Washington State women rally past Cal in Pac-12 Tournament Kansas women stun No. 23 Iowa State 98-93 Notre Dame wins coach Mike Brey’s home finale, upsets Pitt No. 22 UNLV women beat Nevada, end MWC regular season 18-0 No. 24 Texas A&M escapes early hole, beats Ole Miss 69-61 Duke beats N.C. State for fifth consecutive win, 71-67
LAS VEGAS. Charlize Leger-Walker scored 23 points, Bella Murekatete double-doubled, and Washington State rallied to defeat California 61-49 in the first round of Wednesday night’s Pac-12 tournament.
After trailing for most of the first three quarters, a layup by Jessica Clarke gave the Cougars a five-point lead with 6:10 left in regulation. 1.5 minutes later, the lead reached 53–45 when Astera Tukhina converted a 3-pointer, WSU’s second best in a game of 15 attempts. Tukhina added a jumper during the next WSU possession and the lead went 55–45 with 3:32 remaining.
Cal came up 55-49 from a fast break from Leilani McIntosh with 2:20 left, but the Golden Bears didn’t score again.
Léger-Walker made 8 of 15 shots and 6 of 8 free throws with six rebounds and two assists. Murekatete had 13 points and 12 rebounds. Tukhina added nine points and four assists for Washington State (20-10).
Jayda Curry scored 16 points for the Golden Bears (13–17), with no other starter scoring more than five. Ugonne Oniya and Mia Mastrov scored 10 points each from the bench.
After Cal led 27-21 at halftime, Leger-Walker’s 3-pointer gave the Cougars the No. 7 seed 38-36 with 3:03 left in the third quarter. The Cougars weren’t as close as they trailed 11-10 in the first minute of the second quarter. Later in the third quarter, the score was tied twice and WSU took a 44–42 lead in the fourth period after Léger-Walker hit two free throws with 15 seconds left in the period.
Washington State won 20 games for the first time in the NCAA era for women’s basketball. The 1978-79 team won 21 games.
Washington State advances to the quarterfinals on Thursday to play second seed and second regular season champion Utah.
LAWRENCE, Kansas. In contrast to Iowa State No. 23 Ashley Joens, Zakia Franklin scored a career-high 31 points and Vivette Mayberry added 22 points as Kansas ended a 16-loss streak against the Cyclones with a 98–93 win. Wednesday evening.
Jones scored 33 points to move up two spots to 16th on the Division I top scorers list with 2,935 points. Jones passed LSU’s Joyce Walker (2906) and Penn State’s Kelly Mazzante (2919). Valorie Whiteside of Appalachia is next on the list with 2944 points.
Franklin shot 12-of-20, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and made all four free throws for the Jayhawks (18-10, 8-9 Big 12 Conference). Mayberry made four three-pointers, adding six assists. Tyanna Jackson finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Freshman Dena Fritz scored a career-high 26 points — 12 more than her previous record — and made 9-of-10 shots with four 3-pointers for the Cyclones (18-9, 10-7). Lexi Donarsky scored 14 points and Emily Ryan made 10 assists. Joens made three three-pointers and 14 of 15 free throws, adding 14 rebounds to her 12th double-double of the season.
Mayberry scored 12 points, hitting all four shots with three triples, as Kansas led 26-19 after one quarter. The Jayhawks extended their lead to 39–26 before Iowa State rallied to 48–43 by halftime.
Kansas extended their lead to double figures in the first 1:29; 55-45. Joens hit two free throws with 3:39 left in the period to get past Mazzante. At the time, the Cyclones were trailing 66-51. Fritz and Jones teamed up to score every point as Iowa State finished 9-2, going up 72-62.
Kansas led 85–68 with 5:39 left in the game, but a layup by Morgan Kane limited the spurt to 19–5 as Iowa State pulled up 90–87 with 1:07 left. Chandler Prather and Joens traded baskets before Joens committed her fifth foul, causing Mayberry to take 1 of 2 penalties. Ryan’s layup cut the Cyclones’ deficit in half, but Franklin and Prater each scored two penalties in the last 18 seconds to keep the win alive.
Iowa State made 3 in an NCAA-record 889 consecutive games.
Iowa State: The Cyclones close out the regular season at home against Texas Tech.
Kansas: The Jayhawks are on their way to play TCU in the regular season finale.
SOUTH BEND, IN — Marcus Hammond and Cormac Ryan scored 20 points each as Notre Dame won longtime coach Mike Bray’s last home game in an 88-81 win over No. 25 Pittsburgh on Wednesday night .
Nate Laszewski and Trey Wertz added 14 points each, while the Fighting Irish (11-19, 3-16 Atlantic Coast Conference) broke a seven-game losing streak.
Bray, who retired at the end of the season and received a warm standing ovation before and after the game, improved to 315-76 at the Purcell Pavilion in his 23 years as Notre Dame coach.
“What an incredible night,” Bray said during a public appearance. “We defended almost the entire game. I thought we were good defensively. … It was great that our seniors ended up like this.”
Jamarius Burton, Nellie Cummings and Nike Sibande each had 19 points, while Blake Hinson added 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers (21-9, 14-5), who have won eight of their last nine games. Pitt played his first game since making his first AP Top 25 finish in seven years.
“First of all, congratulations to Notre Dame,” said Panther coach Jeff Capel. “They were amazing. I knew they would come out and be very inspired and emotional (with five alumni in their starting lineup) and obviously this will be the last game here for Coach Bray.”
Pitt, the conference leader, had a shot at winning at least a tie in his first ACC title in 10 years in the league, but had trouble shooting.
The Panthers finished 7-of-22 on three points and 20-of-36 on the line, while the Irish closed out 10-of-27 and 26-of-31. We had”.
Notre Dame led 61–41 with 11:49 left, scoring the final 11 points in the first half for a 42–28 lead at halftime. The belated Pitt did not come close to an 84–79 record with 38 seconds left.
THE BIG PICTURE Pittsburgh: While the Panthers are well into the NCAA Tournament field, their 2-2 record in their last four games against under-0,500 ACC teams won’t help their seeding. They may still be trending back after winning Miami or an expanded league tournament.
Notre Dame: While the win was pleasant for the Irish, short of next week’s magical ACC title and thus an automatic league bid for the NCAA Tournament, they will be fully focused on hiring Bray’s successor.
BREY-KING AWAY Bray announced on Tuesday that he would be heading to Linebacker, an iconic bar near the Notre Dame campus, immediately after Wednesday’s game, and that everyone else would be welcome too. “I should move on to the linebacker,” Bray said to start his post-game radio interview on speakerphone, doubling down on his intentions on Tuesday. Bray said he had never been to a bar in all his 23 years at Notre Dame and thought it would be the right time. The PA interview lasted only three minutes and he did not hold a post-match press conference.
CAPEL COMES BACK Capel was asked if this night was emotional for him. The first two years of his Duke playing career, beginning in 1993, were also Bray’s last two years as an assistant with the Blue Devils. Bray described Capel as “like a son”. “Of course I love Coach Bray,” Capel said. “He has been a big part of my life since I was about 17 years old.” Capel added: “We were thrilled to be able to play them in Coach Bray’s last home game (considering how much he’s invested in this program).”
UP NEXT Pittsburgh: At least part of the ACC regular season title goes to the winner when the Panthers visit No. 16 Miami (23-6, 14-5) in Saturday’s league finals. No. 13 Virginia (22-6, 14-5) also remains on the list and hosts last-placed Louisville (4-26, 2-17) on Saturday.
Notre Dame: The Irish end their regular season on Saturday at Clemson (21-9, 13-6), where the Tigers may need a win to guarantee a top-four finish in the ACC and a double bye in next week’s league tournament.
Desi-Rae Young scored 20 points, Alyssa Durazo-Frescas added 18 points, and No. 22 UNLV rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Nevada 71-66 on Tuesday night to end the regular season undefeated in the Mountain West Conference.
UNLV is the second program to go unbeaten on the 18-game Mountain West (Colorado 2016) schedule. It’s also only the fourth time the Mountain West have finished the regular season undefeated in the conference. UNLV hasn’t lost in a conference since they went 8-0 against the Big West in 1985.
UNLV trailed 54–44 with 3:07 left in the third quarter, but opened the fourth with a 13–1 record and led 62–57 with 4:32 remaining. Young scored six points and Durazo-Frescas scored five during the stretch. The Rebels outscored the Wolf Pack 22-10 in the fourth.
Young was 6 of 10 from the floor and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Durazo-Frescas was 5 of 10 shots from the field with four 3s. Kiara Jackson added 11 points and Alyssa Brown added 10 for UNLV (28-2, 18-0).
Victoria Davis scored 19 points ahead of Nevada (9-20, 6-12). Alyssa Jimenez added 13 points and Megan Ormiston added 10.
UNLV’s 19-game winning streak is the longest since the 1989-90 season, when the team won 22 consecutive games.
OXFORD, Mississippi. Tyrees Radford scored 13 points as Texas A&M No. 24 cut an early 12-point deficit to beat Mississippi 69-61 on Tuesday night.
Wade Taylor IV added 12 points and seven assists, and Julius Marble scored 10 points for Aggie, who hit 13-for-16 from the free throw line in the second half to prevent a late play Rebel attempt.
Texas A&M (22-8, 14-3 Southeastern) trailed 20-8 after seven minutes, but took a 29-26 lead thanks to Taylor’s 3-pointer with 4:06 left in the first half. The Aggie never fell behind again, leading 34-28 at halftime and extending their…