NCAA women's basketball roundup
Arizona State 57, Miami 55
The final 10 seconds of the game for Arizona State's Robbi Ryan were essentially a microcosm of the Sun Devils' night.
When in trouble, they kept grinding.
And at the final buzzer, it all paid off.
Ryan's two free throws with 5.0 seconds left off a Miami turnover that she created — on a play where she was beaten at first — put Arizona State ahead to stay, and the fifth-seeded Sun Devils ousted fourth-seeded Miami in a second-round Portland Region game on Sunday night.
"That's a really, really good team that we just beat," Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said.
Arizona State (22-10) was down by as many as eight in the second half and survived a game where it shot 35 percent. Jamie Ruden came off the bench to score a team-best 10 for the Sun Devils.
Laura Cornelius scored 15 for Miami (25-9), which was looking for its first Sweet 16 berth since 1992. Mykea Gray added 13 for Miami and Beatrice Mompremier grabbed 22 rebounds for the Hurricanes — who have never won two games in the same NCAA Tournament.
"I think we played a heck of a basketball game," Cornelius said, struggling with her emotions.
It came down to the very end. Ryan and Sophia Elenga missed shots in the final 20 seconds that would have given Arizona State the lead, and Miami controlled the rebound with 10.2 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds attempt Cornelius beat Ryan into open space but the pass came late — late enough where Ryan could get her left hand on it for a steal.
She raced downcourt, got fouled and made the two free throws. So, on Miami's final shot, the ball went to senior Emese Hof, who Arizona State held scoreless through three quarters.
Hof spun toward the baseline and got a great look — the ball hitting the backboard first, then the back of the rim, then rolled to the left side of the rim before finally spinning off.
Arizona State swarmed the court in celebration.
"It took forever," Ryan said. "You could have blown on that ball and it would've went in. It was a scary moment."
Meanwhile, Miami looked on in stunned disbelief.
"Arizona State, that was a lesson in toughness," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "They were as tough as any team we've played all year."
Neither team ever led by more than three points in the final 6:51 — and the game was tied five times in the fourth quarter alone. Cornelius and Hof, who came to Miami together from the Netherlands four years ago, did all of the Hurricanes' scoring in the final period.
"I love every single person on this team," Cornelius said. "We played our hearts out."
So after flying across the country for these two games, Arizona State now heads to Portland, Oregon for a weekend in Pac-12 country. The Sun Devils would love nothing more after that than to head back to Florida — the Final Four is in Tampa in two weeks.
"They know, if they do what they need to do, they can beat anybody in the country," Turner Thorne said.
Mompremier's 22 rebounds tied for the sixth-most in an NCAA women's tournament game. The record is 27, held by Anriel Howard in 2016 when she was with Texas A&M.
Arizona State is one of 11 schools with wins in both the NCAA men's and women's tournaments this season. The others: Baylor, Buffalo, Florida State, Gonzaga, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State and Oregon.
Arizona State plays top-seeded Mississippi State in the Sweet 16 on Friday.
Texas A&M 78, Marquette 76
Texas A&M coach Gary Blair raved about Shambria Washington's contributions in the days leading up to the team's second-round NCAA Tournament game, noting that it isn't easy for a guard to play in the shadow of star Chennedy Carter.
On Sunday her importance to the team was on full display when Washington hit the go-ahead 3-pointer late to send the Aggies to their second straight Sweet 16 with a win over Marquette.
Washington, who is in her first season at Texas A&M after beginning her career at a junior college, had 13 points and six assists to help the Aggies get past five-seed Marquette.
Carter scored 30 points to help No. 4 Texas A&M (26-7) advance to meet the winner of Monday night's game between Michigan State-Notre Dame in Chicago on March 30.
"It doesn't really bother me that I'm in the shadows," Washington said. "I kind of like it."
But before she could finish her thought, Carter broke in to laud her teammate.
"Sham is really the backbone of our team," she said. "She's the engine. She really gets us going. Without her defensive stops and her leadership as a point guard, we probably wouldn't even be this far right now."
A jump shot by Allazia Blockton tied it with a minute left and Amani Wilborn made 1 of 2 free throws with 36 seconds remaining, but a lane violation by A&M gave her one more shot and she made it to put Marquette up 76-74.
Carter found Washington on A&M's next possession and she made the 3-pointer to put the Aggies up 77-76 with 23 seconds left.
"She's made 11 on the year, so that was the game plan. We didn't expect her to go 3 for 4," Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger said. "Give that kid a lot of credit because she hit shots when it was needed."
Carter stole an inbounds pass from Danielle King after a timeout with five seconds left and she was fouled by King. The Golden Eagles had to foul two more times to get in the bonus, leaving just 0.9 seconds left when Carter made 1 of 2 free throws to secure the win.
Natisha Hiedeman had 18 points to lead Marquette (27-8), which was in the tournament for the third straight seasons and looking for its first trip to the Sweet 16.
"They set the bar," Kieger said. "They've set the mark, and now it is up to all of us to keep working toward it to get this program where we want to go and that's a national contender every year. I can't say enough about their loyalty and their hard work."
Carter, who added nine rebounds and five assists, has scored at least 26 points in each of her five career NCAA Tournament games and has scored at least 20 points in her last seven games overall.
The game was tied midway through the fourth after a basket by Carter when Hiedeman made a 3 for Marquette and Washington hit one for A&M on the next possession to make it 70-70.
Marquette made two free throws after that before Carter gave the Aggies their first lead of the second half with a 3 that made it 73-72 with 3 1/2 to go.
Both teams missed several shots after that until N'dea Jones made one of two free throws with just more than a minute left to extend the lead to 2.
A 3-pointer by Blockton put Marquette up 5 early in the fourth, before the Aggies got consecutive layups by Jones to start a 6-1 run that tied it at 63-63 with about 6 1/2 minutes left.
The 73-year-old Blair has been at A&M since 2003 and has led the Aggies to 14 straight tournament appearances, including seven Sweet 16s and a national title in 2011. He's been irked this season that he thinks people haven't given his team the respect he feels it deserves and it also ticks him off that people have wondered if it's time for him to retire.
All this made leading the Aggies to the Sweet 16 again even more special.
"It meant a lot," he said. "I'm tired of people second-guessing this team. I'm tired of people trying to figure out when I'm going to retire. If what I do, and my staff does it as well as they do, why not let us keep coaching?"
Iowa 68, Missouri 52
Megan Gustafson scored 24 points with 19 rebounds, Makenzie Meyer added 18 points and Iowa blew past Missouri to advance to its second Sweet 16 in five years.
Kathleen Doyle scored 15 points for the Hawkeyes (28-6), who put away the Tigers with a blistering 23-4 run in the second half. They'll face either Kentucky or North Carolina State, who play each other on Monday, in the semifinals of the Greensboro Regional next week.
Tania Davis hit her first 3 of the game to open the fourth quarter, putting Iowa up 50-41, and Meyer's corner 3 pushed the lead to 13. Gustafson's jumper over two defenders made it 60-43 with 4:21 to go, capping a spurt that helped Iowa clinch its highest win total in 31 years.
Amber Smith scored 21 points for Missouri (24-11). The Tigers bowed out in the second round for the third time in four years after scoring just 23 points in the second half.
Mississippi State 85, Clemson 61
Teaira McCowan had 30 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks to help top-seeded Mississippi State roll to a win over ninth-seeded Clemson in the Portland Region.
Anriel Howard added 21 points for Mississippi State (32-2), which has won 10 straight games in a streak that's lasted more than a month. The Bulldogs were in control throughout Sunday night, jumping out to a 23-10 lead by the end of the first quarter.
McCowan made 14 of 17 shots, repeatedly getting good position close to the rim for easy buckets. Howard shot 6 of 12 from the field and grabbed 14 rebounds. Jordan Danberry added 18 points.
Clemson (20-13) briefly rallied in the third quarter, pulling within 59-46 on Danielle Edwards' 3-pointer late in the third quarter. But the Bulldogs scored the last three points of the third quarter and slowly rebuilt the big lead.
Edwards and Simone Westbrook both scored 14 points for Clemson.
Oregon 91, Indiana 68
Sabrina Ionescu had 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for her 18th career triple double and second-seeded Oregon beat 10th-seeded Indiana to advance to the Sweet 16.
Ionescu is the NCAA's career triple-double leader among men and women. She's had eight this season alone. She reached it on Sunday with just over 2 minutes left when she corralled a rebound on her own missed shot.
With speculation that she may turn pro at the end of this season, it may have been Ionescu's final career game at Matthew Knight Arena. But it certainly won't be her last game in Oregon: With the win the Ducks (31-4) advanced to face the winner of Monday's game between South Dakota State and Syracuse next weekend at Portland's Moda Center.
Satou Sabally added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Ducks, who are headed to the round of 16 for the third straight season. Oregon led by as many as 23 points.
Ali Patberg had 16 points and Jaelynn Penn added 15 for the Hoosiers, who were hurt in the third quarter when Bendu Yeaney was injured and left the game.
South Carolina 72, Florida State 64
Mikiah Herbert Harrigan scored 20 points, Alexis Jennings added 16 and fourth-seeded South Carolina beat No. 5 seed Florida to advance to the women's NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the sixth straight season.
Te'a Cooper added 13 points and Tyasha Harris had 11 for South Carolina, which won despite being outrebounded 50-33 and allowing Florida State to grab 27 offensive rebounds.
It's the third time in the past five seasons the Gamecocks have eliminated the Seminoles from the NCAA Tournament, beating them in the Elite Eight in 2015 and 2017.
Nicki Ekhomu scored 19 points and Kiah Gilespie had 15 points and 18 rebounds for Florida State (24-9).
The Gamecocks move on to face the winner of Monday's game between No. 1 seed Baylor and eighth-seeded California in the Sweet 16 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
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