Utah 95, Montana State 61
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah opened up a 16-point lead at halftime and came through with a wicked finishing kick, scoring 37 points in the fourth quarter, to ease past Montana State in Round 1 of the Postseason WNIT.
The Utes (17-14) will have a Round 2 assignment at Gonzaga on Monday, March 21, with tipoff set for 6 p.m. PT. Utah was paced by Paige Crozon, who had 20 points and five rebounds; Katie Kuklok added 18 points, and Emily Potter rumbled her way to 13 points and 14 rebounds. The 95 points tied for the second-most in the tournament so far, with TCU scoring 97 and Drake also tallying 95.
The Bobcats (21-10), which ended the season on a four-game losing streak, got 15 points and 10 rebounds from Peyton Ferris.
Fresno State 59, Santa Clara 53
FRESNO, CA – Sophomore center Bego Faz Davalos scored on two layups with about 2 minutes remaining, opening up some precious breathing room for Fresno State, and the Bulldogs held tough the rest of the way to post a victory against Santa Clara in the final first-round game of the Postseason WNIT.
Fresno State (22-11) will play at Oregon in Round 2; tipoff is set for Monday, March 21 at 6 p.m. PT. The numbers from Davalos were impressive across the board – the Mexican native closed with 21 points, seven rebounds, six blocked shots and five steals. Shauqunna Collins added 14 points, five steals and four assists; the Bulldogs forced 25 Santa Clara turnovers.
Santa Clara (23-9) was paced by Devin Hudson, who scored 11 points.
Quinnipiac 90, Maine 44
HAMDEN, CN – Quinnipiac bolted to a 30-point lead by halftime against Maine and closed the game with the edge in virtually every key category, sending the Bobcats past the Black Bears in the first round of the Postseason WNIT for their first-ever postseason victory.
Quinnipiac (25-8) will play host to Temple in Round 2 – tipoff is set for Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. ET. The Bobcats were paced by Paula Strautmane (a freshman forward from Latvia), who had 21 points and nine rebounds, while Adily Martucci added 18 points. Sarah Shewan chipped in with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Quinnipiac outscored the Black Bears in the second quarter, 26-5, and finished shooting better than 60 percent from the field.
Maine (26-9) got 23 points and five rebounds from Sigi Koizar, a junior guard from Austria. The Black Bears had 16 turnovers and shot just 3-of-20 from the 3-point line.
Temple 74, Drexel 66
PHILADELPHIA – Temple used a tight rotation of players, going just seven deep, and held up just fine under fourth-quarter pressure to post a victory against Drexel in Round 1 of the Postseason WNIT.
The Owls (21-11) will play at Quinnipiac in Round 2, with tipoff coming Sunday, March 20 at 2 p.m. ET. Temple, which won the rebounding battle (41-29) and shot 50 percent from the field, was paced by Alliya Butts, who had 24 points and five assists. Feyonda Fitzgerald came through with 19 points.
Drexel (19-14) got 24 points from Sarah Curran.
Florida Gulf Coast 78, Bethune-Cookman 51
FORT MYERS, FL – Florida Gulf Coast was smart with the ball and employed a major advantage from 3-point range to build a lead against Bethune-Cookman, rolling to a victory in Round 1 of the Postseason WNIT.
The Eagles (29-5) will host Wake Forest in Round 2, with tipoff set for Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. ET. Florida Gulf Coast was paced by Whitney Knight, who closed with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Katie Meador came through with 17 points and five rebounds. Florida Gulf Coast had a modest eight turnovers and shot 15-for-34 from the 3-point line.
Bethune-Cookman (18-13), playing in the program’s first-ever postseason tournament game, got 14 points and seven rebounds from Ashanti Hunt.