DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke advanced after getting a scare from Albany. A couple other underdogs almost pulled off upsets, but only No. 11 Miami, No. 11 Gonzaga and No. 10 Arkansas were double-digit seeds to win.
And unlike in the men’s bracket, 14 and 15 seeds are still winless in the women’s tournament. That’s 0-172 and counting since 1994.
Top seeds Notre Dame and South Carolina won their openers easily.
DUKE 54, ALBANY 52
Rebecca Greenwell hit a 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left to lift Duke past Albany.
Greenwell finished with 20 points for the fourth-seeded Blue Devils (22-10). They overcame a season-worst 27 turnovers, and have won their NCAA Tournament opener in each of their 22 appearances.
Imani Tate had 17 points and Shereesha Richards added 12 for the Great Danes (24-9), who were denied their first NCAA Tournament victory.
MISSISSIPPI STATE 57, TULANE 47
Breanna Richardson scored 15 points and Mississippi State beat Tulane.
Morgan William added 14 points for the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (27-6). They shot 48 percent in the second half and advanced to a second-round matchup with host Duke, the fourth seed, on Sunday.
Kolby Morgan had 17 points for the 12th-seeded Green Wave (22-11), who ended the season by losing two straight and four of six. They shot 28 percent and went 10 minutes between baskets, missing 11 consecutive shots after taking their only lead of the second half.
OREGON STATE 74,
S. DAKOTA STATE 62
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Sydney Wiese scored 23 points and Ruth Hamblin scored 10 of her 17 points during a key second-half run to lead third-seeded Oregon State past South Dakota State.
Oregon State (27-4) trailed by seven points in the first half, and four early in the second half before taking control of its first home game in the NCAA Tournament.
GEORGE WASH. 69
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Keani Albanez and Sunny Greinacher each scored 19 points to help No. 11 Gonzaga upset sixth-seeded George Washington.
Elle Tinkle added 11 points for the Bulldogs (25-7), who had a vocal cheering section at Gill Coliseum.
Jonquel Jones had 11 points and 14 rebounds, despite being limited to 23 minutes by foul trouble, and Kelli Prange came off the bench to score 13 for the Colonials (29-4).
NOTRE DAME 77, MONTANA 43
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Jewell Loyd scored 18 points and top-seed Notre Dame used its size and speed to overwhelm 16th-seeded Montana.
Brianna Turner added 12 points and Michaela Mabrey, Taya Reimer and Lindsay Allen added nine points each as Notre Dame shot 62.3 percent against the Lady Griz (24-9). Montana entered the game fourth in the nation in field-goal defense, allowing opponents to shoot 33.8 percent.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Megan Podkowa scored 23 points and No. 9 seed DePaul used a 22-4 second half run to come from behind and beat eighth-seeded Minnesota.
The Blue Demons (27-7) missed 20 of their first 22 3-pointers, but DePaul’s dormant perimeter game suddenly came to life five minutes into the second half when Podkowa hit consecutive 3-pointers to spark the long run.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sophomore Adrienne Motley scored 30 points and 11th-seeded Miami beat No. 6 Washington 86-80 on Friday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City.
Jessica Thomas had 19 points and Michelle Woods added 17 for the Hurricanes (20-12), who pulled off the upset in part by shooting 7 of 12 from 3-point range.
IOWA 75, AMERICAN 67
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Ally Disterhoft scored 18 points, freshman Whitney Jennings had 16 and third-seeded Iowa held off American in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Iowa City.
Melissa Dixon had 15 points with four 3s for the Hawkeyes (25-7), who will host 11th-seeded Miami in the second round on Sunday.
N.WESTERN STATE 36
WACO, Texas (AP) — Nina Davis scored 17 points and Baylor won at home again in the NCAA Tournament, advancing with a first-round victory over Northwestern State.
The Big 12 champion Lady Bears (31-3), the No. 2 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional, took control with an early 14-2 run in which Davis and Khadijah Cave each had six points to break a 7-7 tie and go ahead to stay.
WACO, Texas (AP) — Jessica Jackson scored 14 points, including the tiebreaking free throw with 30 seconds left as Arkansas overcame a 13-point deficit to beat Northwestern in a first-round NCAA Tournament.
The free throw by Jackson made it 56-55, giving the Razorbacks (18-13) their first lead in the second half. They overcame three consecutive missed free throws after that, including Jackson’s miss on the second attempt that Melissa Wolff rebounded.
Wolff had 13 points and 15 rebounds, while Kelsey Brooks had 15 points and Jhasmin Bowen 12 for Arkansas, the No. 10 seed in the Oklahoma City Regional.
Ashley Deary and Alex Cohen each had 13 points for No. 7 seed Northwestern (23-9), which was in its first NCAA Tournament since 1997.
The Wildcats opened the second half with three consecutive layups to break a halftime tie. They didn’t score after Cohen’s bank shot with 3:59 left for a 55-51 lead.
DAYTON 78, IOWA STATE 66
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Ally Malott had 18 points and 12 rebounds to help seventh-seeded Dayton beat No. 10 Iowa State.
Nicole Kidd Blaskowski’s 3-pointer cut Iowa State’s 17-point deficit to seven with 2:32 remaining. But that was as close as the Cyclones would come before succumbing to Dayton. Iowa State also had nine of its 12 turnovers in the second half.
First in the Atlantic-10 conference this season in field goal percentage, Dayton continued that trend into the post-season; it shot 48 percent, including 16-of-28 in the first half. Malott was efficient in scoring her game-high 18 points, going 7-of-13 from the field.
Dayton will move on to the second round Sunday to play the winner between No. 2 Kentucky and No. 15 Tennessee State. The Cyclones finish their season 18-13.
KENTUCKY 97, TENNESSEE STATE 52
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Linnae Harper scored 16 points to lead No. 2 seed Kentucky to a win over Tennessee State.
The Wildcats (24-9) advance to the second round of the Albany Regional and will host Dayton on Sunday. The Flyers (26-6) defeated Iowa State 78-66 in the first game of the doubleheader.
Harper led six players in double figures for the Wildcats. Alexis Jennings followed Harper with 15 points while Jennifer O’Neill, Bria Goss and Makayla Epps had 13 points each. Jaycee Cole added 10 for the Wildcats.
Brianna Lawrence led Tennessee State with 16 points. Briana Morrow followed with 11 points for the Lady Tigers, who made their first tournament appearance since 1995.
TEXAS 66, WESTERN KENTUCKY 64
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Brooke McCarty made two free throws for Texas with 20.8 seconds left and Alexis Govan missed a potential winning 3-pointer for Western Kentucky in the final seconds, sending the fifth-seeded Longhorns to a victory.
Imani McGee-Stafford had 24 points and 14 rebounds as sloppy Texas overcame 19 turnovers — including one that could have cost the Longhorns the game.
Ivy Brown’s 3-pointer with 39.5 seconds left pulled Western Kentucky (30-5) within one, and then Texas lost the inbounds pass with 38.3 to go on Brady Sanders’ turnover.
Texas (23-10), which missed chances in the first half by committing 13 turnovers, will face the winner of Friday’s second game between No. 4 seed California and 13th-seeded Wichita State in one of the toughest four-team pods in the bracket.
CALIFORNIA 78, WICHITA STATE 66
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Reshanda Gray had 22 points and nine rebounds, and fourth-seeded California treated its home crowd to a win against 13th-seeded Wichita State.
Mercedes Jefflo added 14 points, and point guard Brittany Boyd had 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists while limited by foul trouble in her first NCAA game in her hometown of Berkeley.
Cal (24-9) advances to the second round for the fourth straight year under coach Lindsay Gottlieb, and the experienced Golden Bears believe they are poised for another special run two years after reaching the program’s first and only Final Four.
Alex Harden scored 22 points and Michaela Dapprich had 16 for Wichita State (29-5), which had won 12 in a row.
SOUTH CAROLINA 81, SAVANNAH STATE 48
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A’ja Wilson scored 15 points and Alaina Coates and Aleighsa Welch had 12 points each as top-seeded South Carolina defeated Savannah State to win its first NCAA Tournament home game in 13 years.
The Gamecocks (31-2) shot 64 percent in putting away the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Lady Tigers (21-11) for a second time this season. South Carolina won its 33rd straight at home. It will have one more at Colonial Life Arena Sunday when it faces Syracuse or Nebraska on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16.
The Gamecocks last played an NCAA game on campus in 2002. Ever since, they’ve been prevented by the NCAA’s ban against the Confederate flag which flies on Statehouse grounds. The governing body changed its rules, allowing the top 16 seeds to play the first two rounds at home.
Ezinne Kalu had 21 points for Savannah State
SYRACUSE 72, NEBRASKA 69
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Brianna Butler scored 17 points, including the go-ahead basket with 58.7 seconds left, to lift eighth-seeded Syracuse to a victory over Nebraska.
The Huskers had a chance to tie it once more with 15.8 seconds left, but Emily Cady missed the second of two foul shots. Alexis Peterson followed with two free throws to extend the Syracuse lead to 70-67 and the Huskers turned the ball on their next possession with getting a shot off.
Peterson capped the victory for the Orange (22-9) with two more foul shots. She finished with a game-high 24 points.
Syracuse will take on top-seeded South Carolina, which earlier defeated Savannah State 81-48 to advance.
The Orange gave highly ranked South Carolina one of its toughest contests this season, losing 67-63 last November.
Emily Cady led Nebraska with 18 points.