LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Results from the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Friday:
Maci Morris made seven of eight free throws in the final 37 seconds, including two with 3.2 seconds remaining, to help fourth-seeded Kentucky edge No. 13 Belmont 73-70 victory on Friday in a first-round game of the NCAA Tournament.
Wildcats seniors Makayla Epps and Evelyn Akhator did their parts to get Kentucky ahead with 52 combined points that were needed to hold off the determined Bruins. Belmont got within 69-68 on two Sally McCabe free throws with 13 seconds remaining.
Morris was already clicking at the line by then and sealed the victory with four more in the final seconds for 15 points and an edge that proved critical against Belmont's last chance to tie.
Darby Maggard was defended well and shot an off-balance 3 that missed as the horn sounded to end Belmont's school-record 21-game winning streak.
Epps scored 30 with a career-high five 3-pointers while Akhator added 22.
OHIO STATE 70, WESTERN KENTUCKY 63
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Kelsey Mitchell and Asia Doss each scored 15 points, Shayla Cooper grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds and Ohio State withstood a late charge from Western Kentucky.
The fifth-seeded Buckeyes (27-6) began to take control just before halftime and followed with timely baskets to keep a safe cushion against the No. 12 seed Hilltoppers. Ohio State eventually stretched a seven-point halftime advantage to 64-48 with 4:38 remaining before Western Kentucky used a 15-5 run to make it a two-possession game.
Doss' free throw with 18 seconds left sealed the outcome for Ohio State, which advances to Sunday's second round against No. 4 seed Kentucky. The Wildcats escaped No. 13 seed Belmont 73-70 in the preceding game.
Ohio State improved to 18-6 in first-round NCAA games.
Kendall Noble had 19 points and Tashia Brown 13 for the Hilltoppers (27-7), who had won 12 straight coming in. WKU shot a season-low 29 percent from the field.
N.C. STATE 62, AUBURN 48
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Dominique Wilson scored 23 points and Miah Spencer added 13 to help No. 6-seed North Carolina State roll over cold-shooting No. 11 Auburn.
The Wolfpack made the 1,200-mile trek to Texas peeved they weren't a higher seed and hosting the first weekend, and quickly took out their frustrations on an Auburn team that struggled to score in the chilly air of a nearly-empty Frank Erwin Center.
The Tigers' high-pressure defense forced a turnover in the first eight seconds but the Wolfpack easily handled it the rest of the way.
N.C. State (23-8) led by 17 at halftime and pushed it as high 23 by the end of the third quarter.
Auburn (17-15) came into the tournament after losing nine of its last 12 in the regular season.
TEXAS 78, CENTRAL ARKANSAS 50
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Brooke McCarty scored 15 points and No. 3-seed Texas overwhelmed No. 14 Central Arkansas in the first half before cruising to a victory.
Joyner Holmes added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Longhorns (23-8).
Texas came in needing something good to happen after losing four of its final six in the regular season, a disappointing finish after the Longhorns challenged for the Big 12 title. A rousing rout at home could be just the thing that gets them ready for another deep run into the NCAA Tournament after making it to the reginal final in 2016.
The Longhorns stormed to 24-4 lead by end the end of the first quarter and led 48-20 by halftime.
Maggie Proffitt scored 17 for Central Arkansas (26-5).
The Longhorns face N.C. State next.
NOTRE DAME 79, ROBERT MORRIS 49
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale scored 15 points each to help top-seed Notre Dame beat Robert Morris.
The Irish (31-3), who have won 15 straight, improved to 28-5 in seven tournament appearances as a No. 1 seed, but the 30-point margin of victory was the smallest during those games. The Irish previously had won by at least 31.
It also was the smallest margin of defeat for the Colonials (22-11) in five tournament games. They lost 101-49 to Connecticut last season and 93-42 to Notre Dame in 2014.
The Irish dominated inside, outscoring the Colonials 44-14 in the paint and had a 52-23 rebounding advantage. The Irish also outshot the Colonials 53 percent to 27 percent.
Lindsay Allen repeatedly cut through the Robert Morris defense and finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Brianna Turner had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
PURDUE 74, GREEN BAY 62
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Ashley Morrisette scored 20 points, Dominique Oden added 13 and ninth-seeded Purdue beat No. 8 Green Bay.
The Boilermakers (23-12), playing their first game since coach Sharon Versyp informed the team she was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, made 63 percent of their shots in the first quarter while holding Green Bay (27-6) to 23 percent shooting to take control and win for the eighth time in their last nine games.
The Phoenix, who entered the game second in the NCAA in scoring defense at 51 points a game, gave up more than that in three quarters as Purdue led 56-42 at the end of the period.
Mehryn Kraker led Green Bay with 23 points and Jessica Lindstrom added 15 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out.
Ae'Riannna Harris scord 12 points for Purdue, making all six of her shots.
MARYLAND 103, BUCKNELL 61
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 28 points, Brionna Jones had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Maryland beat Bucknell to earn its seventh consecutive trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Playing at home in front of an enthusiastic crowd, the third-seeded Terrapins (31-2) built a 45-22 lead at halftime and expanded the margin to 30 points early in the third quarter over 14th-seeded Bucknell (27-6).
WEST VIRGINIA 75, ELON 62
COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Tynice Martin scored 26 points, Katrina Pardee made a pair of pivotal 3-pointers and West Virginia pulled away to a victory over 11th-seed Elon.
The sixth-seeded Mountaineers (24-10) will next face Maryland on the Terrapins' home floor Sunday.
Coming off a stunning 77-66 win over second-ranked Baylor in the championship game of the Big 12 Tournament, West Virginia couldn't shake Elon (27-7) until the fourth quarter.
With the score 53-all, Lanay Montgomery hit a short jumper, Martin made two free throws and Pardee buried a 3-pointer from the top of the circle to make it 60-53.
After a timeout by Elon, Malaya Johnson missed a 3-pointer for the Phoenix and Pardee connected again from beyond the arc for a 10-point cushion with 5:19 left.
OKLAHOMA CITY REGION
MISSISSIPPI STATE 110, TROY 69
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Blair Schaefer scored a career-high 21 points, Ameshya Williams added 15 and Mississippi State beat Troy.
Mississippi State (30-4) used a 29-6 run in the second quarter to erase any doubt about the outcome. Schaefer was the Bulldogs' unlikely star, making 6 of 9 shots, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.
The second-seeded Bulldogs used an unorthodox starting lineup, bringing star guard Victoria Vivians off the bench for the first time in her three-year career. Vivians scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Mississippi State shot 12 of 22 (54.5 percent) from 3-point range.
Troy (22-11) was led by Claresa Banks, who scored 15 points. The 15th-seeded Trojans shot just 25 of 80 (31.3 percent) from the field.
DEPAUL 88, NORTHERN IOWA 67
STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Tanita Allen scored 25 points, Lauren Prochaska and Brooke Schulte each added 12 and DePaul beat Northern Iowa.
Seventh-seeded DePaul (27-7) kept up a torrid scoring pace despite fairly quiet games from Schulte and Jessica January, the team's two leading scorers. Instead, it was Allen and Prochaska who were often the go-to options.
Allen, a 5-foot-10 sophomore, came off the bench and hit her first six shots, including five 3-pointers to push the Blue Demons ahead early.
Northern Iowa (24-9) took a 3-0 lead in the opening minute on Mikaela Morgan's 3-pointer, but that was pretty much the end of the good news for the Panthers.
Northern Iowa was led by Madison Weekly, who scored 21 points.
OREGON STATE 56, LONG BEACH STATE 55
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Breanna Brown scored 12 points and second-seeded Oregon State held off feisty No. 15 seed Long Beach State in the final minute to eke out a victory.
Mikayla Pivec and Marie Gulich each added 10 points for Oregon State (30-4), which was also seeded second last season when they made a run to the Final Four.
Raven Benton had 17 points Long Beach State (23-11), which was trying to become the first 15-seed to ever win a game in the women's NCAA Tournament.
The 49ers took over the lead on Jessica Gertz's 3-pointer with 2:48 left, but Sydney Wiese hit two free throws to put Oregon State back in front 56-55 with 1:07 to go.
Long Beach State tried to manage the clock, but Benton missed a long jumper with five second left and Anna Kim's 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the backboard, ending the upset bid.
CREIGHTON 76, TOLEDO 49
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Marissa Janning had 15 of her 19 points in the first quarter and seventh-seeded Creighton built an early lead and went on to rout No. 10 seed Toledo.
The Bluejays (24-7) will face second-seeded Oregon State (30-4) on Sunday. The Beavers, who advanced to the Final Four last season, held off Long Beach State and barely escaped with a 56-55 victory in the earlier game at Gill Coliseum.
Sydney Lamberty added 16 for Creighton, which won a share of the Big East regular-season title and earned an at-large bid to the tournament.
Mikaela Boyd had 11 points for Toledo (25-9). The Rockets had won eight straight going into the game but were outplayed by Creighton from the start and trailed by as many as 28 points.
SOUTH CAROLINA 90, UNC ASHEVILLE 50
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Allisha Gray scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds to lead top-seeded South Carolina to an easy win over No. 16 seed UNC Asheville.
The Gamecocks (28-4) were missing Alania Coates their best rebounder and half of their twin tower frontcourt. But Gray, a 6-foot guard and transfer from North Carolina, scored 20 of her points in the paint and tied her best rebounding night of her career with eight by halftime.
A'ja Wilson added 18 points in a game where she was expected to shoulder the burden of replacing Coates' 10.7 rebounds a game. Coates will miss the rest of the NCAA Tournament with an ankle injury.
Khalia Webb led UNC Asheville (19-15) with 12 points, while Chatori Major added 10 points before fouling out of the final game of her career.
ARIZONA STATE 73, MICHIGAN STATE 61
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Quinn Dornstauder scored 16 points to lead No. 8 seed Arizona State to a win over ninth-seeded Michigan State.
In a matchup between the stingy defense of the Sun Devils (20-12) and the high-power offense of the Spartans, Arizona State won easily. Without a 26-point fourth quarter, it would have been the lowest point total of the season for Michigan State (21-12).
It didn't take Arizona State long to take control. Kiara Russell's 3-pointer tied the game 6-6, and the Sun Devils went on a 16-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 22-8 lead. They would lead by double digits the rest of the game.
Dornstauder went 6-of-6 from the field and hit all four of her free throws. Sabrina Haines scored 15 points and Reili Richardson added 13 for the Sun Devils.
Tori Jankoska, the nation's 10th leading scorer at 22.5 points a game scored 26 points, 15 of them in the fourth quarter.
MISSOURI 66, SOUTH FLORIDA 64
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Sierra Michaelis scored 16 points, including the game-winning basket with 0.6 seconds remaining, and No. 6 seed Missouri rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat No. 11 South Florida.
Michaelis had 13 of her points in the second half for the Tigers, who trailed 38-25 at halftime. Missouri (22-10) scored the first seven points of the third quarter as part of a 12-3 run. The Tigers would eventually tie it at 50 on her 3-pointer with 7:59 remaining. Kitija Laksa's three-point play gave the Bulls the lead again before the Tigers took the lead on a 12-3 run.
Missouri led 64-61 before Laska tied it with a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left. Michaelis then hit a layup with less than a second remaining to give Missouri the win.
Arianda Pujol scored 20 points for South Florida (24-9) with 16 coming in the first half. Laksa added 19.
FLORIDA STATE 87, WESTERN ILLINOIS 66
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Shakayla Thomas scored 23 points and third-seeded Florida State beat No. 14 Western Illinois.
Thomas, who was the coaches choice as Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, had 10 points in the third quarter as the Seminoles broke open a close game in the second half. Florida State (26-6) led 36-34 at halftime but went on a 14-5 run at the beginning of the third quarter to take control. Thomas also had 14 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season.
Chatrice White came off the bench to score 19 points and grab 14 rebounds while Imani Wright scored 14.
Taylor Higginbotham had 20 points for Western Illinois (26-7) and Morgan Blumer had 12.
The Leathernecks led for most of the first half.