No. 11-seeded Gonzaga University eliminated No. 6 Rutgers University, while top seeds University of Connecticut and Stanford University advanced in the opening round of the women’s national college basketball tournament.
Sixteen teams, including No. 1 seeds Baylor and Notre Dame, will meet in the second day of the first round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association contest today.
Gonzaga defeated Rutgers 86-73, Stanford beat No. 16 Hampton 73-51, and Connecticut topped No. 16 Prairie View A&M 83-47 in the 16 games played yesterday.
Rutgers, playing in a Kingston Regional game on Gonzaga’s home court in Spokane, was overwhelmed by the noise that forced Scarlet Knights coach C. Vivian Stringer to communicate with her players via substitutes.
“We couldn’t hear each other,” Rutgers forward April Sykes told reporters. “The crowd was loud.”
Rutgers fell behind 20-4 and spent the rest of the game trying to catch the Bulldogs.
“Sometimes we try to outscore people early and get tough late,” said Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves. “Tonight we focused on being tough early.”
Kayla Standish scored 23 points and Haiden Palmer added 21 for Gonzaga (27-5). Erica Wheeler scored 28 points for Rutgers (22-10).
At Ted Constant Convocation Center in Norfolk, Virginia, Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 28 points for Stanford (32-1), which extended its school-record winning streak to 29 games. Joslyn Tinkle added 16 points for the Cardinal, seeking their fifth trip to the tournament’s semifinals.
Stanford will play eighth-seeded West Virginia, which topped No. 9 Texas 68-35 yesterday, in the next round of the Fresno Region tomorrow.
Alyssa Bennett scored 19 points to lead Hampton (26-5), which set a school record for victories in a season.
At Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, Connecticut, freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 21 points for the Huskies (30-4), while Bria Hartley added 18 points in the Kingston Region contest.
Connecticut advances to tomorrow’s second round against No. 8 Kansas State, which yesterday beat ninth-seeded Princeton 67-64.
In other first-round games, it was No. 6 Arkansas 72, No. 11 Dayton 55; No. 2 Tennessee 72, No. 15 Tennessee-Martin 49; No. 2 Kentucky 68, No. 15 McNeese State 62; No. 7 DePaul 59, No. 10 Brigham Young 55; No. 3 Texas A&M 69, Albany 47; No. 3 Miami (FL) 70, No. 14 Idaho State 41; and No. 7 Green Bay 71, No 10 Iowa State 57.
In other contests, it was No. 5 South Carolina 80, No. 12 East Michigan 48; No. 2 Maryland 59, No. 15 Navy 44; No. 4 Purdue 83, No. 13 South Dakota 68; and No. 7 Louisville 67, No. 10 Michigan State 55.
In today’s games, it is No. 13 Marist and No. 4 Georgia; No. 9 Iowa and No. 8 California; No. 9 Florida and No. 8 Ohio State; No. 12 Fresno State and No. 5 Georgetown; No. 16 Liberty and No. 1 Notre Dame; No. 16 University of California-Santa Barbara and No. 1 Baylor; No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast and No. 5 St. Bonaventure; and No. 13 Sacred Heart and No. 4 Georgia Tech.
Also playing today are No. 14 Creighton and No. 3 St. John’s; No 10 Middle Tennessee and No. 7 Vanderbilt; No. 13 University of Texas at El Paso and No. 4 Penn State; No 14 Arkansas-Little Rock and No. 3 Delaware; No. 11 Kansas and No. 6 Nebraska; No. 11 Michigan and No. 6 Oklahoma; No 12 San Diego State and No. 5 Louisiana State; and No. 15 Samford and No. 2 Duke.