UCLA 82, SAINT MARY’S 66
Los Angeles, CA - UCLA ran an effective and steady offense all game against Saint Mary’s, getting 32 points from the bench and moving past the Gaels into the WNIT semifinals. UCLA will play Wednesday at Michigan, with tipoff set for 7 p.m. ET.
The Bruins (17-18) pulled ahead as far 71-53 with 7:15 to go on a shot from Monique Billings and were never seriously tested in the second half. Nirra Fields and Jordin Canada each led UCLA with 13 points, Kari Korver added 12 points and Corinne Costa added 10 points as the Bruins shot 53 percent from the field and were able to withstand a shaky 8-of-17 performance from the free-throw line.
Saint Mary’s (23-11) got 23 points from Lauren Nicholson and 10 points from Stella Beck. The Gaels outrebounded the Bruins, 34-30, but also had 16 turnovers.
Fields added nine assists for UCLA; Canada had seven assists and five steals.
TEMPLE 69, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 57
Murfreesboro, TN – Temple took a 20-point lead at halftime, coughed up 15 points of that advantage in about four minutes after the break, then settled in to top Middle Tennessee and earn a spot in the WNIT semifinals. The Owls will play at West Virginia on Wednesday; tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
Temple (20-16) led 35-15 at halftime, as the Blue Raiders looked overmatched – they were 3-of-30 from the field at one point (1-of-12 from long range). But Middle Tennessee stormed back in the second half and even cut the edge to six points, 55-49, after a 3-pointer by Olivia Jones.
The Owls held on, led by Tyonna Williams and her 23 points, six rebounds and five assists. Feyonda Fitzgerald had 15 points and four steals; Temple did have 22 turnovers, but it was 21-of-24 from the free-throw line.
The Blue Raiders (24-10) got 24 points from Jones; Brea Edwards set a school postseason record with her 20 rebounds, and Ty Petty scored 10 points as Middle Tennessee ended up shooting 27 percent from the field.
MICHIGAN 69, SOUTHERN MISS 60
Hattiesburg, MS – Michigan grabbed an early lead against Southern Miss and held firm despite a couple of Southern Miss rallies, allowing the Wolverines to move to the WNIT semifinals where they will host UCLA. Tipoff is set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
Five players reached double figures in scoring for Michigan (20-14) – Cyesha Goree had 15 points along with 12 rebounds, Nicole Elmblad had 14 points, five assists and four steals, Siera Thompson added 13 points, Shannon Smith tallied 11 and Katelynn Flaherty scored 10 points. The Wolverines were a solid 53 percent from the field and were able to work past 17 turnovers.
Southern Miss (25-11) got 18 points from Jerontay Clemons; Voche' Martin scored 13 points, Kierra Jordan added 11 and Brittanny Dinkins scored 10. The Golden Eagles were just 2-of-10 from 3-point range and a mediocre 8-of-17 from the free-throw line.
Michigan had a 45-30 lead with about 15 minutes to go in the second half – a scoring drought of about four minutes saw Southern Miss cut the margin to 55-48, but the closest the Golden Eagles got was five points down with 2:30 to go.
WEST VIRGINIA 75, VILLANOVA 70 (OT)
Morgantown, WV – Averee Fields scored the first six points of overtime for West Virginia, which came back from a four-point deficit late in regulation to fight past Villanova and reach the WNIT semifinals. The Mountaineers (22-14) will host Temple, with tipoff set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET.
Fields closed with 22 points and 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season. She hit a layup, a jumper and two free throws to give the Mountaineers a 68-62 lead in overtime with 1:16 to go.
Bria Holmes had 17 points, five rebounds and five assists on a substandard shooting performance for her (6-of-22 from the field, 0-of-7 from 3-point range, 5-of-11 free-throws). Linda Stepney hit a key 3-pointer with about two minutes to go in regulation for WVU, and she ended with 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. West Virginia was 1-of-10 from 3-point range but did claim a 47-34 edge in rebounding.
Villanova’s Emily Leer had 29 points and drained six 3-pointers; Caroline Coyer had 10 points and six assists, but she missed three free throws and a layup in the last several minutes of regulation.
West Virginia completed a frantic comeback in regulation on a layup from Holmes with 13 seconds to go to tie it at 62-all. The Mountaineers had a five-point lead with about 8 minutes left; Villanova (22-14) enjoyed a four-point lead with 45 seconds to go in the back-and-forth contest.