Jessika Carter had 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Anastasia Hayes added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Mississippi State beat Illinois 70-56 on Wednesday night to begin the NCAA Tournament in a First Four game.
Mississippi State (21-10) advances to the field of 64 to take on No. 6 seed Creighton. The Bulldogs improved to 14-3 in the NCAA Tournament since the 2016-17 season.
Freshman Debreasha Powe scored four points during Mississippi State’s 11-2 run to begin the third quarter for a 42-32 lead. The Bulldogs extended it to 52-38 at the end of the quarter after shooting 53%. Kourtney Weber sank a 3-pointer to cap a 9-1 run to begin the fourth quarter for a 61-39 lead.
After Mississippi State’s lead was cut to 12 points with 4:19 left, Carter scored four straight points to reach 20-plus for the sixth time this season.JerKaila Jordan also scored 11 points for Mississippi State. Weber finished with eight points.
Carter scored 10 points in the first half to help build a 31-30 lead. Makira Cook scored 11 points for Illinois, which shot 48% from the field but didn’t attempt a free throw compared to Mississippi State’s 10 of 12.
Cook, averaging 18.2 points per game, scored 21 points and Genesis Bryant added 17 for Illinois (22-10), which had one of the best turnarounds in the country after finishing last season with a record of 7-20. Illinois’ first free throws of the game came with 5:35 left in the third quarter.
Below, I’ve cobbled together a mini mountain of facts, stats, trends, scoops, did-you-knows and more that will either help you win your pool or destroy your weekend. Either way, it’ll be a blast.
In addition to my own research, all additional info is provided by CBS Sports’ research team. I love putting this thing together each year. Dive in and pick your favorites.
No 16 Fairleigh Dickinson 84, No 16 Texas Southern 61
Ansley Almonor scored 23 points and Fairleigh Dickinson beat Texas Southern 84-61 Wednesday night to earn its first NCAA tournament win in four seasons.
The Knights held a 14-2 lead after a 12-0 run in the opening 3:29 and never gave up the lead. Grant Singleton scored seven points during a 19-6 run in which the Knights led by as many as 18 points at the end of the first half.
Jordan Gilliam made a jumper that got Texas Southern as close as 10 points with 10:01 left in the second half. The Tigers shot 42% and went 1 for 17 from three-point distance.
Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50% and made 11 threes to advance to the East Region and play top-seeded Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.
“Our press got us going, and then our half-court defense was excellent. We shared the ball. We played unselfish,” Fairleigh Dickinson coach Tobin Anderson said. “When you play that well, life’s pretty easy, so I thought we played very, very well.”
Joe Munden Jr scored 17 points, Demetre Roberts had 15, Singleton finished with 13 and Sean Moore 10 for Fairleigh Dickinson (20-15).
John Walker III led Texas Southern (14-21) with 22 points. Joirdon Karl Nicholas added 10.
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