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NCAA Tournament First Round: Saturday Roundup Part 1

The No. 12 seed FGCU Eagles were a popular pick to defeat the Washington State Cougars in the first round and they got the job done, advancing to the second round for the second consecutive year.

NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Pennsylvania Photo by Eric Hartline/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Here’s Part 1 of our roundup of Saturday’s action:

No. 12 seed FGCU Eagles over No. 5 seed Washington State Cougars, 74-63

FGCU takes 31.4 threes per game and is seventh in the nation in efficiency from beyond the arc (37.9 percent). Yet the Eagles attempted just 14 threes (12 fewer than Washington State) and won this game with 62.5 percent shooting from inside the arc.

Sha Carter made one of the Eagles’ five threes and finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with six rebounds. She was 10-of-13 from the field. Tishara Morehouse added a three and 16 points, while Maddie Antenucci was 3-of-3 from downtown with 11 points.

FGCU held Washington State star Charlisse Leger-Walker to five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field. Tara Wallack led the Cougars with 16 points and 12 boards.

The Eagles used a 30-16 third to pull ahead and then held on despite the Cougars winning the fourth by two. FGCU led by four after one and trailed by one at the break.

No. 9 seed Miami Hurricanes over No. 8 seed Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 62-61

Naomie Alnatas threw up a scoop-shot prayer from a difficult angle as she was falling down and it bounced off the backboard, off the rim and to the floor with one second remaining, allowing Miami to hold on for the one-point win.

The Hurricanes came back from down 17 at the break and led 62-58 before an Anna Gret Asi bank-three cut it to one at five seconds to go. Miami was then called for a five-second violation, giving the Cowgirls the ball back.

Haley Cavinder was phenomenal for the winners with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Gret Asi led OK State with 16 points to go along with three helpers.

The teams combined to take just 13 free throws.

No. 4 seed Tennessee Lady Volunteers over No. 13 seed Saint Louis Billikens, 95-50

Quite a big blowout for Tennessee in a sometimes vulnerable 4/13 matchup. Jordan Horston led the Lady Vols in points (21), rebounds (eight) and assists (four) and added two steals. Saint Louis was in the game early (only down 20-15 after one) and lost the third by just two (19-17). However, Tennessee used identical 28-9 performances in the second and fourth quarters to create a ton of separation. Brooke Flowers fought for 17 points, nine boards and five blocks in defeat.

The Lady Vols won field goal percentage 52.9 to 32.8 and held the Billikens to 3-of-20 from beyond the arc. They also won the battle on the glass 39-28 and the turnover margin by 10.

No. 2 seed UConn Huskies over No. 15 seed Vermont Catamounts, 95-52

Azzi Fudd continued to not make a huge impact since her return from a knee injury with just five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field in 28 minutes.

Aaliyah Edwards was spectacular with 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks for the winners. Dorka Juhász added 15 points, 10 boards, six helpers, three swipes and three rejections, while Nika Mühl had nine points and 10 assists.

Catherine Gilwee managed 14 points and five helpers in defeat.

UConn won field goal percentage 61.9 to 33.3 and was 11-of-14 at the line, while Vermont was just 1-of-2 on free throws. The Huskies also won on the glass 43-19.

No. 1 seed Indiana Hoosiers over No. 16 seed Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, 77-47

Playing without their best player in Mackenzie Holmes due to knee soreness, the Hoosiers received 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks from Grace Berger and 19 points and eight rebounds from Sydney Parrish. The game was tied after one, but Indiana won the second 21-9, the third 17-12 and the fourth 21-8. Maaliya Owens notched 17 points and nine rebounds in defeat.

The Hoosiers won field goal percentage 58 to 27.7, attempted 12 more free throws and made 11 more free throws. They also won points in the paint 44-16.

No. 3 seed Ohio State Buckeyes over No. 14 seed James Madison Dukes, 80-66

The Buckeyes were in deep trouble early in this game. The Dukes led 35-19 with 4:01 to go in the first half. Ohio State was able to cut the deficit to three heading into the break and went on to win the third 20-13 and the fourth 26-16.

It was the big four stepping up for the Buckeyes. Jacy Sheldon had by far her best game since returning from her leg injury with 17 points, five rebounds, nine assists and four steals. She averaged just 5.8 points in her other four games since returning with 12 points being the high. In the game she had 12 points (Ohio State’s upset win over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament) she didn’t have any assists. One of the four games (Feb. 5) came well before the other three, as Sheldon missed more time after her initial return.

Taylor Thierry added 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Cotie McMahon had 18 points, five boards and two blocks and Taylor Mikesell had 14 points despite a 1-of-5 effort from three.

Kiki Jefferson led JMU with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Ohio State barely had an edge in field goal percentage, was 2-of-17 from three and was outrebounded 44-36. However, it won the turnover margin by 13 by forcing 20. The teams combined to take 60 free throws.