South Carolina Defeats Purdue To Advance
|women's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|South Carolina 72, Purdue 61
|Texas A&M 61, Arkansas 59
|Tennessee 63, DePaul 48
|Kentucky 65, Green Bay 62
WEST LAFAYETTE Ind. – No. 25 South Carolina scrapped its way to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 with a 72-61 win at No. 13/15 Purdue Monday night. It is the Gamecocks’ third Sweet 16 appearance with the last coming in 2002, when they reached the Elite Eight. It is head coach Dawn Staley’s first appearance in the regional semifinals. While shooting a high percentage themselves, it was the Gamecock defense that shut down the Boilermaker offense with steals early and forcing tough shots late. Senior Markeshia Grant led the offense with 21 points, her sixth 20-point outing of the season.
The Gamecock defense came out early as did La’Keisha Sutton’s offense. The senior had the team’s first six points and the Gamecocks turned 13 first-half turnovers by Purdue into 15 points. The game was back and forth out of the gate with four ties and two lead changes in the first eight minutes. But, South Carolina would change that in the back half of the period.
Trailing 11-8 with 13:22 left in the half, the Gamecocks put together an 11-2 run to take control. Markeshia Grant got things going with a pull-up jumper at the free throw line followed by a layup off a steal to put South Carolina on top 12-11. After a Purdue missed shot, Ieasia Walker drove the lane her first bucket of the night. Alex Guyton answered with a turnaround jumper for Purdue, but the Gamecocks found Tina Roy on the next possession, and the freshman drilled a 3 from the left wing. Sutton capped the run by finishing a drive on a clear-out for a 19-13 South Carolina advantage with 8:16 left to go before halftime.
Purdue closed within a point at 27-26 behind back-to-back 3s from Kk Houser with 3:10 left in the half, but it was the last points the Boilermakers would score in the period. Charenee Stephens putback a missed shot, and Walker finished off the half with four points. The junior guard hit one of two free throws then buried a 3-pointer at the end of the shot clock for a 33-26 South Carolina lead at the break.
The second half opened beyond the 3-point line. Purdue struck first with another triple from Houser, but Grant answered with back-to-back 3s, which had Purdue calling timeout just 2:30 into the half. The Gamecocks’ lead hovered around double digits until a flurry of physical fouls. Double technical and an intentional foul on Purdue had tempers running high, but South Carolina kept stretching its lead. Walker’s 3-pointer from the right sideline made it a 47-33 game, the Gamecocks’ largest lead of the game, with 13:24 to go.
The Boilermakers narrowed the gap to seven at 49-42 with 10:31 to play, but the Gamecocks answered every run. Walker added a quick transition layup, and Bruner put back her own miss to stretch it back to 11 points just 30 seconds later. Purdue hit back-to-back baskets to get within seven again, and again Bruner responded, putting two moves on her defender to get a bucket form the right block. After a Purdue miss, Grant added a pull-up jumper from the right elbow to again lead by 11 with 7:46 to go.
Offensive rebounds helped Purdue get the margin inside double digits at 59-50 with 5:21 to go, but Bruner and Welch would not give an inch inside. Bruner hit a free throw, and Welch added the next four points. From there, the Gamecocks never looked back.
South Carolina held Purdue to just 22 field goals overall and 31.6 percent shooting in the second half a the defensive pressure wore down the Boilermakers.
Three other Gamecocks netted double figures, led by Walker’s 17 points to go with her four assists. Sutton and Bruner added 10 points each. Welch finished with eight rebounding, including four offensive to lead the Gamecocks on the glass.
South Carolina will face #2/2 Stanford in Fresno, Calif., on Sat., March 24. Time and television details will be announced soon.
Razorbacks Fall To Texas A&M In College Station
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Five University of Arkansas seniors ended their collegiate careers Monday night leading the Razorback women’s basketball team to a dramatic 61-59 loss against defending national champion Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Seniors C’eira Ricketts, Ashley Daniels, Lyndsay Harris, Julie Inman and Jamesha Townsend paced the Razorbacks to a 24-9 season but Arkansas couldn’t overcome the offense of the Aggies.
Junior Quistelle Williams paced the Razorbacks with 14 points and eight boards, leading the team for the second consecutive game. Harris added 13 points and Ricketts and junior Sarah Watkins had 10 points each in the loss.
The game started as expected with each team feeling out the other and looking for an opening. The Razorback offense shot just 27 percent through the opening nine minutes and Texas A&M took the early lead in front of a loud home crowd.
Collen platooned players in and out of the lineup trying to slow up the Aggies and while Arkansas’ defense was solid, the offense struggled to get on pace. The Aggies also controlled the boards early, out-rebounding Arkansas 13-5 through the first 10 minutes of play.
Arkansas caught fire behind the play of Williams and Dominique Robinson who played small ball, forcing turnovers and hitting the short jumpers.
Robinson drove the lane, made the shot and was fouled tying the game at 13 at the 8:13 mark of the first half.
Williams hit a short jumper and gave Arkansas the lead. The teams traded baskets with the game tied at 17 with 5:51 to go in the first frame.
The Aggies responded out of the break with a 6-1 run stretching the lead to 23-18, and forcing a Razorback timeout.
Ricketts drove and scored helping Arkansas close the gap to seven, 27-20, at the half.
Texas A&M continued to score well out of the half and Arkansas struggled against the size inside as the rebounding advantage belonged firmly to the Aggies.
Arkansas got small sparks from the offense and cut the lead to single digits twice late in the game, trailing by just five with under five minutes to play.
The offense continued to chip away getting eight late points from Ricketts and a couple of free throws from Watkins to inch closer. Harris then hit a dagger with a long three bringing Arkansas within a basket, 55-53, with exactly three minutes on the clock.
The Razorbacks seemed sparked by the frenzied crowd and played as if they were the home team pressing the ball on defense and driving on offense.
Harris had the ball in her hands and drove left hitting a layup with 1:21 to giving Arkansas its first lead in the second half.
The teams traded misses and timeouts before Aggie Sydney Carter drove and was fouled. She hit both bonus shots giving Texas A&M the 60-59 advantage with 23.5 seconds left to play.
Arkansas played for the last shot but a missed shot followed by an Arkansas foul on the rebound attempt put the Aggies back on the line with 1.2 seconds left.
Texas A&M hit one of two but Arkansas couldn’t come up with the last second heroics falling by two.
Lady Vols Roll Past DePaul
A well-balanced team effort helped No. 2 seed Tennessee to a 63-48 victory over DePaul on Monday night at Allstate Arena. Shekinna Stricklen led the Lady Vols with 17 points and nine rebounds. Glory Johnson scored only eight points, but grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds. Meighan Simmons tallied 13 points while Vicki Baugh had 16 points and nine rebounds.
Tennessee (26-8) advances to the Sweet 16 and will play in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday, March 24. The Lady Vols will take on the winner of No. 3 seed Delaware-No. 11 seed Kansas game which will take place tomorrow night.
The Lady Vols have never lost an NCAA Second Round game, posting a 24-0 all-time record. UT is 48-1 all-time in first and second-round games.
DePaul finishes its season at 23-11. Anna Martin led the Blue Demons with 20 points before fouling out with 2:15 left in regulation.
Tennessee led the game for the final 33 minutes, last trailing 9-8.
Tennessee dominated the glass, grabbing 51 rebounds to DePaul's 31.
Johnson's 21 rebounds were the most by a Lady Vol since Daedra Charles had 22 in the 1991 NCAA Tournament vs. SW Missouri State.
The Lady Vols limited DePaul to just 31.3 from the floor including 3-of-17 from 3-point range.
The Lady Vols held off a late push by DePaul, and never saw their lead fall below seven points for the final 19:50.
A 3-pointer by Deanne Ortiz cut the Lady Vols lead to seven at 53-46 with 2:21 left in regulation.
Martin's 3-pointer with 5:34 left in the second half cut the deficit to nine with 5:34 left in regulation, 48-39. But Tennessee answered as Stricklen bombed home a 3-pointer with 4:40 left in the game.
Tennessee took a 12-point lead on lay-up by Vicki Baugh with 17:21 left in the second half.
The lead had ballooned to 10 points on a 3-pointer by Briana Bass, making it 35-25, just 2:25 into the second half.
The Lady Vols led 28-23 at halftime thanks to 12 points from Simmons.
Kentucky Wins Thriller Against Green Bay
AMES, Iowa -- Kentucky did nearly everything it could to give its season away by blowing a 17-point lead.
Senior Keyla Snowden made sure the Wildcats will keep playing.
Snowden hit a jumper and two free throws in the final 18 seconds, and second-seeded Kentucky managed to sneak past Green Bay 65-62 in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Monday night.
Samarie Walker had 15 points and 13 rebounds and Snowden added 13 points for the Wildcats (27-6), who will face Gonzaga in the regional semifinals in Kingston, R.I.
Kentucky opened the game with a 21-6 run, then rallied after Green Bay erased a 17-point deficit and took a 62-61 lead with 1:57 left. Snowden responded with a short jumper that rolled in after sitting on the rim, and Adrian Ritchie air-balled a 3-pointer with a second left.
Julie Wojta and Sarah Eichler each scored 16 points for Green Bay (31-2), which forced a staggering 34 turnovers -- including 20 in the final 20 minutes.
After barely getting past 15th-seeded McNeese State 68-62 in Saturday's tourney opener, the Wildcats spent the first half blowing past a Green Bay team many thought was much stronger than a No. 7 seed.
Then things got ugly for Kentucky -- very ugly.
The Wildcats turned the ball over 12 times in next 10 minutes against the nation's second-best team in turnover margin -- ironically just behind Kentucky. Green Bay used all those miscues to fuel a 24-9 run that trimmed the margin to 55-54 with 6:15 left.
Wojta, the Horizon League's player of the year, had 10 steals and a jumper that tied it at 61 with 3:06 left.
Such a scenario seemed so unlikely in the first half.
Snowden and Smith each drained 3s and Goss swooped in for a putback to help the faster, more athletic Wildcats take a 15-point lead against the Phoenix, who never trailed in beating host Iowa State 71-57 in the first round.
During a stoppage in play, Phoenix coach Matt Bollant yelled to his shell-shocked team that it was just the break it needed. That rest didn't help much though, because at the time Green Bay had few answers for the Wildcats.
Kentucky held Wojta, who came in averaging nearly 20 points a game, without a point for nearly 13 minutes. Mathies also picked Wojta clean at midcourt late in the first half and blew past her for a layup to help the Wildcats push their lead to 17 by the break.
It was by far the biggest halftime deficit of the year for the Phoenix. Wojta helped make sure it didn't last, but Snowden's strong play ensured the Wildcats will have a chance to reach their second regional final in three years against the 11th-seeded Zags.
Kastine Evans and Mathies, the Southeastern Conference player of the Year, each had 10 points. But Mathies was shut out in the second half and struggled in the two games in Ames.
The teams combined for 58 turnovers, but Kentucky shot 51 percent from the field.