Top-seed Stanford fights past Tulsa
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
Chiney Ogwumike is accustomed to doing a little bit of everything for Stanford.
The Cardinal needed all she had to get past the first round of the NCAA tournament — especially the spark she brings on both ends of the floor.
Ogwumike scored 29 points and grabbed eight rebounds and top-seeded Stanford pulled away in the second half to survive a hard-fought effort by 16th-seeded Tulsa for a 72-56 victory in the first round of the NCAA tournament Sunday.
Amber Orrange added 14 points, six rebounds and three assists for the Cardinal (32-2), who needed more than a half to get rolling while playing at home in Maples Pavilion coming off final exams and a two-week layoff since winning the Pac-12 tournament.
Conference Player of the Year Ogwumike took charge in Stanford’s quest for a sixth straight Final Four after her big sister, Nneka, became the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft and the league’s rookie of the year with the Los Angeles Sparks.
Up next for Stanford is a second-round date with either No. 8 seed Michigan or ninth-seeded Villanova on Tuesday night. Those teams were playing the second game Sunday at Maples.
Taleya Mayberry scored 18 points and Kelsee Grovey added 12 for Tulsa (17-17), back in the tournament for the first time since 2006 after a surprise run to the Conference USA tournament title as a sixth seed. The Golden Hurricane won four games in as many days to get here, and certainly didn’t play like one of the lowest seeds in the bracket.
Tulsa scrapped for loose balls, jumped in the passing lanes for steals and took Stanford out of its comfort zone from the opening tip. The Golden Hurricane, riding a five-game winning streak under second-year coach Matilda Mossman, pulled within 32-30 on a basket by Loren McDaniel with 16:38 remaining, but couldn’t keep up against the talented Cardinal the rest of the way.
Still, for a half at least, this game brought back memories of top-seeded Stanford’s stunning 71-67 loss to No. 16 seed Harvard at home in the 1998 tournament — still the only time a No. 1 team in the men’s or women’s field has lost to a 16 seed.
Joslyn Tinkle had nine points, seven rebounds, three blocks, two assists and a steal for Stanford. Taylor Greenfield came off the bench and contributed nine points in Stanford’s 18th straight victory since a home loss to rival California on Jan. 13. The Cardinal won their seventh consecutive conference tournament crown and shared a 13th straight regular-season championship.
Their plan was to take Mayberry out of her game, and that is what Orrange did with her defense. Averaging 18.7 points coming in, Mayberry had four assists and shot 6 for 18 in her final collegiate game and missed all three of her 3-point tries.
Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said she would miss guard Toni Kokenis as a defensive option against Mayberry.
Kokenis hasn’t played since Feb. 3 at Oregon State, sidelined with an undisclosed illness. She missed her ninth straight game and 10th overall.
It took Stanford well into the second half to find a rhythm. Early on, Tulsa trapped full court whenever it had the opportunity to make things more difficult for the home team, including after a timeout midway through the first half that forced Stanford into a 30-second violation.
Ogwumike scored 15 of her points in the second half and left to a standing ovation with 1 minute to go. She also had three assists and shot 13 for 18.
Grovey hit two early 3s and Tulsa forced three steals in the opening 43 seconds before the Cardinal even took their first shot.
Stanford improved to 27-4 in 17 years hosting the NCAA tournament and has won seven straight NCAA tournament games at Maples since losing to Florida State in the second round in March 2007.
No. 2 KENTUCKY 61
No. 15 NAVY 41
DeNesha Stallworth scored 18 points and Jennifer O’Neill added nine of her 12 points in the second half to lead Kentucky over Navy.
The Wildcats (28-5) trailed by one at the half before O’Neill, who grew up in New York, took over. She hit a quick 3-pointer to start a 12-2 run. The sophomore guard had seven points, a steal and an assist during the burst.
Kentucky had been off for 14 days since losing in the SEC tournament title game and looked rusty early on. Two-time SEC player of the year A’dia Mathies didn’t have a field goal for the first time in her career.
Alix Membreno and Jade Geif scored nine each to lead Navy (21-12), which was trying to become the first 15 seed to win a game in NCAA tournament history.
No. 3 NORTH CAROLINA 59
No. 14 ALBANY 54
NEWARK, Del. — Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored a career-high 30 points, and North Carolina squeezed past Albany to stagger into the second round of the NCAA tournament.
North Carolina trailed 28-23 at halftime and 48-44 with just under 10 minutes left before rallying behind Ruffin-Pratt, who scored 17 of the Tar Heels’ final 21 points — including two clinching free throws with 10.8 seconds left.
Waltiea Rolle had 14 points and 14 rebounds for North Carolina (29-6), which will next face sixth-seeded Delaware (31-3) on Tuesday night. Delaware advanced with a 66-53 win over West Virginia.
No. 6 DELAWARE 66
No. 11 WEST VIRGINIA 53
NEWARK, Del. — Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points and led a second-half surge that carried Delaware past West Virginia.
Playing on their home floor before a sellout crowd, the Blue Hens trailed 33-26 at halftime before bouncing back to extend their school-record winning streak to 26 games.
Delaware (31-3) had never won an NCAA tournament game before last year. The Blue Hens have yet to reach the round of 16, a milestone they will seek to accomplish Tuesday night against either North Carolina or Albany.
Delle Donne, a 6-foot-5 senior, scored 17 points after halftime. She finished 10 for 24 from the floor, went 12 for 13 at the foul line and had seven rebounds.
Ayana Dunning had 15 points and 10 rebounds for 11th-seeded West Virginia (17-14), which closed the season with a four-game losing streak.
No. 7 DAYTON 96
No. 10 ST. JOHN’S 90, 2 OT
Andrea Hoover scored a career-high 24 points and Dayton outlasted St. John’s.
It was the first double overtime game in the tournament since 2000 when Vanderbilt beat Kansas.
Brittany Wilson hit a 3-pointer and Kelley Austria had a three-point play to make it 90-86 with 2:11 left in the second extra period. After St. John’s failed to score, Olivia Applewhite added a basket with 47 seconds left to seal the win.
The Red Storm (18-13) trailed by 13 with 5:30 left in regulation before rallying. Nadirah McKenith hit a layup with one-tenth of a second left in regulation to force OT. Dayton’s Amber Deane tied it with 15 seconds left in OT to force a second one
McKenith led her team with 22 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds before fouling out.
No. 2 DUKE 67
No. 15 HAMPTON 51
DURHAM, N.C. — Tricia Liston scored 13 of her 20 points in the second half and Duke pulled away to beat Hampton.
Elizabeth Williams added 18 points and Haley Peters finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (31-2).
They watched Hampton trim their 19-point lead to six before recovering with a 23-8 run that gave them their 20th straight NCAA tournament-opening victory.
Keiara Avant had 18 points to lead 15th-seeded Hampton (28-6), and her jumper with just over 10 minutes left capped a furious 27-14 rally that pulled the Pirates to 46-40.
But Duke locked down defensively — forcing Hampton to miss 12 of its next 15 shots — and scored on five straight trips to regain some separation and end the Pirates’ 19-game winning streak.
No. 7 OKLAHOMA ST. 73
No. 10 DEPAUL 56
DURHAM, N.C. — Toni Young scored 20 of her 25 points in the first half to help Oklahoma State beat DePaul.
Liz Donohoe added 14 points for the seventh-seeded Cowgirls (22-10), who blew nearly all of a 16-point lead before taking back control with a 13-0 run. Young also grabbed 13 rebounds.
Oklahoma State shot 46 percent to earn its first tournament win in three years, sending the Cowgirls to Tuesday night’s second round to face No. 2 seed and site host Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Anna Martin scored 12 points for the 10th-seeded Blue Demons (21-12).
OKLA. CITY REGIONAL
No. 4 PURDUE 77
No. 13 LIBERTY 43
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Courtney Moses scored 21 points, hitting 5 of 8 from 3-point range, and Purdue routed Liberty.
The Boilermakers (25-8) improved to 19-1 in the first round with their 16th straight victory to open the tournament.
Liberty (27-7) hadn’t played a Big Ten team since 2005 when the Lady Flames beat Penn State for their first NCAA tournament win. Liberty had the nation’s best rebounding margin with a 17.5 edge per game, but couldn’t beat Purdue on the boards in ending a 14-game winning streak.
Sam Ostarello had 10 points and 17 rebounds for Purdue. KK Houser added 15 points.
Devon Brown led Liberty with 21 points.
No. 5 LOUISVILLE 74
MIDDLE TENNESSEE 49
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Shoni Schimmel scored 20 points, and fifth-seeded Louisville beat Middle Tennessee for its fifth straight opening NCAA tournament win under coach Jeff Walz.
Louisville (25-8) will play No. 4 seed Purdue, a 77-43 winner over Liberty, on Tuesday night in the second round of the Oklahoma City Regional.
Middle Tennessee (25-8) had won seven in a row. The Blue Raiders have dropped five straight first-round NCAA games.
Monique Reid added 15 points for Louisville. Bria Smith had 10 points and 10 rebounds with six assists, while Jude Schimmel added 11 points.
The Cardinals now are 4-1 all-time against Middle Tennessee, and they jumped on the Blue Raiders from the start.
Kortni Jones led Middle Tennessee with 14 points, and Icelyn Elie added 13. Ebony Rowe had her 21st double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
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