The three most dramatic games of the first day of the women’s NCAA Tournament were all won by mid-majors.
No. 10 Princeton edged seventh-seeded NC State 64-63 on Grace Stone’s 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left.
GRACE STONE GAME-WINNER— ESPN (@espn) March 18, 2023
PRINCETON TAKES DOWN 7-SEED NC STATE! pic.twitter.com/BcJ0Z8QlH3
This shot capped off a wild game offensively for the Tigers. They used a 10-0 run to start the third quarter to take a four-point lead. At that point, they made just one of their next 25 shot attempts. That cold stretch allowed the Wolfpack to surge ahead 63-55 with less than six minutes to go. Princeton then scored the final nine points of the contest.
It is the second straight year the Tigers have advanced past the first round of the NCAA Tournament and the program’s third win overall.
Stone and Kaitlyn Chen led the way with 22 points apiece. Stone added four steals, while Chen pulled down seven rebounds.
Princeton’s win came one day after the school’s men’s team upset No. 2 seed Arizona.
USF knocked off Maquette 67-65 in overtime. The Golden Eagles’ Mackenzie Hare attempted a 3-pointer that went halfway down and rolled off the rim.
THAT CLOSE— ESPN (@espn) March 17, 2023
South Florida survives and is the first team advancing to the Round of 32! pic.twitter.com/TBT1GbyBLz
The Bulls didn’t lead at all until the final two minutes of the contest. They made just two of their 18 3-point attempts (11%).
Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu led the way with 22 points on 8-of-9 shooting and 16 rebounds. She is the third player in the last 20 years with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and an 85% field goal percentage in an NCAA Tournament game. The others were Iowa’s Megan Gustafson and Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Meanwhile, SDSU also needed overtime to win its opening round game against USC. The Jackrabbits prevailed 62-57.
Myah Selland scored 10 of her game-high 29 points in OT. She also pulled down nine rebounds.
The Trojans tied the game with seven seconds left in regulation on Destiny Littleton’s 3-pointer.
The Jacks scored the first seven points of the extra period. They have won 22 straight games dating back to December. It was their first win in the Big Dance since reaching the Sweet 16 in 2019.