UCF 65, JACKSONVILLE 60 (OT)
ORLANDO, Fla. – In the first game of the 2018 Postseason WNIT, overtime was required to determine a winner, as Zakiya Saunders scored 25 points and hit four free throws in the final 16 seconds in the extra session to preserve the victory.
Jacksonville (24-9) started the game cold, going just 3-of-17 in the first quarter, but the Dolphins used an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take a lead. Scoring was hard to come by early in the third quarter, but the Knights (22-10) rode a 7-0 burst to take the lead, 23-21, as Aliyah Gregory got a steal and assisted on a jumper from Lawriell Wilson.
Jacksonville took a one-point lead into the final quarter, but Wilson scored five points in a 40-second stretch to give UCF a 43-38 lead with 5:02 to go. Wilson came through with a jumper to give the Knights a 49-46 lead with nine seconds left, but Jasmyn Brown hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to send the game to overtime.
Kayla Thigpen’s jumper pushed UCF to a 55-52 lead in overtime, and the host team held on even as Brown hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining. The Knights will play at Alabama in Round 2, with tipoff set for 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 18.
Wilson added 15 points for UCF, and Gregory finished with 11 points. For the Dolphins, Brown had 19 points and Buie closed with 13 points and four steals.
ALABAMA 69, SOUTHERN 56
TUSCALOOSA, AL – Alabama slowly built on a small halftime lead against Southern, outscoring the Jaguars by 10 points in the second half to eventually take command and roll to victory in Round 1 of the Postseason WNIT.
The Crimson Tide (18-13) will host UCF (22-10) in Round 2, 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 18.
Ashley Williams scored 19 points for Alabama, which built a 15-point lead in the third quarter. The home team struggled a bit from 3-point range (4-of-20), but a 23-6 edge in made free throws and a huge lead in rebounds (50-26) helped soften the blow. Hannah Cook scored 15 points and Jordan Lewis added 11 points.
Southern (17-14) was led by Jaden Towner’s 16 points, five rebounds and four steals. Alryic Scott added 15 points for the Jaguars, who forced 15 turnovers and only had six themselves.
SAINT JOSEPH's 75, SETON HALL 57
SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Saint Joseph’s forced 23 turnovers and led by as many as 21 points at Seton Hall, outscoring the Pirates in every quarter to claim the win in Round 1 of the Postseason WNIT.
The Hawks (19-14) will play either West Virginia or Bucknell in Round 2.
Saint Joseph’s had four players hit double figures in scoring, with Chelsea Woods ringing up 20 points. Amanda Fioravanti added 19 points, Alyssa Monaghan had 15 and Jaryn Garner closed with 12 points. The Hawks had a 19-8 edge in made free throws and muzzled Seton Hall at the 3-point line as the Pirates were just 1-for-14.
Selena Philoxy had 13 points for Seton Hall (16-16), which held the Saint Joseph’s bench to just two points.