NCAA women’s newcomer Arizona advances
Arizona worked its gameplan to perfection in its first ever appearance in the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
Marte Alexander scored 21 points and Lisa Griffith added 18 as the Wildcats routed Western Kentucky 76-54 Friday night in the first round of the NCAA West Regional at Athens, Ga.
``We tried to exploit them from the very beginning,″ Arizona coach Joan Bonavicini said. ``Our defense picked up its intensity and that takes teams out of their game. We were very fortunate tonight.″
The Wildcats (23-7) advanced to a second-round game against Georgia, a 95-55 winner over Eastern Kentucky.
``We came out knowing what we had to do,″ Alexander said. ``We were all very excited to go to the NCAA tournament for the first time.″
Danielle McCulley led Western Kentucky (22-9) with 17 points.
In other West Regional play at Charlottesville, Va., Utah beat Iowa State 66-57 and Virginia topped Troy State 96-74.
In the Midwest Regional at Champaign, Ill., Duke beat DePaul 70-56, and Stephen F. Austin faced Toledo in a late game. In late games at Boulder, Colo., Colorado played Marshall, and Illinois faced Drake.
In the East Regional at Chapel Hill, N.C., Michigan State beat Portland 75-70 in overtime, and North Carolina defeated Harvard 78-53. At Tuscaloosa, Ala., St. Joseph’s beat Kansas St. 70-52, and Alabama routed St. Francis 94-50.
In the Mideast Regional at Norfolk, Va., Purdue beat Maryland 74-48, and Old Dominion routed Liberty 102-52. At Ruston, La., Auburn edged Louisville 68-65, and Louisiana Tech played St. Peter.
Georgia 91, E. Kentucky 55
La’Keshia Frett and Kedra Holland-Corn each scored 22 points as Georgia (23-5) overpowered Eastern Kentucky (24-6). Chrissy Roberts led Eastern Kentucky (24-6) with 18 points, including five 3-pointers.
Utah 66, Iowa State 57
Alli Bills scored 16 points and Lisa Thueson added 15 as Utah (24-5) won an an NCAA tournament game for the first time in school history. Jayme Olson had 18 points for Iowa State (17-11).
Virginia 96, Troy State 74
Monick Foote scored 26 points, Tora Suber added 16 and DeMya Walker had 14 points and 14 rebounds as Virginia (22-7) overpowered Troy State (23-7). Samantha Tomlinson led Troy State with 21 points.
North Carolina 78, Harvard 53
Tracy Reid scored 20 points as top-seeded North Carolina (28-2) beat Harvard (20-7) to improve to 14-0 at home. Chanel Wright added 17 points for the No. 4 Tar Heels. Allison Feaster led Harvard with 16 points.
Michigan State 75, Portland 70, OT
Kristen Rasmussen scored 23 points, including four in overtime, to lead Michigan State (22-7) past Portland (27-3). Jamie Wesley added 14 points for the Spartans and Paula Sanders had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Kim Green led Portland with 22 points.
St. Joseph’s 70, Kansas St. 52
Megan Compain scored 24 points as St. Joseph’s (26-4) routed Kansas State (19-0) for its 18th straight victory. Andria Jones led Kansas State with 24 points.
Alabama 94, St. Francis 50
Shalonda Enis scored 23 points as Alabama (246) routed St. Francis (21-9) to advance to the second round for the sixth straight year. Jessica Zinobile led San Francis with 17 points.
Old Dominion 102, Liberty 52
Clarisse Machanguana scored 25 of her career-high 35 points in the first half as No. 2 Old Dominion (30-1) routed Liberty (22-8). Nyree Roberts added 19 points for the Lady Monarchs, while Elena Kisseleva and Sharon Wilkerson each had 19 points for the Flames.
Purdue 74, Maryland 48
Mackenzie Curless and Stephanie White each scored 18 points for eighth-seeded Purdue (17-10). Stephanie Cross had 13 points and 13 rebounds for Maryland (18-10).
Auburn 68, Louisville 63
Tiffany Krantz scored 24 points and Justine Agbatan made two free throws with 28 seconds left as Auburn (22-9) held off Louisville (20-9). Agbatan had 12 points. Haley Harris led Louisville with 20.
Duke 70, DePaul 56
Kira Orr had 20 points and eight rebounds and Tyish Hall added 18 points as Duke (20-9) rallied to beat DePaul (19-10). Kim Willims led DePaul with 22 points, but committed 12 turnovers.