Women's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Spokane Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns

Spokane Region Round of 32 Game Breakdowns
The Fighting Irish hit the ground running in the NCAA Tournament as they raced past Cal State Northridge 99-81 in the first round on Friday. Arike Ogunbowale led Notre Dame with 30 points. Jessica Shepard and Marina Mabrey added 24 and 23 points, respectively. In addition, the Fighting Irish did an outstanding job of sharing the basketball as they had 28 assists on 40 field goals against the Matadors.
Villanova advanced to the second round with an 81-74 overtime victory over South Dakota State. The Wildcats were led by Adrianna Hahn’s 24 points and she had excellent discipline handling the basketball as Hahn did not commit a turnover in the win over the Jackrabbits. Notre Dame should be able to wear down Villanova in the second half, but don’t be surprised if the Wildcats keep the game interesting into the second half.
#4 Texas A&M vs. #5 DePaul
It was a methodical win for Texas A&M in the first round as they beat Drake 89-76. The Aggies took the Bulldogs best shot in the first quarter and led Texas A&M 28-26 after one quarter. However, the Aggies cranked things up in the second quarter and outscored Drake 31-14 to pull away from the Bulldogs. Chennedy Carter led the scoring for Texas A&M with 26 points and Khaalia Hillsman had 22 points. Points off turnovers were another difference maker for the Aggies as they won that battle 18-6.
DePaul advanced to the second round once again as the Blue Demons beat Oklahoma 90-79 in a high scoring affair. Five players scored in double figures for DePaul, led by Amarah Coleman’s 17 points. The Blue Demons also stepped it up defensively in the fourth quarter as they held the Sooners for a 4:35 stretch to pull away for the win. This game should be a highly entertaining up and down affair with both teams scoring around 80 plus points.
Ohio State had little trouble with George Washington in the first round as they cruised past the Colonials 87-45. Stephanie Mavunga’s 22 points paced the Buckeyes offensively but the most encouraging part of the win for Ohio State was their defense. The Buckeyes limited George Washington to a 27.3 percent field goal percentage on Saturday.
Central Michigan upset LSU on Saturday in the 6-11 matchup as the Chippewas beat the Tigers 78-69. Tinara Moore’s 25 points jump started the Central Michigan scoring attack. Also, the Chippewas shot 50 percent and earned their first NCAA tournament win in program history. Ohio State will need to crank the tempo up on Central Michigan to advance on to the Sweet 16. For the Chippewas, they will need to take advantage of opportunities in transition and knock down easy shots and get the game to second half with a chance to steal it late.
#2 Oregon vs. #10 Minnesota
Oregon took care of business against Seattle University in the first round as the Ducks dominated the Redhawks 88-45. Oregon sprinted out to a 25-6 lead after the end of the first quarter and did not look back the rest of the night. Sabrina Ionescu scored 19 points, collected ten rebounds and dished out 11 assists to add another triple-double to her resume. Oti Gildon, Ruthy Hebard, Lexi Bando and Maite Carzola also scored in double-figures to provide that balanced attack for the Ducks which makes them so tough to beat.
Minnesota was excellent offensively against a tough Green Bay team as the Golden Gophers beat the Phoenix 89-77. Kendra Bell had an outstanding half, scoring 24 of her 26 points to help Minnesota overcome a 10-point deficit. Three-point shooting is going to be key on Sunday for the Golden Gophers as they shot 55.6 percent from the behind the arc against Green Bay. Knocking down outside shots will keep Oregon off balance defensively. The Ducks need to stay committed defensively and not let Bell get loose for any easy shots. Offensively, Oregon just needs to continue to stay balanced, share the basketball and take what the Golden Gophers give them. Look for a high scoring affair on Sunday night with the Ducks advancing on to the Sweet 16.