Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Albany Round of 64 Game Breakdowns

Albany Region Round of 64 Game Breakdowns


#1 Connecticut vs. #16 St. Francis Brooklyn (Storrs, Connecticut)

Connecticut is not going to have any trouble with St. Francis Brooklyn. The Huskies can blowout South Carolina, so they are certainly going to blowout the Terriers too. St. Francis Brooklyn does have a balanced scoring attack, led by forwards Jaymee Veney and Sarah Benedetti. Those two can do a lot of scoring, but their play on the defensive end and on the glass will be much more important. Teams often have way too easy of a time finding open shots against the Terriers and Connecticut will take full advantage of any opportunity.


#8 Rutgers vs. #9 Seton Hall (Storrs, Connecticut)

This is an interesting game between the high scoring Pirates and the Big Ten’s best defensive team. With Ka-Deidre Simmons (17.4 points per game), Daisha Simmons (16.9 points per game) and Tabatha Richardson-Smith (17.8 points per game), Seton Hall can hit you from anywhere on the floor on the offensive end. Rutgers is a tough nut to crack though. They have allowed the opposition to shoot just 36.5 percent from the floor and allow just 60 points per game. These two met last year in the NIT where Rutgers came away with a win on their way to an NIT championship. Seton Hall, who is making their first NCAA appearance since 1995, does have the scoring talent to make Rutgers play their style of game and force them up and down the floor a little. The game could hinge on the glass though, and that is where the Scarlet Knights have a big advantage.


#5 Texas vs. #12 Western Kentucky (Berkeley, California)

The Lady Toppers have won a dozen games in a row and that includes one game against Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss and two against a 20 win Old Dominion squad. This is a high scoring offense that can knock down shots consistently thanks to the fine interior play of Alexis Govan and Chastity Gooch. Texas will be tough to get past, but they have a young team and not a whole lot of frontcourt depth. If WKU can get Kelsey Lang or Imani McGee-Stafford into foul trouble, the Lady Toppers have a great shot at pulling off a 12/5 upset. Much could depend on the backcourt play of Texas’ Brady Sanders and Ariel Atkins. Those two need to keep the turnovers down.


#4 California vs. #13 Wichita State (Berkeley, California)

Wichita State absolutely dominated the MVC, going 17-1. They have only lost one game since losing 54-51 at Tennessee. Alex Harden and Jamillah Bonner are a dangerous duo who will look to continue their current 12 game winning streak. California stands in the way and their home court advantage and talent may be too much for the Shockers. Brittany Boyd is one of the best players in the country and she averages 13.3 points, 6.8 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 3.0 steals. Forward Reshanda Gray is great in the paint and adds 17.5 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Cal has been beatable this year, but they should be able to at least win this game.


#6 South Florida vs. #11 LSU (Tampa Bay, Florida)

LSU has had a rebuilding year of sorts, but the talent is there. Guards Danielle Ballard and Raigyne Moncrief are more than capable of going to Tampa Bay and leading the Tigers to a victory over South Florida. This is a team that has beaten Mississippi State, Kentucky and Texas A&M, twice. The issue is putting everything together and playing 40 minutes of solid basketball. That is what it will take to beat the Bulls. Junior guard Courtney Williams led the American Athletic Conference in scoring with 20.2 points per game and is an all-around great player. She will not let her season end without leaving her best effort on the floor.


#3 Louisville vs. #14 BYU (Tampa Bay, Florida)

Heading into the West Coast Conference tournament, BYU was struggling. They had lost four of their last five games with the only win coming at home against last place Portland. And even that was an extremely close game. However, the Cougars turned it around in the conference tournament and knocked off Saint Mary’s, Gonzaga and San Francisco to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Before that poor stretch, this was looking like a tournament team, or at least a bubble team, so the talent is there to pull off a massive upset. Louisville is going to have trouble containing both Lexi Eaton and Morgan Bailey. Those two combine to average 38.0 points, 5.4 assists and 17.0 rebounds per game. Finding somebody else who is at least a threat to score in Tampa Bay is important though. The Cardinals are not a great defensive team, but they can keep an extra eye on both Eaton and Bailey and make somebody else beat them. Nobody else will.


#7 Dayton vs. #10 Iowa State (Lexington, Kentucky)

This could be one of the more entertaining first round games in any region. Both teams like to shoot the basketball and both can score in bunches. For Dayton, they revolve around star guard Andrea Hoover and forward Ally Malott. There is also enough scoring punch from Kelley Austria and Amber Deane to make it difficult for the opposition to just worry about Hoover and Malott. The Cyclones are led by point guard Nikki Moody, who averages 14.5 points and 6.9 assists per game. She has done an absolutely amazing job keeping the turnovers down and can take over a huge chunk of the team’s scoring as well. But Iowa State will need others to score if they want to get past Dayton. Seanna Johnson, Brynn Williamson and Bryanna Fernstrom have been the most consistent scoring options behind Moody.


#2 Kentucky vs. #15 Tennessee State (Lexington, Kentucky)

Tennessee State shocked UT-Martin in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament final, beating the Skyhawks 64-60 in overtime to reach the NCAA Tournament. The balanced Tigers attack is not particularly potent and this team must shoot better from the floor if they want to give Kentucky a game. Kentucky is playing well right now and beat South Carolina during their regular season finale and won a couple games in the SEC Tournament as well. Kentucky is a small team and they can struggle to hit shots consistently, but those are issues that will come to light in a round or two, not against Tennessee State.


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