Women’s NCAA tournament 2022 – Reseeding the round of 32

The 68-team field has been cut to 32 in the 2022 women’s NCAA tournament. Each of the No. 1 seeds had an easy ride into the second round. The top four seeds in each region are still alive, but for teams such as the No. 3 seed LSU Tigers and the fourth-seeded Arizona Wildcats and Oklahoma Sooners, it wasn’t by much. That doesn’t mean everything is going by form. Six double-digit seeds have moved onto the second round. That’s as many as the last two NCAA tournaments combined.

This has been a resurgent year for the Big 12 and the league’s 6-0 record over the first two days has confirmed it. By contrast, the SEC, the highest-rated conference in the country all season, went 4-4. The Kentucky Wildcats and Ole Miss Lady Rebels were two SEC casualties to upsets.

All of this makes reseeding the women’s NCAA tournament not only a fun exercise, but almost a necessity. The Kansas Jayhawks were as impressive as any Big 12 team and are one team that earned an adjustment. The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles should never have been a No. 12 seed in the first place. The Belmont Bruins are now a first-round winner for the second year in a row. And the Creighton Bluejays’ offense made people take notice, too. Now we can fix those seeds.

Follow this link for a complete look at Sunday’s schedule and Monday’s games, which are all on the ESPN family of networks. Visit this link to check your Women’s Tournament Challenge bracket. Through the first 32 games, two brackets remain perfect.

No. 1 seeds

South Carolina Gamecocks
Original Seed: No. 1 overall
First round: Defeated No. 16 Howard 79-21

Playing South Carolina was a tough enough task for Howard. Having to play a Gamecocks team that had been stewing for 11 days about a loss in its last game made the mountain even taller. That’s at least part of the reason South Carolina put its arms around this game and squeezed. Howard had four points at halftime. Any focus the Gamecocks seemed to lack in the fourth quarter of their SEC tournament championship game loss to Kentucky was back. Granted, an SEC power against the MEAC champ isn’t the perfect litmus test for a title contender, but only allowing 21 points — the fewest in a women’s game in NCAA tournament history — over 40 minutes means South Carolina was locked in. That is enough of a takeaway for a team that plans to be playing two weekends from now.

Up next: vs. Miami (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ABC)

Stanford Cardinal
Original Seed: No. 1
First round: Defeated No. 16 Montana State 78-37

Fran Belibi dunked. The Cardinal pitched a shutout in the first quarter. Stanford could essentially name the score. It was exactly what a No. 1 seed is supposed to do to a No. 16: Never give them a chance. No one on Stanford’s roster had a huge game — Hannah Jump led the way with 15 points — and Haley Jones only shot 2-of-9 from the field, but in typical Stanford fashion it was dominance by teamwork (20 assists on 29 field goals) and execution. Twelve different Cardinal players scored and they had a 56-33 rebounding advantage. Cameron Brink led on the glass with 11 rebounds to go with 11 points. Pick a statistical category and Stanford made it lopsided. The Cardinal looked every bit as good as their 21-game winning streak suggests.

Up next: vs. Kansas (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

NC State Wolfpack
Original Seed: No. 1
First round: Defeated No. 16 Longwood 96-68

Notorious slow starter NC State even needed some time to get going against No. 16 seed Longwood, leading by just four midway through the second quarter. Then a 17-0 run, highlighted by a pair of Diamond Johnson 3-pointers, put the Wolfpack in control. It was pretty much cruise control from that point for NC State, which has now reached the second round in four consecutive tournaments after going 10 years without an NCAA tournament victory.

Up next: vs. Kansas State (Monday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Louisville Cardinals
Original Seed: No. 1
First round: Defeated No. 16 Albany 83-51

After an ACC tournament quarterfinal loss, the Cardinals hadn’t played in two weeks. Rust? Not even a little. Louisville made shots early and often against the physically inferior Great Danes. Louisville shot 52.4% from the field and had 44 points in the paint, and coach Jeff Walz didn’t have to play anyone over 25 minutes. The Cardinals might be the most rested team in the tournament heading to the second round. The best sign of all might be that Hailey Van Lith continues to show that her struggles from the first half of the season are a thing of the past. She has averaged 17. 6 points per game in her last nine, including 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting against Albany.

Up next: vs. Gonzaga (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)


No. 2 seeds

Baylor Bears
Original Seed: No. 2
First round: Defeated No. 15 Hawai’i 89-49

For 20 minutes, Baylor couldn’t quite shake the Big West champion. Then came the third quarter. The defense went to another level and the Bears’ physical superiority took over. Baylor made 12 field goals, six of which were from point-blank range, en route to a 34-8 quarter and a 35-point lead. Hawai’i was 3-of-20 from the field in the third. NaLyssa Smith’s usual brilliance was on display with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Jordan Lewis’ 7-for-8 shooting and 23 points was a good sign as coach Nicki Collen got her first NCAA tournament win.

Up next: vs. South Dakota (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

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UConn rolls through Mercer in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament, 83-38.

UConn Huskies
Original Seed: No. 2
First round: Defeated No. 15 Mercer 83-38

It was UConn basketball the way we usually see it against an inferior opponent: methodical and overpowering. The Huskies never let Mercer breathe, especially in the second half when the Bears scored only 15 points (and none in the third quarter). Much has been made of the return of Paige Bueckers (12 points, five assists) and getting the entire rotation of talented players back healthy, but defense is fueling the Huskies. Only one of UConn’s last nine opponents has scored over 50 points (51 by Marquette), and six didn’t hit 40. Mercer shot just 23.2% from the field and committed 18 turnovers. That’s why it’s just fine that Christyn Williams was the leading scorer for the Huskies with 13 points.

Up next: vs. UCF (Monday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Texas Longhorns
Original Seed: No. 2
First round: Defeated No. 15 Fairfield 70-52

The Longhorns have one formula for success and it begins and ends with their defense. The Stags were game, even outscoring Texas in the second half, but 22 turnovers and a 10-rebound deficit on the boards were just too much to overcome. Those extra possessions helped the Longhorns overcome 43.1% shooting and 10 missed free throws. An 18-point, 10 rebound performance from freshman Aaliyah Moore was a huge boost. She didn’t have a double-double all season. Rori Harmon’s 11 assists were also key.

Up next: vs. Utah (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Iowa Hawkeyes
Original Seed: No. 2
First round: Defeated No. 15 Illinois State 98-58

Even a slow start couldn’t stop Iowa from scoring 98 points. The Hawkeyes simply relied on what they do best: put the ball in the basket at a high rate of efficiency. The national leader in field goal percentage made 60% of its shots. Iowa also made 21 of 22 free throws and is trying to be the first team since UConn in 2016 to lead the country in both categories for a season. Monika Czinano didn’t miss a shot (6-for-6 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line) and Caitlin Clark’s stat line of 27 points, 10 rebounds and 6 rebounds would be spectacular if she wasn’t making those kinds of games so routine.

Up next: vs. Creighton (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ABC)


No. 3 seeds

Indiana Hoosiers
Original Seed: No. 3
First round: Defeated No. 14 Charlotte 85-51

The sputtering that Indiana was experiencing at the end of the regular season seems a long time ago now. The Hoosiers lost three in a row and four of five before a run to the Big Ten tournament final seemed to get things back on track. It’s official now after the convincing and thorough domination of the 49ers on Saturday. Only one Hoosier failed to make at least half of her shots (Nicole Cardano-Hillary was 3-of-8) and they never let Charlotte believe for a moment this would be competitive. This also marked the ninth game that Mackenzie Holmes has been back after recovering from a knee injury. Her 19 points and eight rebounds is her best performance in that time.

Up next: vs. Princeton (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Michigan Wolverines
Original Seed: No. 3
First round: Defeated No. 14 American 74-39

Michigan’s defense had been uncharacteristically inconsistent toward the end of the season. Perhaps the long layoff is what the Wolverines needed. More than two weeks have passed since they lost in the Big Ten quarterfinals, and all that saved energy went into stifling the Eagles. The offense took a few minutes to get started as Michigan hosted NCAA tournament games for the first time, but the defense was ready to go from the outset. American scored 13 first-half points and the Eagles’ 39 for the game were the fewest the Wolverines had allowed this season. Naz Hillmon’s 24 points and 11 rebounds were her 15th double-double of the season.

Up next: vs. Villanova (Monday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

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LSU advances thanks to a late 3-pointer from Khayla Pointer.

LSU Tigers
Original Seed: No. 3
First round: Defeated No. 14 Jackson State 83-77

Kim Mulkey might not sleep well Saturday. Her Tigers led by 17 and looked on their way to a routine first-round victory when Jackson State, which entered the NCAA tournament with a nation-best 21-game winning streak, transformed into a near giant killer. The Lady Tigers, who played confidently all day and never backed down to LSU, went on a 24-5 run to take the lead, and they were still on top with 2:44 left in the game. Sparked by two baskets by Khayla Pointer, LSU finished on a 10-3 run. Only then could the heavily favored Tigers take a deep breath. Pointer, who is the key to the Tigers’ tournament success, finished with 25 points.

Up next: vs. Ohio State (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Iowa State Cyclones
Original Seed: No. 3
First round: Defeated No. 14 UT Arlington 78-71

No top-four seed and none of the four Big 12 teams in action Friday had a tougher time than the Cyclones. Despite Ashley Joens’ 36 points and 15 rebounds, Iowa State needed a fourth-quarter rally and some key plays by Emily Ryan down the stretch to hold off UT Arlington. The Cyclones didn’t even play poorly; credit the Lady Mavs, who outperformed their seed. Starr Jacobs, the Sun Belt Player of the Year, who started her career at Houston before going the junior college route for two years, showed that she is a Power 5 talent with 19 points. Joens, Ryan and Lexi Donarski played all 40 minutes, which could be something to watch in what should be a physical game against Georgia.

Up next: vs. Georgia (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)


No. 4 seeds

Maryland Terrapins
Original Seed: No. 4
First round: Defeated No. 13 Delaware 102-71

It remains hard to believe that a Maryland team that led the nation in scoring a season ago and was sixth this year could have a three-game stretch in which it only averaged 59 points. Yet that’s what happened in the Terps’ final three games of the season. There had to be some concern from coach Brenda Frese, but the Maryland team she better recognizes returned Friday. All five starters scored in double figures and the Terps shot nearly 60%. Ashley Owusu, who had been bothered by injury and ineffectiveness for much of February, looked like her old self again with 24 points on an efficient 10-of-14 shooting, with six assists.

Up next: vs. Florida Gulf Coast (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Tennessee Lady Volunteers
Original Seed: No. 4
First round: Defeated No. 13 Buffalo 80-67

Tennessee played to its strengths, and it paid dividends. Buffalo could score right with the Lady Vols, but the Bulls couldn’t rebound with Tennessee. That was the difference. The Lady Vols, fourth in the country in rebounding rate, just kept pounding the glass. The 55-38 advantage Tennessee had on the boards led to a 21-6 difference in made free throws. Tamari Key and Alexus Dye each had 11 rebounds to go with a combined 34 points. The Lady Vols will hang on to their No. 4 seed despite still not having leading scorer Jordan Horston back, and continuing to have turnover problems with another 19 on Saturday. They rank 325th in the country in total turnovers.

Up next: vs. Belmont (Monday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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Shaina Pellington goes left and puts up an assertive and-1 bucket

Arizona Wildcats
Original Seed: No. 4
First round: Defeated No. 13 UNLV 72-67

The final score did not indicate the angst that was felt in Tucson. The Wildcats pulled away late in the fourth quarter, one of the few top-four seeds close to losing in the first round. UNLV, a sizeable underdog, led for much of the game and as late as eight minutes left. Shaina Pellington and her 30 points saved Arizona, playing in its first NCAA tournament home game. The Wildcats also welcomed back Cate Reese after she missed four games at the end of the season with a shoulder injury. Her 16 points were also crucial in disposing of a UNLV team that outshot and outrebounded Arizona.

Up next: vs. North Carolina (Monday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Oklahoma Sooners
Original Seed: No. 4
First round: Defeated No. 13 IUPUI 76-72

The Sooners’ biggest weakness all season has been interior defense, so IUPUI’s Macee Williams, a 65% shooter from the field and an 18.7 PPG scorer, posed a problem. Williams was solid, but Oklahoma largely kept her in check. Williams finished with 15 points, which fell short of the 21 points of Oklahoma’s own Madi Williams. She and Taylor Robertson once again led the Sooners, who are in the second round for the first time in five years. The Oklahoma-Notre Dame meeting in round two figures to be an entertaining, offensive shootout.

Up next: vs. Notre Dame (Monday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2)


No. 5 seeds

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Original Seed: No. 5
First round: Defeated No. 12 UMass 89-78

A triple-double from Olivia Miles, 58.7% shooting and 38-22 advantage on the boards — and Notre Dame still couldn’t shake UMass until the closing minutes. That’s because the Minutewomen’s offense was almost as good at that of the Irish, especially with 31 points from Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Sam Breen. Miles had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists for the second NCAA tournament triple-double in Notre Dame history (Skylar Diggins had the other, in 2012) and Dara Mabrey hit five shots from 3-point range for an Irish team that continues to rely on its offense.

Up next: vs. Oklahoma (Monday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

North Carolina Tar Heels
Original Seed: No. 5
First round: Defeated No. 12 Stephen F. Austin 79-66

North Carolina coach Courtney Banghart warned that SFA, with its up-tempo, pressing style, was going to be tough to play against. For three quarters, it looked like this could be another double-digit seed pulling an upset. Then came the fourth quarter. With Deja Kelly scoring nine of her 28 points in the final 10 minutes, North Carolina outscored the Ladyjacks 25-10 to get out of the first round for the first time since 2015. This was the second straight year SFA played right with an ACC team in the NCAA tournament. The Ladyjacks took Georgia Tech to overtime last March.

Up next: vs. Arizona (Monday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Ohio State Buckeyes
Original Seed: No. 6
First round: Defeated No. 11 Missouri State 63-56

With a late spurt, the Buckeyes survived Missouri State in a game in which they were out-rebounded 51-33 and made 5 of 20 3-pointers. A 23-6 run at the end of the first half, fueled by a relentless full-court press, and a 13-6 finish were the differences in a game that was otherwise well controlled by the Bears. If Missouri State had done a better job protecting the ball, it would be the first team to have participated in the First Four to win a second game. Ohio State turned 22 turnovers into 25 points. Jacy Sheldon’s five steals were a big part of that; she hit a handful of layups off those steals on her way to a game-high 25 points.

Up next: vs. LSU (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Georgia Lady Bulldogs
Original Seed: No. 6
First round: Defeated No. 11 Dayton 70-54

Dayton made 17 3-pointers in the First Four game against DePaul. Georgia only allowed the Flyers to shoot 6-of-18 from deep. The Lady Dogs’ defense was on another level. Georgia didn’t do anything special on offense, essentially playing right at its expected output. That was enough to control the game nearly from start to finish. Coach Joni Taylor turned to her veterans in key moments. Que Morrison and Jenna Staiti combined for 35 points and 16 rebounds as Georgia won an NCAA tournament game for the third time under Taylor. She has yet to get past the second round.

Up next: vs. Iowa State (Sunday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)


No. 6 seeds

Utah Utes
Original Seed: No. 7
First round: Defeated No. 10 Arkansas 92-69

The Utes won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 2009 and did it in emphatic fashion. Given the quality of the opponent and magnitude of the moment, Utah had its most impressive and efficient offensive game of the season. The Razorbacks, who typically rely on their own shooting abilities, had no answer for the young Utes’ proficiency from deep. Sophomore Kennady McQueen and freshman Gianna Kneepkens combined to make 9 of 12 3-pointers, and Utah was never seriously challenged.

Up next: vs. Texas (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET, ESPN)

UCF Knights
Original Seed: No. 7
First round: Defeated No. 10 Florida 69-52

It sounds strange to say, but Florida doesn’t see defense like the Knights’ in the SEC. The Gators only shot 30% from the field without injured Kiki Smith. Florida didn’t have its primary scorer and creator to penetrate a defense that allows a nation-lowest 47.5 points per game. And losing center Faith Dut late in the first half was too much to overcome. Throw in the offense of Brittney Smith, whose 26 points were a career high, and UCF had its first win over the Gators (it was 0-26 previously) and first NCAA tournament win in program history.

Up next: vs. UConn (Monday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Kansas Jayhawks
Original Seed: No. 8
First round: Defeated No. 9 Georgia Tech 77-58

The Yellow Jackets ran out of gas. Kansas was there to take full advantage, handing Georgia Tech its worst loss of the season. Playing with a six- or seven-player rotation for most of the second half of the season, Georgia Tech ended the year losing five of its last seven. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks won their first NCAA tournament game since 2013, outscoring the Yellow Jackets 64-36 over the final three quarters. Just like they have been doing all year, the Jayhawks did it with defense and offensive balance. Georgia Tech shot 38.7% and four Kanas players scored in double figures, led by Holly Kersgieter’s 19 points.

Up next: vs. Stanford (Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Miami Hurricanes
Original Seed: No. 8
First round: Defeated No. 9 South Florida 78-66

If Kate Meier gets her Hurricanes to the NCAA tournament, she’s a good bet to play a second game. Miami is now 6-3 in first-round games under the 17-year head coach. The Hurricanes have multiple ways to win. Against USF, leading scorer Kelsey Marshall only got 10 field goal attempts and 12 points, but Miami’s bench contributed 29 points. In its ACC tournament run, all three of Miami’s wins included erasing second-half deficits. On Friday it was about a fast start. Miami took a 24-11 lead after 10 minutes and simply answered any South Florida spurt the rest of the game.

Up next: vs. South Carolina (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ABC)


No. 7 seeds

Gonzaga Bulldogs
Original Seed: No. 9
First round: Defeated No. 8 Nebraska 68-55

The Bulldogs have found the right time of year to be playing their best basketball. After being blown out twice by BYU this season, Gonzaga delivered a much better performance against the Cougars in the WCC tournament championship game to win the title. The Bulldogs went to yet another level against the Cornhuskers, who could never break through after Gonzaga scored the first six points of the second half. Kayleigh Truong scored 20 points, but more importantly controlled the game from her point guard spot.

Up next: vs. Louisville (Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles
Original Seed: No. 12
First round: Defeated No. 5 Virginia Tech 84-81

A No. 7 seed is closer to where the Eagles should have been in the first place. Virginia Tech got a tough break from the committee having to play a team in the first round that was completely overqualified for a 12-seed. And the game played out that way. FGCU led the country in 3-point shooting and made 15 against the Hokies. The Eagles knew they had no answer for center Elizabeth Kitley, who went off for a career-high 42 points, but FCGU mitigated that disadvantage by only committing three turnovers. Each team played to its strengths and the Eagles were just a little bit better. It also helps to have an all-around talent like Kierstan Bell to turn to when the offense breaks down and that 3-pointer is unavailable. Bell, who finished with a team-high 22 points, turned a brilliant individual move into a layup that gave FGCU a 76-74 lead, one that the Eagles never relinquished.

Up next: vs. Maryland (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Creighton Bluejays
Original Seed: No. 10
First round: Defeated No. 7 Colorado 84-74

Colorado has a top-30 rated defense, according to Her Hoops Stats. The Bluejays’ motion offense carved it up. The only time this season the Buffs allowed anything close to the 84 points Creighton put on the board was when Oregon scored 86, but it took double overtime for the Ducks to get there. That isn’t too surprising. Jim Flanery’s teams run offenses that create good shots, and he brings in players like Emma Ronsiek (14.8 PPG) and Lauren Jensen (43.7% on 3-pointers) who can make them. The Bluejays are fifth in the nation in points per 100 possessions. Iowa, their next opponent (and where Jensen began her career), leads the country in that category.

Up next: vs. Iowa (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ABC)

South Dakota Coyotes
Original Seed: No. 10
First round: Defeated No. 7 Ole Miss 75-61

South Dakota seniors Chloe Lamb, Hannah Sjerven and Liv Korngable decided to return for their extra year to take one more shot at the program’s first NCAA tournament win. Mission accomplished. The Coyotes led wire-to-wire, dicing up the Rebels’ defense to the tune of 55.8% shooting. Lamb and Sjerven each scored 20 points. A defense that was 10th in the country in points allowed per game was just as effective against an SEC opponent as it has been against the Summit League. Coach Dawn Plitzuweit’s strategy rendered Ole Miss star Shakira Austin a nonfactor. The 6-foot-5 Austin had just nine points on 3 of 16 shooting, despite her size advantage.

Up next: vs. Baylor (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2)


No. 8 seeds

Kansas State Wildcats
Original Seed: No. 9
First round: Defeated No. 8 Washington State 50-40

Kansas State star center Ayoka Lee had three touches in the first half and the Wildcats’ offense was stumbling with just 17 points. Adjustments were made. The ball found Lee far more in the second half. The offense never exploded, but Lee finished with 15 rebounds and 20 points, half of which came from the free throw line, as the Wildcats advanced for the first time since 2017. Neither team will put this one in their archives. Kansas State shot 26.7% from the field and was the more accurate of the two. Those struggles are why, despite all the upsets, Kansas State stays put as a No. 8 seed.

Up next: vs. NC State (Monday, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Princeton Tigers
Original Seed: No. 11
First round: Defeated No. 6 Kentucky 69-62

With 10 straight wins, Kentucky came in hot. Princeton was hotter. The Tigers have won 18 in a row after beating the Wildcats. The seeds say upset, but Princeton was the better team for much of this game. Abby Meyers’ career-high 29 points was the most from an Ivy League player in the NCAA tournament since 2000. While the Tigers committed 19 turnovers, they ran their offense precisely at all the right times and never let the Wildcats within a single possession the entire fourth quarter. Rhyne Howard’s Kentucky career ends on just 4 of 14 shooting and 17 points.

Up next: vs. Indiana (Monday, 8 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Villanova Wildcats
Original Seed: No. 11
First round: Defeated No. 6 BYU 61-57

Nothing about the Wildcats will wow you. They are just hard to play against. Whether it was under Harry Perretta for 42 years or Denise Dillon now, Villanova runs a disciplined offense, makes open shots and doesn’t make many mistakes. BYU became the latest casualty of that Saturday and was the first of two No. 6 seeds to fall. Maddy Siegrist (Big East) got the better of Shaylee Gonzales (WCC) in a matchup of conference players of the year with 25 points. The Wildcats’ defense also rose to the occasion and held Gonzales to just eight points on 3-of-14 shooting.

Up next: vs. Michigan (Monday, 6 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Belmont Bruins
Original Seed: No. 12
First round: Defeated No. 5 Oregon 73-70, 2OT

The Bruins played Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Ole Miss and UCF this season. They also won a first-round game last March as a No. 12 seed. They were as prepared for the NCAA tournament as any mid-major could be, and it paid off once again. Last year Belmont took down Gonzaga. This time around might have been more impressive. The Ducks were coming off four straight trips to at least the Sweet 16. The Bruins survived despite having no answer for Nyara Sabally (31 points, 12 rebounds) and giving up 40 points in the paint. Twelve 3-pointers helped. Tuti Jones made all four of her shots from deep and finished with 22 points.

Up next: vs. Tennessee (Monday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN)

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