Oklahoma City Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns
We did not learn much on Saturday as far as Baylor is concerned in the NCAA Tournament as they annihilated Texas Southern 119-30. The 89 point margin of victory was the largest ever in NCAA history for the women’s basketball tournament. Beatrice Nompremier scored 22 points to lead the Bears as they physically overwhelmed the Tigers as the game was out of reach after the first five minutes. This game was a perfect example as to why the NCAA Tournament field might need to be reduced in order to create more competitive games. California ground out a 55-52 win over LSU to advance on to the second round. The Golden Bears were led by Asha Thomas and Kristine Anigwe who always kept finding a way to make big plays against LSU and propel them forward to the seventh straight time that they have at least won their first round game. It is going to be important for Cal to have a balanced inside-outside attack to keep Baylor off balance. While for the Bears they are going to have to force the Golden Bears out of their comfort zone and get the tempo of the game up into the 70’s and 80’s.
Louisville put together a steady performance against Chattanooga and pulled away for an 82-62 win over the Mocs. Asia Durr was on fire for the Cardinals as she scored 27 points on 10 of 16 shooting the basketball. Myisha Hines-Allen had a double-double scoring 16 points, 12 rebounds and dished out five assists. Overall, Louisville shot 61.0 percent from the floor along with 58.3 percent shooting from behind the three-point line. The good version of Tennessee showed up against Dayton as the Lady Vols eliminated the Flyers by a score of 66-57. Diamond DeShields led Tennessee with 24 points and overall the Lady Vols did a fantastic job of getting the ball inside against Dayton. The third quarter was another difference maker for Tennessee as they outscored the Flyers 22-13 to get the separation they needed. This should be one of the best games of the second round as both teams are very talented and capable of deep runs in the NCAA Tournament.
Washington punched their ticket to the round of 32 by gradually pulling away from Montana State on Saturday night and eliminating the Bobcats by a score of 91-63. Kelsey Plum scored a very quiet 29 points and the rest of the scoring attack had the balance that is required of a team looking to go deep in the playoffs. Aarion McDonald and Natalie Romeo combined for 26 points on 10 of 22 shooting from the floor. Oklahoma got back on track against Gonzaga in the first round on Saturday as the Sooners rolled over the Bulldogs 75-62. Vionise Pierre-Louis nearly had a triple-double as she scored 17 points, had nine rebounds and nine block shots to lead a great defensive effort by Oklahoma. The Sooners held Gonzaga to a mere 33.8 percent field goal percentage as the overall level focus and intensity was consistent for four quarters. They will need a similar effort in order to knock off the Huskies on Monday night. Look for a high-flying offensive display by both teams on Monday night in front of a jam packed Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
Mississippi State used a 29-6 spurt in the second quarter to pull away from Troy as the Bulldogs routed the Trojans by a score of 110-63 on Friday. Blair Schaefer scored 21 points as Mississippi State had five players score in double figures. The three-point shooting for the Bulldogs was outstanding as they knocked 12 of 22 from behind the arc and they never truly were threatened by Troy. Another key component for Mississippi State that won the game for them was the three-point field goal defense as the Trojans only hit 5 of 31 shots from behind the arc. DePaul advanced on to the second round by dominating Northern Iowa 88-67. Tanita Allen led the Blue Demons with 25 points. DePaul started off very strong shooting the basketball in the first half and that proved to be too much for the Panthers on Friday. In order for DePaul to pull off another road upset in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday they are going to execute at a high level offensively and force Mississippi State into a fast paced type of game. For the Bulldogs, they have to force the issue against DePaul and make them have to play from behind right away.