Florida women hold on to beat Ohio State 70-65
|WOmen's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Florida 70, Ohio State 65
|Marist 76, Georgia 70
|Vanderbilt 60, Middle Tennessee 46
| LSU 64, San Diego State 56
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (AP) -- Quick on the perimeter and relentless on the boards, Lanita Bartley, Jennifer George and the rest of the Florida Gators were a step ahead of Ohio State from the very start.
George had 16 points and six rebounds and Bartley added 15 points to lead ninth-seeded Florida to a 70-65 win over eighth-seeded Ohio State in the Des Moines Regional on Sunday. The Gators scored the game's first nine points and held on in front of a crowd packed with fans of the in-state Buckeyes.
Tayler Hill scored 23 points for Ohio State, including two late baskets to pull the Buckeyes (25-7) within two. Florida (20-12) patiently worked the ball inside to George, who went up strong to her left and scored with 45 seconds to play. Emilee Harmon missed at the other end for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State star Samantha Prahalis went scoreless in the second half and finished with nine points.
The Gators forced turnovers early and finished with 20 offensive rebounds, winning despite shooting only 35 percent from the field. They will face the winner of top-seed Baylor and UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday night.
Ohio State was playing in its 10th consecutive NCAA tournament, but this was the Buckeyes' worst seed in that span. They made no secret of their displeasure with the draw but did little to show they deserved any better.
Seconds after the opening tip, Hill turned the ball over against a Florida trap, leading to an easy layup for Jaterra Bonds. The Gators led 7-0 before the Buckeyes even got a shot off, and it was 12-2 following a 3-pointer by Jordan Jones.
The Gators led by as many as 13 despite the efforts of Hill and Prahalis. Hill scored 12 points before halftime and Prahalis added nine, but Florida was able to limit their impact.
At one point, Bartley turned her back to the rest of the play while shadowing Prahalis on the perimeter, denying the Ohio State star the ball. Prahalis became the second Division I player to reach 2,000 points and 900 assists for her career, joining Courtney Vandersloot of Gonzaga.
Florida led 39-31 at the half and had an answer every time the Buckeyes began to assert themselves. Ohio State scored the first two baskets of the second half, but the Gators regrouped and went ahead 44-35 on a 3-pointer by Bartley.
With the score 44-40, Bartley stole the ball from Amber Stokes after the Ohio State guard had come up with a defensive rebound. Bartley's layup made it a six-point game.
After a mini-run by the Buckeyes made it 52-48, Ndidi Madu's 3-pointer started a 7-1 Florida run that pushed the lead to double digits.
The Gators were making their first appearance in the tournament since 2009 but had three senior starters plus George, a 6-foot junior.
Marist ousts Georgia as Corielle Yarde, Brandy Gang combine for 39
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Corielle Yarde scored 21 points, Brandy Gang had 18 and Marist upset fourth-seeded Georgia 76-70 on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Marist, seeded 13th in the Raleigh Regional, shot 52.5 percent and made 21 of 25 free throws for its 11th straight win. Georgia, meanwhile, was six of eight at the line.
Gang made two foul shots to give the Red Foxes the lead for good at 63-62 with 5:56 left, and Yarde's three-point play made it 74-65 with 1:37 remaining.
Casey Dulin added 11 points for 13th-seeded Marist (26-7), the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champions.
Marist had lost both of its previous games against Georgia, including a matchup in the 2006 NCAA tournament. But the Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference couldn't catch the Red Foxes on Sunday.
Georgia, which had advanced to the NCAA round of 16 in each of the past two seasons, fought back from a 46-35 deficit early in the second half, forcing Yarde and Gang to step up at crucial times.
They were up to the challenge.
Khaalidah Miller led Georgia (22-9) with 21 points and Meredith Mitchell added 15 before fouling out with 7:01 left, just seconds after Jasmine James' jumper gave the Bulldogs a 60-59 lead. Miller went 5 for 12 from 3-point range, sinking one at the final buzzer. James finished with 12 points.
Jasmine Hassell, Georgia's leading scorer, was limited to six points and six rebounds.
Mitchell was in foul trouble for much of the game, drawing her fourth with four minutes remaining in the first half. She fouled out trying to stop Yarde's drive on the baseline.
Georgia, making its 18th consecutive NCAA appearance, took its first lead of the second half at 58-57 on Mitchell's 3 with 9:35 left.
The only other time Marist was a 13 seed, it lost to eventual national champion Tennessee in the round of 16 in 2007.
Vanderbilt women down rival Middle Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Jasmine Lister scored 19 points and led seventh-seeded Vanderbilt past in-state rival Middle Tennessee 60-46 in the first round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.
These teams hadn't met since 1992 despite being about 40 miles apart. Vanderbilt (23-9) led 25-18 at halftime and used a 20-5 run in the second half to pull away from 10th-seeded Middle Tennessee.
Vanderbilt will play either second-seeded Duke or Samford on Tuesday night.
Kortni Jones led Middle Tennessee (26-7) with 12 points and Ebony Rowe had 10 with 16 rebounds as the Blue Raiders lost their third straight opening NCAA game to a Southeastern Conference team.
Middle Tennessee shot only 28.1 percent for the game to 42.1 percent for Vanderbilt.
LSU gets past San Diego St 64-56 in NCAA opener
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) -- LaSondra Barrett had 17 points and 10 rebounds in her comeback from a concussion, and fifth-seeded LSU held off No. 12 seed San Diego State 64-56 Sunday night in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Courtney Jones added 13 points and Jeanne Kenney 10 for LSU (23-10), which trailed by six midway through the second half but surged in front for good with a 12-0 run that lasted nearly 7 minutes.
LSU, which plays fourth-seeded Penn State in the second round, shot 38.3 percent (18 of 47) but made 26 of 35 free throws while San Diego State (25-7) missed 13 of 20 foul shots.
Courtney Clements scored 17 for the Aztecs, but only three in the second half. Chelsea Hopkins added 14 points.
Barrett was playing for the first time since being knocked out of LSU's Southeastern Conference championship game loss to Tennessee two weeks ago.