Big win, huge comeback mark 2nd day of women's NCAA tourney
By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — It was a record day in the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Baylor shattered the margin of victory mark, while Texas A&M pulled off the biggest comeback in tournament history.
The Lady Bears routed Texas Southern 119-30 on Saturday, besting the previous 74-point win Tennessee had over North Carolina A&T (111-37) in 1994. A few hours later, Texas A&M found itself down 21 points to Penn before rallying for a 63-61 victory to close out the first round of the NCAAs.
It was a great opening two days for the Pac-12 and ACC, who both went 7-0. The state of Connecticut also had a good first day Saturday.
First, UConn rolled to another easy win and then 12-seed Quinnipiac pulled off the first real upset of the women’s NCAA Tournament. The Bobcats and 10th-seeded Oregon were the only double-digit seeds to advance.
The top-seeded Huskies have won 25 consecutive NCAA games and 108 in a row overall with a 116-55 win over Albany. UConn will face Syracuse on Monday night in a rematch of last season’s national championship game. It’s the earliest rematch of the title participants in NCAA tourney history. The victory moved Geno Auriemma two behind Pat Summitt for the most all-time in the NCAAs.
Tricia Fabbri and Quinnipiac earned their first with the Bobcats 68-65 upset of Marquette.
“I think we really flew unjustly into the NCAA Tournament,” Fabbri said. “The only way that was going to change was a win here today. And we took care of business.”
The Bobcats became the third Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference team to win a game in the NCAA Tournament. Marist did it five times, the last in 2012 — and La Salle did it in 1989.
Next up for Quinnipiac is host Miami, which survived on a basket in the final 2 seconds to beat Florida Gulf Coast.
Here are a few other interesting items from Saturday:
MAKING THE MOST OF AN OPPORTUNITY
Florida State’s Chatrice White is making up for lost time in the NCAA Tournament.
The junior center was used to watching the tournament on television, which is one of the reasons she transferred after two seasons at Illinois. White had an immediate impact in her first tournament game as she tied season highs in points (19) and rebounds (14) in Friday’s win over Western Illinois. The rebounds also set a Florida State single-game NCAA Tournament mark (Shakayla Thomas also had 14 rebounds in the game).
“It feels great being able to play at this time of year, I know a lot of my teammates probably take it for granted, but a lot of teams are home right now,” White said.
White will be counted on again when Florida State takes on Missouri in a second-round game Sunday. White has six double-doubles this season and will be matched up against Missouri sophomore Cierra Porter, who has 12 double-doubles.
“They have very good post players. They are going to crash the boards, but we have to be able to rebound like we have the past couple games,” White said.
White averaged 16.6 points and 8.1 rebounds in two seasons at Illinois. She also made 56 3-pointers and had 23 double-doubles.
This season, White has been more of a post presence. She had only three 3-pointers while averaging 8.9 points and 5.5 rebounds.
“I’ve always had the post moves, but I am doing it more here,” she said. “I’ve been focusing more on inside post moves and defense along with finishing next to the basket.”
Miami forward Keyanna Hayes has long braids, and she lost control of them late in the second quarter of the Hurricanes’ game against Florida Gulf Coast. After she spent about a minute trying to get everything back in place — her face was almost totally hidden at one point as she ran upcourt, hair bouncing everywhere — Miami operations director Lonnette Hall noticed what was happening and slipped her a hair tie during a stoppage in play.
CALLING IT A CAREER
Iowa State redshirt junior Jadda Buckley has decided to forgo her final season of eligibility at the school and end her collegiate basketball career.
“I would like to thank Cyclone Nation for all of the support the last four years,” Buckley said. “I have decided to start a new chapter of my life beyond basketball. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to play for the Cyclones and in front of the best fan base in the nation. I also want to give a huge thanks to my teammates, who are now lifelong friends, for contributing to my success on and off the court. I am also thankful to the Iowa State coaches for the opportunity to play Division I basketball.”
She closed her career with 1,196 career points which ranks 20th in school history and 456 assists, ranking sixth in school history. Buckley will finish her career as one of the best free throw shooters in school history. She’s connected on 86.7 percent of her shots at the charity stripe.
“I understand and support Jadda’s decision to end her playing career,” Cyclones coach Bill Fennelly said. “Everyone at Iowa State has supported her during her four years at ISU, and Jadda has been a major part of the success on and off the court of Cyclone women’s basketball. We wish her nothing but the best in all she does in life.”
Texas coach Karen Aston on the question of home sites for the first two rounds: “We tried a different way and I think where we are right now is where we need to be.”
She says “butts in the seats for the young women that are playing” is the goal.
“That’s what you want. The student-athletes put a lot of time and effort and commitment into what they’re doing and they want to play in front of people. That’s the reason why we are where we are, because you don’t want an empty gym.
“I don’t want an empty gym (Sunday) and we worked really, really hard to get to play at home.”
AP Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds in Coral Gables, Fla., AP Sports Writer Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas and Associated Press Writer Joe Reedy in Tallahassee, Fla. contributed to this story.