March Madness for women’s basketball is three days in, and two D.C. region teams clinched their spots into the Sweet 16.
The Virginia Tech Hokies took care of business against South Dakota State to get their second Sweet 16 appearance in the school’s history.
The Maryland Terrapins were in a tough battle against Arizona, but took control in the second half to beat the Wildcats.
Here’s what you need to know about day three for local teams in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
Seattle Regional 3 Bracket: No. 1 Virginia Tech defeats No. 9 South Dakota State, 72-60
The Virginia Tech Hokies did its part from start to finish to hold off South Dakota State 72-60 on its home court. George Amore led the team with 21 points and Elizabeth Kitley had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the team’s 13th straight victory. Additionally, Kitley became the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots, setting the tone on the defensive end.
Speaking of defense, the Hokies held the Jackrabbits to 37.3% shooting from the floor, which pleased the home crowd.
“To be able to give back to them, when they’ve stuck with us and been patient with us, it’s special,” said head coach Kenny Brooks.
In addition to going to their second Sweet 16 in school history, the Hokies snapped the Jackrabbits’ 22-game winning streak.
They won their 29th game of the season, surpassing the 1998-99 team that won 28 games — which ironically was the last time they went to the Sweet 16.
Now, they will be awaiting the winner of the Toledo vs. Tennessee game on Monday.
Read more on Virginia Tech’s victory here.
Greenville Regional 1 Bracket: No. 2 Maryland defeats No. 7 Arizona, 77-64
Another team taking care of business at home was the Maryland Terrapins, beating Arizona 77-64 to go to their third straight Sweet 16, even though it wasn’t easy. They were trailing by a point at halftime, but took it to a whole ‘nother level in the second half against the Wildcats.
Diamond Miller, who is the team’s second-team All-American, took over the game by scoring 13 of her 24 points in the third quarter, after only scoring four points in the first half.
She also got help from her teammates with Shyanne Sellers scoring 15 points and Faith Masonius adding 12, while giving maximum effort on the defensive end.
“You saw she was exhausted. Like that’s what it looks like when you empty the tank and leave it all out there and why she is the winner that she is,” head coach Brenda Frese said.
This game was a reunion for Frese’s alma mater Arizona where she played, graduating in 1993.
Now, her Terrapin squad is in the Sweet 16 for the 11th time under her stewardship. They will take on Notre Dame, a team they beat on Dec. 1 on a game-winning buzzer-beating shot by Miller, who scored 31 points in that game.
Read more on Maryland’s victory here.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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