Southern Illinois 72, Hartford 50
Southern Illinois (3-2) started the tournament with a wire-to-wire 72-50 victory over the Hartford Hawks (2-4).
SIU junior forward Nicole Martin got things started, making a layup that gave her team an early lead. Hartford senior guard Lindsey Abed retaliated quickly but the Salukis subsequently went on a run to give them an 11-6 advantage with sophomore forward Abby Brockmeyer leading the way
In the last 1:20 of the period, the Salukis amassed a double-digit cushion and went into the second period leading 24-11. Brockmayer had 11 points in the first ten minutes.
The Salukis outscored the Hawks 14-8 in the second period to maintain their lead. Going to the break, SIU led 38-19.
The third period was an evenly matched affair as both teams scored 13 points each. However, since the Hawks went into the break with a 19-point deficit, trading baskets at that point did nothing to give them any traction in coming from behind.
The fourth period was much of the same with the teams trading baskets, However, SIU was a little more prolific, outscoring the Hawks 20-18.
Martin finished with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting along with five rebounds. Brockmeyer earned her fourth double-double of the season with 17 points, 10 rebounds plus a career-high five assists. Sophomore guaard Makenzie Silvey added 11 points and career-best seven rebounds. Payton McCallister earned 11 points and five assists.
Lindsey Abed paced Hartford with 22 points while freshman guard Jordan McLemore added 10.
Southern Illinois plays Arizona State on Saturday. Hartford will face Louisville.
Louisville 58, Arizona State 56
The second game of the day was an exciting and intense matchup that saw two ranked teams battle until the very last second. While Louisville (4-0) triumphed 58-56 over Arizona State (2-2), the win was decided in the last three seconds when the Sun Devils seemed poised to tie the game.
Initially, both teams had trouble on the offensive end. Louisville senior guard Asia Durr was the first to score. She drained a three-pointer and Arizona State freshman guard Taya Hanson returned the favor with a trey of her own. Neither team could get an offensive advantage as the quarter ended with a tie game at 14 points each.
The second quarter was much of the same as neither team could gain enough momentum to lead by more than a few points. Louisville went into the break with a slight lead of 29-27.
Arizona State managed to outscore Louisville in the third period, 14-8. This gave the Sun Devils a 41-37 lead heading into the last ten minutes.
In the mad scramble to the finish, both teams had opportunities to possibly go on runs but the play of the defensive-minded squads quashed any attempts to get ahead by a significant margin.
For Louisville, senior forward Sam Fuehring was crucial on both ends of the floor in the end. After She made a layup with just three seconds left, Arizona State turned the ball over and squandered its chance of getting off a three-pointer.
Fuehring led Louisville with 18 points plus nine rebounds. Durr added 14 points and Evans contributed 11 points.
Senior forward Sophia Elenga was the only Arizona State in double figures. She scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds.
Louisville plays Hartford tomorrow while Arizona State faces Southern Illinois.
Buffalo 73, Georgetown 64
Buffalo led wire to wire in its 73-64 victory over Georgetown. The Hoyas were no match for the Bulls with especially with the outstanding play of Buffalo senior Cierra Dillard who scored a season-high 33 points, pulled down six rebounds, dished out eight assists and amassed five steals.
Buffalo’s three treys early in the game put them ahead for good as they outscored Georgetown 19-11 in the first quarter.
In the second period, Buffalo led by as much as 11 points. Georgetown tried to make inroads to reduce their deficit, but a jump shot from senior forward Courtney Wilkins in the last three seconds of the half put the Bulls up 38-28 heading into the break.
Buffalo continued to dominate in the third quarter and entered the last period with a 57-46 advantage. While the Hoyas outscored the Bulls 18-16 in the last ten minutes, it was a moot effort.
In addition to Dillard, Wilkins and junior guard Theresa Onwuka were also in double figures with 11 points and six rebounds each.
Junior forward Anita Kelava led Georgetown with 15 points plus eight rebounds. Graduate student guard Mikayla Venson socred 12 points and senior guard Dionna White had a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Buffalo plays South Dakota State on Saturday while Georgetown will face Baylor.
Baylor 72, South Dakota State 66
In the last game of the day, unranked South Dakota State (3-2) put No. 5 Baylor (5-0) to the ultimate test. The Jackrabbits and the Bears were neck and neck for the majority of the game with the unranked mid-major looking as if they were poised to upset the Big 12 power.
At the outset, the teams traded baskets and the lead with the Jackrabbits lighting up the scoreboard with a flurry of three-point shots. After being tied at 12 all midway through the first period, Baylor went on an 11-0 run finishing the quarter with a 21-12 lead.
However, that advantage was not intimidating to the Jackrabbits as they hopped right back into the fray with a run of their own in the second quarter. With only four minutes left before the break, it was a four-point game with Baylor leading 27-23.
South Dakota State had the lead briefly before Baylor made some quick shots to end the half with a 37-34 lead. Lauren Cox had 17 points for Baylor at the break while Madison Guebert led the Jackrabbits with 11.
Guebert hit the first shot out of the third quarter, a trey that tied the game. South Dakota State took the lead at 7:33 in the third quarter after a pair of free throws from sophomore guard/forward Myah Selland. It was back and forth contest for the majority of the third quarter.
Three-pointers from junior guard Juicy Landrom and Cox in the last two minutes of the third period helped put Baylor back in the lead 47-43 to end the quarter.
The last period was another flurry of excitement as the teams went back and forth again. The Jackrabbits overcame a double-digit deficit in the last two minutes and seemed ready to pull off a major upset but in the end, the Bears outscored their feisty opponent 25-23 to take the game.
Cox had a season-high 28 points plus 10 rebounds, while senior center Kalani Brown added 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Guebert gave the Jackrabbits 22 points. Senior guard Macy Miller scored 14 points and dished out six assists. Selland contributed 12 points, six rebounds and seven assists.