The UCLA Bruins and Syracuse Orange were the only lower seeds to win in the Power 5 conference tournaments that took place on Friday and both were just one seed lower than their opponent. The Stanford Cardinal, Texas A&M Aggies and South Carolina Gamecocks all still have a chance to defend their 1-seed status.
Here’s how things played out:
No. 1 Stanford Cardinal 79, No. 5 Oregon State Beavers 45
Stanford freshman forward Cameron Brink increased her career high in points by seven with 24 and added 11 rebounds and four blocks as the Cardinal cruised past the Beavers. Brink lived up to her status as the No. 3 recruit in the nation and perhaps provided a preview of things to come from her in the NCAA Tournament. She had averaged 5.5 points over her previous two contests.
Senior guard Kiana Williams backed Brink up with 20 points, six rebounds and six assists. She was 5-of-7 from deep. After an even first quarter, Stanford won the second by 11, the third by 12 and the fourth by 11.
No. 3 UCLA Bruins 58, No. 2 Arizona Wildcats 49
UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere and Arizona’s Aari McDonald were the only players in double figures with 24 apiece and Onyenwere’s Bruins came out on top. UCLA’s 8-point win in the second quarter was key, but Arizona cut it to two with 1:16 to go in the fourth before UCLA pulled away again. The Bruins were 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final 1:16 and 19-of-23 for the game.
No. 1 Texas A&M Aggies 77, No. 8 LSU Tigers 58
The Aggies used a balanced scoring effort, with double figure scoring from Kayla Wells (16), Alexis Morris (13), N’dea Jones (12), Jordan Nixon (12) and Ciera Johnson (12), to overcome Khayla Pointer’s game-high 26 points. Jones added 10 rebounds for a double-double and Texas A&M gradually pulled away after a close first quarter.
No. 4 Georgia Lady Bulldogs 78, No. 5 Kentucky Wildcats 66
Jenna Staiti led the way with 20 points, 12 boards and three blocks in this one. Maya Caldwell also had 20 points for the winners. SEC Player of the Year Rhyne Howard scored 33 points in defeat. The Bulldogs led by 15 at the break.
No. 2 South Carolina Gamecocks 75, No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide 63
The Gamecocks let the Crimson Tide creep back in this one and make it seem like less of a blowout, but dominated the first quarter 26-6. Zia Cooke, who led South Carolina with 22 points, buried a 3-pointer just before the buzzer of the first. Teammate Aliyah Boston notched 16 points, 13 rebounds and three steals, while Destanni Henderson chipped in with 18 points. Jordan Lewis had 25 points, six rebounds and four assists in defeat.
No. 3 Tennessee Lady Volunteers 77, No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels 72
The Lady Vols received a buzzer beater in each of the first two quarters. Jordan Horston made a half court shot to put them up eight after one and Rennia Davis (33 points, 14 rebounds) drilled a triple to close out the second and cut the team’s deficit to four.
It was a rough second quarter for Tennessee and they trailed by eight after three before coming back in the fourth.
No. 1 Louisville Cardinals 65, No. 9 Wake Forest Demon Deacons 53
Louisville freshman guard Hailey Van Lith, who, like Cameron Brink, is highly-touted recruit who has done well but not dominated, dropped a game and career-high 24 points to make up for the fact that ACC Player of the Year Dana Evans was held to eight. The game was tied entering the fourth.
No. 5 Syracuse Orange 68, No. 4 Florida State Seminoles 67
Kamilla Cardoso’s layup at the buzzer lifted the Orange to victory. The Seminoles led by 14 after one. Cardoso was good for 16 points and 13 boards while Bianca Jackson had 25 points and seven assists in defeat.
No. 2 NC State Wolfpack 68, No. 7 Virginia Tech Hokies 55
Elissa Cunane was the superstar that NC State needed her to be, accumulating 27 points to go along with her nine boards. The Wolfpack led by at least eight for the final eight minutes of the game after the Hokies had cut their deficit to as little as four in the third quarter.
No. 3 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 60, No. 11 Clemson Tigers 57
Clemson’s Weronika Hipp missed a 3-pointer with one second left that would have tied it. Kierra Fletcher led Georgia Tech with 21 points, while teammate Lorela Cubaj notched 12 points and 18 boards. Delicia Washington scored a game-high 24 points in defeat.