Women's Basketball 2017 NCAA Tournament Stockton Region Sweet 16 Game Breakdowns

Stockton Region Sweet Sixteen Game Breakdowns
South Carolina had to battle with Arizona State down to the final seconds as the Gamecocks escaped with a 71-68 victory on Sunday night. With the win, South Carolina will be making its fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16 thanks to A’ja Wilson and Kaela Davis. Wilson had a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Davis scored 20 points, including 15 in the second half and it’s that clutch play by Davis that will need to continue in a big way heading into the Stockton Regional. There also is the question of the health of Allisha Gray as she went down with a knee injury late in the game against the Sun Devils. If Gray can’t play it will leave South Carolina without two starters as Alaina Coates is out due to injury and thus the bench would become very short. If the Gamecocks get into foul trouble early, it could very easily swing this game in the opposite direction.
Quinnipiac is the Cinderella story of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament as they upset Miami (FL) on their home floor 85-78 on Monday night. The Bobcats were led by Morgan Manz, who scored 22 points including 6-of-8 shooting from three-point range. Aryn McClure chipped in 15 points against the Hurricanes and Paula Strautmane dominated the boards with 11 rebounds. The key to this game will be whether or not the Gamecocks can put away Quinnipiac early because if the Bobcats can keep this game close and it get into the second half, then all bets are off. For Quinnipiac, they need to go in to this matchup with South Carolina and play fearless with nothing to lose.
Oregon State is back in the Sweet 16 after knocking off Creighton 64-52 on Sunday night. The Beavers put together a much improved performance against the Blue Jays at both ends of the court. Sydney Wiese led a balanced scoring attack with 13 points. Gabriella Hanson and Marie Gulich scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, and Gulich had 12 critical rebounds at the defensive end of the court as well. Overall, the Beavers limited Creighton to 36.7 percent shooting from the floor and were even more effective from behind the three-point line as the Blue Jays only knocked two three point shots. With this great mix of balanced scoring, relentless defense and overall good health as a team, you have to think that Oregon State might be a slight favorite in the Stockton Region considering the health concerns for South Carolina.
Florida State is back in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season after thoroughly dismantling Missouri 77-55 on Sunday afternoon. The Seminoles overcame a slow first quarter once again as the Tigers had a 14-12 lead after one quarter. However, in the second and third quarters for Florida State they were electric as the Seminoles outscored Missouri 44-23. Shakayla Thomas had another huge game, scoring 20 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Brittany Brown scored 16 points to go along with eight assists. Imani Wright and Leticia Romero added 14 points apiece to round a very balanced attack. Now, in order for the Seminoles to get to the Elite Eight, they are going to have to get off to a better start against the Beavers and stay patient if shots don’t fall right away. If Florida State can stay patient for four quarters, they will be in a position to get the win late. For Oregon State, they are going to need to be efficient with their shot selection and take care of the basketball as they can ill afford to let the Seminoles go on their patented runs offensively. Defensively, in order for the Beavers to advance they will need to do what they do and that’s execute their system with great attention to detail and, if they do that, it will result in a return trip to the Elite Eight.