Maryland ended Princeton’s undefeated season and Tennessee remained perfect at home last night. Both teams advanced to the Sweet 16.
North Carolina let a huge lead slip away against Ohio State before Jamie Cherry hit a jumper with 0.6 seconds left to help the Tar Heels advance.
NORTH CAROLINA 86, OHIO STATE 84
Jamie Cherry hit a jumper with 0.6 seconds left and North Carolina beat Ohio State.
Stephanie Mavunga had a career-high 27 points and 14 rebounds, Allisha Gray added 20 points and Brittany Rountree had 15 for the fourth-seeded Tar Heels (26-8).
They blew a 23-point lead before Cherry’s latest big shot sent them into a Greensboro Regional semifinal matchup against top-seeded South Carolina (32-2) on Friday night.
Ameryst Alston had 30 points for the fifth-seeded Buckeyes (24-11), who never led but tied it twice in the final minute – the last coming when Kelsey Mitchell’s free throws made it 84-all with 5.1 seconds left.
Gray inbounded to Cherry, who raced down the right sideline through the Ohio State pressure and pulled up for an 18-footer that swished through.
The Buckeyes didn’t get a shot off before the horn.
FLORIDA STATE 65, FLORIDA GULF COAST 47
Shakayla Thomas scored 12 points and Leticia Romero added 11 to help No. 2 Florida State end seventh-seeded Florida Gulf Coast’s 26-game winning streak.
Taylor Gradinjan’s 12 points led Florida Gulf Coast, which shot just 31 percent overall and 25 percent from 3-point range. The 47 points was the fewest scored by the 20th-ranked Eagles this season.
Whitney Knight, FGCU’s leading scorer and Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, missed nine of her 12 shots. She finished with nine points. Florida State (31-4) led 36-28 at halftime.
The Seminoles jumped off to a 17-2 lead, hitting their first three 3-point attempts that included a pair by Brittany Brown.
Florida Gulf Coast (31-3) managed to pull within 26-20 midway through the first half, but never got closer.
MARYLAND 85, PRINCETON 70
Laurin Mincy scored 27 points, and top-seeded Maryland used a second-half blitz to knock off previously unbeaten Princeton and advance to the Sweet 16 of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
After leading by only 42-38 at the break, the Terrapins used a 17-2 run immediately after halftime to turn a surprisingly tight game into a rout.
The Terrapins (32-2) will bring a 26-game winning streak into a matchup with Duke on Saturday in Spokane, Washington. Maryland and Duke were longtime rivals in the Atlantic Coast Conference before the Terps moved to the Big Ten this season.
Lexie Brown scored 23 for the Terrapins, who will be making their fourth consecutive trip to the Sweet 16.
Maryland reached the Final Four last year.
Eighth-seeded Princeton (31-1) was coming off the program’s first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday against Wisconsin-Green Bay.
TENNESSEE 77, PITTSBURGH 67
Bashaara Graves scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds as Tennessee withstood a late rally to defeat Pittsburgh.
The second-seeded Lady Vols (29-5) improved to 56-0 in NCAA Tournament home games and advanced to a Spokane Region semifinal Saturday against No. 11 seed Gonzaga (26-7).
Tennessee is the only program to appear in all 34 NCAA Tournaments and has reached the regional semifinals every year but 2009, when it lost to Ball State in the opening round.
After trailing by 14 with 4 1/2 minutes left, Pittsburgh (20-12) cut the lead to 69-65 on Brianna Kiesel’s three-point play with 37.8 seconds remaining. Ariel Massengale went 6 of 6 on free throws and made a steal in the final 37 seconds to seal Tennessee’s victory.
Kiesel had a career-high 32 points for the 10th-seeded Panthers, who never led.
OKLAHOMA CITY REGIONAL
STANFORD 86, OKLAHOMA 76
Amber Orrange scored 24 points and Lili Thompson added 19 as Stanford’s backcourt mates took the game over in the second half to lead the fourth-seeded Cardinal to a victory over fifth-seeded Oklahoma.
Bonnie Samuelson scored 19 points and Briana Roberson provided a spark with 13 points and tough defense to help Stanford (26-9) protect its home court and advance to the Sweet 16 for the eighth consecutive season.
The Cardinal will play top-seeded Notre Dame (33-2) in the third round on Friday in Oklahoma City.
Kaylon Williams scored 24 points and Gioya Carter added 20 for the Sooners (21-12), who struggled to generate any consistent offense one game after scoring a season-high 111 points in a first-round win over Quinnipiac.