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Saturday, April 1, 2023

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NCAA Tournament First Round: Saturday Roundup Part 1

Here’s Part 1 of our roundup of Saturday’s action:

No. 12 seed FGCU Eagles over No. 5 seed Washington State Cougars74-63

FGCU averages 31.4 threes per game and ranks seventh in the nation in efficiency from beyond the arc (37.9 percent). Yet the Eagles attempted just 14 threes (12 fewer than Washington State) and won the game shooting 62.5 percent from inside the arc.

Sha Carter made one of the Eagles’ five threes and finished with a game-high 24 points to go along with six rebounds. He was 10-of-13 from the field. Tishara Morehouse added three more 16 points, while Maddie Antenucci was 3 of 3 from downtown with 11 points.

FGCU held Washington State star Charlize Lager-Walker to five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field. Tara Valek led the Cougars with 16 points and 12 boards.

The Eagles used a 30–16 third to go ahead and then held on despite the Cougars winning the fourth by two. FGCU led by four after one and by one after the break.

number 9 seed miami storm over number 8 seed Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 62-61

Naomi Alnatas threw up a scoop-shot prayer from a difficult angle as she was coming down and it bounced off the backboard, off the rim and onto the floor with one second remaining, giving Miami a one-point victory.

The Hurricanes came back from down by 17 at the break and led 62–58 before an Anna Great Asi bank-three made it one with five seconds left. Miami was called for a five-second violation, giving the ball back to the Cowgirls.

Haley Cavinder had a stellar performance for the winners with 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Great Asi led OK State with 16 points to go along with the three assists.

The teams combined took just 13 free throws.

No. 4 seed Tennessee Lady Volunteers over No. 13 seed St. Louis Billikens, 95–50

Quite a blow for Tennessee in the sometimes weak 4/13 matchup. Jordan Horston led the Lady Vols in points (21), rebounds (eight) and assists (four) and added two steals. St. Louis was down early in the game (down only 20–15 after one) and lost the third by just two (19–17). However, Tennessee created much of the separation by using identical 28–9 performances in the second and fourth quarters. Brooke Flowers tallied 17 points, nine boards and five blocks in the loss.

The Lady Vols won by field goal percentage 52.9 to 32.8 and held the Billikens to 3-of-20 from beyond the arc. They also won the battle of the glass 39–28 and a turnover margin of 10.

number 2 seed Yukon Huskies over No. 15 seed Vermont Catamounts, 95-52

Azzi Fad hasn’t made a big impact since returning from a knee injury, posting just five points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field in 28 minutes.

Aaliyah Edwards had a stellar performance for the winners with 28 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocks. Dorka Juhaj added 15 points, 10 boards, six assists, three steals and three deflections, while Nika Muhl had nine points and 10 assists.

Katherine Gilvey managed 14 points and five assists in the loss.

UConn won by field goal percentage 61.9 to 33.3 and was 11-of-14 at the line, while Vermont was just 1-of-2 on free throws. The Huskies also won 43–19 on the Glass.

No. 1 Seed Indiana Hoosiers over No. 16 seed Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles, 77-47

Playing without their best player in Mackenzie Holmes due to a sore knee, the Hoosiers got 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks from Grace Berger and 19 points and eight rebounds from Sydney Parish. The game was tied after one, but Indiana won the second 21–9, the third 17–12, and the fourth 21–8. Malia Owens had 17 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

The Hoosiers won by field goal percentage 58 to 27.7, attempted 12 more free throws and made 11 more free throws. They also won 44–16 points in the paint.

number 3 seed Ohio State Buckeyes at No. 14 seed James Madison Dukes, 80-66

The Buckeyes were in deep trouble early in the game. The Dukes led 35–19 with 4:01 to go in the first half. Ohio State was able to cut the deficit to three heading into the break and won the third 20–13 and the fourth 26–16.

It was a big four for the Buckeyes. Jesse Sheldon had his best game since returning from his foot injury with 17 points, five rebounds, nine assists and four steals. He averaged only 5.8 points in his other four games since returning with a career high of 12 points. He had 12 points in the game (Ohio State’s upset win over Indiana in the Big Ten Tournament) and had no assists. One of the four games (February 5) came before the other three games, as Sheldon missed more time following his initial return.

Taylor Thierry added 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Coty McMahon had 18 points, five boards and two blocks and Taylor Mikkels had 14 points despite a 1-5 effort from three.

Kiki Jefferson led JMU with 17 points and eight rebounds.

Ohio State barely had the edge in field goal percentage, was 2-of-17 from three and was outshot 44–36. However, it won by 13 by forcing 20 turnovers. The teams combined to take 60 free throws.

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