Notre Dame and Duke Punch Tickets to Sweet Sixteen

Notre Dame and Duke move on to Sweet Sixteen, Miami and Syracuse fall short on upset bids. 

Notre Dame Ousts DePaul with 79-67 Win

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Michaela Mabrey scored 19 points, hitting five 3-pointers, Taya Reimer and Brianna Turner added 14 points each as top-seeded Notre Dame beat No. 9 seed DePaul 79-67 Sunday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Fighting Irish had a 51-32 rebounding edge, with Turner pulling down 11 rebounds and Reimer had 10, and Notre Dame (33-2) held DePaul to 36 percent shooting to win their 19th straight to advance to the Sweet 16 for the sixth straight season. DePaul (27-8), which had won eight straight, fell a win shy of advancing to the round of 16 for a second straight season.

Mabrey was 5 of 7 from 3-point range for her first double-digit scoring game since scoring 20 against Boston College on Feb. 8.

Megan Podkowa led the Blue Demons with 19 points and 11 rebounds and Jessica January had 12 points and five assists.

The victory was a stark contrast to when the rivals played in December, when the Irish took advantage of poor free-throw shooting by DePaul and Jewell Loyd scored a career-high 41 points to rally the Irish to the overtime victory. Loyd was 3-of-15 on Sunday and finished with 10 points. Brittany Hrinko, who scored 32 points for DePaul in the December loss, was 3 of 16 shooting and finished with 11 points.

The Irish also got 11 points and seven assists from Lindsay Allen, but it was the inside game that was key. The Irish outscored DePaul 18-12 on second-chance points as Turner, who missed the first game with a dislocated shoulder, teamed with Reimer and Kathryn Westbeld, who had eight points and seven rebounds, to dominate inside.

Mabrey hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 12-0 run in the first half to give the Irish the lead and had a pair of free throws during an 8-0 run in the second half that stretched the lead to 57-44 on a layup by Reimer midway through the second half. Madison Cable later hit a 3-pointer to stretch the lead to 68-49 and eventually extended the lead to 77-55 on a basket by Turner with less than three minutes left.

Notre Dame had trouble adjusting to DePaul's pressing early, turning the ball over four times on five possessions as the Blue Demons took a 10-6 lead. The Irish continued to be flustered by DePaul as the Blue Demons scored 11 points off six Irish turnovers, opening a 20-12 lead when Centrese McGee scored a basket inside.

But Loyd got the Irish going moment later with a 14-foot jumper to cut the lead to 24-19. After Taya Reimer scored on a rebound Michaela Mabrey hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 12-run and give 29-24 lead. DePaul was 0 of 6 shooting during the run with three turnovers.

Loyd hit a pair of free throws with 2 seconds left in the half to give the Irish a 37-31 lead.

Stevens Leads Duke Past MSU 64-56 and Into Sweet 16

DURHAM, N.C. -- Elizabeth Williams' Duke teammates weren't going to let her final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium turn into her last college game, period.

Freshman Azurá Stevens had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and the Blue Devils beat Mississippi State 64-56 on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Williams scored 12 points in her Cameron finale and Rebecca Greenwell added 17 with three 3-pointers for fourth-seeded Duke (23-10).

The Blue Devils shot 52 percent, used a timely 26-5 run to build a 15-point lead and held on to earn a spot in the round of 16. They will play the Princeton-Maryland winner on Saturday in the Spokane Region semifinals.

Victoria Vivians scored 15 points and Kendra Grant added 12 for the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (27-7). They clawed within 58-52 on Morgan William's free throw with 1:21 left.

But Dominique Dillingham was called for a blocking foul with 1:02 left, and coach Vic Schaefer received a technical foul for arguing that Greenwell should have been whistled for using her forearm, and had to be restrained by two of his assistants.

After Greenwell hit 3 of 4 free throws, Mississippi State never got closer than eight in the final minute.

Ka'lia Johnson added 10 points for Duke, which had reached the tournament's second weekend in four straight years before DePaul came here last year and knocked the Blue Devils out in the second round.


Syracuse Loses to South Carolina, 97-68

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The eighth-seeded Syracuse University women's basketball team lost at No. 1 seed South Carolina, 97-68, in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament on Sunday night at Colonial Life Arena. South Carolina built a 28-point halftime lead and Syracuse could not overcome the first-half blitz in its second-ever NCAA Tournament second round game.

"We played hard the entire game," head coach Quentin Hillsman said. "That's how we do it at Syracuse, we compete the whole game. I thought our kids gave it everything they had. I give them a lot of credit, they gave it everything they had."

Syracuse (22-10) in its second contest against South Carolina (32-2) this season never gave up. Despite a large deficit at halftime, the Orange came back with a 43-point effort in the latter 20 minutes. Syracuse shot 43 percent from the field in the second half, knocking down 12-of-28 of its shot attempts.

Sophomore guard Alexis Peterson continued her impressive showing in postseason play, leading the team with 23 points. It marked her third straight game with at least 20 points and her seventh of the 2014-15 campaign. Junior guard Cornelia Fondren tallied 16 points, her fourth consecutive contest with at least 13 points.

Despite the loss, the future looks bright for the Orange. Syracuse advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, a program-first. In addition, all but two players return to the court in 2015-16.

Miami Falls to Iowa, 88-70, in NCAA 2nd Round

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Miami women’s basketball team’s superb season came to an end Sunday afternoon, as the Hurricanes fell to No. 3 seed Iowa in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa senior center Bethany Doolittle led all scorers with 22 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, as the Hawkeyes downed No. 11 seed Miami, 88-70.

Sophomore guard Jessica Thomas paced Miami (20-13) in the first half, scoring 11 points in the opening 20 minutes and playing quality defense as well.

The Gainesville, Fla. native hit a three-pointer with 4:44 left in the half to put Miami up by four, 27-23, but Iowa (26-7) surged to the break. The Hawkeyes outscored the Hurricanes 15-4 the rest of the session and led 38-31 as the teams went to the locker rooms.

After being held to four points in the first half, Motley came out scorching hot in the second. She scored 14 points in the first 6:15 of the half, connecting on 6-of-7 shots from the field and 2-of-3 from the line.

The Hurricanes got the deficit down to three, three times in the first five minutes of the second half, all on baskets by Motley. However, after the third time, which made it 46-43 with 15:21 to go, the Hawkeyes responded with a run to stretch their lead.

The Hawkeyes shot 75 percent (18-of-24) in the second half en route to an 88-70 victory to advance to the Sweet 16.

Thomas led Miami with 20 points and played a career-high 37 minutes. Motley finished with 18 points on 50 percent shooting. Sterling scored 15 points in her last game as a Hurricane and led the team with a season-high seven rebounds.

The Hurricanes went 20-13 in the 2014-15 season, the fifth time in the last six years they posted 20-plus wins. This was the sixth straight postseason trip for Miami, including NCAA Tournament appearances in four of the last five seasons, with victories in three of those trips.