March 21, 2011 – Florida Gulf Coast, with a standing-room-only crowd of 4,543 cheering them on, fought to the finish in a 74-69 loss to visiting Florida.
Florida did what no other team had been able to do in Alico Arena for the prior 42 games – beat FGCU on its home floor. The Eagles’ 42-game home winning streak was the third-longest in the nation. Since FGCU transitioned to Division I (the team becomes fully eligible for the NCAA Tournament next season) the Eagles are 59-4 at home.
FGCU (28-4) played in its fourth straight Postseason WNIT. Florida (20-14), playing in its second straight, has won six of its last seven games. They trailed the Eagles until midway through the second half when they went on a 12-0 run to go up 53-51, and it was an epic battle from there to the finish.
In another Round 2 game Monday, Syracuse (24-9) improved to 19-2 at home this season with a 63-50 victory over St. Bonaventure (21-12) to advance in its third straight WNIT. Syracuse will host Eastern Michigan in Round 3 at 7 p.m. EST Thursday.
Iasia Hemingway had 14 points and 17 rebounds for Syracuse, while Chelsea Bowker had 16 points and 5 rebounds for St. Bonaventure.
Eastern Michigan ended UNC Wilmington’s first postseason tournament run with a 63-54 victory. UNC Wilmington (24-9) had set a new program standard by winning its opening tournament game. In this one, they got 15 points and 15 rebounds from Martha White.
Eastern Michigan was led by Cassie Schrock, who had 20 points and 7 assists. The Eagles next play at Syracuse on Thursday in Round 3.
Oral Roberts trailed Tulane for much of their close game Monday until closing with a 10-0 run to defeat Tulane 92-86. ORU (23-10) will host Arkansas in Round 4 on Wednesday.
Kevi Luper, the nation’s leading scorer with a 24.2 average, poured in 29 points for Oral Roberts. Tulane (23-11) got a huge night from Danielle Nunn, with 37 points.
Wyoming raced out to a big lead, then held on for its life Sunday as it turned back Oklahoma State 75-71 in front of 5,372 fans at Arena Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo.
With four minutes left in the second half, Aubrey Vandiver (27 points, 10 rebounds) scored on a layup to give Wyoming a 62-60 lead that they didn’t relinquish. Wyoming (24-8) next will host Colorado on Thursday in Round 4 of the WNIT.
Oklahoma State, playing without leading scorer Toni Young (15.5 points, 9.1 rebounds), who suffered a season-ending injury while dunking in practice Friday, climbed back from a 16-point deficit in the first half. Tiffany Bias led the way with 17 points and six assists for Oklahoma State (17-15).
Colorado led from start to finish in their game against the WNIT defending champions, California, and earned an 81-65 victory over their soon-to-be Pac-12 mates.
Brittany Spears scored the game’s first layup and ended up with 33 points and 9 rebounds for Colorado (17-15), which travels north to play Wyoming on Thursday. Cal (18-16), playing in its sixth straight postseason, got 20 points from Layshia Clarendon.
Round 2 Games
Monday, March 21
Syracuse 63, St. Bonaventure 50
Eastern Michigan 63, UNC Wilmington 54
Florida 74, FGCU 69
Oral Roberts 92, Tulane 86
Colorado 81, California 65
Wyoming 75, Oklahoma State 71