March 21, 2013

Duquesne 71, Akron 66
PITTSBURGH -
Wumi Agunbiade scored a game-high 22 points and Vanessa Abel scored all 16 of her points in the second half as Duquesne (24-7) erased an 11-point deficit to defeat Akron (23-10), 71-66, in a WNIT first round game at the Palumbo Center.

Hanna Luburgh led four Akron players in double figures with 19 points.

The Dukes trailed 51-40 with just over 11 minutes left before Agunbiade began a 14-2 run with a 3-pointer followed by a jumper. Stasia King added a layup and pair of free throws before Agunbiade cut it to three with a three-point play.

April Robinson gave the Dukes their first lead since late in the first half on a layup with 7:12 to go.

There were two ties and five lead changes before Abel nailed a 3-pointer to give Duquesne a 63-61 lead with 3:41 left. Abel then came up with a steal, was fouled, and hit a pair of free throws to up the lead to four. The Dukes led by five with 45 seconds left before Akron's Hanna Luburgh converted a four-point play to make it 67-66.

DU iced the game with a pair of Agunbiade free throws with 27 seconds left, followed by two more by Abel with three seconds to go.

Jocelyn Floyd, the nation's leader in steals, scored 11 points to go along with five steals as the Dukes turned 26 Akron turnovers into 27 points. The Dukes outscored the Zips 30-16 in the paint and 28-10 in second chance points.

Duquesne heads to Bowling Green (23-10) to face the Falcons on Saturday, March 23 at 5:00 p.m. BGSU, who like Akron is a member of the Mid-American Conference, advanced with a 76-70 home win over SMU on Thursday night.

Fordham 55, Army 46 
BRONX, N.Y. -- The Rams notched their first postseason victory since beginning NCAA play in the early 1980s, topping Army 55-46 in the First Round of the WNIT. Fordham's first postseason win since 1980 also tied the second-highest win total in postseason history.

Abigail Corning led the way for the Rams, registering a double-double with 15 points and 11 board Marah Strickland also scored 15 for the Rams, while Arielle Collins added 14 points and six boards. Erin Rooney dished out a game-high six assists for Fordham.

With the win, Fordham advances to the Second Round of the WNIT, where they'll take on the Terriers of Boston University. That game will begin at 2 PM on Saturday in the Rose Hill Gym.

Charlotte 79, Appalachian State 61
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte women's basketball team picked up victory No. 25 on the campaign, the second highest in school history, as it pulled away late to defeat Appalachian State, 79-61, Thursday evening during WNIT First Round action inside Halton Arena. The 49ers' triumph is their first in the postseason since 2011 when they advanced to the WNIT Semifinals.

Charlotte's 25 triumphs are just two shy of that school-record run two years ago, while Thursday's win was also No. 13 at home this year, equaling the single-season school mark established four previous times.

The 49ers were led the double-double pairing of seniors Jennifer Hailey and Amanda Dowe. Hailey shared game-high scoring honors with 20 points, while hauling in 11 rebounds for her 22nd double-double of the campaign, moving her into a third-place tie on the school's single-season list. Dowe contributed 19 points and a game-best 16 boards for her 14thdouble-double of the year. The pair combined to hit 15-of-26 field goals and 9-of-12 free throws.

Sophomore Ayanna Holmes added 10 points to lead the Charlotte (25-5) bench scoring and give the Niners a trio in double-figure scoring. Junior Ny Hammonds handed out 10 assists, her fourth outing of the season with double-digit helpers.

Anna Freeman paced the Mountaineers with 20 points before fouling out with 2:02 remaining. Bria Huffman chipped in 11 points off the bench, while the 49ers' domination on the glass limited the Apps team leaders to five apiece from Kelsey Sharkey and Maryah Sydnor.

The Niners will return to action at 2 p.m. Sunday when they play host to Davidson inside Halton Arena in the two teams' second meeting of the campaign. Charlotte garnered a 69-54 triumph Dec. 21 during the regular-season matchup, also at home, as sophomore Hillary Sigmon paced the 49ers with 13 points.

North Carolina State 60, Richmond 55
RALEIGH, N.C. --
Richmond took the lead late but could not hold on as it fell, 60-55, to N.C. State in the first round of the WNIT.

Richmond used a 17-7 late second-half push to take its largest lead of the game at 41-35 with 7:09 remaining. But N.C. State responded with a 12-6 run to tie the game at 47-all with 3:25 left.

From there, the Wolfpack would exploit their size inside, scoring three-straight buckets under the basket to take the lead for good. Rachael Bilney drained a three with 41 seconds left to get Richmond to within 54-52, but N.C. State hit key free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.

Becca Wann put forth an inspiring and impressive effort with 20 points and 11 rebounds for her 11th career double-double, sixth this season. Wann went 6-for-12 from the field, 2-of-5 from long range en route to her game-high total.

Rachael Bilney ended her career with 1,073 points, good for 16th all-time. Bilney made 197 career three-pointers, ranking second all-time. Her 71 threes this season ranks fourth in a single-season, and her eight threes in a win over GW last season stands as a school-record.  Bilney hit seven threes in a thrilling comeback overtime win against Xavier this season.

The back-and-forth first half saw six lead changes and three ties. Richmond shot 9-for-27 (33.3%) in the first frame, 4-of-11 (36.4%) from long range. The Spider defense forced 14 first-half Wolfpack turnovers, but trailed the glass edge, 24-12. N.C. State used those extra opportunities to score 10 second-half points.

Richmond ended its season with a 16-16 mark and made its fifth-straight postseason appearance.

Toledo 63, Butler 49
TOLEDO, Ohio
- In the postseason for the fourth time in five years, the Butler women's basketball team fell 63-49 in the WNIT first round at Toledo on Thursday night.

Butler's season, its first and only one as an Atlantic 10 Conference member, ends with a 17-14 mark. Junior Daress McClung led BU with 18 points and eight rebounds. She scored 14 in the second half.

Sophomore Taylor Schippers scored 11 of her 12 points in the first half. She hit three long 3-pointers that kept Butler in the game early. Junior Mandy McDivitt buried four treys for 12 points.

Toledo (28-3), the Mid-American Conference regular season champ, was led by Naama Shafir with 17 points. Inma Zanoguera with 16.

The early minutes of the game were low-scoring, with UT owning a 10-5 lead until scoring again at the 11:37 mark. Toledo would extend the lead to 14-5. Schippers kept the Bulldogs close by making three long 3-pointers. Her third trey pulled BU within 18-17 and forced Toledo to call timeout.

Toledo led 23-20 and then scored the last four points of the half, all by Zanoguera. A steal and lay-up by the Spain native made it 25-20 and then a pull-up jumper in the final minute gave the Rockets a 27-20 halftime lead.

Butler kept pace in the second half with defense, rebounding and long-range shooting. McClung and McDivitt combined for five treys in the second half to keep the Rockets from pulling away. McDivitt's shot with 11:42 on the clock pulled Butler within 42-37. An 11-3 run by Toledo gave the Rockets a 55-42 lead with 3:21 left and they took control of the game.

McDivitt hit a 3-pointer on the next trip down but Shafir made a shifty move to the basket for a three-point play to make it 58-45 with 2 minutes left. The Bulldogs shot 45 percent in the second half but couldn't keep pace.

For the game, the Bulldogs shot 9-for-21 from 3-point range and held their own on the glass (39-33 Toledo edge).