Women's NCAA Tournament Spokane Second Round Game Breakdowns

Stanford - Tulsa Women's Basketball

Women’s NCAA Tournament Spokane Second Round Game Breakdowns


If Texas Tech had scored just one more basket, the Spokane Regional would have held up as a regional where all eight top seeds advanced to the second round.

Instead, South Florida scored the region’s lone upset and moved on to the round of 32, setting up four strong matchups as teams battle for the right to reach Spokane for the Sweet 16. Two teams from the Pac 12, two from the Big Ten and two from the Southeastern Conference are among the teams remaining in this regional.

Here is a look at the four matchups, to be played Monday and Tuesday.

#1 Stanford vs. # 8 Michigan (9:50 p.m. Tuesday at Stanford, California)

An explosive performance by Chiney Ogwumike helped the Cardinal survive a tough first-round challenge against Tulsa. Ogwumike’s 29 points, eight rebounds and three assists enabled Stanford to score a 72-56 victory. Oh, and Stanford’s shooting 52.7 percent (29-for-55) from the field didn’t hurt, either. Michigan widened a two-point lead in the second half to down Villanova, 60-52, in the other game as Kate Thompson’s 17 points, plus Rachel Sheffer’s 16 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals, enabled the Wolverines to move on. Stanford (32-2) has not faced any Big Ten teams this season, and its two losses have come against Connecticut and California. Michigan (22-10) saw most of its losses take place in the Big 10. A common opponent for the two was Utah, and Stanford won its battle 70-56 while Michigan lost 59-40. Needless to say, Michigan needs to stop Ogwumike if it even has one shot to win this game. More than likely, the Cardinal will move on to Spokane to face either Iowa State or Georgia.


#5 Iowa State vs. #4 Georgia (9:50 p.m. Monday at Spokane, Washington)

So much for a home team threatening to give fits to the higher seed. Iowa State brushed past the fact it was essentially the visitor in a home game for 12th-seed Gonzaga. The Cyclones used 52.3 percent shooting (23-for-44) and Chelsea Poppens’ 19 points to beat Gonzaga, 72-60. Hallie Christofferson also came through with 18 points, 11 of those coming in the second half. Iowa State (24-8) goes up against Georgia (25-6), which used 16 points from Jasmine Hassell and 13 points from Shacobia Barbee to top Montana in a 70-50 triumph. Iowa State did not play any games against Georgia or any SEC opponent in the regular season, but Georgia has a game against Big 12 school TCU (a 68-52 victory). Of course, TCU finished last in the Big 12 and Iowa State definitely came in higher. This game is going to depend on which duo comes out hot right away. If Barbee and Hassell start strong Iowa State could be in trouble, and the same goes for Georgia facing adversity if Christofferson and Poppens pop out for Iowa State.


#6 LSU vs. #3 Penn State (9:45 p.m. Tuesday at Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

The SEC goes up against the Big Ten in a second-round matchup hosted by the Tigers. LSU almost didn’t make it to this second-round game, however, as Green Bay nearly sent the Tigers packing. Still, LSU prevailed 75-71, as Danielle Ballard and Theresa Plaisance’s last-second free throws helped the Tigers avoid Green Bay’s upset bid. This was the second time in five seasons LSU (21-11) beat Green Bay in tournament play. As for Penn State, Maggie Lucas and Alex Bentley combined for 37 points as the Nittany Lions topped Cal Poly 85-55 in their tournament showdown. Penn State has faced one SEC team this season, as it narrowly escaped with a 63-58 win over Texas A&M in the season’s second game. Meanwhile, LSU has no experience facing Big Ten schools this season. Its non-conference losses came against Hampton, Georgetown, Tulane and Florida Gulf Coast. Like with the Iowa State-Georgia matchup, this is going to come down to whichever team has the hottest 1-2 punch right out of the gate. I give a slight edge to Penn State, if only because Lucas can be such a dominant player, but don’t count LSU out thanks to all that experience facing tough SEC schools.


#10 South Florida vs. #2 California (9:45 p.m. Monday at Lubbock, Texas)

As previously mentioned, South Florida was the only team that prevented this regional from becoming one where all eight top seeds moved along to the second round. The hot shooting of Inga Orekhova, who drained five 3-pointers on the way to a 20-point night, helped South Florida to a 71-70 victory over 7-seed Texas Tech. South Florida limited Texas Tech scorer Casey Morris to only four points, one third her regular scoring average, in the victory. The Bulls (22-10), who finished in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Big East, now face a California squad that tied Stanford for the Pac 12 championship. The Golden Bears (28-3) picked up 21 points and a career-best 13 rebounds from Brittany Boyd in a 90-76 victory over Fresno State. California has not seen South Florida this season but it did beat Big East rival Georgetown, 72-56. South Florida beat Georgetown by 28 points. Understand that Georgetown’s women finished near the bottom of the Big East, so this look at a common opponent may not be so impressive. Both schools had strong schedules, but California has held its own against tough opponents and should do so again.


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