Friday's women's roundup: Notre Dame is big victor
South Bend, Ind. — Jewell Loyd scored 18 points and top-seed Notre Dame used its size and speed to overwhelm 16th-seeded Montana 77-43 Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Brianna Turner added 12 points and Michaela Mabrey, Taya Reimer and Lindsay Allen added nine points each as Notre Dame shot 62.3 percent against the Lady Griz (24-9). Montana entered the game fourth in the nation in field-goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot 33.8 percent.
The Irish (32-2) won their 18th straight game while Montana lost for the 11th straight time in the opening round of the tournament.
Kayleigh Valley led Montana with nine points and six rebounds.
The Irish outscored Montana 42-24 in the paint and 8-0 on fast-break points.
It was largest margin of defeat by Montana this season and its biggest loss in the NCAA Tournament, breaking the mark of 31 points to top-seeded Southern California in 1986.
Kathryn Westbeld added eight points and 10 rebounds as the Irish outrebounded Montana 38-32.
Montana, the Big Sky champion, shot 35.5 percent overall and was just 2-of-21 from 3-point range as they were held to a season-low for points. The previous low was 50 points against Pacific.
A basket inside by Loyd sparked a 10-2 spurt by the Irish that included a fastbreak layup by Loyd and a pair of baskets inside by Turner and another by Taya Reimer while the Lady Griz shot 1 of 7 with a turnover as the Irish opened a 57-32 lead. Michaela Mabrey hit a 3-pointer midway through the half to give Notre Dame a 62-34 lead.
The Irish scored on seven of their first eight possessions to quickly gain control, using a 14-0 run to open a 21-6 lead. Shanae Gilham made a 3-pointer and Maggie Rickman scored back-to-back baskets as the Lady Griz used a 7-0 spurt to cut the lead to cut the lead to eight points. But the Irish quickly regained control with baskets by Loyd and Turner but Montana didn't go away easily.
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw was clearly frustrated as the Irish allowed the Lady Griz to get three straight offensive rebounds. Maggie Rickman twice recovered her own misses, then Alycia Sims pulled down a miss by Kellie Rubel and scored underneath, but missed a free throw for the three-point play as the Lady Griz cut the lead to 35-22. The Irish used an 8-2 run to open a 43-24 halftime lead.
Oklahoma City Regional
(At) Iowa 75, American 67: Ally Disterhoft scored 18, and freshman Whitney Jennings 16 for Iowa (25-7), which will host 11th-seeded Miami in the second round on Sunday.
Miami 86, Washington 80: At Iowa City, Iowa, sophomore Adrienne Motley scored 30, Jessica Thomas 19 and Michelle Woods 17 for the Hurricanes (20-12).
Arkansas 57, Northwestern 55: At Waco, Texas, Jessica Jackson scored 14 and made the tiebreaking free throw with 30 seconds left as Arkansas (18-13) overcame a 13-point deficit. Northwestern (23-9) was in its first NCAA Tournament since 1997.
(At) Baylor 77, Northwestern State 36: Nina Davis scored 17 for Baylor (31-3), which took control with an early 14-2 run.
DePaul 79, Minnesota 72: At South Bend, Indiana, Megan Podkowa scored 23 and No. 9 seed DePaul (27-7) used a 22-4 second-half run to come from behind.
(At) South Carolina 81, Savannah State 48: A'ja Wilson scored 15 and Alaina Coates and Aleighsa Welch 12 each as top-seeded South Carolina (31-2) won its first NCAA Tournament home game in 13 years.
The Gamecocks last played an NCAA game on campus in 2002. Ever since, they've been prevented by the NCAA's ban against the Confederate flag which flies on Statehouse grounds.
Syracuse 72, Nebraska 69: At Columbia, South Carolina, Brianna Butler scored 17, including the go-ahead basket with 58.7 seconds left, for Syracuse (22-9).
(At) Kentucky 97, Tennessee State 52: Linnae Harper scored 16 to lead Kentucky (24-9).
Dayton 78, Iowa State 66: At Lexington, Kentucky, Ally Malott had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Dayton (26-6).
Texas 66, Western Kentucky 64: At Berkeley, California, Brooke McCarty made two free throws for Texas (23-10) with 20.8 seconds left and Alexis Govan missed a potential winning 3-pointer for Western Kentucky (30-5) in the final seconds.
(At) California 78, Wichita State 66: Reshanda Gray had 22 points and nine rebounds for Cal (24-9).
(At) Duke 54, Albany 52: Rebecca Greenwell hit a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left to win it for Duke (22-10).
Mississippi State 57, Tulane 47: At Durham, North Carolina, Breanna Richardson scored 15 for Mississippi State (27-6).
(At) Oregon State 74, South Dakota State 62: Sydney Wiese scored 23 and Ruth Hamblin scored 10 of her 17 during a key second-half run to lead third-seeded Oregon State (27-4).
Gonzaga 82, George Washington 69: At Corvallis, Oregon, Keani Albanez and Sunny Greinacher each scored 19 for Gonzaga (25-7).