UConn destroys Southern, 95-39
NORFOLK, Va. — Up comfortably at the half, it would have been easy for Connecticut to coast to another victory. Instead, Geno Auriemma's team opened the second half with one of its most impressive runs during the remarkable 73-game win streak.
Leading by 23 at the break, top-seeded UConn scored 21 of the first 23 points of the second half to bury Southern in a 95-39 victory in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament yesterday.
"That first five minutes was about as good as I've seen us play at any time all season," Auriemma said. "That's the kind of basketball we like to see."
And it only got better.
The Huskies matched their best defensive half in a NCAA tournament game by holding Southern (23-9) to 10 points on 4-for-30 shooting (13.3 percent) in the second half.
"A lot of times with our team, it's not so much making these huge adjustments and necessarily changing what we do," said Maya Moore, who scored 21 points. "It's just the continual pounding and pressure and attack mentality that we put on teams. I think they weren't ready for it."
Tina Charles led UConn (34-0) with 22 points.
Hannah Kador led the Jaguars with 10 points, but shot just 3 for 22.
"They were just longer, they were taller than us," Jaguars forward Freda Allen said.
No. 4 Iowa State 79, No. 13 Lehigh 42: Anna Prins scored 21 points and the Cyclones (24-7) celebrated Alison Lacey's return to the lineup after a bout with pneumonia with a victory over the Mountain Hawks (29-4) at Ames, Iowa.
No. 2 Ohio State 93, No. 15 St. Francis, Pa. 59: Jantel Lavender dominated inside for the Buckeyes (31-4) with 23 points and 16 rebounds against the smaller Red Flash (17-15) and the Buckeyes opened a 27-point lead before halftime during a rout at Pittsburgh.
No. 7 Mississippi State 68, No. 10 Middle Tennessee State 64: Alexis Rack and Chanel Mokango led a frantic rally as the Bulldogs (20-12), down nine points to the Blue Raiders (25-6) and national scoring leader Alysha Clark with 4 1/2 minutes remaining, surged back for a victory at Pittsburgh.
No. 8 Temple 65, No. 9 James Madison 53: Qwedia Wallace scored 21 points and the Owls (25-8) beat the Dukes (26-7) at Norfolk, Va., setting up a matchup with coach Tonya Cardoza's mentor, Connecticut's Geno Auriemma.
No. 12 Wisconsin-Green Bay 69, No. 5 Virginia 67: Celeste Hoewisch scored 23 points and the Phoenix (28-4) let most of a 16-point lead slip away before holding on to beat the Cavaliers (21-10) at Ames, Iowa.
No. 3 Xavier 94, No. 14 East Tennessee State 82: The Musketeers (28-3) avoided an unprecedented upset on its home court, following the inside domination by Amber Harris with 31 points and Ta'Shia Phillips' 23 points and 21 rebounds en route to a victory over the Lady Bucs (23-9) at Cincinnati.
No. 6 Vanderbilt 83, No. 11 DePaul 76, OT: Merideth Marsh scored nine of her 26 points in overtime, rallying the Commodores (23-10) to a victory over the Blue Demons (21-12).
KANSAS CITY REGIONAL
No. 1 Nebraska 83, No. 16 Northern Iowa 44: Kelsey Griffin had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead the Huskers (31-1) to an easy win over the Panthers (17-16) at Minneapolis.
No. 2 Notre Dame 86, No. 15 Cleveland State 58: Becca Bruszewski scored 14 points, Ashley Barlow added 13 and the Fighting Irish (28-5) overcame a 31-point performance by Kailey Klein, including 21 in the first half, to beat the Vikings (19-14) at South Bend, Ind.
No. 3 Oklahoma 68, No. 14 South Dakota State 57: Nyeshia Stevenson scored 17 points, Abi Olajuwon added 15 and the Sooners (24-10) held on through a late dry spell on its home floor to beat South Dakota State (22-11) at Norman, Okla.
No. 10 Vermont 64, No. 7 Wisconsin 55: Courtnay Pilypaitis scored 25 points, May Kotsopoulos added 14 and the Catamounts (27-6) survived squandering a 14-point lead in the first half to beat the Badgers (21-11) at South Bend, Ind., the Catamounts' first NCAA tournament victory in six tries.
No. 11 Arkansas-Little Rock 63, No. 6 Georgia Tech 53: Kim Sitzmann scored a season-high 21 points and the Trojans (27-6) won their NCAA tournament debut, stunning the Yellow Jackets (23-10) at Norman, Okla.
No. 8 UCLA 74, No. 9 North Carolina State 54: Jasmine Dixon powered the Bruins (25-8) with 17 points and 11 rebounds, leading them over the Wolfpack (20-14) at Minneapolis.
No. 3 West Virginia 58, No. 14 Lamar 43: Liz Repella had 15 points and 11 rebounds and the Mountaineers (29-5) bolted to a big early lead and cruised to a win over the Lady Cards (26-8) at Austin, Texas.
No. 11 San Diego State 74, No. 6 Texas 63: Jene Morris scored 32 points and the Aztecs (22-10) stunned Texas (22-11) on the Longhorns' home court at Austin, Texas.