made 6-of-11 from outside the arch, hit a 3 for the first basket in the first minute to match the school mark of 295 held by Candice Wiggins. Playing in her hometown and with her parents in the stands, Williams set the record with her second 3 halfway through the first quarter, putting the Cardinal at 18-3.
Lacie Hull added 12 points for Pac-12 champion Stanford (26-2), the No. 1 overall seed for the first time since 1996. The Cardinals will face Oklahoma State in the second round.
Josie Williams had 18 points for Utah Valley (13-7).
Natasha Mack had 27 points and 15 rebounds in eighth-seeded Oklahoma State’s victory over ninth-seeded Wake Forest.
Mack was 13 of 22 off the field for Oklahoma State (19-8). Ja’Mee Asberry added 18 points with four 3-pointers.
Christina Morra led Wake Forest (12-13) with 18 points.
SOUTH CAROLINA 79, MERCER 53
South Carolina coach Dawn Staley took her 500th career win when Aliyah defeated Boston and top-seed Gamecocks Mercer.
Staley is 328-102 in 13 seasons in South Carolina, after 172-80 in eight seasons in Temple.
Boston had 20 points and 18 rebounds for South Carolina (23-4). Victaria Saxton also scored 20 points.
The Gamecocks were national champions in 2017, when the Final Four was last played in Texas. They finished 32-1 last season, were number 1 for the last 10 weeks and Staley was the AP coach of the year, but had no chance for another title as the NCAA tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
The Gamecocks play in the second round against Oregon State.
Amoria Neal-Tysor had 15 points ahead of Mercer (19-7).
OREGON STATE 83, FLORIDA STATE 59
Aleah Goodman had 24 points, five rebounds, five assists, and zero turnovers, and eighth-seeded Oregon State defeated ninth-seeded Florida State.
Taylor Jones added 18 points and eight rebounds for Oregon State (12-7).
Bianca Jackson had 17 points for Florida State (10-9).
GEORGIA TECH 54, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 52, OT
Lorela Cubaj recovered from a scary fall to score 14 runs, including the free throws in extra times, and fifth seed Georgia Tech overcame a 17-run halftime deficit to beat 12th seed Stephen F. Austin.
The Yellow Jackets (16-8) take on West Virginia in the second round.
Avery Brittingham had 16 points with 13 rebounds for the Ladyjacks (24-3).
WEST VIRGINIA 77, LEHIGH 53
Kysre Gondrezick scored 26 runs and fourth-seeded West Virginia defeated 13th-seeded Lehigh.
Kirsten Deans had 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists for West Virginia (22-6).
Emma Grothaus scored 14 points for Lehigh (11-5).
NC STATE 79, NORTH CAROLINA A&T 58
SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) Jada Boyd scored 15 of her 18 runs in the second half and best-seeded North Carolina State overcame a slow start, beating 16th-seeded North Carolina.
NC State (21-2) made its fourth straight tournament appearance and 26th overall, but earned a No. 1 seed for the first time. NC State will play against South Florida in the second round.
Chanin Scott led NC A&T (14-3) with 23 points.
SOUTH FLORIDA 57, WASHINGTON STATE 53
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Elena Tsineke scored 18 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:32 remaining, to help South Florida beat Washington State.
Tsineke’s moving shot, which came shortly after a 3-pointer from Washington State by Charlisse Leger-Walker, gave the eighth seeded Bulls (19-3) a 54-53 lead.
Leger-Walker had 19 points for the ninth seeded Cougars (12-12).
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