No. 1 Gamecocks open strong on road over No. 5 N.C. State

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Zia Cooke scored 17 points and top-ranked South Carolina never trailed in its 66-57 win over No. 5 North Carolina State on Tuesday night, earning an impressive road win in a marquee season-opening matchup of Final Four contenders.

The Gamecocks scored the first six points and offered a composed response any time the Wolfpack tried to make a move. Cooke paced an offensive team effort that shot 49%, while preseason Associated Press All-American Aliyah Boston controlled the paint and helped shut down Elissa Cunane – N.C. State’s star and the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year.

Boston finished with eight points, six rebounds and five blocks for South Carolina.

Raina Perez and Jakia Brown-Turner were the only Wolfpack players to find any type of offensive rhythm, each finishing with 18 points. Cunane finished with eight points on 4-for-11 shooting with three rebounds despite failing to hit a basket until the third quarter — a major problem for an offense that relies on her as the interior presence surrounded by capable shooters.

NO. 4 MARYLAND 97, LONGWOOD 67

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Angel Reese had 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead Maryland to a win over Longwood.

The Terrapins return all five starters from a season ago, although one of them, guard Diamond Miller, missed this game with knee soreness. Maryland still had five players in double figures. Freshman Shyanne Sellers scored 17 points and Ashley Owusu and Mimi Collins had 16 apiece.

Kyla McMakin scored 22 points for Longwood.

NO. 7 BAYLOR 77, TEXAS STATE 70

WACO, Texas (AP) — Preseason AP All-America forward NaLyssa Smith scored 23 points, Queen Egbo had a double-double and Baylor beat Texas State in the Bears’ first game with new coach Nicki Collen.

Smith scored nine of her points in the fourth quarter, including a three-point play after being fouled on a made putback basket. She followed with a steal that led to a breakaway layup with 1:52 left after the Bobcats got within 73-67 on back-to-back 3-pointers by Da’Nasia Hood.

Egbo finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jordan Lewis had 14 points and seven assists for Baylor, which played its first home game without Kim Mulkey as its coach since February 23, 2000.

Mulkey, who won three national championships and 12 regular-season Big 12 titles in her 21 seasons, left in April and returned to her home state as LSU’s coach. Collen was preparing for her fourth season as head coach of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream when Baylor hired her.

Hood, a preseason All-Sun Belt Conference pick, led Texas State with 20 points, all coming after halftime. Jaeda Reed and Lauryn Thompson each had 10 points.

NO. 9 IOWA 93, NEW HAMPSHIRE 50

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark had 26 points and Monika Czinano added 14 points as Iowa opened the season with a win over New Hampshire.

Clark and Czinano were 1-2 in the nation in field goals last season, and both began this season with strong offensive performances.

Clark, who led the nation in scoring and assists last season, had 17 first-half points despite picking up two first-quarter fouls. The Associated Press preseason All-American made 6 of 10 shots and added eight rebounds and six assists.

Czinano, who led the nation in field-goal percentage last season after finishing second the season before, made 7 of 10 shots and added six rebounds.

McKenna Warnock had 12 points and Tomi Taiwo added 10 for the Hawkeyes.

NO. 11 MICHIGAN 67, IUPUI 62, OT

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Naz Hillmon scored 30 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Leigha Brown added 18 points and Michigan held off IUPUI in overtime.

Hillmon, the consensus Big Ten player of the year last season, scored five points in a 7-0 run to open the extra period and Michigan held on from there.

Brown hit a 3-pointer, made a layup, and converted a three-point play in a 12-2 run to close the second quarter that made it 32-24 at halftime and gave the Wolverines the lead for good.

Rachel McLimore had 21 points, Macee Williams added 17 and Anna Mortag scored 10 for IUPUI.

The Jaguars trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter and trailed 54-45 midway through the fourth. McLimore scored eight points and Williams five during a 13-4 run to close regulation and force overtime.

NO. 12 IOWA STATE 65, OMAHA 38

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Lexi Donarski scored 18 points by making six 3-pointers, Ashley Joens added 15 points and Iowa State beat Omaha.

Donarski, the Big 12 freshman of the year last season, was 6 of 12 from distance and Joens, who led the conference and ranked fifth nationally with 24.2 points per game last season, went 3 for 9. Omaha didn’t make its first 3-pointer until early in the fourth and finished 2 for 10.

Iowa State trailed 12-11 after the first quarter but held Omaha to six points in the second quarter and nine points in the third to build a 45-27 lead.

Emily Ryan tied an Iowa State record with nine steals, joining Tracy Horvath’s mark set in the 1988-89 season. The Cyclones finished with 15 steals, and Omaha turned it over 22 times.

Mariah Murdie led Omaha with 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. The Mavericks were held to 33.3% shooting.

NO. 13 KENTUCKY 81, PRESBYTERIAN 53

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Dre’una Edwards scored 20 points, Treasure Hunt added 18 off the bench and Kentucky overcame a slow start to defeat Presbyterian.

The Blue Hose led 25-15 after one quarter, hitting 9 of 11 shots, but Kentucky’s preseason All-American Rhyne Howard it a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Wildcats on top 38-37 at halftime.

Kentucky then went on to score the first 19 points of the second half, with 10 point from Edwards and four by Howard. It was 67-43 entering the fourth quarter.

Howard finished with 15 points.

Kentucky shot 62.5% in the second half, 52% overall, better than its 8 for 19 performance from the foul line (42%).

Presbyterian was led by Trinity Johnson with 11 points. The Blue Hose shot just 29% in the second half.

NO. 16 FLORIDA STATE 78, NORTH FLORIDA 50

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Bianca Jackson scored 13 points, freshman Makayla Timpson added 10 in her collegiate debut and Florida State beat North Florida.

Morgan Jones added eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists and Valencia Myers had nine points and eight rebounds for Florida State.

Timpson’s layup amid a 13-0 run gave the Seminoles a 10-point lead late in the first quarter and they scored 13 straight points in the second to make it 33-12 with 3:10 left in the half.

Tiffany Tolbert, Jazz Bond and Rhetta Moore each scored 10 points for North Florida.

NO. 17 GEORGIA TECH 74, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 40

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — Digna Strautmane and Derea Hermosa combined for 37 points on 17-of-20 shooting and Georgia Tech rolled over Central Michigan.

Strautmane, a fifth-year player who transferred from Syracuse, was 8 of 10 with two 3-pointers for 19 points and Hermosa went 8 of 10 for 18.

Eylia Love added 15 points for the Yellowjackets, who gave second-year coach Nell Fortner her 200th collegiate win. In addition to stops at Purdue and Auburn, Fortner coach in the WNBA and guided the United States to gold medal in the 2000 Olympics.

Jahari Smith scored 14 points for Central Michigan, which shot just 25.5% (12 of 47).

NO. 21 SOUTH FLORIDA 63, UT RIO GRANDE VALLEY 56

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Elena Tsineke scored 18 points in South Florida’s tight win over UT Rio Grande Valley.

Sydni Harvey added 13 points for the Bulls, with Dulcy Mendjiadeu Fankam adding 10 and Bethy Mununga pulling down 18 rebounds and scoring nine points.

Taylor Muff scored 15 points for the Vaqueros.

NO. 22 ARIZONA 87, CSU NORTHRIDGE 44

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Cate Reese and Aaronette Vonleh both scored 14 points as Arizona coasted over Cal State Northridge.

Vonleh, a freshman, was 5 for 5 in the second quarter when the Wildcats outscored the Matadors 32-13 for a 47-18 halftime lead. Vonleh finished 7 of 8 from the field and led Arizona with six rebounds.

Sam Thomas added 13 points for the Wildcats, who lost to Pac-12 Conference rival Stanford in the NCAA championship game last season. The Wildcats are the first team to make the Final Four after missing the previous 10-plus NCAA Tournaments.

Jordyn Jackson and Kayanna Spriggs each had nine points for Northridge.

NO. 23 TEXAS A&M 87, TEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI 54

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) — Kayla Wells scored 18 points, Jordan Nixon added 17 and Texas A&M started longtime coach Gary Blair’s final season with an win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Nixon and Wells combined for 12 straight Aggie points with a Wells layup, putting the Aggies on top for good 17-15 at 3:27 of the first half. After an exchange of baskets to open the second quarter A&M lead by double figures the rest of the way.

Destiny Pitts added 11 points and Qadashah Hoppie 10 for Texas A&M.

Makinna Serrata and Alecia Westbrook both had 10 for the Islanders, who shot 22% in the second half and 30% for the game, missing all 13 of their 3-point attempts.

NO. 24 VIRGINIA TECH 76, DAVIDSON 57

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) — Aisha Sheppard hit 7-of-10 3-pointers and scored 25 points to lead Virginia Tech over Davidson in the season opener.

Purdue transfer Kayana Taylor added 18 points for the Hokies, who have won 61 straight nonconference home games and eight straight season openers.

Shepherd started a 13-0 run with back-to-back 3-pointers plus two free throws and Traylor ended it with a 3 and a fastbreak layup to give the Hokies a 17-2 lead just past the midpoint of the first quarter.

It was 46-22 at the half and the Wildcats made a little run in the third quarter with a 13-3 surge but never got any closer.

Adelaide Fuller paced the Wildcats with 15 points.

NO. 25 TEXAS 131, NEW ORLEANS 36

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Kydall Hunter hit seven 3-pointers in her collegiate debut and Texas routed New Orleans.

Aliyah Matharu added 18 points, Joanne Allen-Taylor had 15, DeYona Gaston 12 and Latasha Lattimore 11 for the Longhorns. Hunter was 7 of 8 behind the arc and 10 of 13 overall.

The 131 points and 95-point margin of victory were second only to a 135-37 win over Centenary on Dec. 15, 2000.

Brianna Ellis led New Orleans with 19 points.

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