The second round of the 2022 edition NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament ends on Monday, but not before some of the biggest names in college basketball take to the court.
After an action-packed first set of second-round games on Sunday, the big battles continued with No. 1 seed NC State dominating No. 9 Kansas State and No. 3 Michigan eliminating No. 11 Villanova.
Elsewhere, No. 4 Tennessee escaped 12th seed Belmont, No. 4 Oklahoma was humiliated by 5-seeded Notre Dame in a record 108-64 blowout, and No. 3 Indiana barely survived No. 11 Princeton in a last-second thriller.
In the evening window, No. 6 Ohio State picked up an easy win over No. 3 LSU, while 2-seeded UConn narrowly avoided a thwarted bid from No. 7 UCF to move to the Sweet 16. for the 28th consecutive time.
To conclude, No. 4 Arizona takes on No. 5 North Carolina.
Here are the best moments from Monday’s Round of 16.
No. 4 Arizona vs. No. 5 North Carolina
It was all UNC to start this one, as the Tar Heels took an early lead over Arizona in the first and relied on this one early in the second quarter. North Carolina led 28-17 at the break.
No. 2 UConn 52, No. 7 UCF 47
After a slow start, the Huskies finally managed to pick up the pace late in the first quarter.
UCF fought hard to keep the Huskies within reach, but UConn still led at the break, 26-23.
It was nothing but neat for UConn star Paige Bueckers, who helped keep the Huskies on track in third. They were leading by eight before the last frame.
With a trip to the Sweet 16 in sight, UCF roared in the fourth, shooting within seven points with 3:45 left.
Then the Knights had one last spark, making it a one-possession game with less than a minute on the clock. In the end, however, that wasn’t enough to pull off the upset.
No. 6 Ohio State 79, No. 3 LSU 64
Rikki Harris only made one field goal in the first half, but it was crucial to give Ohio State the breathing room it needed to take a 34-26 halftime lead.
It was more or less the same in the second half, as Ohio State continued to top LSU by double digits until the very end.
No. 3 Indiana 56, No. 11 Princeton 55
Indiana and Princeton traded baskets early on, with neither team able to create much separation. But separation hasn’t been a problem for Ali Patberg when scoring this bucket:
Indiana kept its foot on the accelerator, extending its lead to 14 points in the third quarter.
Princeton goaltender Kaitlyn Chen gave the Tigers a boost to keep things close in the final frame.
This one came at the end, as the two teams fought to have the last laugh.
It was a two-point game with one second remaining before Hoosiers forward Aleksa Gulbe made two free throws to give Indiana the lead, 56-52. Then Princeton’s Abby Meyers drained a 3-point jumper as the clock expired and the buzzer sounded, leaving the Tigers one point away from a win.
No. 4 Tennessee 70, No. 12 Belmont 67
When you’re the underdog, you’ll need a little luck to upset a seed. That might be the best way to describe this 3-pointer who benefited Belmont.
But as the game progressed, Tennessee was able to impose its will, opening a 12-point lead in the third quarter.
Belmont responded with his own run, making a play going into the fourth quarter.
Belmont was able to take the lead late, but Tennessee responded with less than a minute left behind a Sara Puckett 3-pointer.
That proved enough for Tennessee to hold off Belmont and sneak out of the Round of 16 with a win to head to the Sweet 16.
No. 5 Notre Dame 108, No. 4 Oklahoma 64
After Notre Dame started things off on a high with an 11-0 run early in the first, the Irish completely took control of the quarter with a monster 26-5 run with plenty of help from guard Olivia miles.
Just like that, Oklahoma found themselves down 35-12 heading into the second.
Dara Mabrey was on fire in the first half, forcing five 3-pointers and scoring 17 points to give Notre Dame a 60-25 halftime lead.
Notre Dame’s offense didn’t slow down in the second half, with contributions seemingly coming from every player who touched down. Miles displayed his impeccable vision of the field on this assist to push Notre Dame even further.
Maya Dodson had some fun late in the third quarter as the Fighting Irish continued to earn a dominating win over the Sooners.
No. 3 Michigan 64, No. 11 Villanova 49
Michigan forward Naz Hillmon was the star of the show in Game 1, keeping the Wolverines momentum going.
Villanova also held firm, going 7 for 16 from the field and 2 for 8 from range in the first quarter to lead by three going into the second.
Maddy Siegrist provided a consistent scoring threat for Villanova in the first half, scoring eight points on a series of buckets like this.
But much like the start of the game, Hillmon was too late as she helped close the door on Villanova and push Michigan into the Sweet 16.
No. 1 NC State 89, No. 9 Kansas State 57
Things got off to a good start with straight 3-point jumpers from K-State’s Serena Sundell and NC State’s Raina Perez. Wildcats center Ayoka Lee let nothing pass as NC State made a field goal play.
It was a four-point game late in the first quarter, with NC State leading after trailing half the frame.
The Wolfpack retreated in the second, continuing a 12-0 run while setting up a defensive clinic – holding the Wildcats to just 38% shooting with seven total turnovers forced in the first half.
NC State beat K-State 26-14 in the second quarter and holds a double-digit lead at the break.
Perez (10), Kayla Jones (nine) and Camille Hobby (eight) lead the scoring charge for NC State.
It was more or less the same in the second half, as NC State continued to pour it on the Wildcats.
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, NC State had all but secured a spot in its fourth straight Sweet 16.
It wasn’t all bad news for K-State, as Lee’s fourth-quarter performance etched his name in the record books.
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