Highlights from the first night of second-round play in the women's NCAA tournament:
• No. 1 Stanford 96 - No. 8 Iowa 67
It was a home crowd for the Cardinal and for senior Rosalyn Gold-Onwude, who put on a 26-point show in her final home game. Nnemkadi Ogwumike added 23 points, and Stanford rolled despite leaving Iowa's Kachine Alexander to her own devices. Alexander amassed 27 points and led the team in steals, assists, and blocks in a valiant one-woman effort, but Stanford has five who can score just like her. And speaking of those five, they're about all we're seeing right now. Stanford's doing it all with the starters -- only two bench players even scored points for the Cardinal. All five starters scored in double figures; all logged at least 23 minutes on the court, and three played at least 30. It's a strategy that's working for them so far, and with the dangerously balanced UConn way over on the other side of the bracket, it's something they might not even have to worry about changing up until the finals.
• No. 7 Gonzaga 72 - No. 2 Texas A&M 71
The first of Monday's two upsets was sweet bracket revenge for Gonzaga. A day after their men's team was steamrolled by Syracuse, the ladies kept it alive by taking out perhaps the weakest 2-seed from the parity-packed Big 12. The Aggies trailed for most of the game, at times by as much as 13 points. By the time Gonzaga star Courtney Vandersloot fouled out, it was almost a relief -- she turned the ball over eleven times between tipoff and the bench. Vivian Frieson filled in the stat sheet admirably, leading both teams in crucuial categories including 23 points and nine rebounds.
• No. 5 Georgia 74 - No. 4 Oklahoma State 71
Oklahoma State survived the first round without the suspended Andrea Riley, but stumbled upon her return in the second -- Riley racked up 31 ultimately futile points in her final outing as a Cowgirl and missed what would have been the game-tying shot in overtime. Georgia's freshman Jasmine James is fast becoming a holy terror, notching 27 points and ten rebounds. Georgia's other double-double came courtesy of Angel Robinson, with 16 points and 15 rebounds. The Lady Dawgs can't get too comfortable with their upset win, not while staring down a Sweet 16 date with Stanford, a game that for nonpartisan observers may be the most strategically interesting third-round matchup. Georgia employs the same strict no-bench-players policy as the Cardinal, with four starters logging at least 40 minutes in last night's action. Next weekend's matchup may be decided purely on conditioning.
• No. 4 Baylor 49 - No. 5 Georgetown 33
Yes, this was a complete game, albeit a wretched one. If you tuned out after Georgetown's first basket seven and a half minutes in, nobody blames you and you weren't missing much. No Hoya players in double figures anywhere, and only one Lady Bear -- Morghan Medlock, with 11 points and 16 rebounds. The hallmark of this game was minutes-long stretches of scorelessness punctuated by exasperatingly frequent Baylor turnovers. Brittney Griner did set a tournament record for blocked shots with 14; we'll find out on Saturday whether Baylor's 6'8 monster can slow down Tennessee's scoreboard-pummeling game.
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