Sweet 16: Game­cocks open with 16-0 run in win

SOUTH CAROLINA 100, QUIN­NIP­IAC 58

The Washington Post Sunday - - NCAA TOURNAMENT - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Kaela Davis, A’ja Wilson and top-seeded South Carolina over­pow­ered NCAA tour­na­ment sur­prise Quin­nip­iac from the open­ing tip, scor­ing the first 16 points and ad­vanc­ing to the Stockton (Calif.) Re­gion fi­nal with a 100-58 vic­tory Satur­day.

Davis scored 28 points with five three-point­ers, Wilson added 24 points, and South Carolina’s ath­leti­cism and smoth­er­ing, swarm­ing de­fense were just too much for 12th-seeded Quin­nip­iac on the round of 16 stage.

The Bob­cats started out 0 for 10 and took more than seven min­utes to score as they strug­gled to get shots off, let alone es­tab­lish their typ­i­cally pro­lific perime­ter game.

“It doesn’t mat­ter what name is on the [other team’s] jersey. We come out to play. Ob­vi­ously they had a good run, but we’ve still got a mis­sion to com­plete, and that’s to make it to the Fi­nal Four and na­tional cham­pi­onship,” Al­lisha Gray said.

South Carolina (30-4) won its eighth in a row, putting Coach Dawn Sta­ley’s team in the round of eight for the sec­ond time in three years.

The Bob­cats (29-7) had won 12 straight games. That in­cluded beat­ing fifth-seeded Mar­quette and No. 4 Mi­ami for the first two NCAA tour­na­ment wins in school his­tory.

The mid-ma­jor school be­came an up­set dar­ling as Con­necti­cut’s other team, prompt­ing U-Conn. Coach Geno Auriemma to wear a Quin­nip­iac T-shirt on Fri­day be­neath his warmup jacket in sup­port of friend and Coach Tri­cia Fab­bri and her pro­gram.

Gray had 19 points and eight re­bounds for South Carolina. She was fine after get­ting car­ried off the court late in a 71-68 come­back win against Ari­zona State last Sun­day be­cause of a ham­string cramp that ini­tially was feared to be more se­ri­ous.

Sta­ley’s team opened the third quar­ter on an 11-2 run and cap­i­tal­ized on a tech­ni­cal against the Bob­cats’ bench.

Adily Mar­tucci and Jen Fay each scored 12 for Quin­nip­iac.

The Bob­cats had three early turnovers and didn’t score un­til Fay’s two free throws with 2:51 left in the first quar­ter.

FLORIDA STATE 66, OREGON STATE 53: Leti­cia Romero scored 18 points, Shakayla Thomas added 12 points and 11 re­bounds and Ivey Slaugh­ter had nine steals for the third-seeded Semi­noles (28-6) over the No. 2 Beavers (31-5). Florida State will play South Carolina in the re­gion fi­nal on Mon­day.

Re­serve Kol­bie Orum scored 12 points for Oregon State.

RICH PEDRONCELLI/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Al­lisha Gray, cen­ter, and top-seeded South Carolina have won eight games in a row and are aim­ing for the pro­gram’s first na­tional ti­tle.

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