Tennessee is eyeing a big run in the NCAA Tournament, and this was no time to get sentimental.
Meighan Simmons scored 20 points and the second-seeded Lady Volunteers gave their coach a victory over the school where she played, beating 15th-seeded Tennessee-Martin 72-49 Saturday in the first round.
“Pat Summitt’s a competitor. She plays her mother in checkers, she’s going to want to beat Miss Hazel,” Tennessee associate head coach Holly Warlick said, referring to Summitt’s mom, Hazel Head. “Pat has a love for UT Martin. She’s a competitor and wants to win. She was focused totally on us.”
Glory Johnson added 14 points and 12 rebounds as Tennessee (25-8) pulled away in the second half. The Lady Vols set up a meeting with DePaul on Monday, hoping for their first Final Four run since winning the championship in 2008.
DEPAUL 59, BRIGHAM YOUNG 55
In Rosemont, Ill., Anna Martin led a balanced attack with 17 points as DePaul (23-10) held off a late Brigham Young rally.
BYU (26-7) fought back from a late eight-point deficit and had a chance to tie with 2.8 seconds to play. But Haley Steed’s 3 point try missed, DePaul rebounded and Steed fouled Brittany Hrynko. Hyrnko added a free throw and closed with 15 points.
TEXAS A&M 69, ALBANY 47
In College Station, Texas, Tyra White scored 18 points in her return from injury and defending national champion Texas A&M (23-10) used a big second half run to pull away from Albany (23-10).
White had missed the past three games with a left foot injury. She got going early, scoring 12 points in the first half, and added four points and a steal in a decisive second-half run.
The Aggies are making their school-record seventh consecutve tournament appearance and Albany was in the tournament for the first time.
ARKANSAS 72, DAYTON 55
In College Station, Texas, Quistelle Williams scored 15 points, Keira Peak and Lyndsay Harris added 14 apiece and Arkansas (24-8) rallied from an early deficit to defeat Dayton (23-7).
C’eira Ricketts had 13 points and five assists for the Razorbacks (24-8), who finished the game with a 20-2 run after trailing by as many as 14 in the first half.
MARYLAND 59, NAVY 44
In College Park, Md., Alyssa Thomas had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 2 seed Maryland past in-state foe Navy.
Laurin Mincy scored 14 for Maryland (29-4), which pulled away after leading 31-23 at halftime.
LOUISVILLE 67, MICHIGAN STATE 55
In College Park, Md., Becky Burke scored 14 points and Shawnta’ Dyer had 13 to help Louisville (23-9) beat Michigan State (20-12).
The game marked the return of Louisville coach Jeff Walz to College Park. Walz was an assistant on the Terrapins’ national title team in 2006 before taking the top job with the Cardinals in 2007.