Missouri State women advance in NCAA Tournament
SAN ANTONIO — Brice Calip had 18 points and Missouri State used a huge third-quarter run to beat UC Davis 70-51 in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Monday night.
Jasmine Franklin added 17 points and 17 rebounds, helping No. 5 seed Missouri State dominate inside.
Missouri State will face No. 13 Wright State on Wednesday after it advanced with an upset win against Arkansas.
The Lady Bears (22-2) are in the tournament for the 16th time. They are making their second straight appearance after reaching the Sweet 16 in 2019.
They have won 18 straight for their longest streak since they also won 18 in a row from Dec. 2003-Feb. 2004.
Evanne Turner, Cierra Hall and Kayla Konrad each made a 3-pointer to open the third quarter and put No. 12 seed UC Davis up 34-33.
The Lady Bears scored their first points of the half on a layup by Sydney Wilson with about 7½ minutes left in the third. That started a 16-0 run by Missouri State that made it 49-34 entering the fourth.
The Aggies couldn't do anything right after their hot start to the quarter, missing seven shots and committing four turnovers as Missouri State built the lead.
Missouri State coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton admitted to getting after her team a bit after the Aggies took the lead.
"I needed to wake us up a little bit," she said. "I had to remind them we only had one game on our schedule. We've been on this magical journey and we didn't want to end that."
Franklin said Agugua-Hamilton's words got them going.
"We knew we were going to play or we're going to lose," she said. "It's a long way home and we weren't trying to go home so we knew we had to finish the game out."
Missouri State made a free throw early in the fourth quarter before UC Davis finally ended its scoring drought with a 3-pointer by Konrad with nine minutes remaining.
"Before the game we said we've got to try to limit their posts, easy post catches, and we have to rebound," UC Davis coach Jennifer Gross said. "And it wasn't for lack of effort. ... I really applaud our kids. They battled, they pushed, the shoved. The ball just didn't go our way."
UC Davis (13-3) won the Big West regular season and tournament titles to make its third trip to the tournament and second in a row. The Aggies were led by Turner's 16 points.
Missouri State had a 15-point lead midway through the second quarter before UC Davis discovered its offense. Hall made two 3-pointers to power an 11-0 run, but Missouri State scored the last four points of the quarter to take a 33-25 lead into halftime.
FIRST ONE'S SPECIAL
It was the first tournament victory as a head coach for Agugua-Hamilton, who is in her second season with the Lady Bears after six years as an assistant at Michigan State.
"It's special," she said. "I don't take anything for granted. Everything I do is for these players and I'm glad we got this win together."
ODDS & ENDS
The Aggies made 13 3-pointers. ... Missouri State had 13 steals. ... The Lady Bears' bench outscored UC Davis reserves 26-0. ... Missouri State had 32 points in the paint to just six by UC Davis.