LOS ANGELES — Courtney Williams came off the bench and had 31 points as USF, the No. 6 seed in the Bridgeport Region, held on late to defeat Colorado State 48-45 on Saturday in an NCAA Tournament first-round game.
Williams was a non-starter for the first time this season because of a coach's decision, according to ESPN. The senior had 18 of the Bulls' 25 second-half points.
"We've got to score," associate head coach Jeff Osterman said on the Bulls' radio broadcast after the game. "It can't be Courtney Williams with 31 and the rest of us kind of clapping."
On Monday, USF (24-9) faces subregion host and No. 3 seed UCLA. The Bruins defeated Hawaii 66-50 on Saturday.
Jamie Patrick scored 17 and Ellen Nostrum added 12 points for Colorado State (31-2), the No. 11 seed whose 28-game winning streak ended.
Williams shot 12-of-29 with the rest of the Bulls combining to make 6-of-31. She entered the game with 4:41 left in the first quarter and USF trailing 10-1.
"I was told by my uncle, he told me basically when you get in a zone like that it's such a fragile place to be in," Williams said. "Anything can take you out of that zone, so you've got to just stay focused. That's what I tried to do."
Alisia Jenkins grabbed 12 rebounds as the Bulls outrebounded the Rams 40-36.
Dallas Region: FSU rolls into second round
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Florida State led by just three points at the break before junior guard Leticia Romero helped lead a second-half effort against Middle Tennessee State.
Romero had 17 points and shot 5-of-10 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line in the Seminoles' 72-55 win over the No. 12 seed Blue Raiders.
"We came back in the second half and we just had a run, and you didn't see anybody just getting down on themselves or anything," Romero said. "It was really exciting."
The Seminoles (24-7) face subregion host and No. 4 seed Texas A&M on Monday. Freshman Alex Johnson had 22 points to lead MTSU (24-10).
No. 4 Texas A&M 74, No. 13 Missouri St. 65: Freshman Anriel Howard set an NCAA Tournament record with 27 rebounds and Courtney Walker had 29 points as the host Aggies (22-9) overcame the suspension of starter Courtney Williams to beat Missouri State. Cheryl Taylor had 23 rebounds in 1985 for Tennessee Tech against Georgia. Tyonna Snow scored 22 for Missouri State (24-10).
More Bridgeport Region
No. 1 UConn 101, No. 16 R. Morris 49: Freshman Katie Lou Samuelson scored 22 and two-time national player of the year Breanna Stewart added 18 points as host Connecticut (33-0) began its quest for a fourth consecutive title with ease. Sal Buscaglia, retiring after a 38-year career, coached his final game for Robert Morris (20-13). The Huskies have won 70 straight, matching the second-longest winning streak in team and NCAA history.
No. 9 Duquesne 97, No. 8 Seton Hall 76: Deva'Nyar Workman scored a career-high 25 and had 12 rebounds for the Dukes (28-5) in Storrs, Conn. Tabatha Richardson-Smith scored 17 for Seton Hall (23-9).
No. 3 UCLA 66, No. 14 Hawaii 50: Nirra Fields scored 16 and Monique Burke had 15 points for the host Bruins (25-8), who next face USF. Hawaii (21-11) set season lows of 12 baskets and 20 percent (12 of 60) shooting.
No. 10 Missouri 78, No. 7 BYU 69: Freshman Sophie Cunningham scored 20, 16 the third quarter, for the Tigers (22-9) in Austin, Texas. Lexi Rydalch, the West Coast Conference's career scoring leader, had 22 points for the Cougars (26-7).
No. 2 Texas 86, No. 15 Alabama St. 42: Ariel Atkins scored 15 for the host Longhorns (29-4). Danielle Clark scored 13 to lead Alabama State (19-12).
No. 12 S. Dakota St. 74, No. 5 Miami 71: Macy Miller and Gabby Boever combined for three free throws over the final 35.6 seconds as the Jackrabbits (27-6) pulled off a stunner in Stanford, Calif. Adrienne Motley scored 19 and Laura Cornelius had 18 points for Miami (24-9). Miami star Jessica Thomas was held to seven points on 3-for-15 shooting.
No. 1 Notre Dame 95, No. 16 N.C. A&T 61: Brianna Turner scored 16 and Madison Cable added 14 points and seven rebounds as the host Fighting Irish (32-1) rolled. Kala Green led the Aggies (19-12) with 12 points.
No. 6 Oklahoma 61, No. 11 Purdue 45: Peyton Little scored 20 points and the Sooners (22-10) blocked 13 shots in Lexington, Ky. The Boilermakers (20-12) lost their first opening-round tournament game since 1996.
No. 3 Kentucky 85, No. 14 UNCA 31: Makayla Epps scored 24 for the host Wildcats (24-7), who set a school record for biggest NCAA Tournament margin of victory. UNC Asheville (26-7) was held to 20.6 percent (13-of-63) from the field.
No. 2 Maryland 74, No. 15 Iona 58: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 19 as the host Terrapins (31-3) ruined Iona's debut in the NCAAs. Philecia Gilmore made seven 3-pointers to account for all 21 of her points for the Gaels (23-12).
No. 7 Washington 65, No. 10 Penn 53: Kelsey Plum, the nation's third-leading scorer had 24 points and seven assists for the Huskies (23-10) in College Park, Md. Penn (24-5) led 25-24 at halftime in its bid to become only the third Ivy League school to win a game in the history of the women's tourney.
No. 4 Stanford 85, No. 13 San Francisco 58: Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer defeated her former star player, Dons coach Jennifer Azzi, as the host Cardinal (25-7) advanced. Rachel Howard came off the bench to score 14 for San Francisco (21-12).
No. 9 Indiana 62, No. 8 Georgia 58: Tyra Buss scored 17 of her 23 in the second half for the Hoosiers (21-11) in South Bend, Ind. Tiaria Griffin led the Bulldogs (21-10) with 18 points.