The Utah Utes (19-13) hold off Long Beach State (16-16) 56-49 to advance to round two of the Postseason WNIT.
Three Utah players scored in double figures including a game-high 17 points and 14 rebounds from forward Michelle Plouffe. Taryn Wicijowski finished with 12 points and Iwalani Rodrigues chipped in 10.
Long Beach State guard Alex Sanchez led the team with 13 points and a game-high six assists. Forward Ella Clark finished with 11 points and five rebounds.
The Utes have previously made six appearances in the WNIT (1979, 1984, 1999, 2007, 2010 and 2012). Utah is now 5-9 all-time in the tournament.
The Utes have gone 1-1 during each of their last three appearances in 2012, 2010 and 2007. Last season, Utah defeated Utah State in the first round of the tournament before falling at Washington in the second round.
Utah will wait to play the winner of Hawaii at San Diego which is set to tip Thursday at 9pm ET.
San Diego State 69, UCSB 46
San Diego State cruises past UCSB 69-46 in the opening round of the Postseason WNIT.
SDSU’s Courtney Clements scored a game-high 31 points hitting seven of 10 shots from behind the arc. Teammate Chelsea Hopkins finished with 13 points and a team-high six boards. The Aztecs never trailed in the game and led by as many as 26 points in the second half.
Sweets Underwood led UCSB with 23 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
This was the first meeting between the two teams since 1999 with the Aztecs holding a 15-6 all-time record against the Gauchos, including a 9-2 mark at home.
The Aztecs are making their fourth postseason appearance in the last five years and 12th in program history. The win gives SDSU a program-record 27 victories.
SDSU will travel to Provo, Utah, to take on the BYU Cougars in round-two action. The game is slated for 4 p.m. ET (2 p.m. MT) Saturday, March 23.
BYU 69, Idaho State 54
BYU’s Jennifer Hamerson scored a game-high 25 points to help lead the Cougars to a first-round win over Idaho State, 69-54 in Provo, Utah.
BYU senior guard Haley Steed added 20 points for the Cougars who led by as much as 22 points in the second half. BYU is now 12-3 all-time against Idaho State.
ISU’s Ashleigh Vella finished with a team-high 15 points and four rebounds.
BYU outrebounded ISU 47-35 and scored 30 points in the paint compared to 14 by the Bengals.
This is the seventh time that the BYU women’s basketball team has competed in the Postseason WNIT. With the win, the Cougars have now compiled a 9-6 overall record.
BYU’s last appearance in the WNIT was during the 2010-11 campaign where they advanced to the third round with wins over Denver and Utah State before falling to runner-up USC.
The Cougars will host San Diego State in round two on Saturday, March 23 starting at 4 p.m. ET/2 p.m. MT.
Eastern Illinois 60, Missouri 58
Eastern Illinois (20-11) captured their first postseason win in program history and advanced to round two of the WNIT after knocking off Missouri (17-15) 60-58 at Mizzou Arena.
EIU’s Ta’Kenya Nixon led all scorers with 27 points on 13 of 17 shooting and dished out five assists. Mariah King added 11 points and five boards for the Panthers which shot 50 percent from the field as a team.
Sydney Crafton and Bri Kulas both finished in double figures for Mizzou with 12 points respectively.
This is the fourth consecutive year the Panthers have advanced to a postseason tournament and have played in the WNIT two previous times (2010, 2012).
EIU will take on the winner of Thursday night’s contest between Illinois and Miami (OH).
Auburn 80, UAB 57
Auburn (17-14) advances to the second round of the Postseason WNIT with an 80-57 victory over UAB (18-13).
Auburn’s Tyrese Tanner led all scorers and finished with a career-high 29 points in her 7th career 20-point game. Teammates Peyton Davis and Blanche Alverson each added 11 points. The Tigers outrebounded UAB 43-32 and had 22 more points in the paint.
UAB finished with three players in double figures; Chelsee Black led the team with 15 points on 5 of 9 from the field. Amber Jones and Karisma Chapman each chipped in 10.
The Tigers are now 30-4 all-time against UAB and 14-1 when playing them at home. Auburn moves to a 9-2 record in WNIT games, including winning the tournament in 2003.
Auburn will take on the winner of East Carolina vs. Western Kentucky which is slated to tip on Thursday, at 8 p.m. ET.