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Guard's points keep UM turnaround going

Miami guard Riquna Williams, who had a game-high 28 points, shoots over Gardner-Webb guard Dominique Hudson.

Associated Press

Miami guard Riquna Williams, who had a game-high 28 points, shoots over Gardner-Webb guard Dominique Hudson.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Miami's Riquna Williams laughed when asked if being a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament brought pressure to a team that hadn't won a tournament game in 18 years.

"It's only a number," she said.

The junior guard scored 17 of her 28 points in the first half and grabbed nine rebounds as the Hurricanes beat Gardner-Webb 80-62 Sunday in the first round.

The victory was the first in the tournament since 1993 for Miami (28-4), and kept alive a dramatic turnaround season. The Hurricanes went from 12th in the ACC last season to regular-season champions this year, earning Katie Meier league coach of the year honors.

The third seed in the Dayton Region went on a 19-5 run to build a 45-28 halftime lead over the Runnin' Bulldogs.

"I think we took our foot off the gas, but when it was time to execute at the end of the game, we were able to do that," said Johnson, the ACC player of the year.

Dominique Hudson had 18 points to lead Gardner-Webb (23-11), the No. 14 seed making its NCAA Tournament debut, and twin sister Monique had 17.

"I think the biggest thing is that they just outran us," Dominique Hudson said. "We just never caught up with the pace off the game."

Miami faces sixth seed Oklahoma on Tuesday in the second round.

OKLAHOMA 86, J. MADISON 72: Whitney Hand scored 24 for the Sooners (22-11), who squandered much of a 19-point second-half lead but held on in Charlottesville. The Dukes got within 74-68 with 2:56 to play, but Danielle Robinson made a layup then a three-point play for Oklahoma. Dawn Evans, a senior who played most of the last two seasons with a rare kidney disease, led James Madison (26-8) with 20 points.

Dallas Region

GEORGIA 56, MTSU 41: Jasmine James had eight of her 18 points over the final 5:40 for the Bulldogs (22-10) in Auburn, Ala., as the sixth seed set up a second-round matchup Tuesday against Florida State. Middle Tennessee State (23-8) ended its season wearing patches bearing the No. 20 of slain teammate Tina Stewart, who was stabbed to death on March 2. Her freshman roommate is charged with first-degree murder in her death.

BAYLOR 66, PRAIRIE VIEW 30: The host Bears (32-2) set a women's tournament record for fewest points allowed in the first half, leading 34-8 at the break in Waco, Texas. Baylor, the top seed, was led by Brittney Griner and Brooklyn Pope with 17 points each. The Panthers (21-12) shot 3-of-27 in the first half and missed their first 12 shots before Waco native Robin Jones scored on a layup to make it 16-2.

W. VIRGINIA 79, HOUSTON 73: Liz Repella scored 26 and Madina Ali had 13 points and 15 rebounds to lift the No. 9 seed Mountaineers (24-9), who entered the tournament on a 4-8 skid since late January. West Virginia fell behind early in Waco, then took control with a 16-1 run and led the Cougars (26-6) by 12 at halftime.

WISC.-GREEN BAY 59, UALR 55: Kayla Tetschlag had 24 points in Wichita, Kan., for the fifth-seeded Phoenix (33-1), which won its 21st straight but first by single digits since Jan. 27 against Butler. Arkansas-Little Rock (23-8) pulled within 58-55 on a 3-pointer by Taylor Ford with three seconds left, but Julie Wojta hit a clinching free throw with 1.9 seconds to go.

MICHIGAN ST. 69, N. IOWA 66: Big Ten player of the year Kalisha Keane scored 17 and Taylor Alton had 14 points for the No. 4 seed Spartans (27-5) in Wichita. Michigan State improved to 9-1 in first-round games and ended a 19-game winning streak by Northern Iowa (27-6).

TEXAS A&M 87, MCNEESE ST. 47: Center Danielle Adams scored 18 for the second-seeded Aggies (28-5) in Bossier City, La. Texas A&M led 22-3 early and was never challenged by McNeese State (26-7), which was outrebounded 45-25.

RUTGERS 76, LA. TECH 51: April Sykes scored 22 for the seventh-seeded Scarlet Knights (20-12), who quieted a hostile crowd in Bossier City, an hour from Louisiana Tech's Ruston campus. Adrienne Johnson scored 20 to lead the Techsters (24-8).

Philadelphia Region

UCONN 75, HARTFORD 39: A long layoff didn't bother the two-time defending national champions as Stefanie Dolson scored all 12 of her points in the first half to lead a balanced offense for host and top seed Connecticut in Storrs. Maya Moore, Bria Hartley and Tiffany Hayes also had 12 points each for the Huskies (33-1), who held a 47-23 rebounding advantage over the Hawks (17-16) after being idle since March 8.

PURDUE 53, KANSAS STATE 45: Drey Mingo, who overcame a life-threatening bout with meningitis this season, scored 16 for the ninth-seeded Boilermakers (21-11) in Storrs. Brittany Rayburn scored 21 to lead Purdue, which led 45-36 with just more than 5 minutes left before the Wildcats (21-11) went on a 9-1 run. But KSU, which shot just 30 percent, never scored again.

MARYLAND 70, ST. FRANCIS, PA. 48: The host Terrapins (24-7) scored the first 13 points and led by 23 at halftime at College Park. Freshman Alyssa Thomas scored 10 of her 16 points in the first half for Maryland, the fourth seed, which has no seniors and six freshmen. Brittany Lilley and Nickia Gibbs each scored 10 for the Red Flash (22-12).

G'TOWN 65, PRINCETON 49: Hoyas guard Sugar Rodgers outscored the Tigers in the first half, and fifth-seeded Georgetown (23-10) used a smothering press to take control in College Park. The Hoyas, who led 22-5 early and cruised from there, are playing their first two games at Maryland's campus, only about 10 miles from their campus. Addie Micir led Princeton (24-5) with 13 points.

Spokane Region

LOUISVILLE 81, VANDY 62: Freshman point guard Shoni Schimmel scored 19 in Cincinnati for the Cardinals (21-12), who missed the tournament last year after making the national title game in 2009. Louisville, the seventh seed, led all the way against Vanderbilt (20-12) and had a 41-26 halftime edge.

XAVIER 72, S. DAKOTA ST. 56: Ta'Shia Phillips had 27 points and 15 rebounds for the host and No. 2 seed Musketeers (29-2) in Cincinnati. The other half of Xavier's post duo, Amber Harris, had 16 points and 12 rebounds as her team led 17-6 early and never let South Dakota State (19-14) in it. Ashley Eide led the Jackrabbits with 10 points.

Guard's points keep UM turnaround going 03/20/11 [Last modified: Sunday, March 20, 2011 11:55pm]

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