PERFECT DAY: Miami Upsets UW, while Duke Avoids One; Notre Dame Rolls and Syracuse Downs Nebraska

March On! @MiamiWBB Downs UW in NCAA Opener

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Miami women’s basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last five years by knocking off sixth-seeded Washington Friday afternoon.

Led by a game-high 30 points from sophomore guard Adrienne Motley, No. 11 seed Miami took down the Huskies, 86-80, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena and picked up its 20th win of the season as well.

“That had to be one of the most fun games to coach in that I've had in my career, and it had to be awesome for the fans and for television,” Miami head coach Katie Meier said. “I think there were 13 ties in the game. The players were just making plays. It was just a beautiful women's basketball game. I thought well executed by both teams, and I think when I watch it on film, I'm going to have even more fun. I just thought it was amazing.”

Miami made 16 of its final 22 free throws in the game, enough to hold off Washington, which hit some tough shots down the stretch. Freshman forward Erykah Davenport, who had a career-high 13 rebounds, grabbed a board with six seconds left and then sank a pair from the line to ice the game.

In addition to Motley, three other Hurricanes scored double figures in the game. Sophomore guard Jessica Thomas had 19, Woods had 17 and Sterling had 11. Miami had a season-low four turnovers in the game and made a season-high 58.3 percent of its three-point field goal attempts (7-of-12).

Led by Woods’ tenacious defense, the Hurricanes limited the nation’s seventh leading scorer, Washington sophomore guard Kelsey Plum, to 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) shooting. She and redshirt junior forward Talia Walton paced the Huskies with 17 points each.

“I think we got 66 of our 86 points from our three starting guards,” Meier said of Motley, Thomas and Woods, “and yet that's not what we are going to talk about. It's going to be their defensive effort.”

Miami will play in the round of 32 Sunday in Iowa City against the winner of the afternoon game between third-seeded Iowa and 14-seed American. The game is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Greenwell's Late Three Lifts Duke Over Albany 54-52

DURHAM, N.C. -- Albany kept taking things from Duke all day -- first the ball, then the lead.

The Great Danes couldn't keep their hands on their first NCAA Tournament victory.

The Blue Devils beat Albany 54-52 on Friday in the first round of the Spokane Regional after Rebecca Greenwell hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left.

Imani Tate had 17 points and Shereesha Richards added 12 for the Great Danes (24-9), who forced 27 turnovers and were trying to become just the second No. 13 seed to win a game in the tournament and the first since Marist in 2012.

"We should have won the game," guard Sarah Royals said. "I think that we outplayed them, and I'm not ashamed to say it."

They had two chances to retake the lead after Greenwell's big shot in the final seconds put Duke up 53-52.

Tate missed on a drive down the lane with about 8 seconds left and Duke's Azurá Stevens hit the first of two free throws with 6.4 seconds left.

She missed the second and the Great Danes raced downcourt, but Erin Coughlin's corner 3 clipped off the back iron at the buzzer.

Greenwell finished with 20 points for the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (22-10). They won their NCAA Tournament opener for the 22nd straight time.

Elizabeth Williams had 12 rebounds but was just 2 for 9 shooting while Amber Henson added 10 boards for Duke, which will play the Tulane-Mississippi State winner on Sunday in the second round.

Loyd Scores 18 to Lead Notre Dame to 77-43 Win Over Montana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Jewell Loyd scored 18 points and top-seed Notre Dame used its size and speed to overwhelm 16th-seeded Montana 77-43 Friday night in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Brianna Turner added 12 points and Michaela Mabrey, Taya Reimer and Lindsay Allen added nine points each as Notre Dame shot 62.3 percent against the Lady Griz (24-9). Montana entered the game fourth in the nation in field-goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot 33.8 percent.

The Irish (32-2) won their 18th straight game while Montana lost for the 11th straight time in the opening round of the tournament.

Kayleigh Valley led Montana with nine points and six rebounds.

The Irish outscored Montana 42-24 in the paint and 8-0 on fast-break points.

It was largest margin of defeat by Montana this season and its biggest loss in the NCAA Tournament, breaking the mark of 31 points to top-seeded Southern California in 1986.

Kathryn Westbeld added eight points and 10 rebounds as the Irish outrebounded Montana 38-32.


Syracuse Defeats Nebraska, 72-69, in NCAA First Round

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The eighth-seeded Syracuse University women's basketball team used a clutch performance to score a 72-69 victory against ninth-seeded Nebraska in the first round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament on Friday night at Colonial Life Arena. With the win, Syracuse recorded its second victory in NCAA Tournament play in program history. 

Syracuse (22-9) was terrific on both ends of the floor, forcing 19 Nebraska (21-11) turnovers, while only committing eight. In addition, Syracuse knocked down just over 40 percent of its attempts from the field, making 28-of-69 attempts. 

All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer sophomore guard Alexis Peterson lived up to her billing, leading the team with 24 points on the night. It marked her sixth 20-point performance of the 2014-15 season. Junior guard Cornelia Fondren topped her career-high for the second straight game, finishing with 18 points. 

Junior guard Brianna Butler was spectacular down the stretch. After only scoring five points in the first half, Butler scored 12 second-half points to finish with 17 points against the Cornhuskers. She made the shot that put the team up for good with 59 seconds remaining in regulation.