Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Bridgeport Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns

Bridgeport Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns
Connecticut’s quest for yet another national title began with an easy 116-55 win over Albany. Kia Nurse and Naphessa Collier scored 24 points each to lead the way, while Gabby Williams added 20 points and 10 rebounds. Syracuse had a great shooting day, knocking down 15 of 29 three-pointers and that was way too efficient for Iowa State to keep up with on Saturday afternoon.
The Orange will need another big shooting night if they hope to beat the Huskies. Freshman Gabby Cooper had the game of her young career by making 8 of 15 from long range. Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson are the usual scorers on the perimeter and must be at their best too. Keeping up with Connecticut is one thing, but slowing them down is another issue all together. Syracuse will not be able to slow down Nurse, Collier, Williams and Katie Lou Samuelson. One of those Connecticut players will have a big game and that is probably enough for the Huskies to reach the Sweet 16.
#4 UCLA vs. #5 Texas A&M
A balanced scoring attack led UCLA to an easy victory over Boise State. The Bruins will move on to face a Texas A&M squad that mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback to beat Penn by a score of 63-61. The Aggies were down 17 heading into the fourth quarter and hope to take that momentum into the game against the Bruins.
If Texas A&M is going to win another thrilling contest, they will have to dominate the glass and find some opportunities to get second chance points. The Bruins are not a team that will beat themselves by turning the ball over, so it is important for Anriel Howard and Khaalia Hillsman to get some easy buckets in the paint. Those two can dominate the frontcourt, even against a team as talented as UCLA. For the Bruins, they will need to shoot like they did against Boise State. The team hit 58.8 percent of their shots from beyond the arc and 58.2 percent of their shots from the floor. More numbers like that and UCLA will get a shot at, presumably, Connecticut in Bridgeport.
Unlike some other high seeds on Friday, Maryland had no trouble at in their opener. The Terrapins got off to an early lead against Bucknell and cruised to a 103-61 victory. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 28 points while Brionna Jones added 25 and a team high ten rebounds. West Virginia had a tougher game against 11th seeded Elon. The Mountaineers were only up one at the half and did not pull away until the fourth quarter in the 75-62 win.
WVU will have to play much better if they want to beat Maryland. The Terrapins will get up and down the floor and score a ton of points and the Mountaineers must find a way to slow them down. Tynice Martin and Teana Muldrow can help WVU keep up with Maryland, but eventually the Terps will wear them down and force too many turnovers for West Virginia to be able to overcome.
#2 Duke vs. #10 Oregon
Oregon came out on top in a hard fought 71-70 win over Temple. Ruthy Hebard hit the game winner and led the team with 23 points. Do-it-all freshman Sabrina Ionescu added 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Duke cruised past Hampton and won by a score of 94-31. Following a second quarter in which Duke outscored Hampton 31-2, there was no doubt who was going to emerge to play Oregon in the second round.
Duke’s tough defense should cause some problems for Oregon, especially when it comes to shooting from long range. The Ducks have the fifth best three-point shooting field goal percentage in the country. That was not on display against Temple as Oregon hit just 4-of-16 from long range, but Ionescu, Lexi Bando and Maite Cazorla will have to be effective from beyond the arc in order to create space for Hebard and Mallory McGwire in the paint. Duke can mostly rely on junior guards Lexie Brown and Rebecca Greenwell to do a bulk of the scoring. As long as the frontcourt plays tough on the glass and blocks a few shots, Duke will win this with their defense and reach the Sweet 16.