VERMILLION, SD – On a night when it was tough to make a shot, South Dakota dug in and won this one thanks to rebounding, easing by Northern Iowa to advance to the quarterfinals of the Postseason WNIT.
South Dakota (29-6) will host either Saint Louis or Western Kentucky on Sunday, March 27; tipoff is 7 p.m. CT.
The Coyotes took a 49-48 lead with 3:19 to go in the fourth quarter on a jumper from Tia Hemiller, then protected that margin with a series of clutch offensive rebounds (South Dakota closed with a 43-27 edge in boards). A free throw by Margaret McCloud made it 51-48 with 53 seconds left; Angie Davison hit a jumper with 42 seconds remaining for UNI, but the Panthers (24-11) missed a 3-pointer with about 9 seconds left, and a final shot was an airball.
South Dakota got 16 points and six assists from Nicole Seekamp; Jen Keitel scored 19 points and added six rebounds for Northern Iowa. Davison scored 13 points for the Panthers.
The teams combined to hit just three of 28 3-point attempts; South Dakota was also helped by shooting nine more free throws than the Panthers.
UTEP 79, TCU 71
EL PASO, TX – UTEP controlled the middle of Thursday’s game against TCU, outscoring the Horned Frogs by 22 points in the second and third quarters to win comfortably and move to the Postseason WNIT quarterfinals.
UTEP (29-4), which is now 19-0 at home this season, will play Oregon for a chance to advance to the semifinals. That game is at UTEP on Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. MT.
The Miners trailed in the first quarter but used a balanced offense to regain their footing. TCU (18-15) cut its deficit to 64-55 with 6 minutes, 23 seconds left in the final quarter, but a 2-minute scoring drought allowed UTEP to ease back ahead. The lead was cut to nine again (70-61) on two free throws by TCU’s Caitlin Diaz at 3:44 of the fourth, but UTEP’s Chrishauna Parker drained a 3-pointer on the next possession.
UTEP was paced by Starr Breedlove (21 points, five rebounds, eight assists) and Jenzel Nash (20 points, seven rebounds). Cameasha Turner also contributed 20 points; the Miners shot a solid 50 percent from the field and were not overly affected by their 16 turnovers.
TCU got 17 points from Jada Butts; Zahna Medley added 20 points, five rebounds and six assists, and Veja Hamilton came through with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The Horned Frogs made 22 free throws but shot under 39 percent from the field.
Temple 75, Ohio 61
PHILADELPHIA – Temple burst out to a 16-point lead after the first quarter Thursday and never let Ohio back into the game, pushing the Owls through to the Postseason WNIT quarterfinals.
Temple (23-11) will face Michigan (20-13) in one quarterfinal, looking to reach the Postseason WNIT semis for the second straight year. Tipoff at Michigan is set for Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET.
The Owls gave up a little ground to the Bobcats in the second quarter by being outscored by six points, but they rebuilt the lead to 60-45 at the end of the third quarter as all the scoring for those 30 minutes came from the players in the starting lineup. Feyonda Fitzgerald added 22 points and six assists, while Alliya Butts closed with 18 points. Donnaizha Fountain contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Tanaya Atkinson also had 13 points.
Ohio (26-7) struggled offensively for most of the night and was particularly slowed by its 3-point shooting, going 3-for-21 overall. Quiera Lampkins closed with 20 points; Yamonie Jenkins added 12 points. The Bobcats cut the lead to 68-58 with about four minutes remaining, which is as close as they would get in the second half.
Temple enjoyed a 44-32 lead in rebounds and forced 15 Ohio turnovers.