WNIT Daily Roundup
Utah State nets first postseason win since 1977
Utah State 103, Arizona 95 -- Box Score
LOGAN, Utah -- Utah State made history in several ways in its 103-95 win in the First Round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum Thursday. The win was the Aggies first WNIT victory and first postseason win since a 90-74 victory against Northern Colorado in the AIAW Championship in 1977.
The 103 points was the most points scored by the Aggies since a 96-39 win against Southern Idaho in 1984. It was also the first time that USU scored 100 points since Utah State beat New Mexico State 105-98 on Feb. 20, 1982.
Illinois State 72, Central Michigan 59 -- Box Score
NORMAL, Ill. -- Illinois State advanced to the second round of the WNIT for the third consecutive year Thursday night as the Redbirds beat Central Michigan 72-59 on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena. ISU (21-10) remained undefeated at home in 2011, extending its home-court win streak to a program-best 15 consecutive games.
ISU's defense held Central Michigan to its second-lowest point total of the season, forcing the Chippewas to commit 23 turnovers. Illinois State also teamed up to block eight shots, which tied for the second-most blocks by the Redbirds in a WNIT game. ISU shot 48 percent from the field, while Central Michigan shot 29 percent.
Duquesne 64, Kent State 56 -- Box Score
PITTSBURGH -- For the first time in program history, Duquesne earned a post-season victory after its 64-56 win against Kent State in the opening round of the 2011 Women's National Invitation Tournament.
Vanessa Abel led the Dukes (23-8) with 18 points. Alex Gensler scored 16 and Orsi Szecsi added 13 for DU who recorded its sixth win this season against a school from the Mid-American Conference.
Jamilah Humes led all scorers with 23 points and Ellie Shields recorded a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds. Taisja Jones added 15 for the Golden Flashes whose season ends with a record of 20-10.
Missouri State 76, Rice 65 -- Box Score
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Missouri State Lady Bears used a 15-2 scoring run to take control of their opening round game in the Women's National Invitation Tournament against Rice en route to a 76-65 victory Thursday evening at JQH Arena. MSU scored the final seven points of the first half and eight of the first 10 of the second to turn the tide for good against the Owls.
After Rice battled back to cut the Missouri State lead down to two points in the closing minutes, the Lady Bears again cranked up its offense with a 13-4 game-ending spurt to lock up their 24th victory of the season.
Oral Roberts 78, TCU 74 -- Box Score
Fort Worth, Texas -- Oral Roberts tipped off WNIT action in style, advancing to the Second Round for the first time since 1982-83 with a 78-74 victory against a tough TCU squad Thursday evening at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum.
Jordan Pyle led the way for the Golden Eagles, posting her 11th double-double of the year with 20 points and 13 boards, while shooting 10-14 from the floor and snagging four steals.
St. Bonaventure 77, Lehigh 43 -- Box Score
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. -- Jessica Jenkins hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 20 points as St. Bonaventure (21-11) led from start to finish, securing a 77-43 win against Lehigh (21-11) in the First Round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament Thursday night.
The Bonnies advance to the Second Round for the third consecutive year, and did so by defeating the Mountain Hawks in convincing fashion. The 34-point win is Bonaventure's largest of the season, and largest in any of its six WNIT games.
Syracuse 77, Monmouth 53 -- Box Score
Sophomore center Kayla Alexander led all scorers with 26 points, including the first seven of the game for the Orange, as Syracuse beat Monmouth 77-53 in the First Round of the WNIT at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse improved its record to 23-9 and is now 18-2 at home this season. The Orange has won 40 consecutive nonconference home games. The victory improves Syracuse’s WNIT record to 5-2 in the past three tournaments.
Syracuse shot 54.7 from the field, marking the third consecutive game it has hit better than 40 percent from the field. It is the Orange’s second-best shooting performance this season. SU shot 55.9 percent against Saint Francis in December. SU outscored Monmouth 26-4 in the paint and 14-2 on second chance points.
Eastern Michigan 67, Michigan 59 -- Box Score
YPSILANTI, Mich. -- Eastern Michigan was not ready to end its season and the Eagles came up with an outstanding effort on both ends of the court to post a thrilling 67-59 win against Michigan on Thursday in the Convocation Center.
The Eagles won the battle of Washtenaw County by holding the visitors to just 38.7 percent from the field, hitting just 24-of-62 attempts, forcing 19 turnovers, making 25-of-63 field goals for 39.7 percent while also making 8-of-21 3-point attempts for 38.1 percent.
UNC-Wilmington 63, Richmond 54 -- Box Score
RICHMOND, Va. -- Senior Brittany Blackwell scored 14 points to lead five Seahawk players in double figures as UNCW defeated Richmond 63-54 in the First Round of the postseason Women's National Invitation Tournament Thursday at the Robins Center.
In the first meeting between the two former Colonial Athletic Association rivals since the 2000-01 season, the Seahawks improved to 24-8 and advanced to the Second Round of the Postseason WNIT, where they will face Eastern Michgan Monday at 7 p.m. at Trask Coliseum. Richmond slipped to 18-13 as it saw its season come to a close.
Blackwell highlighted a balanced UNCW attack that finished the game shooting 39.6 percent from the field, highlighted by a 44.4 percent effort from the floor in the final 20 minutes. Senior Martha White, junior Kristen Hanzer, sophomore Jessica Freeman and freshman Alisha Andrews all pitched in 10 points while White added a game-high eight rebounds.
Auburn 68, Tennessee Tech 54 -- Box Score
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Down seven points early in the second half, Auburn (15-16) responded with an 11-3 run to take a lead it would not give up in a 68-54 win at Tennessee Tech (23-8) in the First Round of the WNIT.
Auburn scored the last 11 points of the game, including a 7-of-8 mark from the free-throw line in the last 1:06 to secure the win. Senior Alli Smalley scored a team-high 17 points, leading four Tigers in double figures.
Boston College 85, Yale 61 -- Box Score
New Haven, Conn. -- Seniors Jaclyn Thoman and Stefanie Murphy combined for 43 points as Boston College defeated Yale 85-61 at the John J. Lee Amphitheater in the First Round of the WNIT Tournament. Boston College improves to 19-12 on the season, while Yale finishes the season at 14-15.
Thoman had 15 points in the first half and finished with 23 points. Murphy had 18 points and seven boards while freshman Korina Chapman added nine points off the bench. Senior Carolyn Swords finished with nine points and 11 rebounds, as she fouled out early in the second half.
St. Joseph’s 72, VCU 66 -- Box Score
PHILADELPHIA -- Following a first half that saw neither team lead by more than four points, the Hawks used momentum from the end of the first stanza to open a nine-point gap quickly. Saint Joseph's used a 9-0 run that spanned both halves to break a 27-27 tie and give SJU a 36-27 lead on a pair of free throws by junior Michelle Bakerat the 18:38 mark.
The Hawks (20-11) kept the Rams at a distance, opening a 14-point lead 51-37 on a 3-pointer by senior Dominique Bryant with 12:01 to go.
Down 62-52 with under 5 minutes to play, VCU fought back to make it a 62-58 game on a jumper by Courtney Hurt at the 2:54 mark.
Virginia 69, Morgan State 56 -- Box Score
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- Virginia built an early lead and held on for a 69-56 victory against visiting Morgan State Thursday night in the First Round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).
With the victory, Virginia's record improved to 17-15. Morgan State's final record is 17-15.
In the first half, Virginia's lead at times ballooned to as many as 16 points, but Morgan State pulled to within 11 points, 38-27, at the 1:34 mark on a 3-pointer by Brittany Dodson. UVa responded by going on a 5-0 run to end the half and take a 43-27 lead.
Arkansas 91, Lamar 65 -- Box Score
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas used a 14-0 run and held Lamar scoreless for more than 7 minutes in the first half en route to a 91-65 win in the First Round of the WNIT Tournament in Bud Walton Arena Thursday.
Sophomore Sarah Watkins was well on the way to a double-double with 15 points and seven rebounds in the first half leading Arkansas to a 51.5 shooting percentage on a 17-for-33 performance. Watkins finished with a career-best 25 points and 14 rebounds getting her sixth double-double of the year.
Northwestern 89, Creighton 63 -- Box Score
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Backed by 21 points from Kendall Hackney and a 55 percent shooting effort, Northwestern (19-13) cruised to a 89-63 victory against Creighton Thursday night in opening round WNIT action at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Senior Amy Jaeschke registered her 15th double-double of the season with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Meshia Reed added 16 as well.
Tulane 61, Southern 31 -- Box Score
NEW ORLEANS -- Sophomore Olivia Grayson had 12 points and the Green Wave defense forced 22 turnovers as Tulane defeated Southern 61-31 in the opening round of the 2011 WNIT Thursday evening in Fogelman Arena.
The Green Wave tallied 12 steals and 11 blocks on the night while holding the Lady Jags to a 16.9 field goal percentage (12-of-71). With the win, Tulane improves to 23-10 on the year and advances to take on Oral Roberts in the Second Round of the WNIT.
Colorado 71, UC Riverside 62 -- Box Score
BOULDER -- Colorado opened a 19-point lead early in the second half, but had to hold on to eliminate UC-Riverside 71-62 Thursday night and advance to the Second Round of the WNIT.
Senior Brittany Spears and sophomore Chucky Jeffery each had a double-double to lead the Buffs. Spears scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Jeffery added 19 and 12.
California 74, Cal Poly 60 -- Box Score
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- California opened up the 2011 Women's National Invitation Tournament with a 74-60 victory against the Cal Poly Mustangs in San Luis Obispo. Talia Caldwell had her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 17 rebounds.
Talia Caldwell had her eighth double-double of the season with 12 points and 17 rebounds, including 8 offensive rebounds. Layshia Clarendon had her fourth 20-point game of the season with 20 points. Afure Jemerigbe had 15 points, going 6-for-8 from the field.
Southern California 67, UC Santa Barbara 64 -- Box Score
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- USC tightened up its defense and finally regrouped late in the game for a comeback to win its WNIT First Round game against visiting UC Santa Barbara 67-64 on Thursday night at the Galen Center.
The Trojans got into an 11-point hole in the second half before climbing out of it and taking the lead for good in the final 6:20 of action. The victory improves USC to 20-12 overall and puts the Trojans on a path to the WNIT Second Round for a 2 p.m. game at Nevada on Sunday (March 20) in Reno.
Nevada 65, St. Mary’s (Calif.) 62 -- Box Score
MORAGA, Calif. -- Nevada picked up its first-ever victory in the post-season, winning at Saint Mary's 65-62 in the First Round of the 2011 Women's National Invitational Tournament. Nevada continued to build on its school record for wins, improving to 22-10 while Saint Mary's finishes its season at 19-13.
The game was a bitterly fought battle throughout as there were 10 ties and 13 lead changes. The Pack shot 42.9 percent from the field and 44.4 percent from beyond the arc while holding the Gaels to 29.6 percent and 23.5 from beyond the arc. The Pack tied a season-low with 11 turnovers while collecting six blocks and six steals.
BYU 75, Denver 60 -- Box Score
PROVO, Utah -- In a game between two teams hoping to keep their seasons alive, the BYU Cougars soundly defeated the Denver Pioneers 75-60 Thursday at the Marriott Center.
Senior Mindy Bonham led the way for BYU with a season-high 23 points while also grabbing five boards. Three other Cougars scored in double digits, with Coriann Fraughton contributing 18, Kirsten Riley 11 and Jennifer Hamson 11.
Alabama 80, Memphis 69 -- Box Score
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Senior Tierney Jenkins and junior Ericka Russell combined for 41 points as the women's basketball team (17-14) took down Memphis (21-13) 80-69 on Thursday night in the First Round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament at Elma Roane Fieldhouse.
Jenkins led three Alabama players in double figures with 21 points. She was followed by Russell, who added 20, and senior LaToya King, who chipped in 14. The Tide is now 15-1 when three or more players record double-digit points in the game.