NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament 2018: Friday Scores, Subregionals Bracket

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2018

LOUISVILLE, KY - JANUARY 21: Sam Fuehring #3 of the Louisville Cardinals handles the ball during a game against the Florida State Seminoles at KFC Yum! Center on January 21, 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky. Florida State won 50-49. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The first round of the 2018 NCAA Division I women's basketball tournament is underway Friday with several of the top contenders already showing what they can do.

While fans will have to wait to see Connecticut and Mississippi State kick off their potential title runs, top-seeded Louisville and Notre Dame get started on Day 1, along with defending champions South Carolina. Sleepers like Baylor, Tennessee and others are also hoping to get the tournament off to a strong start.

Although there aren't historically as many first-round upsets as in the men's tournament, anything can still happen in a single-elimination tournament like this one.

Here is the latest game-by-game recap of Friday's action to be updated as the day progresses.

       

NCAA Tournament Bracket

Updated bracket available at NCAA.com.

                 

Recaps

No. 1 Louisville 74, No. 16 Boise State 42

Boise State fought hard to keep things close in the first half, but a 27-8 third quarter helped Louisville pull away for an easy first-round victory.

The Cardinals used their size to dominate in this one, winning the rebounding battle 51-30 with three different players grabbing double-digit boards. Sam Fuehring (14 points and 11 rebounds) and Kylee Shook (14 points and 10 rebounds) each had double-doubles to lead the team to an impressive victory.

Louisville struggled to shoot the ball from the outside and needs to cut down on turnovers in future games if it wants to make a deep run, but this was a quality effort against a clearly inferior opponent.

Shalen Shaw was the only Boise State player in double figures with 12 points.

The Cardinals will move on to the second round to take on Marquette.

            

No. 6 Oregon State 82, No. 11 Western Kentucky 58

Oregon State had no trouble earning a first-round win, jumping out to a 46-28 lead at halftime before cruising to a 24-point victory.

Western Kentucky simply had no answer for Marie Gulich, who finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds in the win for the Beavers. The 6'5" senior simply outmuscled everyone inside and ended up 11-of-15 from the field.

Kat Tudor also lit it up from the perimeter with 19 points on five made three-pointers.

The Lady Toppers had a strong end to their season but couldn't keep up in this one. Oregon State will take on Tennessee in the second round.

             

No. 5 Maryland 77, No. 12 Princeton 55

This was a popular upset pick, including from former President Barack Obama, but Maryland handled Princeton in the opening round matchup.

Kaila Charles did her work inside with 20 points and five rebounds, although the rest of the team going 7-of-14 from three-point range also went a long way.

With Princeton shooting just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc and 37.7 percent overall from the field, the Tigers had a tough time keeping up with the higher seed.

Maryland will now have to play effectively on the road in the next round in Raleigh, North Carolina, taking North Carolina State.

            

No. 5 DePaul 90, No. 12 Oklahoma 79

Oklahoma was one of the last teams in the NCAA tournament field but couldn't take advantage in a disappointing loss to DePaul.

The Sooners overcame an early deficit to stay within five points late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, they simply couldn't stop the Blue Demons on the offensive end, which seemingly scored every time down the court.

All five DePaul starters scored in double figures, combining to shoot 57.4 percent from the field and 11-of-19 from three-point range. While the bench didn't provide much help, it wasn't needed in an outstanding offensive effort from the Big East champions.

DePaul will face Texas A&M in its second-round matchup.

                            

No. 8 Marquette 84, No. 9 Dayton 65

While 8-9 games are usually supposed to be close, that was not the case, as the Marquette Golden Eagles dominated the Dayton Flyers in Round 1.

Natisha Hiedeman scored 18 points in the first quarter and never let up, finishing with 32 points in the win. She also filled up the rest of the stat sheet with four rebounds, five assists, five steals and eight three-pointers.

Dayton was never able to catch up and struggled to run its normal offense. JaVonna Layfield had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Flyers, but it was an otherwise disappointing day for the No. 9 seed.

While Louisville is a tough opponent in the second round, Marquette showed it could cause problems for the No. 1 seed.

                                               

No. 3 Tennessee 100, No. 14 Liberty 60

Tennessee demolished Liberty behind one of the best offensive efforts you might see all tournament.

The Lady Vols had seven players in double figures and made an incredible 64 second-half points in what became an easy opening-round victory. Rennia Davis led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds, but an impressive team effort featured 61.7 percent shooting from the field.

It was the third time Tennessee reached 100 points this season.

Tennessee will try to advance to the Sweet 16 against No. 6 Oregon State on Sunday.

                                        

No. 4 Texas A&M 89, No. 13 Drake 76

Texas A&M got most of its production from just four players, but it was more than enough for the Aggies to survive a tough test against the Drake Bulldogs.

Chennedy Carter continued her fantastic freshman season with 26 points, 11 assists, six steals and four rebounds. Khaalia Hillsman, Anriel Howard and Danni Williams also had big games.

That foursome combined for 80 of the team's 89 points.

On the other side, Sara Rhine scored 21 points off the bench, but she didn't receive enough help from her teammates for the Bulldogs to remain competitive down the stretch.

Texas A&M will now take on DePaul in what could be an exciting battle between two high-powered offenses.

                                     

No. 4 North Carolina State 62, No. 13 Elon 35

While other top teams were showcasing their offenses in Round 1, North Carolina State showed what it could do on the defensive end.

The Wolfpack held Elon to just 35 points on 23.5 percent shooting from the field. The Phoenix finished with just 12 made field goals to go with 17 turnovers, which isn't a great recipe for success.

Considering Elon scored in double digits in only the third quarter, it clearly had no room to breathe from start to finish.

Akela Maize helped key the effort defensively, finishing with four blocks and seven rebounds.

Although it might take a stronger offensive effort to beat Maryland in the second round, the Wolfpack defense is for real.     

            

No. 10 Virginia 68, No. 7 California 62

Virginia used a strong defensive effort for most of its 68-62 victory over California and then unleashed its offense with the game hanging in the balance.

The Cavaliers held the Golden Bears to a mere six points in the third quarter and fewer than 20 in each of the first three before exploding for 26 points in the fourth quarter. They forced 15 California turnovers, preventing the opposition from settling into any type of offensive rhythm for most of the contest.

Virginia used a balanced attack on the offensive end with five players scoring in double figures, as Felicia Aiyeotan led the way with 16 points and six boards off the bench. California received 20 points and eight assists from Kianna Smith in defeat.

The Cavaliers will surely be challenged as they attempt to navigate a bracket that includes UConn and South Carolina, but their defense was up to the task Friday.

            

No. 7 Michigan 75, No. 10 Northern Colorado 61

Michigan jumped out to a nine-point lead after a quarter and never looked back in a straightforward 75-61 victory over Northern Colorado.

The Wolverines relied largely on two players, as Hallie Thome (24 points and six rebounds) and Katelynn Flaherty (20 points and four assists) were the only two to score in double figures. That was more than enough, though, as the Big Ten representative was never truly challenged.

Savannah Scott impressed for the Bears with 25 points, five rebounds and four steals in defeat.

Things will get more difficult for the Wolverines moving forward with the likes of Baylor and Louisville in their bracket, but they put things on cruise control in the first round.

            

No. 1 Notre Dame 99, No. 16 CS Northridge 81

CS Northridge put up an impressive 81 points against the top-seeded Notre Dame, but it still wasn't enough offense to deal with one of the nation's best teams in a 99-81 loss.

Notre Dame held a 23-point lead at halftime and eased its way to the finish but not before a number of players put up formidable stat lines. Arike Ogunbowale torched the Matadors for 30 points, five assists and five rebounds, while Jessica Shepard (24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists) and Marina Mabrey (23 points, seven assists and four steals) stuffed the box score.

The Matadors shot 45 percent from three-point range, but not even the hot shooting was enough to overcome 16 turnovers against such a quality opponent.

            

No. 10 Minnesota 89, No. 7 Green Bay 77

It looked as if Green Bay was going to ride its offense to a first-round victory when it entered the fourth quarter holding a five-point lead, but Minnesota had other ideas and steamrolled the Phoenix 30-13 in the fourth to clinch an 89-77 victory.

A Green Bay offense that started well struggled to create open looks down the stretch and finished with 12 turnovers on the day.

Kenisha Bell led the way for the Golden Gophers with 26 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, doing much of her damage from the charity stripe. She was an impressive 14-of-17 from the free-throw line, helping to ice away the win when the game was hanging in the balance.

          

No. 9 Villanova 81, No. 8 South Dakota State 74, overtime

In a day that featured a number of blowouts, there was plenty of drama in the Villanova Wildcats' 81-74 overtime victory over the South Dakota State Jackrabbits.

Adrianna Hahn drilled two free throws in the final seconds to put Villanova ahead by three, but Madison Guebert connected on a buzzer-beating three-pointer to force overtime. That's when Villanova took over, outscoring its opponent 13-6 in the extra period and removing any doubt about who would advance.

Hahn led the way for Villanova with 24 points, while Jannah Tucker added 20 points and three rebounds in support.

Despite Guebert's clutch three, South Dakota State struggled from deep and was a mere 3-of-16. Guebert ended with 21 points, and Macy Miller led all scorers with 25 in defeat.

            

No. 2 Baylor 96, No. 15 Grambling 46

Baylor may be a No. 2 instead of a No. 1 in this year's bracket, but it looked the part of national title contender in Friday's 96-46 blowout victory of Grambling.

The game was never in doubt, as the Lady Bears jumped out to a 27-6 lead after a quarter and continued to pile on the points in the commanding win. Lauren Cox (30 points, 17 rebounds and five assists) and Kalani Brown (22 points and 15 rebounds) combined for more points than Grambling's entire team, and each notched a double-double in the win.

Jazmin Boyd led all Tigers with 20 points in the loss.

            

No. 2 Oregon 88, No. 15 Seattle 45

The Pac-12 doesn't have any teams remaining in the men's tournament, but Oregon appeared to be a national title contender Friday with an 88-45 win over Seattle.

The Ducks found themselves ahead 25-6 at the end of the first quarter, and the contest was never in doubt thanks to an explosive offense and stifling defense. Sabrina Ionescu thrived for the Ducks with a triple-double of 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, helping her team overcome a 5-of-17 mark from three-point range.

Alexis Montgomery was the leading scorer for the Redhawks with 14 points, six rebounds and four assists.

              

No. 2 South Carolina , No. 15 North Carolina A&T

South Carolina didn't look nearly as impressive as some of the other No. 2 seeds Friday, but it used enough defense to outlast North Carolina A&T 63-52.

The Gamecocks held the Aggies to 29.3 percent shooting from the field, preventing any type of serious comeback effort after they built a 26-11 lead after the first quarter. North Carolina A&T impressed on the defensive side as well, but it didn't have enough firepower to pull off the upset with only two players in double figures.

A'ja Wilson led the way for South Carolina with 19 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks and four steals, turning in the type of individual performance her team will need to advance deep into this tournament.

Kala Green spearheaded the Aggies' efforts with 21 points.

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