The first round of the NCAA Tournament is now complete.
Let's first go through the games. One of our writer applicants from last month's open call, L.W. has agreed to help me break down the results of a big day in the Big Dance. You can expect to seeing her write more on this very space soon, and before the summer comes around.
Anyway, L.W. did the quick summary of all the games except the UConn vs. St. Francis one, which was the lone late evening game. So without further ado, here are the recaps:
Pittsburgh (10) beat Chattanooga (7) 51-40
The Panthers were lead by a 16 point, 13 rebound, 3 block performance from Stasha Carey. Brianna Kiesel added in 13 points and a team-high 4 assists. Chattanooga struggled to score, shooting just 26% as a team. They were lead by Jasmine Joyner's 10 points and 9 rebounds. - L.W.
Arkansas-Little Rock (11) beat Texas A&M (6) 69-60, giving coach Joe Foley his 700th career win
Taylor Gault lead the Trojans with 25 points, shooting 10-17 from the field and 5-7 from three. Kiera Clark added 22 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Each starter, plus Clark, had at least three assists. The Aggies got a big performance from Courtney Williams (23 points, 12 assists) but only one other player managed to score double digits (Courtney Walker with 10).- L.W.
Business as Usual (by region)
Princeton (8) stays perfect, beating Green Bay (9) 80-70
Michelle Miller lead the Tigers with 20 points, and Annie Tarakchian contributed 19 points and 17 rebounds. The Phoenix were lead by Mehryn Kraker with 21 points. The Tigers turned the ball over 19 times to the Phoenix's 7, but dominated the boards 49-22. This is also Princeton's first-ever NCAA Tournament win and a major step in the right direction for the program. - L.W.
Maryland (1) beat New Mexico State (16) 75-57
Brionna Jones had a big performance with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Laurin Mincy contributed 19 points for the Terrapins. Lexi Brown dished a team-high 5 assists but struggled shooting and had an uncharacteristic 6 turnovers. The Aggies were lead by Brianna Freeman with 15, Sasha Weber with 14, and got a boost off the bench from Tamera William with 11. - L.W.
Florida Gulf Coast (7) beat Oklahoma State (10) 75-67
FGCU gaurd Kaneisha Atwater scored 26 points shooting 10-17 and grabbed 8 rebounds. Other than 6'3" Whitney Knight (who also had 19 points and 10 rebounds), the Eagles are a fairly small team, and while they lost on the boards 44-32, they won the turnover battle 7-14. The Cowgirls were lead by Roddricka Patton (23 points) and Brittney Martin (12 rebounds). - L.W.
Tennessee (2) beat Boise State (15) 72-61
Bashaara Graves scored 24 points on 9-11 shooting for the Lady Vols, while Ariel Massengale contributed 18. Cierra Burdick, though scoreless, dished a team-high 5 assists. The Broncos were lead by Brooke Pahukoa with 22 points and 5 steals. The Lady Vols have only failed to make it to the Sweet 16 once in 34 years. - L.W.
North Carolina (4) avoided upset by beating Liberty (13), 71-65
The Tar Heels got big contributions from Alisha Gray (17 points) and Latifah Coleman (15 points), while the Flames were lead by Ashley Rininger (19 points, 13 rebounds). Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams, but the Tar Heels posted an impressive 49% field goal percentage for the game, compared to Liberty's 35%.- L.W.
Florida State (2) blew out Alabama State (15) 91-49
The Seminoles had four players score in double digits, lead by Shakayla Thomas with 17 off the bench. Leticia Romero nearly had a triple double, with 10 assists to go along with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Maegan Conwright added 16 points and 5 steals. The Lady Hornets were lead by Brittney Wright with 14 points and 6 rebounds. - L.W.
Ohio State (5) beat James Madison (12) 90-80
Three starters for the Buckeyes scored 20+ points (Alexa Hart with 10, Kelsey Mitchell with 23, and Ameryst Alston with 28). Hart also grabbed 13 boards and had 7 blocks, and Alston dished 8 assists. The Dukes were lead by 28 points from Precious Hall, though she got there with an inefficient 10-30. Hall also lead the team with 9 rebounds. Ashley Perez contributed 20 points off the bench and shot 6-9 from three. - L.W.
Arizona State (3) beat Ohio (14) 74-55
The Sun Devils shot 56% from the field and 50% from three, lead by Katie Hempen with 23 points. Sophie Brunner added 14 points and Elisha Davis had 6 assists. As a team the Bobcats struggled from the field (37%) and from three (25%), but Quiera Lampkins lead the team with 17 points, shooting 6-13 and getting to the line 9 times (she made 5). - L.W.
Louisville (3) beat Brigham Young (14) 86-53
Myisha Hines-Allen had 19 points and 8 boards, and Jude Schimmel chipped in 13 points and 4 assists. The Cardinals had an incredible 24 steals, lead by Bria Smith with 7. Those 24 steals contributed to 30 Cougar turnovers, including 11 from Lexi Eaton. Morgan Bailey scored 15 for the Cougars and Eaton added 14, but they couldn't find enough scoring to overcome the turnover disparity. - L.W.
South Florida (6) beat LSU (11) 73-64
Both teams shot similar percentages, made the same number of threes, and were fairly close on the boards, but the Bulls got to the line 29 times (making 22) to the Lady Tigers' 12. Courtney Williams lead the bulls with 17 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists, and Alisia Jenkins added another 15 points and 8 boards. Danielle Ballard lead the Lady Tigers with 17 points, 7 rebounds and 6 steals. DaShawn Harden scored 16 and Raigyne Moncrief scored 13 to go along with 10 rebounds. - L.W.
Rutgers (8) beat Seton Hall (9) 79-66
Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife scored 21 points each for the Scarlet Knights who face UConn on Monday. Betnijah Laney also added 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Scarlet Knights. The Pirates were lead by Tabatha Richardson-Smith with 18 and Tiffany Jones, who scored 17 off the bench.
UConn (1) beat St. Francis (Brooklyn (16) 89-33
Morgan Tuck led all Husky scorers with 26 points while shooting 12 of 13 from the field, while Breanna Stewart added 17 more on 8 of 10 shooting. Gabby Williams made all seven of her shots in 14 minutes off the bench which gave her 15 points. The Huskies had their way with rebounds and scoring in the blowout. For the Terriers, Sarah Benedetti scored 13 points and made three three point shots in the game. - A.L.
Oklahoma City Region
Oklahoma (5) beat Quinnipiac (12), 111-84
The Sooners had six players in double figures, lead by Gabby Ortiz by 16. Vionise Pierre-Louis and Maddie Manning each contributed 15 off the bench. Six players had 3 or more assists, lead by Gioya Carter with 5. The Bobcats had five players score double digits, lead by Jasmine Martin with an efficient 24 points. But they lost the rebounding battle 32-48, and shot just 36% to the Sooners' blistering 56%. - L.W.
Stanford (4) beat Cal State Northridge (13) 73-60
After trailing by 1 at halftime, the Cardinal scored 45 points in the second half to put the game away. Taylor Greenfield lead the team in scoring with 19, and Lili Thompson added 17. This was Tara Vanderveer's 800th career win, a feat only accomplished by 10 other college basketball coaches. The Matadors were lead by an impressive performance from Ashlee Guay, who had an efficient 27 points to go along with 4 assists and 4 steals. - L.W.
The moment of the day: Barack Obama attends Princeton vs. Green Bay game in College Park, Maryland
President Barack Obama attended Princeton's game against Green Bay because of two reasons. First, it's all about location. College Park is in Prince George's County, Maryland which borders Washington, D.C. Second, his niece Leslie Robinson is a freshman on the team. She is the daughter of former Oregon State men's basketball head coach Craig Robinson, who is the brother of First Lady Michelle Obama.
There are many higher quality pictures from professional photographers, but here's one from the fans in the stands, namely Susan Loftus (@SooznLoft) who is a Maryland fan:
President Obama went to UMD to see Princeton play in the #NCAAW Tourney (via @SooznLoft) http://t.co/YrqubwCuEZ pic.twitter.com/LRNIyc7m8D— Swish Appeal (@SwishAppeal) March 21, 2015
It was unfortunate that the President had to leave after Princeton won and couldn't see Maryland play. But if he's free on Monday, I'd like to see him make an encore appearance and see first hand if one of his Final Four picks can pull off an upset win over the Terps.