Maryland and its offensive juggernaut are rolling fast and easy into the Sweet 16, getting 19 points from Angel Reese and overwhelming Alabama 100-64 in San Antonio on Wednesday.
The second-seeded Terrapins (27-2) came into the women’s NCAA Tournament with the nation’s highest-scoring offence and have yet to take their foot off the gas. The Terps are averaging 99 points in their two tournament wins after scoring 91.3 a game in the regular season.
Maryland hit the 100-point mark for the seventh time this season. The Terps also played aggressive, suffocating defence against the seventh-seeded Crimson Tide. Maryland harassed ballhandlers in the backcourt, smothered briefly open shooters and controlled the rebounding.
Jasmine Walker led Alabama (17-10) with 23 points.
MISSOURI STATE 64, WRIGHT STATE 39
SAN ANTONIO – Elle Ruffridge had a career-high 20 points with five three-pointers, Jasmine Franklin had a double-double and fifth-seeded Missouri State is going to its second consecutive Sweet 16 in the women’s NCAA Tournament after knocking off Wright State. The Lady Bears (23-2) pulled away in the second half when Ruffridge had 17 of her points. Franklin had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Ruffridge and Franklin are among nine current Lady Bears who were also part of the Sweet 16 team two years ago that lost to Stanford, the same team they will play in the Alamo Region semi-final Sunday.
OREGON 57, GEORGIA 50
SAN ANTONIO – Sedona Prince scored 22 points, Nyara Sabally took over late and sixth-seeded Oregon beat No. 3 Georgia to advance to its fourth straight Sweet 16. Sabally scored six straight points – including a putback of her own missed shot – to break open a tie game and give the Ducks a 54-48 lead with less than a minute to go. She finished with 15 points, including 10 in the second half, and nine rebounds. Oregon (15-8) is in the tournament for the 16th time overall. Jenna Staiti had 18 points and nine rebounds for Georgia (21-7), which was looking to reach its first Sweet 16 since 2013.
LOUISVILLE 62, NORTHWESTERN 53
SAN ANTONIO – Kianna Smith scored 16 points and No. 2-seed Louisville advanced to the Sweet 16 by rallying from an early 18-point deficit to beat seventh-seeded Northwestern. The Cardinals (25-3) got off to another rough start, trailing 25-7 late in the first quarter. Louisville slowly started to chip away on offence and played stellar defence. The deficit was 40-28 midway through the third quarter before the Cardinals scored 17 straight points. The game was tied at 40 heading into the fourth, and Louisville increased its first lead to 45-40 before Lindsey Pulliam – Northwestern’s third-ever 2,000-point scorer – got her only basket of the game. The Wildcats (16-9) closed to 53-50 on Jordan Hamilton’s three-pointer with 3:26 left. They had a chance to move closer, but Veronica Burton missed two free throws 30 seconds later.
INDIANA 70, BELMONT 48
SAN ANTONIO – Grace Berger scored 17 points and Indiana used another suffocating defensive effort to beat Belmont, sending the fourth-seeded Hoosiers to the program’s first Sweet 16 in the women’s NCAA Tournament. Belmont was the first Ohio Valley Conference team to win a tournament game since 1990, but its chances of becoming the fifth No. 12 seed to advance to the regional semi-final were smothered by the Hoosiers’ defence and the Bruins’ own dismal three-point shooting through the first three quarters. Indiana (17-9) was just as efficient on offence as four Hoosiers scored in double figures. Indiana advances to play North Carolina State, the No. 1 seed in the Mercado Region. Destinee Wells scored 16 points to lead Belmont (21-6).