The second round of the 2022 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament wrapped on Monday, but not before some of the biggest names in college basketball took the court.
After an action-packed first slate of second-round games on Sunday, the big-time battles continued with 1-seed NC State dominating No. 9 Kansas State and No. 3 Michigan taking down No. 11 Villanova.
Elsewhere, No. 4 Tennessee escaped 12-seed Belmont, No. 4 Oklahoma was humbled by 5-seed Notre Dame in a record-setting 108-64 blowout, and No. 3 Indiana barely outlasted No. 11 Princeton in a last-second thriller.
In the evening window, No. 6 Ohio State cruised to an easy victory over No. 3 LSU, while No. 2 UConn narrowly avoided an upset bid from 7-seed UCF to advance to the Sweet 16 for a record 28th straight time.
Closing things out, No. 5 North Carolina took down No. 4 Arizona, which played in the title game last year.
Here are the top moments from Monday’s Round of 32 games.
No. 2 UConn 52, No. 7 UCF 47
After a slow start, the Huskies were finally able to get a rhythm going at the end of the first quarter.
UCF put up a good fight to keep the Huskies within arm’s reach, but UConn still led at the break, 26-23.
It was nothing but net for UConn star Paige Bueckers, who helped keep the Huskies on track in the third. They led by eight heading into the final frame.
With a trip to the Sweet 16 in sight, UCF roared back in the fourth, pulling within seven points with 3:45 to play.
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, it wasn’t enough to pull off the upset.
No. 5 North Carolina 63, No. 4 Arizona 45
It was all UNC to start this one, as the Tar Heels jumped out to an early lead over Arizona in the first and built upon it as the second quarter got underway. North Carolina led 28-17 at the break.
The Tar Heels pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 19-10 in the third. In the end, Arizona was outmatched, and UNC punched its ticket to the Sweet 16 after dominating by 18 points.
No. 6 Ohio State 79, No. 3 LSU 64
Rikki Harris only made one basket in the first half, but it was crucial in giving Ohio State the breathing room it needed to take a 34-26 halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Ohio State continued to dominate LSU by double digits until the very end.
No. 3 Indiana 56, No. 11 Princeton 55
Indiana and Princeton exchanged baskets early on, with neither side able to create much separation. But separation wasn’t a problem for Ali Patberg when scoring this bucket:
Indiana kept its foot on the gas, extending the lead to 14 points in the third quarter.
Princeton guard Kaitlyn Chen gave the Tigers a scoring boost to keep things close headed into the final frame.
This one came down to the end, as both squads battled to have the last word.
It was a two-point game with one second left on the clock before Hoosiers forward Aleksa Gulbe nailed two free throws to put Indiana ahead, 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 shy of a victory.
No. 4 Tennessee 70, No. 12 Belmont 67
When you’re the underdog, you’re going to need a little luck to upset a top seed. That could be the best way to describe this 3-pointer that banked in for Belmont.
But as the game progressed, Tennessee was able to impose its will, opening a 12-point lead in the third quarter.
Belmont answered with a run of its own, making a game of it entering 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 to be enough for Tennessee to hold off Belmont and sneak out of the Round of 32 with a win to head to the Sweet 16.
No. 5 Notre Dame 108, No. 4 Oklahoma 64
After Notre Dame started things on a high note with an 11-0 run early in the first, the Irish completely took over the quarter with a monster 26-5 run with lots of help from guard Olivia Miles.
Just like that, Oklahoma found itself down 35-12 heading into the second.
Dara Mabrey was on fire in the first half, drilling five 3-pointers and scoring 17 points to pace Notre Dame to a 60-25 halftime lead.
Notre Dame’s offensive didn’t slow down in the second half, with the contributions coming from seemingly every player that touched the floor. Miles displayed her impeccable court vision on this assist to push Notre Dame even further ahead.
Maya Dodson got in on the fun late into the third quarter, as the Fighting Irish continued to cruise to a dominant win over the Sooners.
No. 3 Michigan 64, No. 11 Villanova 49
Michigan forward Naz Hillmon was the star of the show in the first, keeping the Wolverines’ momentum rolling.
Villanova also held its own, going 7-for-16 from the field and 2-for-8 from distance in the opening quarter to lead by three heading into the second.
Maddy Siegrist provided a consistent scoring threat for Villanova in the first half, scoring eight points on an array of buckets like this one.
But much like the game started, it was too much Hillmon 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 hot start with back-to-back 3-point jumpers from K-State’s Serena Sundell and NC State’s Raina Perez. Wildcats center Ayoka Lee wasn’t letting anything past her as NC State made a play at the basket.
It was a four-point game at the end of the first quarter, with NC State leading after trailing half of the frame.
The Wolfpack pulled away in the second, going on a 12-0 run while putting on a defensive clinic — holding the Wildcats to just 38% shooting with seven total turnovers forced in the first half.
NC State outscored K-State 26-14 in the second quarter and hold 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 of the same in the second half, as NC State continued to pour it on the Wildcats.
By the time the fourth quarter came 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 her name in the record books.
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