Princeton stays unbeaten with President Obama in attendance

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

COLLEGE PARK, Md. _ Princeton remained undefeated with President Barack Obama looking on giving the Ivy League its second win in the NCAA Tournament history. Sylvia Hatchell earned a victory coaching in her return to the NCAA Tournament after missing last season while battling leukemia.

Tennessee and Florida State handed more losses to 15 seeds. That’s 0-88 since the field expanded in 1994 for the 15s. While those seeds haven’t fared well, Arkansas-Little Rock became the third 11-seed to win this round. That matches the total set in 2006 for most ever in the women’s tournament.




With President Barack Obama supporting his niece and the rest of Princeton’s basketball team a few rows from courtside, the Tigers managed to stay unbeaten.

After trailing at halftime Saturday, eighth-seeded Princeton came back to improve to 31-0 this season and win a women’s NCAA Tournament game for the first time in school history, beating No. 9 seed Wisconsin-Green Bay behind Michelle Miller’s 20 points and Annie Tarakchian’s 19.

There was some question whether Ivy League champion Princeton deserved a better seeding, given that it was the only undefeated women’s team and was ranked 13th in the final AP poll. But the Tigers had been 0-4 in the NCAAs, all since 2010, and fell behind 35-32 late in the first half against Green Bay.


Brionna Jones dominated the inside on both ends of the court, getting 22 points and 12 rebounds to carry top-seeded Maryland past New Mexico State.

The Terrapins (31-2) will bring a school-record 25-game winning streak into Monday night’s matchup against eighth-seeded Princeton (31-0). The Ivy League champions advanced earlier Saturday by defeating Wisconsin-Green Bay 80-70 with President Barack Obama in attendance.

Obama’s niece plays for Princeton, and his bracket has the Tigers defeating Maryland to advance to the Sweet 16.

If the President stayed to watch the second game, he would probably concede that Jones and the Terrapins appear tough to beat. The 6-foot-3 Jones was bigger and stronger than any one player the No. 16 seeded Aggies assigned to cover her, and a collapsing zone defence did little to slow her down.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Stasha Carey scored 16 points and pulled down 13 rebounds as Pittsburgh defeated Chattanooga, snapping the Mocs’ 25-game winning streak.

Pittsburgh (20-11), the No. 10 seed in the Spokane Region, will play Monday against the winner of Saturday’s first-round game between No. 2 seed Tennessee and No. 15 seed Boise State.

Chattanooga, which never led, has eight straight NCAA Tournament losses since beating Rutgers in a 2004 first-round game. The seventh-seeded Mocs (29-4) shot a season-low 26.2 per cent (17 of 65) to fall for the first time since a 57-52 loss at Arkansas State on Dec. 1.

The victory continued a surprising season for Pittsburgh, which was picked to finish last in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Jasmine Joyner had 10 points and nine rebounds for Chattanooga before fouling out. Brianna Kiesel had 13 points for Pittsburgh.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Bashaara Graves scored a career-high 24 points and Tennessee outlasted pesky Boise State.

Tennessee (28-5), the No. 2 seed in the Spokane Region, advances to a second-round game Monday with No. 10 seed Pittsburgh (20-11), which beat Chattanooga 51-40.

The Lady Vols had a much tougher time than expected against the 15th-seeded Broncos (22-11).

Tennessee was clinging to a 63-58 lead after Boise State’s Camille Redmon made the front end of a one-and-one with 2:51 remaining. But Redmon missed her second free throw, and Tennessee’s Ariel Massengale sank a 3-pointer 13 seconds later to spark a game-clinching 8-0 run.

Brooke Pahukoa scored 22 points for Boise State. She had 18 in the first half, when she shot 7 of 7. Deanna Weaver added 13 points and Shalen Shaw had 10.

Massengale scored 18 points for Tennessee, which outrebounded Boise State 46-28.




CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) _ Allisha Gray scored 17 points and North Carolina beat Liberty.

Latifah Coleman added 15 points for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (25-8). They shot 49 per cent, led by 14 and withstood the Flames’ late push to give Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell a victory in her return to the NCAA Tournament.

Ashley Rininger had 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Flames (26-7), who were trying to become the second No. 13 seed to win a tournament game.

They chipped away at North Carolina’s lead down the stretch, pulling to 65-59 on Jaymee Fisher-Davis’ 3-pointer with 1:02 left.

Coleman followed with a driving layup with 40.5 seconds to play before Emily Frazier hit a free throw with 26.9 seconds remaining to make it a seven-point game.

Brittany Rountree made it 69-60 with two free throws with 25.2 seconds left.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) _ Ameryst Alston scored 28 points and Ohio State held off pesky James Madison.

Big Ten co-player of the year Kelsey Mitchell added 23 points for the fifth-seeded Buckeyes (24-10). They shot 58 per cent in the second half and scored on seven consecutive possessions down the stretch to earn a second-round matchup against host North Carolina, the No. 4 seed, on Monday night.

Precious Hall had 28 points on 10-of-30 shooting while Ashley Perez added 20 points with six 3-pointers for the 12th-seeded Dukes (29-4).

They hit 10 3s but had their six-game winning streak snapped.

Alexa Hart added 20 points and 13 rebounds to help the Buckeyes win their 13th in 16 games and earn their first NCAA Tournament win since 2011 while avoiding their fourth one-and-done since 2007.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Kaneisha Atwater scored 26 points and Whitney Knight added 19 points and 10 rebounds to help Florida Gulf Coast win its 26th straight game with a victory over Oklahoma State.

It was a sweet win for the Eagles (31-2) who were eliminated in last year’s first round of the NCAA tournament 61-60 in overtime by Oklahoma State.

Gulf Coast was up by five at the half and extended its lead to 71-54 with 4:37 left.

Oklahoma State (20-12) was led in scoring by Roddricka Patton’s career high 23 points. She had scored only 34 points all season entering the game. Liz Donohoe added 14 points for the Cowgirls, all in the second half. Brittney Martin’s game-high 12 rebounds helped Oklahoma State to a 44-32 advantage on the boards.

FGCU led 36-31 at the half and never trailed in the second half.


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Freshman Shakayla Thomas scored 17 points and three teammates joined her in double figures as second-seeded Florida State won its 30th game of the season in a rout of No. 15 Alabama State.

Maegan Conwright added 16 points and Leticia Romero had 14 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, narrowly missing her second triple double of the season. Ivey Slaughter also finished in double figures with 13 points.

Britney Wright scored 14 points and Ashanti Spencer added 12 for Alabama State (17-15) which turned the ball over 32 times that led to a 38-8 Florida State (30-4) advantage off mistakes.

Florida State led 37-19 at halftime and built a 47-point lead late in the game over the Southwestern Athletic Conference champions.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ Taylor Gault scored a season-high 25 points, Kiera Clark added a career-best 22 and 11th-seed Arkansas-Little Rock beat sixth-seeded Texas A&M.

UALR (29-4) led almost the entire game in career victory No. 700 for coach Joe Foley.

It was the second NCAA tournament victory for the Trojans. In 2010, also as a No. 11 seed, they beat Georgia Tech.

Courtney Williams scored 23 for the Aggies (23-11), who were without point guard Jordan Jones, SEC defensive player of the year the last two seasons, who tore an ACL against Missouri on Feb. 26. The Aggies lost that game and three of the four after that.

UALR was the third 11th seed to win in this year’s tournament.


TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ Katie Hempen scored a career-high 23 points and hit five 3-pointers, helping third-seeded Arizona State roll over Ohio.

Arizona State (28-5) dominated at both ends in its first home NCAA Tournament game in a decade.

The Sun Devils hounded No. 14 seed Ohio (27-5) into 18 turnovers and held one of the nation’s most prolific 3-point shooting teams to 4 of 16 behind the arc.

Arizona State had its way with the Bobcats offensively, too, shooting 55 per cent while hitting 8 of 16 from 3-point range.

Sophie Brunner added 14 points for the Sun Devils, who will play 11th-seed Arkansas-Little Rock in the Round of 32 on Monday.

Quiera Lampkins led Ohio with 17 points and Kiyanna Black added 12.




STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Morgan Tuck had 26 points and eight assists as No. 1 UConn began its drive toward a 10th national title and third in a row with an 89-33 rout of St. Francis, Brooklyn on Saturday night.

Tuck, who outscored the Terriers 20-14 by herself in the first half, made 12 of her 13 shots from the floor for the Huskies (33-1), who won their 32nd consecutive game. Breanna Stewart hit eight of her 10 shots, and finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Sarah Benedetti, who grew up about 40 miles away in Canton, Connecticut, had 13 points for St. Francis (15-19).

The Huskies shot 70 per cent from the floor and held the Terriers to just 22 per cent and 13 baskets. UConn is now 23-2 in the opening round, where they have not lost since 1993.


STORRS, Conn. (AP) _ Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife each scored 21 points and eighth-seed Rutgers used a season high seven 3-pointers to beat in-state rival No. 9 seed Seton Hall.

Betnijah Laney added 17 for the Scarlet Knights (23-9), who have now won 14 of the last 15 meetings between the former Big East rivals from New Jersey.

Tabatha Richardson-Smith had 18 points and Tiffany Jones added 17 for Seton Hall (28-6), which was making just its third appearance in the tournament and its first in 20 years.

Rutgers outscored Seton Hall 23-10 over the game’s final nine minutes after the Pirates had come back from a 12-point second half deficit to tie the game at 56. Seton Hall hit just one of its last seven shots from the floor.

The Pirates didn’t score in the game’s final 3:23.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Myisha Hines-Allen scored 19 points, leading No. 3 seed Louisville to a victory over BYU.

Jude Schimmel added 13 points for the Cardinals (26-6), and Shawnta’ Dyer and Bria Smith had 11 apiece.

Morgan Bailey had 15 points and Lexi Eaton scored 14 for BYU (23-10). Bailey played most of the second half with four fouls.

Louisville extended a 14-point halftime lead to 48-26 on Hines-Allen’s layup with 15 1/2 minutes to play.


TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Courtney Williams had 17 points and 12 rebounds, Alisia Jenkins added 15 points and No. 6 seed South Florida beat 11th-seed LSU.

Next up for South Florida (27-7) in the second round Monday night is No. 3 seed Louisville (26-6), which forced 38 turnovers in defeating 14th-seed BYU 86-53 earlier Saturday.

Danielle Ballard scored 17 points and DaShawn Harden had 16 for LSU (17-14).

Laura Ferreira hit consecutive 3-pointers in the opening minute of the second half to put South Florida up 44-32. Jenkins then made it 46-32 on a layup.

Harden made a pair of 3’s that trimmed the LSU deficit to 48-40 3 1-2 minutes into the second half. But South Florida pulled away.




STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Freshman Gabbi Ortiz scored 16 points and Vionise Pierre-Louis added 15 to lead fifth-seeded Oklahoma to a victory over No. 12 seed Quinnipiac.

Maddie Manning also scored 15 points, McKenna Treece had 14 and Kaylon Williams had 12 for the Sooners (21-11), who advanced to play the winner of the game between fourth-seeded Stanford and 13th-seeded Cal State Northridge in the second round of the Oklahoma City regional on Monday.

Jasmine Martin scored 24 points and Gillian Abshire added 12 for the Bobcats (31-4), who had their 21-game winning streak snapped and failed to earn the first NCAA Tournament win in school history.


STANFORD, Calif. (AP) _ Taylor Greenfield and Lili Thompson each scored seven points in a game-changing, second-half run that helped fourth-seeded Stanford overcome a long scoring drought in the first half to beat No. 13 seed Cal State Northridge.

Greenfield with 19 points and Thompson had 17 as they took the game over during a 14-0 run that broke open a tie game early in the second half for the Cardinal (25-9).

Bonnie Samuelson added 14 points and Erica McCall had 10 to help Stanford improve to 31-4 at home in NCAA Tournament play. The Cardinal advanced to play fifth-seeded Oklahoma (21-11) in the second round of the Oklahoma City regional on Monday.

Ashlee Guay scored 27 points to lead the Matadors (23-10), who once again failed to get their first NCAA Tournament victory.

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