Maryland flexed its offensive would possibly in a dominant win over No. 7 seed Alabama, beating the Crimson Tide, 100-64. The Terrapins reached their 2020-21 season common — 91 factors — with almost 5 minutes left within the fourth quarter. It was Maryland’s seventh recreation scoring at the least 100 factors this season.
Angel Reese, a freshman who entered Maryland because the No. 2 recruit within the nation and was sidelined by a foot damage in her fourth collegiate recreation, made 8 of 12 pictures for 19 factors in a sometimes environment friendly efficiency. Religion Masonius, who comes off Maryland’s bench, went 7 for 8 for a profession excessive 16 factors.
Alabama senior Jasmine Walker, a high W.N.B.A. prospect, led all scorers with 23 factors — which nonetheless wasn’t sufficient to stymie the Maryland’s onslaught.
Maryland’s win was one thing of a turnabout two days after its males’s workforce fell to Alabama within the second spherical of the boys’s match, a recreation wherein the Crimson Tide scored 96 factors.
When the Wright State Raiders beat No. 4 Arkansas on Monday, they shocked lots of people. It was the primary time a No. 13 seed had received a girls’s N.C.A.A. match recreation since 2012, in spite of everything. However nothing about the best way the 66-62 victory transpired shocked them.
“We simply performed our recreation: made a pair upsets, busted a pair brackets,” Angel Baker instructed reporters after scoring 26 factors to guide the Raiders to their first N.C.A.A. match win. “We are able to beat anyone.”
Baker was undoubtedly the workforce’s star, and her environment friendly, fast scoring and spectacular court docket imaginative and prescient immediately made that apparent to anybody watching.
The Raiders’ energy, although, is fundamentals. They’re among the best rebounding groups within the nation, and so even with out capturing notably properly they’re in a position to collect 42.5 p.c of their misses — the fifth-most within the nation.
That emphasis comes from fifth-year head coach Katrina Merriweather, who has received Horizon League Coach of the 12 months 3 times. Wright State is her first head teaching place.
“We’re a driving, rebounding, defending workforce,” Merriweather mentioned. “I don’t assume we will faux to be anything. I don’t assume we will attempt to be anything and be any good at it. In order that needed to be our recreation plan.”
The Raiders get one other defense-oriented workforce within the No. 5 seed Missouri State Bears, who common greater than 40 rebounds per recreation.
“Typically we will get somewhat distracted with how good we expect we’re,” Merriweather mentioned. “However we simply discuss taking part in to our potential. If we do this, and keep purchased into what our plan is, we’ll have an opportunity to compete with anyone.”
The match video games can be broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPNU and can be streamed on the ESPN app. Right here’s the schedule for Wednesday (all occasions Japanese):
1 p.m. — No. 2 seed Maryland vs. No. 7 seed Alabama, ESPN2
3 p.m. — No. 3 seed Georgia vs. No. 6 seed Oregon, ESPN2
3 p.m. — No. 5 seed Missouri State vs. No. 13 seed Wright State, ESPNU
5 p.m. — No. 2 seed Louisville vs. No. 7 seed Northwestern, ESPN 2
5 p.m. — No. 4 seed Indiana vs. No. 12 seed Belmont, ESPNU
7 p.m. — No. 2 seed Texas A&M vs. No. 7 seed Iowa State, ESPN2
7 p.m. — No. 3 seed Arizona vs. No. 11 seed Brigham Younger College, ESPNU
9 p.m. — No. 3 seed U.C.L.A. vs. No. 6 seed Texas, ESPN2
Alabama hasn’t pulled off any upsets but, however the seventh-seeded squad has already made historical past with its first match win since 1999.
The Crimson Tide are taking part in their finest basketball of the season proper now, led by a trio of seniors who share the ball properly and are used to taking part in powerful groups — even when they haven’t normally been in a position to safe a win. Alabama is 0-8 towards packages ranked within the Related Press High 25, and is in search of its first victory over an elite workforce Wednesday in its matchup with No. 2 seed Maryland.
“Whenever you put the work in, it’s a must to be assured sufficient to return out right here and know that you are able to do it,” redshirt senior Jordan Lewis instructed mentioned. She has began each recreation for the Crimson Tide since becoming a member of this system in 2016.
“I believe when lots of people doubt you or don’t believe in you, it’s a must to have it inside your workforce and your coaches,” she added. “We’ve actually had one another’s again all through the entire 12 months.”
Lewis, a 5-foot-7 guard, had a profession recreation in Alabama’s defeat of North Carolina on Monday, almost incomes a triple-double with 32 factors, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Lewis and her senior compatriots Ariyah Copeland and Jasmine Walker every common at the least 10 factors. Walker is certainly one of Division I’s high 3-point shooters, making 40 p.c of her makes an attempt.
Nonetheless, they’ll need to play their finest recreation of the season once more to have an opportunity towards Maryland, which boasts the very best scoring offense within the nation. The Terrapins aren’t untouchable: They’ve misplaced 5 occasions within the second spherical of the match since 2010, and in 4 of these matchups they have been the upper seed.
Plus now, the Tide are taking part in free. “I believe it takes off a whole lot of weight off of us,” Lewis mentioned. “It’s simply so enjoyable to play together with your teammates and never have that weight in your shoulders anymore.”
It’s not possible to disregard how shortly Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Connecticut’s Paige Bueckers have developed into offensive juggernauts — the freshmen lead their groups and are each among the many finest in Division I in scoring and assists. Once they meet within the Candy 16 it guarantees to be one of many match’s splashiest matchups.
There are many different freshmen looking for to make their mark within the postseason, nonetheless. A number of have already got, simply with barely much less eye-popping numbers.
Belmont freshman guard Destinee Wells led her Twelfth-seeded workforce to its first N.C.A.A. match win over Gonzaga with 25 factors, 7 assists and three steals. The 5-foot-6 Wells even had a block — a testomony to the dedication and vitality she confirmed all through the sport. Plus, she performs finest in large circumstances: Wells’ profession scoring excessive got here in the course of the Ohio Valley convention match, the place she scored 32 factors to push her workforce to a win and its fifth consecutive N.C.A.A. match berth.
“We simply performed a very good defensive workforce and for her to do what she did towards these guys gave us an opportunity to showcase how good she is,” Belmont Coach Bart Brooks mentioned after the sport. “Now, I don’t assume anybody who’s watched us play would stroll away with out some main respect for Destinee Wells.”
It’s not simply underdogs which might be fueled by younger expertise. The freshman duo in Louisville’s beginning lineup, Hailey Van Lith and Olivia Cochran, mix for 21 factors per recreation and supply important assist to all-American Dana Evans. Cochran averages almost 13 rebounds per recreation and in her first match recreation, Van Lith led all scorers with 17 factors.
“We have been speaking and solely two of our gamers have performed within the N.C.A.A. match for Louisville,” Van Lith mentioned. “So clearly, it’s a very younger workforce. And I wouldn’t say we have been nervous or scared, however there was simply general pleasure.”
Stanford’s Cameron Brink is yet one more freshman starter for a high workforce. The 6-foot-4 ahead has an A-list pedigree: She shares a coach with Megan Rapinoe, and Dell and Sonya Curry — the mother and father of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry — are her godparents. That’s all irrelevant on the court docket, in fact. There, she blocks almost 15 p.c of the pictures that come her manner, and is as dependable as will be scoring under the basket — in her second match recreation, she even hit a 3-pointer, her tenth of the season.