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UF quiets Ohio St. in opener

UF’s Jennifer George, left, and Deana Allen battle Amber Stokes for a loose ball. Florida next faces unbeaten Baylor on Tuesday.

Associated Press

UF’s Jennifer George, left, and Deana Allen battle Amber Stokes for a loose ball. Florida next faces unbeaten Baylor on Tuesday.

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — For about a week, Florida guard Jordan Jones listened to the chatter about how Ohio State felt insulted by the selection committee.

It was as if the Gators, who were playing the Buckeyes in the first round, were an afterthought.

"All week long we heard Ohio State this, Ohio State that, their guards average this, their post players do that," Jones said. "I know Ohio State talked a lot about being disrespected, but we felt disrespected, too. I don't think anyone knew how good our defense was."

Quick on the perimeter and relentless rebounding, the ninth-seeded Gators beat the eighth-seeded Buckeyes 70-65 in the Des Moines Region. Florida led all the way.

Jennifer George had 16 points and six rebounds and Lanita Bartley added 15 points to lead Florida to a win in front of a crowd packed with fans of the in-state Buckeyes.

With her 98th victory, Amanda Butler became the winningest coach in UF history through her first five years.

Tayler Hill scored 23 for Ohio State, including two late baskets to pull the Buckeyes (25-7) within two. Florida (20-12) patiently worked the ball inside to George, who scored with 45 seconds to play. Emilee Harmon then missed for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State star Samantha Prahalis went scoreless in the second half and finished with nine points, 11 below her average. She joined Courtney Vandersloot of Gonzaga as Division I players with 2,000 points and 900 assists in their careers.

"We came to play,'' Hill said. "I mean, we got the cards dealt. It had nothing to do with our mind-set because we had an eight seed."

Florida forced turnovers early and had 20 offensive rebounds, overcoming 35 percent shooting.

The Gators play undefeated top overall seed Baylor at 7 p.m. Tuesday with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16.

"We would play anyone, anywhere — it just didn't matter," Jones said. "When we saw our name come up on the screen, we were ecstatic. We could have been playing the Lakers, and we would have been hugging and crying tears of joy."

Baylor 81, UC Santa Barbara 40: Brittney Griner scored 14 in 22 minutes, and the top-seeded Bears (35-0) rolled over the 16th-seeded the Gauchos (17-16) in Bowling Green, Ohio. UCSB at times had two players fronting Griner to prevent passes to her, but other players took advantage for the Bears. Baylor set a school record for wins, set last season. "I think the more rest you can get, the better, but make sure you get them enough minutes not to get out of rhythm," coach Kim Mulkey said. "I thought our kids worked up a sweat, and I thought they did some good stuff. We didn't have to show a lot of stuff — and get them off the floor. We've actually done that a lot of late."

Notre Dame 74, Liberty 43: The top-seeded Irish (31-3) led 11-0 less than two minutes into the game in South Bend, Ind. The 16th-seeded Flames (24-9) trailed 44-19 at halftime.

California 84, Iowa 74: Layshia Clarendon scored 16 points and the eighth-seeded Golden Bears (25-9) had a 16-point lead slip to six, then held off the ninth-seeded Hawkeyes (19-12) in South Bend, Ind.

St. Bonaventure 72, Fla. Gulf Coast 65, OT: Megan Van Tatenhove scored 18, Armelia Horton had 17 and the fifth-seeded Bonnies (30-3) snapped the 12th-seeded Eagles' (29-3) 21-game winning streak in Tallahassee. St. Bonaventure overcame a 53-42 deficit in the final 61/2 minutes. Courtney Chihil forced overtime with Florida Gulf Coast's only field goal in the final 6:29, a layup. Sarah Hansen led FGCU with 15 points and 11 rebounds. FGCU, the nation's top 3-point shooting team and eligible for the tournament for the first time this year after transitioning from Division II, went nearly 22 minutes in the second half and OT without a 3 after Eglah Griffin connected with 16:12 left. That shot set a Division I record for 3s in a season (341).

marist 76, georgia 70: Corielle Yarde scored 21, Brandy Gang had 18 and the 13th-seeded Red Foxes(26-7) upset the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (22-9) in Tallahassee. Marist made 21 of 25 free throws; Georgia made 6 of 8.

Georgetown 61, Fresno St. 56: Tia Magee scored 17 points and the fifth-seeded Hoyas (23-8) held off the 12th-seeded Bulldogs (28-6) in Chapel, N.C.

Georgia Tech 76, Sacred Heart 50: Freshman Sydney Wallace scored a season-high 28 to lead the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (25-8) past the 13th-seeded Pioneers (27-6) in Chapel Hill, N.C. Sasha Goodlett added 12 points and 11 rebounds as Georgia Tech set the school's single-season wins record.

Delaware 73, UALR 42: Elena Delle Donne had 39 points and 11 rebounds to lift the third-seeded Blue Hens (31-1) over the 14th-seeded Trojans (20-13) in Little Rock, Ark. Delle Donne, the nation's leading scorer at 27.5, made her first NCAA appearance after leading Delaware to the WNIT the past two seasons. "I think our team did a good job introducing ourselves to the country," Delle Donne said.

Kansas 57, Nebraska 49: Angel Goodrich scored 20 to lead the 11th-seeded Jayhawks (20-12) past the sixth-seeded Cornhuskers (24-9) in Little Rock, Ark. Kansas led by as many as 10 in the first half and held on for its first NCAA Tournament win since 1999. Nebraska's top scorers, Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore, were a combined 9-of-39 from the field, going 0-for-14 on 3-pointers.

Duke 82, Samford 47: Tricia Liston scored 22 as the second-seeded Blue Devils (25-5) started strong and beat the 15th-seeded Bulldogs (20-13) in Nashville.

Vandy 60, Middle Tenn. 46: Jasmine Lister scored 19 as the seventh-seeded Commodores (23-9) pulled away from the 10th-seeded Blue Raiders (26-7) in the second half in Nashville. The schools, about 40 miles apart, hadn't met since 1992.

St. John's 69, Creighton 67: Nadirah McKenith scored on a coast-to-coast layup with 0.1 seconds left in Norman, Okla. and the Red Storm (23-9) avoided becoming the first No. 3 seed to lose in the tournament's opening round. "I was praying that it was going in," said McKenith, who scored 21. The 14th-seeded Bluejays (20-13) tied it with two free throws with 5.4 seconds left.

Oklahoma 88, Michigan 67: Aaryn Ellenberg scored 21 of her 28 in the second half as the Sooners (21-12) took control with an early 14-4 run and never trailed against the Wolverines (20-12) in Norman, Okla.

Penn State 85, UTEP 77: Maggie Lucas scored 23 and the fourth-seeded Lions (25-6) beat the 13th-seeded Miners (29-3) in Baton Rouge, La. UTEP led by as many as seven in the first half but trailed by 14 in the second.

LSU 64, San Diego St. 56: LaSondra Barrett had 17 points and 10 rebounds as the fifth-seeded Tigers (23-10) held off the 12th-seeded Aztecs (25-7) in Baton Rouge, La.

UF quiets Ohio St. in opener 03/18/12 [Last modified: Sunday, March 18, 2012 11:17pm]
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