The third seed Indiana Hoosiers took care of the 14 seed Charlotte 49ers 85-51 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in front of 6,389 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall Saturday Afternoon. Indiana (23-8) moves onto the second round Monday Night while Charlotte ends the season at (22-10) and sees a four-game winning streak come to end after winning their final regular season game against Southern Miss on March 5th, and a three-game run to win the Conference USA tournament championship.
The Hoosiers controlled the game after Molina Williams hit a three pointer to open the game for Charlotte 42 seconds in. Ali Patberg got the Hoosiers on the board with a jumper at the 8:54 mark and Aleska Gulbe drained a three at the 8:22 mark to make 5-3 before the 49ers tied the game 7-7 with 6:21 left in the first quarter. Charlotte tied the game at 11-11 on a jumper by Octavia Jett-Wilson with 2:47 left in the first quarter when Chloe Moore-McNeil hit a three for the Hoosiers to make it 14-11 with 2:34 left and The Hoosiers led the rest of the game and extend the lead to as many as 36 points.
Indiana led 22-12 after the first quarter and outscored the 49ers 20-12 in the 2nd quarter to take 42-24 lead into the locker room. The Hoosiers led 64-35 at the end of the third quarter and controlled the fourth quarter outscoring the 49ers 31-16. Indiana was 35-64 from the field for 54 %, 4-14 from the three-point line for 28 % and 11-15 from the free throw line for 73%. The Hoosiers shared the basketball dishing out 23 assists and committing just six turnovers
Indiana had three players in double-figures led by Mackenize Holmes with 19 Points, Grace Berger with 18 and Aleska Gulbe with 15. Nicole Cardano-Hillary had nine points, Ali Patberg and Chloe Moore-McNeil had seven points each. Kaitlin Peterson, Mona Zaric and Grace Waggoner all scored 2 points each. Arielle Wisne was the only Hoosier not to score. Indiana pulled down 37 rebounds, eight steals and a block.
Charlotte was led in scoring by Octavia Jett-Wilson 5-8 senior from Greenbelt Maryland with 19 points and was the only 49er in double figures. Charlotte was 20-54 from the field for 37%, 1-9 from the three-point range for 12 % and 10-17 from the free throw line for 58 %. Charlotte pulled down 25 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals and a block. The Hoosiers defense made the 49ers commit 14 turnovers.
This is the first time Indiana Women’s Basketball History that the Hoosiers are hosting the first and second round of the NCAA Tournament and this was 10th highest attended game in Indiana Women’s Basketball History. This is Indiana highest seed in program history at three seed and the Hoosiers made their first ever Sweet 16 and Elite eight appearances in program history as four seed as the entire 2021 tournament was played in San Antonio Texas.
11 Seed Princeton Upsets Sixth Seed Kentucky in NCAA Women’s Basketball First Round
by: Nick Jenkinson, Excel H Sports
When it comes to March the Ivy League is always one of toughest leagues to put out of an NCAA Tournament and the 11 seed Princeton Tigers showed the nation Saturday why after taking out the sixth seed Kentucky Wildcats 69-62 in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament first round at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall in Bloomington Indiana on Saturday afternoon. The Ivy League canceled the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19 pandemic and there was no NCAA tournament in 2020 so it’s been since 2019 since a team from the Ivy League has been involved in March Madness and the Tigers wanted to make sure they extended their stay in Bloomington for more than one game and they accomplished that by getting ready for 3 seed Indiana on Monday Night.
Princeton is 18-0 since December 22 when they Lost 70-53 to Texas and have an overall record of 25-4. Coached by former University of Connecticut Star Carla Berube, The Tigers love to play a slowdown game and used the backdoor cuts to perfection like the Princeton Men’s team did back in day under hall of fame coach Pete Carrill. The Tigers had to hold off the full court pressure that Kentucky threw at them especially in the 2nd half. Princeton had 19 turnovers in the game.
Abby Meyers led the way with 28 points for Princeton, Kaitlyn Chen added 17 points while being pressured by the Kentucky defense all game long. The Tigers shot 26-53 from the field for 49 %, 3-10 from three-point range for 30 % and 14-20 from the free throw line for 70 %. The Tigers pulled down 37 rebounds, nine assists, six steals and two blocks.
Dre’Una Edwards led Kentucky with 15 points and 10 rebounds for a double double. All American Rhyne Howard was held to 14 points, Howard did not score her first points of the game when she hit a three pointer right before the halftime buzzer and had three rebounds along with an assist in the first half. Howard received a technical foul with 1:03 left in the third quarter. Jada Walker added 11 points for the Wildcats had just eight available players and only used seven with two unavailable due to injury. The loss snaps a 10-game winning streak, and they end the season at 19-12 under former Tennessee star Kyra Elzy. Kentucky had 15 turnovers, 10 assists 8 steals and a block. The Wildcats were 20-56 from the field for 56 %, 4-15 from three-point range for 26 % and 18-24 from the free throw line for 75 percent.
The game stayed closed throughout the game Princeton’s largest lead was nine points and Kentucky led by four. Princeton led 12-11 end of 1st quarter and 32-26 at half. The Tigers led 48-44 at the end of the 3rd quarter and outscored Kentucky 21-18 in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats closed within two points in the fourth quarter but could not tie the game as Princeton sealed the game at the free throw line.