Women's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament Lincoln Region 1st Round Game Breakdowns

2014 NCAA Tournament Lincoln Regional First Round Game Breakdowns


#1 Connecticut vs. #16 Prairie View A&M (Storrs, Connecticut)

Connecticut has pretty much steamrolled through everyone this season enroute to a 34-0 record. The Huskies led by ESPNW National player of the year Breanna Stewart, have outstanding veteran leadership with Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson. Connecticut has been very lethal at both ends of the court, shooting over 50 percent offensively while limiting opponents to 47 points per game. Prairie View A&M is the SWAC Champion for the fourth straight time and they are led by junior guard Jeanette Jackson who is averaging 19.4 points per contest.


#8 Georgia vs. #9 St. Joseph's (Storrs, Connecticut)

This is an intriguing matchup as the Lady Bulldogs head into their 20th straight NCAA Tournament in 2014. Defense has been the key to success for Georgia this season as they have limited teams to just 58.5 points per game and are led by Shacobia Barbee, who is scoring just over 12 points per game. They will definitely look to control pace against St. Joseph’s. For the Hawks, it will be all about the backcourt in this matchup as the combination of Erin Shields and Natasha Cloud have the ideal veteran experience in the backcourt that you need to advance in the NCAA Tournament. Their ability as well to shoot effectively from three-point range will be very important for St. Joseph’s in this matchup to keep the Lady Bulldogs defense honest.


#5 North Carolina State vs. #12 BYU (Los Angeles, California)

NC State has had an excellent first season from first-year head coach Wes Moore, who was the ACC Coach of the Year. The Wolfpack are battle tested with some very strong wins over NCAA Tournament teams such as LSU, Syracuse, and Maryland. Senior forward Kody Burke leads the way for NC State with a scoring average of 15 points per game. This will also be a bit of a homecoming for Burke as she is from nearby Northridge. The shooting of the Wolfpack is among the best in the nation at over 45 percent from the field if they can get hot early they can pull away from BYU. The Cougars got in as the second team out of the West Coast Conference and has beaten Gonzaga during the regular season holding the Bulldogs to just 52 points. The inside presence of senior center Jennifer Hamson is key in this matchup as she averages over 18 points per game. But, more importantly, blocks four shots per game. The ability to force NC State to beat BYU from the perimeter will be critical to the success of the Cougars ability to pull the upset.


#4 Nebraska vs. #13 Fresno State (Los Angeles, California)

The Huskers roll into the NCAA Tournament as the Big Ten Conference Tournament champion. When they are firing on all cylinders offensively like they did on February 24th in a 94-74 win over Penn State, Nebraska is one of the most entertaining teams to watch. The experience of senior forward Jordan Hooper, along with junior forward Emily Cady, is going to be a difference maker in pushing the Huskers forward in the NCAA Tournament. Fresno State is once again in the NCAA Tournament as champions of the Mountain West Conference. The Bulldogs are anchored by the senior backcourt duo of Taylor Thompson and Bree Farley who have combined for 28.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. These two are going to have manage tempo well and take care of the basketball to be in position to upset Nebraska.


#6 Gonzaga vs. #11 James Madison (College Station, Texas)

This is an outstanding battle of top flight mid-major teams this season. Gonzaga received its highest seed in the history of the program this season, which is a testament to job done by veteran head coach Kelly Graves. The balance of the Bulldogs is impressive as always, led by senior guard Haiden Palmer from the outside and junior forward Sunny Greinacher down in the post. The defense of Gonzaga has been excellent in limiting teams to just over 36 percent shooting from the field. James Madison is the champion of the Colonial Athletic Association. The Dukes have the CAA Player of the year in Kirby Burkholder, who is averaging nearly a double-double with over 18 points and eight rebounds per contest. The Dukes also do an excellent job at limiting opponents from getting cheap baskets as their scoring defense has limited teams to just 55.5 points per game. That is an outstanding number. This game is going to go down to the wire most likely.


#3 Texas A&M vs. #14 North Dakota (College Station, Texas)

The Aggies have had another very strong season in the Southeastern Conference, as they went 13-3 during the conference regular season schedule. The perimeter play is crucial to the success of Texas A&M, most notably sophomore guard Courtney Walker and her 15.2 points per game. The ability to get to the basket with this small lineup is also very important. They have struggled a great deal from three-point range averaging 2.2 made shots per game this season. North Dakota is the champion from the Big Sky Conference. Senior forward Madi Buck and sophomore forward Mia Lloyd lead the way for the Fighting Sioux by averaging in double-figures scoring wise. They are going to have to do a great job on the boards against Texas A&M as this season North Dakota had a rebounding margin of +11.0 against their opponents. If they can control the glass and limit second-chance shots for the Aggies, North Dakota will have a chance in this game.


#7 DePaul vs. #10 Oklahoma (Durham, North Carolina)

This matchup is the ultimate balance of a streaking team in DePaul that has won 16 of 17 versus an Oklahoma team that has struggled somewhat at the end of the regular season and in the Big 12 Conference Tournament. The Blue Demons are very dynamic offensively as they play a very small lineup but are among the highest scoring teams in the nation at 84.0 points per game. The trio of junior guards Megan Rogowski, Brittany Hyrnko and sophomore Chanise Jenkins are the engine that makes this high octane offense go so smoothly for DePaul. Oklahoma snuck its way into the tournament out of a very difficult Big 12 Conference. This team is talented and experienced with senior guards Aaryn Ellenburg and Morgan Hook. The ability to consistently defend well for 40 minutes will be the difference for the Sooners as to whether or not they advance to the second round this season.


#2 Duke vs. #15 Winthrop (Durham, North Carolina)

The Blue Devils got things going nicely in the ACC Conference Tournament. There is plenty of experience for Duke, led by senior guard Tricia Liston. Her toughness and ability to get on fire from outside the three-point arc are the types of things that are very tough to deal with for any opponent. Winthrop is the champion of the Big South Conference. The Eagles will need a big performance out of their best all-around player, senior guard Dequesh McClanahan. She scores 17.6 points per game and does an outstanding job distributing the basketball and being a force from the backcourt on the boards as well.


Lincoln Regional Overview


Tournament Central