Jordan, Bulldogs keep dancing

Mississippi State’s Jessika Carter (right) shoots over Creighton’s Morgan Maly (30) and Emma Ronsiek during the second half of Friday’s NCAA Women’s Tournament first-round game in South Bend, Ind. The Bulldogs won 81-66.
(AP/Michael Caterina)
Mississippi State’s Jessika Carter (right) shoots over Creighton’s Morgan Maly (30) and Emma Ronsiek during the second half of Friday’s NCAA Women’s Tournament first-round game in South Bend, Ind. The Bulldogs won 81-66. (AP/Michael Caterina)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Jerkaila Jordan scored 20 and led No. 11 seed Mississippi State to an 81-66 win against No. 6 Creighton in the women's NCAA Tournament on Friday night.

Jessika Carter, the 6-5 Bulldog center, took advantage of the Bluejays' undersized front court, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Anastasia Hayes chipped in 12 points and seven assists. Ahlana Smith and Asianae Johnson each added 10 points.

Lauren Jensen scored 22 points to lead Creighton (22-9), which made a run to the regional final last season. Emma Ronsiek scored 21 points, hitting 3 of 6 shots from beyond the arc.

The Bulldogs picked up their second NCAA Tournament victory in Coach Sam Purcell's inaugural season. Mississippi State defeated Illinois in a First Four matchup on Wednesday.

Mississippi State (23-10) will face No. 3 Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

SOUTH CAROLINA 72,

NORFOLK STATE 40

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Zia Cooke scored 11 points as No. 1 South Carolina moved five wins away from a perfect season after opening the women's NCAA Tournament with a victory over No. 16 seed Norfolk State.

Aliyah Boston had 7 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks for the Gamecocks (33-0), who won their 39th consecutive game dating back to last year's NCAA title run and moved to 11-0 in first-round games under coach Dawn Staley. They'll face No. 8 seed South Florida on Sunday for a spot in the Sweet 16 in the Greenville, S.C. Regional.

Kierra Wheeler led Norfolk State with 13 points.

SOUTH FLORIDA 67,

MARQUETTE 65, OT

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu scored 22 points and Elena Tsineke's jumper with 31.2 seconds left in overtime put South Florida ahead for good in a win over Marquette.

The Golden Eagles (22-11) had a final look to win, but Mackenzie Hare's three-pointer went inside the rim and rolled out with a second to play.

The Bulls (27-6), who didn't lead for the game's first 38 minutes, rallied several times including from 47-36 down in regulation to tie their mark for wins in a season.

The lead changed hands six times in overtime, the last on Tsineke's basket.

MARYLAND 93,

HOLY CROSS 61

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Abby Meyers scored 16 points and Diamond Miller added 13 points and eight rebounds as Maryland rolled to a victory over Holy Cross.

The Terrapins (26-6) scored the game's first 14 points and advanced to face seventh-seeded Arizona on Sunday. Maryland was able to give its top players plenty of rest, with Miller, Meyers and Shyanne Sellers each playing a little over half the game.

Sellers had 13 points and eight assists, and Brinae Alexander led Maryland in scoring with 18 points.

Holy Cross (24-9) was led by Simone Foreman's 13 points.

ARIZONA 75,

WEST VIRGINIA 62

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Cate Reese scored 25 points and Esmery Martinez had a double-double against her former team, helping Arizona to a victory over West Virginia.

The Wildcats (22-9) started fast and never trailed. Arizona entered the tournament on a three-game losing streak, but had a couple weeks off before this matchup.

The Wildcats seemed refreshed early on, shooting 72% from the floor in the first quarter. West Virginia was holding opponents to 61 points per game this season, but Arizona looked ready to breeze past that after just one quarter and a 28-17 lead.

The Mountaineers (19-12) eventually settled in. It was a seven-point game at halftime, and Arizona's lead was down to three early in the third. Wildcats guard Shaina Pellington picked up her third and fourth fouls a few seconds apart in the third, but after two free throws by West Virginia made it 42-39, Arizona eventually pulled away again.

JJ Quinerly led West Virginia with 19 points.

NOTRE DAME 82,

SOUTHERN UTAH 56

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Forward Maddy Westbeld scored 20 points and led Notre Dame (26-5) to a win over Southern Utah.

Guard Sonia Citron chipped in 14 points and a season-high six assists. The team's leading scorer, she transitioned into the team's primary facilitator with second-team Associated Press All-American guard Olivia Miles out the remainder of the season with an undisclosed knee injury.

Lauren Ebo had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Megan Jensen led Southern Utah (23-10) with 11 points.

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