Maryland overwhelms Alabama; dangerous Terps on to Sweet 16

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Maryland and its offensive juggernaut are rolling fast and easy into the Sweet 16, getting 19 points from Angel Reese and overwhelming Alabama 100-64 on Wednesday.

The second-seeded Terrapins (27-2) came into the women’s NCAA Tournament with the nation’s highest-scoring offense and have yet to take their foot off the gas. The Terps are averaging 99 points in their two tournament wins after scoring 91.3 per game in the regular season.

Maryland hit the 100-point mark for the seventh time this season. The Terps also played aggressive, suffocating defense against the seventh-seeded Crimson Tide.

Maryland advanced to play No. 6 Texas in the Hemisfair Region.

Jasmine Walker led Alabama (17-10) with 23 points.

TEXAS 71, UCLA 62

Celeste Taylor scored 24 points and Kyra Lambert added 17, leading Texas to the victory.

The start of the game was delayed about 25 minutes because Iowa State and Texas A&M went into overtime on the court on the other side of the Alamodome.

The long wait didn’t seem to bother Texas (20-9), which outscored the Bruins 22-6 in the second to go up 35-14 at halftime. That including holding UCLA (17-6) scoreless for nearly 6:30 minutes during a 12-0 run.

Michaela Onyenwere had 21 points for third-seeded UCLA.

ALAMO REGION

MISSOURI STATE 64, WRIGHT STATE 39

Elle Ruffridge had a career-high 20 points with five 3-pointers, Jasmine Franklin had a double-double and fifth-seeded Missouri State is going to its second consecutive Sweet 16 after knocking off Wright State.

The Lady Bears (23-2) pulled away in the second half when Ruffridge had 17 of her points. Franklin had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Ruffridge and Franklin are among nine current Lady Bears who were also part of the Sweet 16 team two years ago that lost to Stanford, the same team they will play in the Alamo Region semifinal Sunday.

Missouri State went ahead on two tiebreaking free throws by Brice Calip with 2 minutes left in the second quarter before Mya Bhinhar swished a 3-pointer for a 24-19 halftime lead. Sydney Manning’s 3-pointer capped a 12-3 run to start the second half. That trio was also on the last Sweet 16 team.

Angel Baker and Shamarre Hale each had 10 points for the 13th-seeded Raiders (19-8), who got outscored 40-20 after halftime.

OREGON 57, GEORGIA 50

Sedona Prince scored 22 points, Nyara Sabally took over late and sixth-seeded Oregon beat No. 3 Georgia to advance to its fourth straight Sweet 16.

Sabally scored six straight points — including a putback of her own missed shot — to break open a tie game and give the Ducks a 54-48 lead with less than a minute to go. She finished with 15 points, including 10 in the second half, and nine rebounds.

Oregon (15-8) is in the tournament for the 16th time overall, but this Ducks team came in less heralded than those led by Sabrina Ionescu, who missed out on her final chance at a national title last year because of the pandemic. Louisville awaits Oregon in the regional semifinals.

Jenna Staiti had 18 points and nine rebounds for Georgia (21-7), which was looking to reach its first Sweet 16 since 2013.

LOUISVILLE 62, NORTHWESTERN 53

Kianna Smith scored 16 points and No. 2 seed Louisville advanced to the Sweet 16 by rallying from an early 18-point deficit to beat seventh-seeded Northwestern.

The Cardinals (25-3) got off to another rough start, trailing 25-7 late in the first quarter. Louisville slowly started to chip away on offense and played stellar defense. The deficit was 40-28 midway through the third quarter before the Cardinals scored 17 straight points.

The Wildcats (16-9) closed to 53-50 on Jordan Hamilton’s 3-pointer with 3:26 left. They had a chance to move closer, but Veronica Burton missed two free throws 30 seconds later.

Hamilton scored 17 points for Northwestern.

MERCADO REGION

INDIANA 70, BELMONT 48

Grace Berger scored 17 points and Indiana used another suffocating defensive effort to beat Belmont, sending the fourth-seeded Hoosiers to the program’s first Sweet 16.

Belmont was the first Ohio Valley Conference team to win a tournament game since 1990, but its chances of becoming the fifth No. 12 seed to advance to the regional semifinals were smothered by the Hoosiers’ defense and the Bruins’ own dismal 3-point shooting through the first three quarters.

Indiana (20-5) was just as efficient on offense as four Hoosiers scored in double figures. Indiana advances to play North Carolina State, the No. 1 seed in the Mercado Region.

Destinee Wells scored 16 points to lead Belmont (21-6).

ARIZONA 52, BYU 46

Aari McDonald had 17 points with 11 rebounds and Arizona outlasted BYU, advancing to the Sweet 16 for the first time since coach Adia Barnes was a player for the Wildcats in 1998.

The third-seeded Wildcats (18-5) finally went ahead to stay on a 3-pointer by Sam Thomas with 3:47 left, not long after McDonald’s 3 cut their deficit to one. BYU (19-6) had matched its biggest lead of the game — four points — on a layup by Shaylee Gonzales with just over five minutes left.

McDonald, a second-team All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year, sealed the game when she stole the ball from Gonzales, the co-West Coast Conference player of the year, and drove for a layup with 3 seconds left. The Wildcats moved on to face Texas A&M.

Texas native Cate Reese had 12 points for Arizona, and Trinity Baptiste had 11 rebounds before fouling out.

Gonzales had 16 points for BYU. Tegan Graham had 13.

TEXAS A&M 84, IOWA STATE 82, OT

Jordan Nixon banked in a short jump shot at the buzzer in overtime, giving her a career-high 35 points and lifting No. 2 Texas A&M past seventh-seeded Iowa State.

Nixon scored seven of A&M’s nine points in OT, pushing the Aggies (25-2) into the Sweet 16 for the third straight time. She also led the rally in the fourth quarter, scoring the last four points of regulation.

A 3 by Lexi Donarski put the Cyclones up by two with two minutes left in overtime, and Nixon tied it with a layup a few seconds later. Ciera Johnson blocked a layup by Ashley Joens with 3 seconds left before Nixon drove into the lane and threw up the game-winner.

The dramatic finish comes after the Aggies narrowly escaped an upset bid by No. 15 seed Troy in the first round.

Joens had 32 points and 18 rebounds for the Cyclones (17-11), who went 16 for 30 from 3-point range. Donarski finished with 18 points.

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