South Carolina rolls to win in opener

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — No. 1 South Carolina picked up where it left off last season, opening a 17-0 lead and blowing past Charleston 119-38 in the season opener Wednesday for its 27th straight victory.

Victaria Saxton had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Zia Cooke scored 18 points as the Gamecocks overwhelmed the Cougars for their 10th straight series win.

South Carolina ended last season at No. 1 as the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament champion. The Gamecocks were strong favorites for a national title when the coronavirus pandemic shut down college sports last March.

The team’s goal this season — finish what it couldn’t last spring.

Taylor Williams led Charleston with nine points.

No. 2 STANFORD 108, CAL POLY 40

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Haley Jones scored on a layin 14 seconds into the game and wound up with 16 points and 10 rebounds playing for the first time in more than 10 months since a knee injury ended her freshman season early, leading Stanford past Cal Poly.

Hall of Fame Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer began her 35th season on The Farm by moving to 1,095 career wins — four from passing the late Pat Summitt’s 1,098 victories to become the all-time winningest NCAA Division-I women’s basketball coach.

Cal Poly senior forward Sierra Campisano was the lone player to score in double figures for the Mustangs with 13 points.

No. 4 BAYLOR 82, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 37

WACO, Texas (AP) — NaLyssa Smith had 25 points and 15 rebounds and was one of five players scoring in double figures for Baylor as the Lady Bears opened the season with a rout of Central Arkansas.

Moon Ursin finished with 10 points a month after being involved in a vicious mid-air collision with teammate DiDi Richards in practice. Ursin completed concussion protocol while Richards, the versatile senior who had been expected to be the starting point guard, is still recovering from a spinal nerve injury. It is still unclear when Richards will be able to play, but she was on the bench energetically supporting her teammates.

Jalisa Outlaw was the leader scorer for Central Arkansas with nine points.

No. 5 LOUISVILLE 74, SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE 53

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — Olivia Cochran scored 17 points and Dana Evans added 15 to help Louisville beat Southeast Missouri State.

Southeast Missouri State hung tough in the first quarter as the Cardinals only led 18-16 after one. Louisville then turned up its defense to extend the advantage to 38-24 at the half.

Tesia Thompson finished with 21 points for the Redhawks.

No. 8 N.C. STATE 93, NORTH FLORIDA 65

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Kai Crutchfield scored 21 points and No. 8 North Carolina State opened the season with impressive shooting in a victory against North Florida.

Jada Boyd had 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jakia Brown-Turner scored 13 points and Elissa Cunane posted 12 points for the Wolfpack.

Marissa Mackins scored 22 points, Tiffany Tolbert added 17 points and Erin Jones had 10 for North Florida.

No. 11 KENTUCKY 86, MURRAY STATE 60

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Chasity Patterson scored 30 points and No. 11 Kentucky, without its all-time winningest coach and first-ever preseason All-American, opened its season with a win over Murray State.

Matthew Mitchell, who is 303-133 in 13 seasons with the Wildcats, abruptly resigned less than two weeks ago for health reasons and two hours before the game interim head coach Kyra Elzy announced Rhyne Howard was suspended for two games “for not upholding the standards of the program.”

Howard, the only unanimous preseason All-American, averaged 23.4 points and 6.5 rebounds last year. Senior forward Tatyana Wyatt, also a starter, was suspended three games for violation of team rules.

Katelyn Young led the Racers with 14 points and 14 rebounds.

No. 13 TEXAS A&M 77, LAMAR 61

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — N’Dea Jones scored 25 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, Ciera Johnson also had a double-double and Texas A&M beat Lamar.

Jones notched her 27th career double-double and Johnson, with 18 points and 18 boards, recorded her 19th. Destiny Pitts added 11 points and five assists for Texas A&M, which shot 46% from the floor (26 of 56) but was just 3 of 17 from beyond the arc.

Jadyn Pimentel led Lamar with 13 points.

No. 14 ARKANSAS 96, ORAL ROBERTS 49

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Graduate transfer Destiny Slocum scored 22 points in her Arkansas debut and the No. 14 Razorbacks rolled to a win over Oral Roberts.

Slocum, who led Oregon State in scoring and assists last season, hit 9 of 14 shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, and had three assists.

Faith Paramore led Oral Roberts with 14 points off the bench.

No. 15 IOWA STATE 69, OMAHA 43

AMES (AP) — Ashley Joens scored 25 points and Iowa State opened its season with a victory over Omaha, though without head coach Bill Fennelly.

Joens shot 11 of 17 and grabbed seven rebounds. She had 17 points in the first half as the Cyclones shot out to a 33-22 lead before outscoring the Mavericks 21-9 in the third quarter.

Fennelly is in a 14-day quarantine after contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Associate head coach Jodi Steyer is handling head-coaching duties.

Josie Filer scored 10 points for Omaha.

No. 16 INDIANA 100, EASTERN KENTUCKY 51

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Mackenzie Holmes scored a career-high 26 points on perfect shooting from the floor, Grace Berger posted the first triple-double in program history and Indiana defeated Eastern Kentucky.

Berger had the program’s first triple-double in the books before the start of the fourth quarter with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

Amerah Steele led the Colonels with 13 points

No. 25 MICHIGAN 93, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 75

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Naz Hillmon scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Leigha Brown added 22 points and Michigan pulled away for a 93-75 season-opening win over Central Michigan.

Hillmon went 11 for 13 from the field and Brown 9 of 13 as the Wolverines shot 62%.

The Chippewas, preseason favorites in the Mid-American Conference, were led by reigning Player of the Year Micaela Kelly with 30 points, moving her up two spots to sixth on the CMU career list with 1,559. Molly Davis added 24.

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More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25.

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