Top 25 Capsules
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Grace Hunter scored 16 points, Kai Crutchfield added 15 and No. 17 North Carolina State used a big run in the fourth quarter to defeat Belmont 77-62 in the season-opener for both teams Wednesday night.
The Wolfpack, who have won 16 straight openers, led 55-52 after three quarters and twice swapped baskets with the Bruins before Hunter knocked down a jumper. Crutchfield followed with a 3-pointer and another jumper before Aislinn Konig drilled a 3. The same trio scored the next eight points with Hunter finishing the 18-0 surge for a 77-56 lead with 2:54 to play.
Belmont, which went 31-4 and won the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament for the third straight year to make the NCAA Tournament, missed seven shots and had three turnovers during the more than five-minute drought.
Jenny Roy had 14 points and Ellie Harmeyer and Darby Maggard 13 each for Belmont.
No. 20 TEXAS A&M 65, RICE 54
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Chennedy Carter scored 22 points, Aaliyah Wilson and Kayla Wells combined for 34 and Texas A&M defeated Rice in the season opener for both teams.
Carter, last season’s national freshman of the year, opened the scoring with a tip-in and scored the last four points from the foul line in a 13-1 start. The Owls opened the scoring in the second quarter to make an 8-0 run that pulled them within four but Carter scored the first six of an 8-0 answer.
Carter had 14 points and Wilson scored 11 of her 18 points in the first half that ended with the Aggies on top 28-18. Rice got back within three with 2½ minutes left in the third quarter, but Carter and Wells, who had 16 points, scored the final six points for some separation. A&M made 7 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter to preserve the win.
Erica Ogwumike led the Owls with 12 points.