San Francisco Chronicle
Almonor’s hot hand leads Fairleigh Dickinson rout
DAYTON, Ohio — 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 percent and went 1 for 17 from 3point distance.
Fairleigh Dickinson shot 50 percent and advanced to the East Region to play top-seeded Purdue in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday.
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.
Texas Southern missed its first 13 3's before making their first with 4:52 remaining. Their 28.4 percent clip this season from 3-point distance ranks worst in the Southwest Athletic Conference, and Texas Southern missed out on winning its thirdstraight appearance in the First Four.
The Tigers beat Mount St. Mary's in the First Four in 2021 before losing to Michigan in the first round and beat Texas A&MCorpus Christi for an encore in 2022 before losing to eventual NCAA champion Kansas.
First-year Fairleigh Dickinson coach Tobin Anderson turned around a Knights squad that went 4-22 a season ago, helping reach the program's seventh NCAA Tournament and earn just its second victory. Fairleigh Dickinson defeated Prairie View A&M in the First Four in 2019 before losing to No. 1 seed Gonzaga in the first round that season.
Carter, Mississippi St. power past Illinois
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 in South Bend, Ind., to begin the women's 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 percent. Kourtney Weber sank a 3-pointer to cap a 9-1 run to begin the fourth quarter for a 61-39 lead.