Women's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Spokane Round of 16 Game Breakdowns

Spokane Region Round of 16 Game Breakdowns


#1 Maryland vs. #4 Duke (Spokane, Washington)

Two former rivals from the Atlantic Coast Conference will face off once again in the Sweet 16 as the Maryland Terrapins and Duke Blue Devils will renew acquaintances. Maryland punched their ticket to Spokane by wearing down Princeton 85-70 in the second round on Monday night. The lone senior for the Terrapins, Laurin Mincy, closed her career at the XFINITY Center in style as she scored 27 points thanks to 9-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 6-of-7 from three-point range. Lexie Brown was also outstanding against the Tigers, scoring 23 points and imposing her will on the Princeton backcourt in the second half along with Mincy. Maryland also did a nice job of taking care of the basketball as they only turned the ball over 12 times, which is the type of number that will get them to the Final Four if they keep it up.

Duke grinded out a tough win over Mississippi State to once again advance on to the Sweet 16. They beat the Bulldogs 64-56. The Blue Devils shot the ball well at 52 percent and were led by the trio of Azura Stevens, Elizabeth Williams, and Rebecca Greenwell. Stevens scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds. Williams in her final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, had 12 points along with nine rebounds, and Greenwell chipped in 17 points. The defense was brilliant for Duke as they held Mississippi State to a 30.5 percent field goal percentage and kept Victoria Vivians and Breanna Richardson in check all game long.

The keys to the game for Maryland will be to try and wear out the limited backcourt depth the Blue Devils have with constant pressure for 40 minutes. Lexie Brown and Laurin Mincy are going to have to set the tone offensively and find their shooting stroke once again and Brionna Jones is going to have to at least play even with Elizabeth Williams in the post. For Duke, the keys are simple and that is to try and slow the tempo down, take care of the basketball and get similar performances out of Stevens, Williams, and Greenwell. Maryland overall is the better team and should wear down the Blue Devils, but this game is on a neutral court way out west in Spokane so anything is possible.


#2 Tennessee vs #11 Gonzaga (Spokane, Washington)

Tennessee advanced to its 33rd Sweet 16 in 34 years after beating Pittsburgh on Monday night 77-67. The Lady Vols put together another methodical performance in all phases to move to 27-0 all-time in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Basharra Graves continued her outstanding performance in the postseason so far as Graves scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds to pace Tennessee. Cierra Burdick took care of business inside as well for the Lady Vols as she chipped in 14 points. The shooting was a little off for Tennessee, as they only shot just over 40 percent from the floor. However, they were relentless on the boards, which offset their shooting struggles. Tennessee outrebounded the Panthers 46-29.

Gonzaga earned the right to play in front of their home crowd in the Sweet 16 by going into Corvallis and upsetting Oregon State 76-64. The Bulldogs scored the final 12 points to break a 64 all tie with 3:30 left to seal the victory. Emma Wolfram stepped up in a big way for Gonzaga, scoring 17 points and overall the Bulldogs did a nice job of running the offense and not being intimidated by Oregon State. They shot an impressive 50 percent from the floor. Defensively, the big difference maker for Gonzaga was the 11 steals that they caused as part of 18 Beaver turnovers. Sunny Greinacher had four of those 11 steals to go along with her 12 points offensively.

For Tennessee, if they are going to advance to the Elite Eight, they need to take the crowd out of the game with a good start even if they don’t race out to a double-digit lead. They also need big performances from Graves and Burdick to contain the Bulldogs in the paint and then hold their own in the backcourt. For Gonzaga, they need to be efficient offensively and give the crowd in Spokane a reason to be a factor. Also, they need to control things in the backcourt with Keani Albanez and Elle Tinkle as they will be tested by Ariel Massengale and her Lady Vol backcourt mates. This is a fascinating matchup that would not should be a shocker whatsoever if Gonzaga snuck out a close victory over Tennessee in front of the home fans and advance to the Elite Eight.


Tournament Central