FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Top-seeded Nova Southeastern buried five of the first eight 3-point shots to build as much as a 22-point first half lead and didn't look back in advancing past Albany State in Saturday's South Region semifinal game 96-69.
The Sharks (27-4) would go on to make seven of their first 12 '3's, and were up 51-30 of the half while shooting 47 percent from the field. They were even hotter out of the break, making their first seven shots from the field, and would eventually lead by as many as 36.
There were five Sharks in double digits, led by Danielle Robinson's 21, including going 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Julia Salmio made her first five shots, including two 3-pointers. She tied her career high in the first half alone, with 12 points, and surpassed it with a layup with 15:59 to go, finishing with 19 in the game on 7-of-10 shooting.
Taylor Buie scored the team's first eight points and ended the night with 17. Jasmine Wilkins and Richelle Carach both had 10 points, with Wilkins snagging nine rebounds and Carach eight.
The Sharks shot 49.3 percent overall, and the main distributors on their 27 assists out of 34 made field goals were Jessica Russi with nine, while Amanda Burakoski had a career-high seven.
Albany State (21-7) scored the first five points of the game and led 10-8 at the 15:41 mark of the opening half. From then until 10:41, NSU went on a 23-8 run, which included four 3-pointers, two by Molly Blomer, as well as an old-fashioned three-point play by Carach.
After the break, as the Sharks made their first seven shots, it was a 17-9 run, capped by a lay-in by Brittany Mesler to give the team a 29-point lead. The 36-point margin came at 96-60 with 3:41 left on a 3-pointer by fellow freshman Ashley Robinson.