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NCAAW Tournament Recaps: Georgia Tech chalks it up with thrilling win

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The No. 5 seed Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, No. 8 seed South Florida Bulls and No. 7 seed Virginia Tech Hokies all narrowly avoided defeat on a day where all the higher seeds advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 09 Women’s Georgia Tech at Florida State
Lorela Cubaj came up big for Georgia Tech on Sunday.
Photo by David Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets went to overtime to ensure that all the higher seeds won in NCAA Tournament first round action on Sunday. Here are recaps of all the games:


Alamo

(1) Stanford Cardinal 87, (16) Utah Valley Wolverines 44

Pac-12 Tournament Most Outstanding Player Kiana Williams continued her hot streak with 20 points on six made triples for Stanford. Josie Williams scored 18 points in defeat. The Cardinal won the first quarter 29-9.

(8) Oklahoma State Cowgirls 84, (9) Wake Forest Demon Deacons 61

The nation’s leader in blocks per game and a top WNBA Draft prospect, Natasha Mack dominated with 27 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Mack and the surprise third-best team in the Big 12 were too much for Ivana Racca, Gina Conti and a solid ACC squad in Wake Forest. Christina Morra had 18 points in defeat while Ja’Mee Asberry added 18 for the Cowgirls.

Hemisfair

(1) South Carolina Gamecocks 79, (16) Mercer Bears 53

South Carolina sophomore Aliyah Boston was two rebounds shy of a 20-20 game and teammate Victaria Saxton matched her with 20 points as the Gamecocks pulled away late. Mercer had cut it to one with 3:22 to go in the second. Jada Lewis had 14 points, six rebounds and four assists in defeat.

(8) Oregon State Beavers 83, (9) Florida State Seminoles 59

This one was tied at 16 after one, but the Beavers won the second 25-11 and then cruised to victory as everything seemed to come together for them after all the adversity they faced early in the season. Aleah Goodman, the second-most accurate 3-point shooter in the nation, went 3-of-5 from deep and finished with 24 points, while Taylor Jones added 18 points and eight rebounds for the winners. Bianca Jackson notched 17 points in defeat.

(5) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 54, (12) Stephen F. Austin Ladyjacks 52 (OT)

Stephen F. Austin’s Avery Brittingham (16 points, 13 rebounds) made a layup after the buzzer that would have tied it and the no-basket call gave Georgia Tech a thrilling comeback victory. The Yellow Jackets were down by 17 at halftime before clutch points from Lorela Cubaj (14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, four blocks) and Anaya Boyd late in the fourth forced overtime.

(4) West Virginia Mountaineers 77, (13) Lehigh Mountain Hawks 53

Kysre Gondrezick (6-of-8 from distance) was good for 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals as the Mountaineers pulled away in the second and third. Kirsten Deans had 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Esmery Martinez added 16 points and 11 boards for West Virginia. Emma Grothaus scored 14 and hauled in seven rebounds in defeat.

River Walk

(1) UConn Huskies 102, (16) High Point Panthers 59

Paige Bueckers put up a phenomenal stat line of 24 points, nine rebounds, six assists, four steals and two blocks for the Huskies, who led 25-12 after one. Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who will be key to UConn’s success in this tournament, added 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists, while Aaliyah Edwards had 17 points and 12 boards. Skyler Curran notched 14 points and eight rebounds in defeat.

(8) Syracuse Orange 72, (9) South Dakota State Jackrabbits 55

South Dakota State hung in this one for a while despite missing its best player in Myah Selland. Emily Engstler made key 3-pointers to help Syracuse pull away and finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and four blocks. Paiton Burckhard had 17 points in defeat.

(5) Iowa Hawkeyes 87, (12) Central Michigan Chippewas 72

Freshman phenom Caitlin Clark scored 23 points in her NCAA Tournament debut and added seven rebounds and seven assists. She capped things off with a behind-the-back pass to Monika Czinano (23 points) for an and-one layup that made it 84-67 with 1:57 left. Central Michigan led early, but its star player Micaela Kelly (23 points) got into early foul trouble and Clark got hot toward the end of the first quarter.

(4) Kentucky Wildcats 71, (13) Idaho State Bengals 63

Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard looked to pass at first in this one, but eventually got her scoring going, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals. Idaho State led 18-8 early behind 10 quick points from Diaba Konate (16 points). Kentucky came back to lead 30-24 at halftime and 47-31 entering the fourth.

(6) Michigan Wolverines 87, (11) FGCU Eagles 66

Leigha Brown proved that the Wolverines are about more than just Naz Hillmon with 28 points to out-duel Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year finalist Kierstan Bell, who had 25. Michigan’s whole core came up big, except for Amy Dilk, who did not travel to San Antonio because of a “medical issue.”

Akienreh Johnson had 15 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, Hillmon had 14 points and 13 rebounds and Hailey Brown added 10 points for the winners, who led by just two at halftime.

(3) Tennessee Lady Volunteers 87, (14) Middle Tennessee Lady Raiders 62

Tennessee got off to a quick 14-5 lead, but Middle Tennessee swung things in its favor by three points with 8:11 to go in the second and the game was tied at halftime. The Lady Vols came out of the break with a 6-0 run and were able to win in blowout fashion in the end. Versatile WNBA prospect Rennia Davis led the way with 24 points and 14 rebounds and teammate Rae Burrell added 22 and seven. The nation’s second-leading scorer, Anastasia Hayes, had 26 points, five assists and three steals in defeat.

(7) Virginia Tech Hokies 70, (10) Marquette Golden Eagles 63

The Hokies led by as many as 15 in the fourth, but the Golden Eagles cut it to three on a Lauren Van Kleunen triple with 39 seconds left. Free throws then iced the game for the winners, who received 23 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks from Elizabeth Kitley. Co-star Aisha Sheppard was held to seven points. Van Kleunen finished with 18 points and six rebounds, while Selena Lott added 17 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals in defeat.

(2) Baylor Lady Bears 101, (15) Jackson State Lady Tigers 52

Moon Ursin poured in a career-high 24 points and NaLyssa Smith added an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double as the Lady Bears dominated. They were up 29-10 after one. Ameshya Williams had 14 points, 14 rebounds, three steals and three blocks in defeat.

Mercado

(1) NC State Wolfpack 79, (16) North Carolina A&T Aggies 58

Jada Boyd (18 points) came up big for an NC State team that struggled early. The Wolfpack’s star player, Elissa Cunane, was held to 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting from the field. Another one of their stars in Kayla Jones left the game early with a knee injury and played just 12 minutes. The plan was for her to have an MRI Sunday night to see if it’s anything serious. Chanin Scott scored a game-high 23 in defeat and added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. North Carolina A&T made its presence felt from the jump and led by as many as six points in the second.

(8 )South Florida Bulls 57, (9) Washington State Cougars 53

Elena Tsineke (18 points) gave USF a one-point lead on a jumper with 1:32 to go. Then, Elisa Pinzan free throws with 25 ticks left made it 56-53 Bulls. Washington State’s Charlisse Leger-Walker (18 points) missed a jumper with 12 seconds remaining that would have cut it to one and Sydni Harvey made it a two-possession game with a free throw at the nine-second mark.