Monday's women's roundup: Maryland knocks off Princeton
College Park, Md. — As the final seconds of Princeton's season ticked away, its unbeaten run ending against No. 1 seed Maryland in the NCAA Women's Tournament, Tigers coach Courtney Banghart took a stroll along the sideline.
She stopped in front of each of her seated players for a fist bump, no amount of coaching able to change this outcome.
After winning its first 31 games, Princeton lost its 32nd on Monday night, staying with higher-ranked and higher-regarded Maryland on its home floor for a half before eventually being overwhelmed 85-70, a result that sends the Terrapins to the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive year.
Afterward, Banghart reiterated her complaint that Princeton deserved a better outcome than a No. 8 seeding that placed it in a second-round game on the road against a top school.
"Meeting Maryland on their home floor as a 1 (seed) is disappointing for the women's game," Banghart said. "These are two really good teams. To grow as a game, you want to have your best teams playing late into the season.
"Our season ended earlier than we would have liked. But I don't think my second career is going to be in 'bracketology,' because I think I'm pretty well-educated and I'm not quite sure I understand it."
This was the sort of successful, talented and deep team Princeton (31-1) hadn't had to deal with much this season.
Plus, among the 7,794 fans, the Maryland red far outnumbered the Princeton orange in the stands, and the "Let's go, Maryland!" chants rang through the arena when player introductions concluded.
"I don't want to dwell on 'what ifs,'" said Blake Dietrick, the senior guard who led Princeton with 26 points. "We did everything we possibly could to earn a high seed: We won every single game in the regular season."
That drew a chuckle from Banghart.
Vanessa Smith added 15 points for the Tigers, who led the nation in 3-point shooting percentage at 41.1 but hit only 23.5 percent Monday, going 4-for-17.
At the other end, The Terrapins went 12-for-20, including 7-for-8 in the second half.
After leading 42-38 at halftime, the Terrapins (32-2) broke things open with a 13-0 run.
More Spokane Regional
(At) Tennessee 77, Pittsburgh 67: Bashaara Graves scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds as Tennessee withstood a late rally. The second-seeded Lady Vols (29-5) improved to 56-0 in NCAA Tournament home games. Pittsburgh finished 20-12.
(At) Florida State 65, Florida Gulf Coast 47: Shakayla Thomas scored 12 points and Leticia Romero added 11 to help No. 2 Florida State (31-4) end seventh-seeded Florida Gulf Coast's 26-game winning streak. Taylor Gradinjan's 12 points led Florida Gulf Coast (30-3), which shot just 31 percent overall and 25 percent from 3-point range. The 47 points was the fewest scored by the 20th-ranked Eagles this season.
(At) North Carolina 86, Ohio State 84: Jamie Cherry hit a jumper with 0.6 seconds left. Stephanie Mavunga had a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds, Allisha Gray added 20 points and Brittany Rountree had 15 for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-8). Ohio State is 24-11.
(At) Arizona State 57, Arkansas-Little Rock 54: Sophie Brunner had 16 points and scored the go-ahead basket with less than a minute left, helping Arizona State rally from a 16-point deficit. No. 3 seed Arizona State (29-5) labored against UALR's defensive pressure most of the night before getting the ball inside in the second half.
Brunner put the Sun Devils up 53-52 on a putback with 54 seconds left and Elisha Davis blocked Alexius Dawn's last-second 3-pointer, sending Arizona State to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2009.
Promise Amukamara added 17 points for the Sun Devils, who face Florida State in the regional semifinals on Friday.
No. 11 seed UALR (29-5) went through a scoring drought of 5-1/2 minutes in the second half as Arizona State clawed its way back from the big deficit.
Oklahoma City Regional
(At) Stanford 86, Oklahoma 76: Amber Orrange scored 24 points and Lili Thompson added 19 as Stanford's backcourt mates took the game over in the second half. Bonnie Samuelson scored 19 points and Briana Roberson provided a spark with 13 points and tough defense to help Stanford (26-9). Kaylon Williams scored 24 points and Gioya Carter added 20 for the Sooners (21-12).
Louisville 60, (at) South Florida 52: Jude Schimmel scored 13 points, Myisha Hines-Allen added 12 and No. 3 seed Louisville reached its third consecutive Sweet 16. Louisville (27-6) will face Dayton in the round of 16.
Courtney Williams had 25 points for South Florida (27-8). It was the 20th time she scored 20 or more this season.
(At) Connecticut 91, Rutgers 55: Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 23 points to lead No. 1 UConn on Geno Auriemma's 61st birthday, putting the Huskies into the NCAA Tournament's regional semifinals for the 22nd consecutive season. Moriah Jefferson added 19 points and Morgan Tuck had 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists for the Huskies (34-1), who won their 33rd consecutive game and 79th in 80 tries.
The Huskies, who hope to win their 10th national championship and third in row, and are now 99-17 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, face Texas next week in Albany.
Tyler Scaife had 16 points for eighth-seeded Rutgers (23-10), which was in its first NCAA Tournament since 2012 and has not made it past the second round since 2009.