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FSU women advance in NCAA Tournament

Florida State forward Natasha Howard blocks a shot by Iowa State’s Seanna Johnson in the first half.

Associated Press

Florida State forward Natasha Howard blocks a shot by Iowa State’s Seanna Johnson in the first half.

AMES, Iowa — Cheetah Delgado says she and her Florida State teammates went into their NCAA Tournament opener with the idea they were playing not just Iowa State but also the Hilton Coliseum crowd.

The Seminoles beat both Saturday.

Natasha Howard had her school-record 15th double double this season with 10 points and 13 rebounds, and 10th-seeded FSU (21-11) beat the Cyclones 55-44 in the Stanford Region.

"We talked about it plenty of times at timeouts, at halftime, that we can't let them get back-to-back shots, especially 3s, because that gets the fans really fired up," said Delgado, a senior and former Hillsborough Community College player.

The No. 7 seed Cyclones (20-11), who drew a crowd of 6,759, had their worst shooting day this season, 25.4 percent (15-of-59).

FSU faces No. 2 seed Stanford in Monday's second round (6:30 p.m., ESPN2).

Florida ready to go: Florida, which faces Dayton at 3 p.m. today in State College, Pa., is in the tournament for the first time since 2012. The Gators (19-12) were fifth in the rugged SEC with one of the thinnest rosters in the tournament. UF has played just eight players in all but two games this season and has no starters taller than 6 feet.

"Our leadership did a great job in leaning into the idea that smaller is better," Gators coach Amanda Butler said. "What you believe is so powerful, and I think our team really believed that smaller was better."

Stanford 81, S. Dakota 62: Chiney Ogwumike had 23 points to become the Pac-12's scoring leader, and the second-seeded Cardinal (30-3) pulled away in Ames. Ogwumike (2,652 points) passed Candice Wiggins. Nicole Seekamp scored 22 for the Coyotes (19-14). With the loss, No. 15 seeds are 0-82 all time.

Louisville Region

St. John's 71, USC 68: Guard Briana Brown hit a baseline 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left to give the eighth-seeded Red Storm (23-10) a thrilling victory in Knoxville, Tenn. Brianna Barrett's desperation 35-footer hit the backboard and front rim but wouldn't fall for the No. 9 seed Trojans (22-13) at the buzzer.

Tenn. 70, NW State 46: The host and No. 1 seed Vols (28-5) flirted with a shocker before pulling away. No. 16 seed Northwestern State (21-13) tied it at 22 early in the second half before a Vols 12-0 run. Tennessee coach Holly Warlick dealt with a stomach illness overnight and said, "At 9 this morning I didn't think I was coming to the game."

Lincoln Region

Duke 87, Winthrop 45: The host and No. 2 seed Blue Devils (28-6) had 21 assists in routing the 15th-seeded Eagles (24-9). Six Blue Devils had multiple assists, led by Haley Peters with six. Dequesha McClanahan scored 22 for Winthrop in its NCAA debut.

DePaul 104, Oklahoma 100: Megan Rogowski scored 24, including the go-ahead 3 with 40.5 seconds left, for the No. 7 seed Blue Demons (28-6) in the highest-scoring regulation game in tournament history in Durham, N.C. Aaryn Ellenberg scored 36 for No. 10 seed Oklahoma (18-15).

Nebraska 74, Fresno St. 55: Jordan Hooper had 23 points and 11 rebounds for the No. 4 seed Cornuskers in Los Angeles. Nebraska (26-6) has won 13 of 14. Taylor Thompson scored 14 for the 13th-seeded Bulldogs (22-11).

BYU 72, N.C. State 57: Lexi Eaton scored 25 and Jennifer Hamson was one block shy of a triple double as the 12th-seeded Cougars (27-6) pulled off the upset in Los Angeles. No. 5 seed North Carolina State (25-8) shot 20-of-73, a season-worst 27.4 percent.

Notre Dame Region

Arizona St. 69, VandY 61: Katie Hempen scored 16 as the ninth-seeded Sun Devils held off the No. 8 seed Commodores in Toledo, Ohio. The Sun Devils (23-9) shot 62 percent. Vanderbilt (18-13) took only its second first-round loss in 12 years. It shot the game's first 23 free throws.

Notre Dame 93, R. Morris 42: The No. 1 seed Fighting Irish (33-0) led 50-15 at halftime in Toledo and cruised. Two-time Northeast Conference player of the year Artemis Spanou was held to seven points for No. 16 seed Robert Morris (21-12).

Okla. St. 61, FGCU 60, OT: Senior Tiffany Bias was 0-of-8 before her layup with 41 seconds left in overtime lifted No. 5 seed Oklahoma State (24-8) in West Lafayette, Ind. Jenna Cobb scored 16 for No. 12 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-8), which led by six late in regulation. It missed two chances to lead late in overtime.

Purdue 84, Akron 55: Whitney Bays had 20 points and 13 rebounds and Courtney Moses tied the school's career record for 3-pointers as the host and No. 4 seed Boilermakers (22-8) stifled the Zips. Moses hit two 3s for 238 total, tying Katie Gearlds. No. 13 seed Akron (23-10), in its tournament debut, scored a season low.

Kentucky 106, Wright St. 60: Samarie Walker had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the No. 3 seed Wildcats, hosting their first postseason game. Kentucky (25-8) had a school-record 67 rebounds, tying an NCAA postseason mark. Ivory James scored 16 to lead the No. 14 seed Raiders (26-9), who shot 23 percent (19-of-83) in their tourney debut.

Syracuse 59, Chatt. 53: Despite losing leading scorer Brittney Sykes to a right knee injury with 12:46 left, the sixth-seeded Orange (23-9) earned its first NCAA victory in Lexington, Ky. Sykes had 13 points and 12 rebounds before leaving; her status was unknown. No. 11 seed Chattanooga (29-4) saw its 25-game winning streak end.

Cal 64, Fordham 63: Brittany Boyd hit the winning basket with 14 seconds left as the seventh-seeded Golden Bears (22-9) survived the No. 10 seed Rams (25-8) in Waco, Texas. There were eight ties and nine lead changes in the second half.

Baylor 87, Western Ky. 74: With coach Kim Mulkey out while serving an NCAA suspension, Nina Davis had 32 points and 10 rebounds in her tournament debut as the host and No. 2 seed Bears (32-4) routed the No. 15 Hilltoppers (24-9). Mulkey was banned for criticizing the officiating after losing to Louisville in last year's tourney.

Women's NIT

Who: USF vs. Stetson

When/where: 2 today, Sun Dome

Radio: 1010-AM

Records: Stetson 27-7; USF 20-12

Notable: The winner faces Villanova or George Washington in the round of 16. The Bulls defeated the Hatters 72-68 on Dec. 8 behind Courtney Williams' 22 points off the bench. Stetson defeated Miami 70-63 Thursday. USF, winner of eight in a row against Stetson, got 17 points, 11 rebounds from sophomore F Alisia Jenkins in Friday's 56-50 first-round victory against North Carolina A&T.

FSU women advance in NCAA Tournament 03/22/14 [Last modified: Saturday, March 22, 2014 11:12pm]
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