Vanderbilt (21-12), the No. 8 seed in the Bridgeport Region, committed 23 turnovers and were unable to get on track offensively against the Huskies (31-4).
Vanderbilt kept it close much of the first half, trailing by five with 5:45 to play in the opening frame before UConn began pulling away. The Huskies led by 13 at the half, and used a 17-0 run to open the second half and led 54-24 with 13:13 to play.
Tiffany Clarke led Vanderbilt with 16 points. Kendall Shaw added 12 points off the bench.
Turnovers plagued the Commodores for much of the first half, as Vanderbilt committed 13 miscues, which UConn scored 23 points off of. Vanderbilt finished the game with 23 turnovers.
Making their 14th straight NCAA Tournament appearance, the Commodores were bidding for their 15th all-time trip to the Sweet 16 and first since 2009.
This is the 20th straight year UConn has advanced to the Sweet 16. UConn has now won 30 straight NCAA Tournament games at Gampel Pavilion.
Florida Women’s Hoops Advances to WNIT Sweet 16 with Big Win at Winthrop
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Five Gators scored in double-figures and Florida defeated Winthrop 85-53 in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament second round at Winthrop Coliseum on Monday evening.
In what was billed by the school as the ‘biggest home game ever,’ a program-record crowd of 1,254 Eagle fans watched the Gators produce their second-largest margin of victory in 23 postseason wins in program history. Only the 89-49, 40-point win against Radford in the first round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament was a more dominating performance for Florida.
On Monday, the Gators (20-14) outscored Winthrop (21-12) 18-5 in the last 6:20 of the first half to take a 44-28 lead into the locker room and then opened the second half on a 10-4 run to take a 54-32 lead and never looked back en route to the dominate 32-point victory, the third-largest margin of the season.
“This was probably one of our most complete wins of the season when you look at scoring, rebounding, tempo, defense and the distribution of minutes and points,” UF head coach Amanda Butler said. “This was a fantastic team win against a very good team.”
Florida advances to the WNIT round of 16 and plays at Charlotte (26-5) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The 49ers defeated Davidson, 72-60, in their second round game on Sunday.
Freshman January Miller (Orlando, Fla.) scored a game-high 16 points, while freshman Christin Mercer (Douglasville, Ga.) and redshirt-sophomore Kayla Lewis (Decatur, Ga.) both tallied 15 points.
Freshman Sydney Moss (Union, Ky.) posted her fourth double-double of the year with 13 points and a game and career-high-tying 11 rebounds along with four assists and two steals.
Junior Jaterra Bonds (Gainesville, Fla.) recorded 12 points and four assists for her seventh consecutive double-figure scoring game and her 25th of the season, as she started her 67th straight game and moved into sole possession of fourth on UF’s all-time chart in the category.
This was the fifth time this season five Gators scored in double-figures and all five has resulted in victories.
“I loved our tempo,” Butler said. “I thought we played great defense and we had Florida tempo and that’s really, really important for us. Winthrop is a very good team and we had a lot of respect for them entering this ballgame. Winning the battle of the paint and having the scoring balance that we did was huge. We did a good job of securing the low block with Christin Mercer.”
Winthrop featured the 2013 Big South Player of the Year and the 2013 Big South Freshman of the Year in Dequesha McClanahan and Schaquilla Nunn and the Gators were able to contain the potent offensive stars. McClanahan finished with 15 points on 7-of-23 shooting, while Nunn tallied two points and did not even attempt a field goal.
“We knew we had to get McClanahan and Nunn out of synch and trapping was one of those things,” Butler shared. “We have a lot of respect for both of them and we knew we had to have some wrinkles in our defense to handle what they were going to be like.”
Florida shot 51.6 percent (32-62) from the floor, including 9-of-18 from the three-point arc and 12-of-18 from the free throw line in the first-ever meeting against Winthrop.
Redshirt-junior Lily Svete (Granger, Ind.) and Miller both went 3-of-5 from long range, while Bonds knocked down a pair and Moss nailed one from deep.
Winthrop managed to convert 33.3 percent (22-66) overall from the field, which included a 4-of-23 effort from the three-point line.
The Gators also won the rebounding battle, 44-36, and outscored the Eagles, 38-24, in the paint.
Jennifer George (Fresno, Calif.), UF’s lone senior, collected eight rebounds and topped the 900-rebound plateau for her career, as she became one of only seven Gators in program history to record at least 900 rebounds and score 1,000 career points.
The win also marked Florida’s 13th 20-win season in program history. Butler has led the Gators to four 20-win seasons in her six years on the sideline.
Florida outscored Wintrhop 18-5 in the final 6:20 of the first half and extended its three-point lead to 16 by the time the halftime horn sounded.
Seven of the eight Gators who dressed for the game had scored and Florida hit 53.3 percent (16-30) from the floor, including a 5-of-11 effort from the three-point arc and 7-of-9 from the free throw line.
The Gators used runs of 12-0 and 10-0 during the second half to pull away from the Eagles, who were coming off the program’s first-ever postseason victory.
Winthrop scored the first bucket of the game before Florida ripped off the next eight points, with Christin Mercer, Lily Svete, Jennifer George and Jaterra Bonds each netting points and forcing the Eagles to call a timeout.
The home team responded with a 12-2 run over the next 2:09 and took a 14-10 lead with 14:14 to play in the first half.
That’s when the Gators got hot from the outside, where January Miller and Bonds nailed four consecutive three-pointers as part of a 14-0 spurt during the next 3:07 of the game, as Miller accounted for eight of her 13 first half points during the march and helped Florida take a 24-14 lead.
Samilya Wright halted UF’s run and Dequesha McClanahan followed with a driving layup and sparked a 9-2 run and cut Florida’s lead to three points, 26-23, with 6:35 remaining in the period.
Lady Vols Win 68-52
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee advanced to the Sweet 16 for the 31st time in 32 years with a 68-52 win over Creighton on Monday night. No. 2-seeded Tennessee (26-7) will take on No. 3 seed UCLA/No. 6 seed Oklahoma on March 31 in Oklahoma City at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. The time and television coverage will be announced when available.
Tennessee is now 52-0 all-time in home NCAA Tournament games including a 40-0 mark in first and second-round games. The Orange & White has a 50-1 overall record in first and second round games.
In their final game in Thompson-Boling Arena, seniors Kamiko Williams (15) and Taber Spani (10) combined for 25 points to head the Lady Vols' scoring chart. Junior Meighan Simmons and sophomore Ariel Massengale each added 10 points.
Tennessee used tremendous defense to limit Creighton to just 4-of-22 from 3-point range -- the Bluejays' specialty. It marked the fewest trifectas in a game for Creighton this season. The 18.2 percent was also a season-low for CU from 3-point land. The Jays came into the NCAA Tournament, second in the NCAA in made treys per game (9.2).
The Lady Vols dominated the paint as expected, outscoring the Jays, 26-16. Tennessee also showed its quickness with 15 fastbreak points to two for Creighton.
Creighton (25-8) was led by Alexis Akin-Otiko, who had 12.
Tennessee opened the second half with stifling defense and up-tempo offense. The Lady Vols' 13-0 run gave UT a 48-31 lead on a sweet give-and-go finished by Williams and 3-pointers by Massengale and Simmons with 15 minutes left in the half.
After Creighton cut the deficit to 12 points, Spani answered with a 3-pointer with 7:44 left in regulation to put UT ahead, 59-44. The pesky Bluejays kept battling and cut the margin to single-digits on a pair of free throws by Ally Jensen with 4:42 left in regulation at 59-50. But, once again the Lady Vols answered as Simmons knocked down a 3-pointer to give UT a 62-50 advantage.
The Lady Vols sealed the game with a 9-0 run in the final minutes.
The Lady Vols shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half. Tennessee held the Jays to just one 3-pointer on defense as Creighton shot just 25.9 on all field goal attempts (1-of-12 in 3-pointers).
WIlliams (10 first-half points) was the difference for the Lady Vols late in the first half as she scored twice in the final minute to put Tennessee ahead 35-29 at the break. The game was tied on five occasions and the largest lead was eight over the first 20 minutes.
The game stood deadlocked at 24 with 3:38 left in the first half. The Lady Vols scored the game's next six points to take a 30-24 lead on a pair of Isabelle Harrison free throws with two minutes left in the opening stanza.
After Creighton cut the lead to three at 30-27, Williams hit on back-to-back shots to put the Lady Vols ahead, 35-27.
Gamecocks Fall to Kansas 75-69 in NCAA Second Round
BOULER, Colo. - No. 17/14 South Carolina dropped a physical 75-69 decision to Kansas in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Coors Event Center Monday night. Four Gamecocks (25-8) finished in double figures, led by double-doubles from Ashley Bruner, Aleighsa Welch and Elem Ibiam. Ieasia Walker also scored in double figures while handing out four assists and picking up four steals. The game was tied 69-69 with just under three minutes to play, and it was the Jayhawks there were fresh enough down the stretch of the hard-fought game to finish off the victory as the Gamecocks struggled to score despite relentless effort on the offensive glass.
The first half was marked by significant runs by both teams. Kansas went first with an early 6-0 surge that had the Jayhawks up 11-6 just four minutes into the game. South Carolina settled in after the first media timeout, though, and got back within a point behind solid play on the block from Ibiam. She scored six straight points, but the Jayhawks were keeping pace.
After Khadijah Sessions hit a pair of free throws, Walker picked up a trademark steal – timing a cut by the opposing point guard and stepping into the passing lane to collect the ball and race up the floor for a layup that put the Gamecocks up 22-21 with 8:47 on the clock. With their first lead since the 17-minute mark, the Gamecocks kept the pressure on. Ibiam hit a pair of free throws after being fouled on an offensive rebound, and after she blocked a shot on the other end, Sessions converted a transition layup. Bruner collected a defensive rebound after a tough KU shot, then backed down her defender to hit a bucket to make it a 28-21 South Carolina lead with just under seven minutes left in the half.
The Jayhawks would not go away, though, and senior Monica Engelman put the team on her back to get back in the contest. While the Gamecocks got consecutive friendly rolls on shots just beating the shot clock and open a 33-25 lead, Engelman drained a pair of 3s to pull her team within a buck at 36-34 with 3:40 to go in the period. Walker answered with a 3 from the right wing, but the Jayhawk were energized by their senior, rolling off the next six points to take a 40-39 lead. The Gamecocks reclaimed the lead on a bucket from Welch, but KU’s angel Goodrich drove the length of the floor for a layup to put her team up 42-41 heading into the locker room.
The second half was a battle early with both teams fighting for every possession. Bruner got the Gamecocks off to a good start offensively, and Tiffany Mitchell scrapped for a series of offensive rebounds. The Jayhawks stayed the course, though, and the game stayed tight until the Jayhawks rattled off a 9-2 run that included six straight points from the free throw line. The Gamecocks struggled to find the basket for the first time in the game, and it was the opening KU needed to surge ahead.
South Carolina responded with a 6-0 run by crashing the boards and pushing the ball up the floor quickly. Ibiam rebounded a missed free throw by Welch, and Bruner finished it off with a runner in the lane. After an Ibiam rebound on the other end, Walker found Welch in transition for a layup. South Carolina turned it over, but Sessions raced back to defend KU in transition and got the ball back. Ibiam made her hard work pay off with a move on the right block to knot the game at 59-59 with 10:12 to play.
The teams traded 6-0 runs to end up tied at 67-67 with 3:50 to play. For the Gamecocks, it was Welch working on the block offensively and pounding the defensive glass. Both teams were defending hard, and fighting for every loose ball. The teams again traded baskets for a 69-69 tie with 2:49 to go. KU took the lead with a bucket from Davis on the left block, then turned a Gamecock turnover into a free throw for a 72-69 lead with 2:14 on the clock.
South Carolina was all over the offensive boards, grabbing five on the next possession, but the Gamecocks could not convert on the resulting free throws. The defense forced a tough shot from the Jayhawks, and Walker snagged the rebound and raced up the floor. A pair of missed shots yielded offensive rebounds, but the third went the Jayhawks’ way. Kansas hit free throws down the stretch to seal the win over the battle-weary Gamecocks.
Bruner turned in her fifth-straight double-double, leading the team with 12 rebounds and tying for team-high honors with 16 points. Welch matched the 16 points to go with her 11 rebounds. Ibiam added 12 points and 10 boards, including seven in the second half alone. South Carolina shot 51.6 percent in the first half, but its offensive struggles of the season returned in the second half, managing just 26.8 percent shooting from the field. The Gamecocks won the battle of the boards 47-43 and out-scored Kansas 44-38 in the paint.
Aggies Fall To Nebraska
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Jordan Hooper scored 21 points and Lindsey Moore had 20 points and 10 assists to help Nebraska to a 74-63 win over Texas A&M on Monday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The sixth-seeded Cornhuskers used two big runs in the first half to build the lead and never trailed in the second half to earn their first trip to the round of 16 since 2010. Nebraska will face the winner of Tuesday's game between second-seeded Duke and No. 7 Oklahoma State.