Cooke, No. 1 South Carolina women beat Tennessee 73-60 Utah projected as No. 1 seed in women’s NCAA Tournament Michigan trails early, pulls away from Rutgers for 58-45 win Alabama backs star Miller, in lineup vs. South Carolina No. 6 Virginia goes cold, Boston College wins 63-48 Alabama hoops star delivered gun in shooting, police say
KNOXVILLE, Tennessee. Zia Cook scored 19 and Kirra Fletcher 15 as South Carolina’s No. 1 spoiled Tennessee’s paint-picking strategy in Thursday night’s 73-60 win.
The Gamecocks (28-0, 15-0 Southeastern Conference) have at least tied for the regular season conference title.
“We are blessed,” South Carolina coach Don Staley said. “We are a low-maintenance, high-performing team. I can’t ask for more.”
The Lady Volunteers (20-10, 12-3) pinned the center, trying to limit opportunities for star Alia Boston and daring the Gamecocks to beat them from the perimeter. Boston finished with 11 points.
“(Boston) is a high-IQ basketball player,” Staley said. “She doesn’t force things. She always plays basketball correctly.”
Fletcher and Cook hit 5 of 8 3-pointers together. The Gamecocks dominated in rebounds 48–34, with 20 on the offensive glass. Camilla Cardoso had 15 boards and Brea Beal had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Sixteen of those offensive rebounds came in the first half.
“South Carolina… it’s a load,” Tennessee coach Kelly Harper said. “No one has been able to crack them this year.”
“We had some schematic problems in the first half,” she said. “We would have people sagging (on defense), but not boxing.”
Ricky Jackson scored 21 points for Tennessee, who led 19-10 after the first quarter. Jordan Horston scored 14 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Caroline Striplin added 11 points.
Nine consecutive points in the third quarter, five of which were Fletcher’s, turned a close game into a double-digit difference.
South Carolina scored 17 points in the second quarter, going from 10 to 33-29 at halftime. Cook in this segment scored eight points in a row.
The Lady Vols were down for over 6 minutes before Striplin hit a three-pointer shortly before halftime.
“It’s going to take a little time,” Staley said of figuring out Lady Vols’ strategy. “It takes time to figure out where the holes are. We had to maintain our defenses.”
The Gamecocks reached the first quarter final at 4:44 without scoring as Tennessee took a 19–10 lead.
“We lost momentum in the second quarter,” Harper said. “We had a few offensive rebounds and looked very excited to get them.”
CONSEQUENCES OF THE SURVEY
South Carolina: The Gamecocks have been leading the polls for 35 weeks, winning 33 games in a row. This is third all-time behind UConn (51 weeks) and Louisiana Tech (36). . Sunday’s runaway from Mississippi State in overtime cost South Carolina one No. 1 vote this week, preventing the Gamecocks from being a unanimous pick for the first time all season. No. 2 Indiana received one vote.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols have now lost to each of the top five teams in the poll. This statistic makes it easy to understand how they have the tightest schedule in the country.
South Carolina: Since 1981-82, the NCAA Tournament era, only nine teams have gone undefeated in a season. The University of Connecticut has done it six times, and Baylor, Tennessee and Texas have done it once. . Ten of the 14 players on the Gamecocks list are at least 6 feet tall.
Tennessee: Despite three conference losses, the Lady Vols said goodbye to the SEC tournament twice. . Horston entered the game with 427 assists, two behind Kristen Clement, who was ranked 10th all-time in the Tennessee Book of Records. . Tess Darby, a junior high school student from Tennessee, was placed on the SEC Public Works Group for participating in a service trip to Rwanda through the university.
South Carolina: Georgia will visit South Carolina on Sunday. Earlier this year, the Gamecocks beat the Bulldogs by 17 points.
Tennessee: The Lady Vols will close their regular season schedule in Kentucky on Sunday. The two teams have not met this season.
Utah would join South Carolina, Indiana and Stanford as the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament if it started now.
The NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Board announced for the second and final time on Thursday the teams that must finish in the top 16 ahead of Sunday’s selection. South Carolina, Indiana and Stanford were also included in the leaderboard in the previous report.
“It was the easiest part of the day. I’m really looking forward to when these teams play towards the end of the season,” selection committee chairman Lisa Peterson said in a telephone interview. “Indiana and Iowa, Stanford and Utah are playing this weekend.”
None of Thursday night’s games counted, including No. 3 Stanford’s double overtime victory over No. 21 Colorado. This is the last weekend of the regular season for most major conferences.
The eighth-placed Utes on the AP Top 25 moved up one spot to replace UConn, who lost to St. John’s. Utah will face Stanford on Saturday to close out their regular season. The Huskies finished in second place, finishing seventh overall.
Peterson said the biggest debate was over who should be the fourth number one – Utah or LSU.
“That was probably the biggest talking point,” she said. “You have more information when you look at these teams. One thing that stood out was the number of top 25 and 50 wins when you compare LSU to Utah. It was a difficult choice, of course. One thing we couldn’t get past was the strength of the (LSU) schedule.”
The top 16 players will play the games of the first and second rounds, and for the first time the regional rounds will be held at two neutral venues instead of the traditional four. Seattle will host half of the Sweet 16, while Greenville, South Carolina will host the other eight teams.
South Carolina and Indiana were scheduled as top seeders in the Greenville region, with Stanford and Utah in Seattle. The undefeated Gamecocks took first place overall.
The Gamecocks were joined by No. 2 Virginia Tech, No. 3 Iowa, and No. 4 Michigan in their predicted group. Hoosiers will have #2 in Connecticut, #3 in Notre Dame and #4 in Arizona.
The other top teams in the Stanford region were No. 2 Maryland, No. 3 Duke, and No. 4 Villanova. Utah will be joined by LSU, Ohio and Texas.
Arizona was the only team not included in the original disclosure to make it into the second. The Wildcats have replaced North Carolina.
Teams outside of the top 16 included the Tar Heels, Tennessee, Colorado, Oklahoma, and UCLA.
The Big Ten had five teams in the top 16, while the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Pac-12 had three each. The Southeastern Conference and the Big East had two, while the Big 12 had one.
The Final Four will take place in Dallas on March 31, with the NCAA championship game taking place two days later. Dallas will also host the Division II and III championship games on April 1st.
Sunday of choice – 12 March.
The NCAA has been running seasonal screenings of women’s basketball since 2015 to give teams an early indication of where they might end up on the grid.
PISCATWAY, New Jersey. Doug McDaniel had 16 points and five steals as Michigan bounced back from an early 10-point deficit to beat Rutgers 58-45 Thursday night.
The victory takes the Wolverine to a three-way tie with Maryland and the No. 17 in Indiana for third in the Big Ten Conference with three games left in the regular season. The top four finishers advance to the conference quarterfinals.
Michigan didn’t have Jett Howard averaging just under 15 points per game, and the Wolverines only managed a three-pointer from McDaniel in the first six minutes while the Scarlet Knights opened the game 13–3. Hunter Dickinson hit a jumper and dunked, and Kobe Bufkin hit a 3 and hit the basket to catch up with Michigan to within one, 13–12 with 9:13 left. Dickinson hit with a jumper to give the Wolverine the lead and Joey Baker hit 3 with 2:12 left to give them a 25–21 lead and they held a 26–23 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Rutgers had possession on several occasions, but Michigan closed the game 10–3.
Bufkin finished with 14 points with three steals and three assists to Michigan (16-12, 10-7). Dickinson posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
Cam Spencer edged out Rutgers (17-11, 9-8) with 11 points and seven rebounds. Clifford Omoruya had 10 points and 10 boards.
On Sunday, Michigan hosts Wisconsin. Rutgers plays in Pennsylvania on Sunday.
COLOMBIA, South Carolina — Alabama standout freshman Brandon Miller was a starter in South Carolina Wednesday night, hours after the university said he would remain an “active member” of Crimson Tide runner-up and not considered a suspect. . in a fatal shooting that took place near campus in mid-January.
Alabama’s backing of Miller, one of college basketball’s top players, didn’t change much for Gamecock fans at Colonial Life Arena, who were focused on the 6-foot-9 forward before Southeastern Conference play began. The crowd booed every time Miller touched the ball. Members of the student section chanted “Lock him up” and “Guilty!” several times as Miller played.
It’s been an eventful few days for Miller, allegedly linked to the death of 23-year-old Jamea John Harris last month.
Miller’s lawyer said his client never handled the weapons that officials said were involved in the shooting.
“Based on all the information we have received, Brandon Miller is not considered a suspect in this case, but only a witness,” the university said in a statement released ahead of Wednesday’s game. “Today’s statement by Brandon’s attorney adds additional context that the University took into account as part of its fact-checking. Based on all the facts we have gathered, Brandon remains an active member of the team.”
Miller was on the court approximately 80 minutes before kick-off, warming up with teammates before fans were allowed into the building. As soon as the doors opened, the students filled several areas around the court and focused on Miller, who did not react at all, continuing his exercises before the game.
He started the game…