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HomeSportsNBACanada's Aaliyah Edwards scores career-high 28 points as UConn cruises past Vermont

Canada’s Aaliyah Edwards scores career-high 28 points as UConn cruises past Vermont

Canada’s Aaliyah Edwards scored a career-high 28 points, Dorka Juhasz added a double-double and No. 2 seed UConn routed 15th seed Vermont 95-52 on Saturday, giving the Huskies a 29th straight win in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

Juhasz scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, the Hungarian’s 13th double-double this season for the seventh-ranked Huskies.

Caroline Ducharme added 12 points, helping Connecticut (30-5) to its 26th, 30-win season during Geno Auriemma’s 38 years as coach.

Catherine Gilwee scored 14 points, while Emma Utterback and Maria Myklebust each had 13 for Vermont (25-7), which had its 17-game winning streak snapped.

UConn will play No. 7 seed Baylor on Monday. The Bears came back from an 18-point first quarter deficit to beat Alabama 78-74 on Saturday night.

WATCH | Edwards on her Canadian support and inspiration: 

UConn basketball player Aaliyah Edwards on her Canadian support and inspiration

Aaliyah Edwards thanked her teammates from the Canadian women’s national basketball team for helping her compete as a student-athlete for the UConn Huskies and contend for a U.S. collegiate championship.

This was the fourth straight game the Huskies have had 10 available players, after spending much of the season with just seven.

Azzi Fudd (five points), who missed 22 games, including the final 14 of the regular season with knee injuries, made her first start since Dec. 4 and scored the first basket on a short jumper from the lane. That started a 7-0 run and the Huskies never trailed.

Edwards, a 20-year-old from Kingston, Ont., had 12 of her points in the first 10 minutes as the Huskies led 27-12 after a quarter.

“From the jump ball I knew personally, individually that I’d be able to dominate inside,” Edwards said. “And I think Dorka held her own too and I think we just flowed together as a team.”

UConn took its first 20-point lead at 32-12 and a fast-break layup from Aubrey Griffin made it 48-18. The Huskies shot 67 per cent over the first 20 minutes (62 per cent for the game) and it was 53-20 at halftime.

The Huskies extended that to as many as 46 in the second half.

Miami rallies past Oklahoma State

Haley Cavinder scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half and made what proved to be the decisive free throw with 8.9 seconds left to pull off a 17-point second half rally Saturday that gave ninth-seeded Miami a 62-61 victory over eighth-seeded Oklahoma State.

The comeback was tied for the fifth-largest comeback in tourney history. But it wasn’t over until Naomie Alnatas’ 10-footer rolled off the rim at the buzzer following a 5-second call on the Hurricanes.

Miami (20-12) will play top-seeded Indiana on its home court Monday night with a ticket to the Sweet 16 at stake.

Cavinder also had eight rebounds and six assists while Jasmyn Roberts added 12 points and Destiny Harden had 11 points and five rebounds.

Anna Gret Asi led Oklahoma State with 16 points and four 3-pointers including one with 5.3 seconds to go that gave the Cowgirls a shot to win it. Alnatas had 10 points and Taylen Collins had 16 rebounds for Oklahoma State (21-12).

It was a wild second half.

The Cowgirls appeared to be in complete control when Lior Garzon banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close the half with a 37-20 lead.

But Miami scored the first 11 points of the third quarter and opened the fourth with seven straight to take a 47-44 with 8:07 to play. Miami extended the lead to 53-46 but couldn’t quite close it out.

Oklahoma State used a 10-2 run to retake a 56-55 lead with 3:22 to go, but Cavinder and Harden scored on layuup and Ja’le Williams hit a short shot to make it 61-56 with 62 seconds left, setting up the frantic final seconds.

Canada’s Lashae Dwyer added two points for Miami.

Toledo upsets Iowa State

Quinesha Lockett scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as 12th-seeded Toledo knocked off No. 5 seed Iowa State 80-73 for Saturday’s second big upset of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

Toledo became the second 12 seed to win Saturday, joining Florida Gulf Coast not long after its win over Washington State. Toledo now will play No. 4 seed Tennessee, a 95-50 winner over 13th-seeded Saint Louis, on Monday night for a spot in the Sweet 16 in the Spokane 3 region.

The Rockets (29-4) matched the program record for most wins for a second straight season by winning a record 17th straight game, topping the 16-game streak of 2000-01. They also posted their first NCAA win since 1996 in their ninth tournament appearance overall and first since 2017.

Jayda Jansen scored 17 points for Toledo, Sophia Wiard added 15 points and Nan Garcia 12.

Iowa State got within 78-73 on Denae Fritz’s 3 with 29.4 seconds left. Toledo didn’t make a bucket after Lockett’s layup with 3:35 to go, but the Rockets sealed the win hitting its final eight free throws over the final 63 seconds.

When Lexi Donarski’s 3 missed with 24 seconds left, Toledo got the rebound and Justina King just held the ball as the final seconds ticked off before the Rockets started celebrating.

Iowa State (22-10) came in as the Big 12 Tournament champ for the first time since 2001 after stringing together upsets of a trio of NCAA Tournament teams in Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas. The Cyclones also had the Big 12 Player of the Year in Ashley Joens looking for a second straight Sweet 16 berth.

Instead, the Cyclones head home with their first opening round loss since 2017.

Joens led Iowa State with 23 points and 13 rebounds, including a perfect 11-of-11 at the free throw line. Joens was 0-of-4 in the fourth quarter. Donarski finished with 13, and Fritz and Emily Ryan each had 11.

Iowa State took its biggest lead at 23-18 and was up 23-20 after the first quarter.

Garcia’s layup put Toledo ahead to stay with 7:52 left in the second as Toledo outscored Iowa State 23-13 in the second for a 43-36 lead into halftime. Toledo led 61-53 going into the fourth.

12th-seeded FGCU tops Washington State

Maddie Antenucci’s 3-pointer bounced four times before going through the net as part of her game-changing spree from beyond the arc that sent 12th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast into the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 74-63 win Saturday over No. 5-seed Washington State.

Sha Carter scored 24 points and Tishara Moorehouse had 16 for the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament champion Golden Eagles (33-3).

Canada’s Tara Wallack led the Cougars with 16 points

FGCU will play the winner of Saturday’s late game between fourth-seeded Villanova and No. 13 seed Cleveland State at the Wildcats’ on-campus arena, the Pavilion.

The Eagles sent the Shania Twain karaoke club out of Washington State (23-11) home early after a surprising run to win the Pac-12 Tournament.

North Carolina holds off St. John’s

Deja Kelly had a go-ahead three-point play with 2 seconds left and No. 6 seed North Carolina hung on for a 61-59 win over 11th-seeded St. John’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

The Tar Heels faced their first deficit of the game when Danielle Patterson sank a 3-pointer with 6:39 left to play.

The Red Storm led for the next four-plus minutes until Paulina Paris was fouled in transition and made the ensuing free throw to tie the game at 54.

The score tied twice in the final minute as Mimi Reid made a layup with 6 seconds left to knot the game at 58.

Kelly drove the left lane and made the free throw to complete the game-winning score. Patterson then was fouled after a timeout shooting a 3-pointer with just over a second left that gave the Red Storm one last chance.

She missed the first two free throws and then inexplicably made third one ending any chance the Red Storm had to tie the game.

Kelly led North Carolina with 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting, Kennedy Todd-Williams finished with 14 points and Alyssa Ustby totaled 13. The Tar Heels shot 42.1% from the field.

St. John’s began 1-of-14 from the field. The Red Storm trailed 12-3 but Jayla Everett scored five of her team-leading 17 points during a 7-0 run that brought them back late in the first quarter.

Patterson finished with 13 points and Reid had 10.

Ohio State defeats James Madison

Cotie McMahon scored 18 points to help No. 3 seed Ohio State pull away for an 80-66 win over No. 14 seed James Madison in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Saturday.

McMahon made her team’s first 3-pointer with 5:18 left in the third quarter to give Ohio State (26-7) a 44-43 lead, and the Buckeyes didn’t give up the advantage from there on out. They trailed by as many as 16 in the first half before going on a 12-0 run.

Jacy Sheldon scored three of her 17 points during an 8-0 run at the start of the fourth quarter. Taylor Thierry shot 7 of 8 and fouled out with 15 points. Taylor Mikesell added 14 points.

James Madison (26-8) led 26-14 and was making 50% of its shots at the end of the first quarter. The Dukes shot 37.9% in the second half and turned it over 21 times, their most in 10 games.

Kiki Jefferson led the Dukes with 17 points and Jamia Hazell added 10.

The Buckeyes trailed 37-34 and were shooting 31.3% at the half.

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