Ann Arbor, MI – The University of Michigan women wasted no time getting into attack mode for the Postseason WNIT, jumping out to a 10-0 lead Wednesday against Cleveland State and cruising to a victory to advance to Round 2.
Cyesha Goree, a 6-3 senior forward, finished with 18 points and eight rebounds for the Wolverines (17-14), who will face Toledo or Wright State in Round 2. Madison Ristovski, who averaged 5.0 points per game in the regular season, had 15 points for Michigan; Nicole Elmblad chipped in with 11 rebounds.
Michigan held the Vikings (19-13) to 26 percent shooting from the field in the first half, building a lead through aggressive defense and 10 points from Goree. The second half was more of the same, with the Wolverines holding their largest lead with 11:11 to go, 56-29, after a jumper from Siera Thompson.
Cleveland State was paced by 15 points and eight rebounds from Cori Coleman and finished far below its scoring average of 71 points per game. The Vikings were just 17-of-52 from the field (32.7 percent).
EAST CAROLINA 74, RADFORD 52
Greenville, NC – Jada Payne scored 22 points for East Carolina, and the Pirates forced Radford into 23 turnovers overall and were never threatened Wednesday on their way to Round 2.
The Pirates (22-10) will play ETSU or NC State in the next round; Radford ends its season at 17-14. The game marked a nice turnaround from ECU’s last game, a 50-point loss to NCAA top seed UConn.
Abria Trice (12 points) and I’Tiana Taylor (11 points) also hit double figures for East Carolina, while Aisha Foy was the leading scorer for Radford with nine points.
OLE MISS 80, UT MARTIN 70
Oxford, MS – Kelsey Briggs had 19 points and six rebounds for Ole Miss, which regained its balance after UT Martin went on a 14-0 run in the second half to move to 18-13 on the season and into Round 2.
The Rebels will play Georgia Tech or Elon in the next round; UT Martin end the year at 22-11.
Ole Miss had a 56-35 lead with 14:12 to go in the second half, but UT Martin stormed back with 11 straight points; Monique Jackson’s layin at 11:30 forced the Rebels to call timeout. That didn’t slow the Skyhawks, as Karisma Tyson drained a 3-pointer to make it 56-49. Ole Miss stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer by Gracie Frizzell at 10:23, and the Rebels worked their way to the finish, shooting almost 56 percent from the field overall.
Erika Sisk had 16 points for Ole Miss, and Tia Faleru added 12 points. UT Martin was paced by Ashia Jones, who had 17 points. Chelsea Roberts scored 13 points.
ARKANSAS STATE 61, WESTERN MICHIGAN 49
Jonesboro, AR – Aundrea Gamble filled the scorebook for Arkansas State on Wednesday night, coming through with 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals as the Red Wolves held off Western Michigan to advance to Round 2.
Arkansas State (24-10) will play Middle Tennessee or Ball State in the next round, while Western Michigan ends the season at 20-13.
Miracle Woods’ tip-in at 11:12 in the second half cut Arkansas State’s lead to 42-40, but the Red Wolves were steady the rest of the way. The Broncos converted only two shots after Woods’ tip in an 8-minute stretch and shot just 32 percent from the field overall.
Arkansas State was just 2-of-13 from 3-point range but got an enormous boost from Jasmine Hunt, who closed with 11 points and 16 rebounds. Woods led Western Michigan with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Jazmine Windham scored 14 points.
EASTERN WASHINGTON 67, WASHINGTON STATE 65
Pullman, WA – Jade Redmon sliced through the defense and sank a layup with .4 seconds left to send Eastern Washington past Washington State in a wild, back-and-forth contest. The Eagles (21-11) will face Pacific or Sacramento State in Round 2.
WSU’s Lia Galdeira scored eight straight points to put the Cougars up, 53-52, with 9:10 to go. The game stayed tight the rest of the way; Delaney Hodgins’ layup gave EWU a 65-64 lead with 45 seconds to go, and Galdeira’s free throw with 29 seconds tied it again. On the last play, Eastern Washington held the ball and drained the clock before Redmon drove to the rim.
The first half saw both teams enjoying long scoring runs, only to have the opposition respond – a fitting development for the two school that sit just 67 miles away from each other. WSU ran off to a 9-0 lead, and Eastern Washington followed with a burst to take an 18-15 lead. The Eagles kept the momentum with an 11-2 run, but the Cougars scored the final 10 points of the half to cut their deficit to 39-35.
Lexie Nelson had 19 points for the Eagles; Redmon closed with 15 points and five rebounds. Galdeira rang up 31 points for WSU (17-15); Mariah Cooks added 15 points and 10 rebounds.