South Carolina rolls past Presbyterian 91-39

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Chloe Kitts tied her career high with 21 points on 9-of-9 shooting as No. 1 overall seed South Carolina easily overcame the absence of starters Kamilla Cardoso and Bree Hall to beat No. 16 seed Presbyterian 91-39 in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Friday.

The Gamecocks (33-0) moved five wins away from the 10th perfect championship season by overwhelming the Blue Hose (21-15) of the Big South Conference for a second time this season. Next comes another rematch against No. 8 seed North Carolina on Sunday. The Tar Heels gave up almost all of a 16-point lead before holding on to defeat No. 9 seed Michigan State earlier Friday.

Kitts also had a game-high 13 rebounds for her fifth double double this season. Te-Hina Paopao had 18 points and freshman MiLaysia Fulwiley scored 17 for South Carolina, which moved to 12-0 in NCAA openers under coach Dawn Staley.

South Carolina played without Cardoso, their leading scorer, while she served a one-game suspension for her ejection for fighting last time out at the SEC Tournament finals on March 10.



CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Raegan Beers had 19 points and nine rebounds before she was hurt at the end of the third quarter and third-seeded Oregon State advanced to the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament with a victory over No. 14 Eastern Washington.

Oregon State (25-7) will play sixth-seeded Nebraska. The winner of Sunday’s game will head to the Sweet Sixteen in Albany, New York.

Beers, who was averaging 17.7 points an 10.4 rebounds this season, fell to the court as time expired in the third quarter, clutching her right ankle and crying in pain. The 6-foot-4 forward was able to stand on her own and limped to the locker room. She later returned to the bench but did not play again.

Dominika Paurova added 17 points for the Beavers, who trailed early but took control of the game in the second quarter and led by as many as 25 points in front of a packed-orange-clad home crowd.

Jamie Loera had 21 points for the Eagles (29-6), who won the Big Sky conference tournament to earn just their second NCAA Tournament appearance.


CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Alexis Markowski had 16 points and six rebounds and sixth-seeded Nebraska won its first NCAA Tournament game since 2014 by barely holding off No. 11 Texas A&M.

Nebraska (23-22) will play third-seeded Oregon State on Sunday. The Beavers (25-7) overcame a slow start to defeat No. 14 Eastern Washington 73-51 in the earlier game Friday night. The winner Sunday heads to the Sweet Sixteen in Albany, New York.

Logan Nissley also had 16 points for Nebraska. Senior Jaz Shelley, who averaged 13.7 points and 5.6 assists this season, had five points while adding five rebounds and six assists.

Aicha Coulibaly had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Texas A&M (19-12), which finished fifth in the SEC and earned an at-large bid in this year’s women’s tournament.

The Huskers led by as many as 17 points, but Coulibaly’s short jumper got Texas A&M within 56-54 with 4:34 left. Endyia Rogers made a pair of free throws to tie it at 66.

Markowski’s layup under the basket put Nebraska in front before Coulibaly’s layup and free throw gave the Aggies the lead with 17.7 seconds to go.

The Huskers regained the lead on Nissley’s free throws. Shelley made the first of a pair with 1.7 seconds to make it 61-59.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Deja Kelly had 13 points and No. 8 seed North Carolina held off a late run by No. 9 seed Michigan State for a victory to start the NCAA Tournament.

Maria Gakdeng had 17 points and 10 rebounds while Alyssa Ustby had 16 points and 17 rebounds, no grab bigger than pulling down Kelly’s final free throw miss with 3.2 seconds left as the clock ran out.

It looked like the Tar Heels (20-12) had this sewn up, opening a 16-point lead early and still leading 54-42 with 3:22 to go. But the Spartans (22-9) had a final rally in them and cut things to 57-56 on Theryn Hallock’s 3-pointer from the right corner with 5.4 seconds to go.

But that was as close as they got as Kelly did just enough at the foul line as North Carolina won its third-straight opening NCAA game.


NO. 8 LSU 70, RICE 60

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Angel Reese had 10 points and 19 rebounds, and third-seeded LSU overcame a feisty performance by No. 14 seed Rice for a victory in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Aneesah Morrow added 15 points, while Flau’Jae Johnson and Mikaylah Williams each scored 14 for the defending national champion Tigers (29-5), who had a hard time putting the away the Owls (19-15), in no small part because they committed a season-high 24 turnovers.

Rice surprisingly got into the NCAA Tournament by winning four straight in the American Athletic tournament after having lost their last five regular season games. And they didn’t make anything easy on LSU, which didn’t lead by more than 11 all game and was up by just six after Maya Bokunewicz’s left side 3 and Sussy Ngulefac’s layup made it 62-56 with 1:56 left.

Destiny Jackson scored 15 and Malia Fisher had 13 points and three steals for Rice. Ngulefac and Emily Klaczek each scored 10 points.


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Gabby Gregory had 22 points and Ayoka Lee scored 21 to lead Kansas State to a win over Portland in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

The fourth-seeded Wildcats built a big first-half lead and then kept the No. 13 seed Pilots at an arm’s reach the rest of the game. They led 40-28 at halftime.

K-State will face Colorado on Sunday in the second round.

Serena Sundell added 16 points for Kansas State (26-7).

Portland (21-13) was led by Maisie Burnham, who had 17 of her 21 points in the second half. The Pilots also got 12 points from Kianna Hamilton-Fisher.


MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Aaronette Vonleh had 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead fifth-seeded Colorado to a victory over 12th-seed Drake in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

The Buffaloes will face fourth-seeded Kansas State in the second round Sunday.

Colorado (23-9) also got 16 points from Jaylyn Sherrod and Kindyll Wetta, and Maddie Nolan had 12. The Buffs held a 39-18 advantage on the boards.

Drake (29-6) got 24 points from Katie Dinnebier. Courtney Becker added 14 and Taylor McAulay had 13.


BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Savannah Wheeler scored 20 of her 22 points in the second half, and No. 11 seed Middle Tennessee overcame an 18-point, second quarter deficit to defeat sixth-seeded Louisville.

Jalynn Gregory scored 24 for MTSU (30-4), which won its 20th straight game and has not lost since falling to Grand Canyon on Dec. 30. The Blue Raiders matched the third largest comeback in the opening rounds in tournament history.

Center Anastasiia Boldyreva had 11 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Blue Raiders, who advanced to the second round of the tournament for the fifth time and first since 2007.

MTSU will play Sunday against No. 3 seed LSU.

Olivia Cochran had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Nina Rickards scored 12 points for Louisville (24-10), which nearly came back from an eight-point deficit in the final two minutes. The Cardinals had advance to five straight regional finals before this season.



COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jacy Sheldon had 19 points and three other Ohio State players scored in double figures as the Buckeyes ran away from Maine in an opening game of the womens’ NCAA Tournament.

The bigger and faster Buckeyes (26-5) swarmed Maine (24-10) with a stifling press, forcing 22 turnovers. Second-seeded Ohio State advances to play Duke on Sunday.

Cotie McMahon scored 13 for Ohio State, and Celeste Taylor and Taylor Thierry each added 12. Sheldon scored her 2,000th career point with a layup late in the first half.

Anne Simon led Maine with 25 points and Olivia Rockwood had 15.


BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Matilda Ekh scored 21 points to lead No. 13 Virginia Tech to a victory over Marshall.

The Hokies won without star center Elizabeth Kitley, who is out for the tournament with a torn ACL.

Ekh connected on 6 of 9 from the floor and hit five 3-pointers for the Hokies (25-7), who set a school record by winning their 26th consecutive game at Cassell Coliseum.

Starting in place of Kitley, Clara Strack had 17 points and Carleigh Wenzel added 13 for Virginia Tech, which never trailed.

Abby Beeman scored 12 points for Marshall (26-7), which saw its 10-game winning streak snapped.


BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Bella Fontleroy scored 19 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lift fifth-seeded Baylor to a victory over No. 12 Vanderbilt in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Friday.

Fontleroy hit 6 of 12, including four 3-pointers, for the Bears (25-7), who broke open a close game at halftime with a dominating third quarter in winning for the seventh time in their past eight games.

Sarah Andrews added 13 points, and Darianna Littlepage-Buggs had 11 for Baylor.

Iyana Moore led the Commodores (23-10) with 15 points, but made just 3 of 14 from the floor.

Baylor, making its 20th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, led 41-34 at halftime, but shot 61.1% (11 of 18) and outscored the Commodores 28-15 in the third quarter. The Bears held Vanderbilt to just one field goal in the final 6:32 of the quarter.


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Reigan Richardson scored 25 points and had seven rebounds as Duke rallied in the second half to overtake Richmond.

No. 7 seed Duke (21-11) advances to play Ohio State on Sunday.

The Blue Devils battled back from a nine-point deficit at halftime, going ahead 42-41 with 4:42 left in the third quarter and never relinquishing the lead again.

Ashlon Jackson added 14 points and Kennedy Brown had 10 for Duke.

Grace Townsend led Richmond (29-6) with 18 points, Addie Budnik had 17 and Maggie Doogan added 15.



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Shaylee Gonzales scored 21 points, Taylor Jones added 18 and No. 1 seed Texas beat No. 16 Drexel in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Gonzales converted 5 of 6 3-point attempts while matching her season-high in scoring. Jones hit 7 of 11 shots inside for the Longhorns, who have won 13 of their last 14 games.

Drexel (19-15) had only one starter taller than 6 feet — 6-2 Hedda Staatman. Texas (31-4), rotating four post players who are between 6-1 and 6-4 most of the game, outscored Drexel 44-18 in the paint and 22-6 on second-chance points thanks to a 26-10 edge in offensive rebounding.

Texas’ dominance inside eventually resulted in open 3-pointers for Gonzales. She made three in the third third quarter without missing.

Freshman Madison Booker had a season-best 14 assists for Texas, and DeYona Gaston had 11 points and 10 rebounds — eight on offense. Guard Shay Holle had seven rebounds, four blocks, three steals.

Amaris Baker led Drexel with 10 points. The Dragons shot 35% and committed 21 turnovers.


STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Cameron Brink had 17 points, 15 rebounds and blocked six more shots to add to her nation-leading total, and No. 2 seed Stanford beat 15th-seeded Norfolk State.

Kiki Iriafen added 17 points and nine rebounds, while Elena Bosgana scored a career-high 18 points and Hannah Jump had 13 with four 3-pointers for the Cardinal (29-5) as they looked determined and focused coming off a 74-61 loss to USC in the Pac-12 Tournament championship.

Diamond Johnson scored 19 points, but missed all eight of her 3s for Norfolk State (27-6), which was held to seven points in the second quarter as both teams endured scoring droughts and trailed 32-19 at halftime. Johnson dealt with apparent leg cramping at the 5:29 mark of the fourth and was helped onto the bench.

Stanford advances to face seventh-seeded Iowa State (21-11) on Sunday for a spot in the Portland Regional


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Freshman Essence Cody had season highs with 20 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 8 seed Alabama defeated No. 9 Florida State.

Working inside, the 6-foot-4 Cody more than doubled her average of eight points a game. She also blocked four shots.

Cody made a layup on a pick-and-roll to give Alabama (24-9) a 74-69 lead with 2:33 left.

O’Mariah Gordon quickly countered with a 3-pointer for Florida State (23-11), but Aaliyah Nye — who finished with 18 points — made a 3 of her own for Alabama with 1:21 remaining.

Alabama, which shot 5 of 6 from the foul line in the final 44 seconds, will face No. 1 seed Texas on Sunday.

Ta’Niya Latson led Florida State (23-11) with 25 points and five assists. Makayla Timpson had 23 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks.


STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Freshman Audi Crooks scored a career-high 40 points on 18-for-20 shooting in her sensational NCAA Tournament debut, and No. 7-seed Iowa State hit all the big shots in the second half to rally from 20 points down and beat 10th-seeded Maryland.

The 20-point comeback marked the second-largest all-time in an NCAA Tournament game trailing only Texas A&M overcoming a 21-point deficit to beat Penn in 2017.

Emily Ryan knocked down a key 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining and finished with 18 points while dishing out 14 assists as Iowa State (21-11) kept pounding the ball inside to the ever-reliable Crooks — even when it led to a handful of late turnovers.

Crooks, the program’s first freshman to earn AP All-America honors with her honorable mention selection this week, came in leading the team averaging 18.9 points and 7.7 rebounds and became the 16th player to score 40 or more this season. She had 12 rebounds against Maryland (19-14).

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