NCAA women's basketball tournament roundup
Oregon 74, Duke 65
When it comes to NCAA Tournament experience, all of the Oregon Ducks are like freshmen — because they'd never been here until now.
Fortunately for the Ducks, their actual freshmen are playing far beyond their ages.
Freshman Ruthy Hebard had 20 points and 15 rebounds, and Oregon earned its first Sweet 16 berth by upsetting Duke on Monday night in the second round of the tournament.
"It's funny, we never really put a goal on how far we can go, just because we didn't know what we had," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. "We've kind of attacked the entire season as a work in progress. ... With a young team, you kind of have to do that.
"House money, that's a good way to put it," he added. "We're playing with house money."
Maite Cazorla added 17 points and Lexi Bando finished with 14 points to help Oregon (22-13) become the first No. 10 seed in a decade to reach the round of 16.
The Ducks, in their first tournament since 2005, had never advanced past the second round in their 12 previous appearances. Now they're on to Bridgeport to take on third-seeded Maryland (32-2) in a regional semifinal.
"I think what we're all going to take is just, we've got to play our hardest," Hebard said. "No one's guaranteed a spot. Seeds don't mean anything ... and hopefully, we'll keep winning."
Oregon became the first No. 10 seed to beat a No. 2 seed since Florida State upset Stanford 68-61 in the second round of the 2007 tournament.
Lexie Brown scored 25 points for the second-seeded Blue Devils (28-6), who have been upset at home in the tournament's second round twice since 2014. They played without guard Kyra Lambert, who tore her left anterior cruciate ligament in the first round against Hampton.
"I thought Lexie played extremely hard, and did many, many things out there that needed to be done, and at times needed to be done by two people, not just one," coach Joanne P. McCallie said.
Oregon was in control all night — never trailing after the first 3 minutes, methodically stretching its lead to 15 on back-to-back 3s by Bando and Cazorla early in the fourth quarter and holding off Duke's last-gasp push to get back in the game.
Brown pulled Duke to 68-63 with three free throws with 26.7 seconds left before freshman Sabrina Ionescu iced it by hitting six free throws in the final 24.5 seconds. Ionescu finished with 13 points.
The Ducks' group of freshmen — Mallory McGwire, Heabrd and Ionescu, the Pac-12 freshman of the year — were unfazed by the cross-country trip and their NCAA Tournament debut. Oregon, the only team in the field that starts three freshmen, hit nine 3-pointers and shot nearly 45 percent against a Duke defense that allows its opponents to shoot just 33 percent.
Graves said his game plan was to spread out the Duke matchup zone that was unlike anything his team had seen this season. "We didn't have our best shooting night, and we were still able to put up 70-some odd points," he said.
The Blue Devils at times appeared rudderless in their first — and now, only — game without Lambert. It seemed like some key players tried to overcompensate, with Rebecca Greenwell finishing with six points while missing all six of her 3-pointers and Leaonna Odom had four points. Greenwell and Odom combined for 49 points in the Hampton victory. McCallie says her team generally rushed itself early while falling behind: "The offense has a certain cadence to it, a certain pace, and we did not have that in the first half," she said.
Oklahoma City Regional
Washington 108, Oklahoma 82
Kelsey Plum scored 38 points, adding another record to her career resume, and No. 3 seed Washington raced past No. 6 seed Oklahoma.
The Huskies (29-5) are going to the Sweet 16 in consecutive years for the first time in school history, thanks to an offensive showcase against the Sooners where Plum didn’t do it alone.
Plum passed another Jackie Stiles’ record to become the all-time single-season scoring leader, having already topped Stiles’ all-time career scoring mark last month. Plum now has 1,080 points this season.
But she found others and her teammates regularly hit big shots after Plum drew attention, with a career-high 11 assists. Washington had four players in double figures all with at least 16 points.
Gioya Carter led Oklahoma (23-10) with 17 points, but the Sooners simply couldn’t keep up with Washington’s offensive efficiency.
Louisville 75, Tennessee 64
Asia Durr scored 23 points, Mariya Moore made all five 3-pointers for 19 points and Louisville beat Tennessee.
Moore’s perimeter shooting provided a lift on a night that fourth-seeded Louisville had to work hard late to finish 44 percent from the field. She scored the Cardinals’ first eight points of the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3s for a 54-47 lead before Durr followed with seven of their next eight points to make it 62-51 with 4:07 remaining. Durr also became the 28th Louisville player to reach 1,000 career points.
Fifth-seeded Tennessee got within five but no closer as Louisville earned its first Sweet 16 berth in two years and seventh overall under coach Jeff Walz. The Cardinals will face the Baylor on Friday in the Oklahoma City Region semifinal.
Jaime Nared had 28 points and 11 rebounds for Tennessee (20-12), which shot 33 percent in losing its first second-round tournament game in program history. Diamond DeShields had 15.
Baylor 86, California 46
Alexis Prince and Nina Davis each scored 16 points and the Baylor women are going to the Sweet 16 for the ninth year in a row after a win over California.
Davis, one of four Baylor seniors, also had six rebounds and five assists in her last game at the Ferrell Center, where the top-seeded Lady Bears have won 12 consecutive NCAA Tournament games. Prince added five rebounds and six assists, while Kristy Wallace had 10 points and nine assists.
Baylor (32-3) took control with a 13-0 run in the second quarter, including freshman Natalie Chou hitting consecutive 3-pointers in a 17-second span during which coach Kim Mulkey emphatically pumped her fists. After a California timeout and then a missed shot, Prince hit a run-ending jumper that put Baylor up 35-16.
Kristine Anigwe had 20 points and 11 rebounds for ninth-seeded California (20-14).
Stanford 69, Kansas State 48
Brittany McPhee had 21 points, Alanna Smith added 19 and second-seeded Stanford routed No. 7 seed Kansas State to advance to the Cardinal’s 10th straight Sweet 16.
The Cardinal (30-5) had no problem dealing with the Wildcats (23-11) or their home crowd, which spent much of the game sitting in silence. Stanford roared to a 39-21 halftime lead and never looked back in advancing to face No. 3 seed Texas on Friday night in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Cardinal beat the Longhorns 71-59 when they met in early November.
Kindred Wesemann had 11 points and Breanna Lewis was held to nine in their final game for the Wildcats (23-11), who have not advanced past the NCAA Tournament’s opening weekend since 2002.
Neither senior star could get on track after combining for 39 in the opening round.
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