Oklahoma State Routs Syracuse 84-57 In Opening Round
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Freshman Jaden Hobbs scored a career-high 27 points, Loryn Goodwin and Kaylee Jensen added 19 and No. 9 seed Oklahoma State beat No. 8 Syracuse 84-57 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
The 5-foot-8 Hobbs made 8 of 9 3-point attempts, blowing the game open single-handedly by making four 3-pointers in quick succession late in the third quarter.
Oklahoma State (21-10) ended the first half on an 11-0 run to take a 40-32 halftime lead. The rally was punctuated in the final seconds by a perfect pass from Goodwin to Maria Castro, who made a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded.
The Cowgirls never trailed again, thanks to solid defense and Hobbs, who had never scored more than 12 points in a college game before Saturday. Oklahoma State shot 13 of 23 (56 percent) from 3-point range.
Syracuse (22-9) scored 22 points in an entertaining first quarter but struggled on offense after that initial burst. Once Hobbs went her 3-point shooting spree, the Orange had no answer and quickly fell behind.
Syracuse was led by Miranda Drummond, who scored 24 points on 8 of 16 shooting, including 7 of 12 from 3-point range.
Oklahoma State: The Cowgirls did a good job of slowing down Syracuse's fast-paced offense and now will probably get another shot to take down Mississippi State, which has to play Nicholls State later Saturday. Oklahoma State played Mississippi State very tough back in December before losing 79-76. It was the Bulldogs' smallest margin of victory during their 32-game winning streak to start the season.
Syracuse: The Orange started fast, but their offense bogged down against Oklahoma State's defense starting in the second quarter. Tiana Mangakahia, who led the team in scoring and assists this season, was limited to just eight points and seven assists and had six turnovers.
Oklahoma State faces the winner of Mississippi State and Nicholls State on Monday in the second round.