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

Stockton Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns
South Carolina dispatched of UNC-Asheville 90-40 in the first round on Friday. The Gamecocks are playing in this NCAA Tournament without Alaina Coates so they are going to have to adjust the way that the play a little bit. Allisha Gray stepped big against the Bulldogs by scoring 22 points and collecting 12 rebounds. A’ja Wilson and Bianca Cuevas-Moore chipped in 18 points apiece. Defensively, South Carolina was pretty flawless outscoring UNC-Asheville 48-13 over the course of the second and third quarter. Arizona State got things going offensively against Michigan State in a 73-61 victory over the Spartans. Quinn Dornstauder led the way scoring wise with 16 points for Arizona State. Add in Sabrina Haines and Reili Richardson chipping in big games offensively and you have to be encouraged as a Sun Devils fan. Defense will decide this game as both the Gamecocks and Arizona State are two of the best in the country at limiting team’s ability to score the basketball.
Miami escaped a furious upset bid from Florida Gulf Coast as the Hurricanes nipped the Eagles by a score of 62-60. The Hurricanes overcame a very rough afternoon shooting the basketball from behind the three-point arc as they only made 1 of 14. Keyona Hayes scored 16 points to lead Miami, including her final two points with 1.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Points in the paint were another difference maker and the Hurricanes outscored Florida Gulf Coast 41-26 in the paint. Quinnipiac upset the fifth-seeded Marquette Golden Eagles 68-65 on Saturday in the first game of the day in Coral Gables. The win was the first NCAA Tournament victory for the Bobcats. Jen Fay led Quinnipiac with 20 points and Paula Starutmane added 15 points to pace the scoring attack for the Bobcats. This game should be closer than the experts think as defense should dominate for both teams.
Florida State overcame a slow start against Western Illinois and pulled away for an 87-66 victory. Shakayla Thomas led the Seminoles with 23 points and 14 rebounds as Florida State was able to take advantage of the lack of a true post player for the Leathernecks. The ability to adjust for the Seminoles as the game went along and impose their will is a very encouraging sign moving forward in the NCAA Tournament. Missouri had to grind out a victory over South Florida 66-64 to move on for a shot to upset Florida State. Sierra Michaelis led the Tigers in the win over the Bulls, scoring 16 points and gathering nine rebounds. Lindsey and Sophie Cunningham also came up with a combined 25 points to push Missouri through to the second round. The ability for both teams to start fast is going to be very important because it won’t be as easy for either team to execute a big comeback on Sunday.
Oregon State escaped with their lives on Friday against Long Beach State as the Beavers defeated the 49ers by a score of 56-55. Sydney Wiese struggled shooting the basketball only making 1 of 8 shots from the floor. Thus, it was up to Breanna Brown, Mikayla Pivec, and Marie Gulich to step up offensively. They combined to score 32 points to go along with 21 rebounds. Long Beach State did everything they could to take Wiese out of the game and it is encouraging that Oregon State found a way to win without needing Wiese to carry them offensively. Defensively, the Beavers are going to have to do a better job of defending the three point line as the 49ers hit 10 of 18 shots from three point range, which went a long way towards keeping them in the game. Creighton started fast against Toledo in the first quarter as they outscored the Rockets 27-12 enroute to a 76-49 win.  Marissa Janning scored 19 points to lead the Blue Jays offensively and Sydney Lamberty added 16 points. Creighton also shot the ball very well at 47.3 percent and limited Toledo to a 32.3 percent field goal percentage. It will be up to Oregon State to set a strong tone early at the defensive end of the court if they are to advance on to the Sweet 16 in Stockton.