For only the third time since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1994, the top seeds went unbeaten on the opening day of the NCAA women’s tournament. In 1997 and 2003 the top teams were undefeated on the first day. In both instances there were two upsets the next day.
It took 18-point second-half rallies by No. 3 Oklahoma State and eighth-seeded Dayton to keep the better seeds unblemished. The huge comeback by the Cowgirls against Chattanooga was the largest halftime rally in the NCAA tournament since 1999, according to STATS.
Duke 72, Hampton 37: Keturah Jackson scored a career-high 13 points to lead the No. 2 seeded Blue Devils (28-5) past the 15th-seeded Pirates (20-12) at Durham, N.C.
Baylor 69, Fresno State 55: Brittney Griner had 18 points and eight rebounds in her NCAA tournament debut, leading the fourth-seeded Bears (24-9) to a victory over the 13th-seeded Bulldogs (27-7) at Berkeley, Calif.
Griner had a low-key night in her second game back from a two-game suspension for punching an opponent. She blocked only two shots and had none of the dunks that made her an Internet sensation as a high schooler.
Georgetown 62, Marist 42: Monica McNutt hit consecutive 3-pointers to start the second half and the fifth-seeded Hoyas (26-6) rolled to a victory over the 12th-seeded Red Foxes (26-8) at Berkeley, Calif., to win the opener in their first NCAA tournament trip in 17 years.
Georgetown is in the tournament for the second time; its other appearance was in 1993.
LSU 60, Hartford 39: LaSondra Barrett scored 20 points to help the seventh-seeded Tigers (21-9) beat the 10th-seeded Hawks (27-5) in the first round at Durham, N.C.
LSU went on an early 17-0 run and was never seriously challenged from there, marking the 12th straight year the Tigers have won at least one tournament game.
Dayton 67, TCU 66: Brittany Wilson scored just before the buzzer, and the eighth-seeded Flyers (25-7) rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat the ninth-seeded Horned Frogs (22-9) at Knoxville, Tenn.
TCU lost for a second straight year to a tournament newcomer.
St. John’s 65, Princeton 47: Da’Shena Stevens scored 19 points, Shenneika Smith added 13 and the sixth-seeded Red Storm (25-6) ran away from the 11th-seeded Tigers (26-3) in the first round at Tallahassee, Fla.
Florida State 75, Louisiana Tech 61: Jacinta Monroe and Courtney Ward each scored 16 points, and the third-seeded Seminoles (27-5) clamped down defensively in the second half to escape with a win over the Lady Techsters (23-9) in Tallahassee, Fla.
Louisiana Tech led by nine after 15 minutes but was outscored by 23 points the rest of the way.
Kansas City regional
Kentucky 83, Liberty 77: A’dia Mathies scored a career-high 32 points to lead the fourth-seeded Wildcats (26-7) to a win over the 13th-seeded Flames (27-6) in Louisville, Ky.
Michigan State 72, Bowling Green 62: Aisha Jefferson scored 17 points to lead the fifth-seeded Spartans (23-9) past the 12th-seeded Falcons (27-7) in the opening round at Louisville, Ky.
Stanford 79, UC Riverside 47: Pac-10 Player of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike had 19 points and 11 rebounds and the top-seeded Cardinal (32-1) rolled into the second round with a victory over the 16th-seeded Highlanders (17-16) at Stanford, Calif.
Texas A&M 84, Portland State 53: Danielle Adams scored 23 points, Tanisha Smith added 17 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, and the second-seeded Aggies (26-7) ran away from the 15th-seeded Vikings (18-15) at Seattle.
Portland State, making its first tournament appearance, led 28-27 late in the first half. Texas A&M (closed the first half on a 12-3 run to take a 39-31 lead, then opened the second half with a 18-6 spurt.
Oklahoma State 70, Chattanooga 63: Toni Young scored 16 of her career-high 22 points in the second half and the fourth-seeded Cowgirls (24-10) rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat the 12th-seeded Lady Mocs (24-9) at Tempe, Ariz.
Oklahoma State was missing the nation’s No. 3 scorer, Andrea Riley, who was suspended by the NCAA for the game because she hit an opponent in the back of the head in the first round two years ago.
Georgia 64, Tulane 59: Ashley Houts scored 22 points and Angel Robinson had 18 points and 13 rebounds to lead the fifth-seeded Lady Bulldogs (24-8) to a victory over the 12th-seeded Green Wave (26-7) at Tempe, Ariz.
Iowa 70, Rutgers 63: Kamille Wahlin shook off a slow start and scored nine straight points in a 2 1/2 -minute span late on the way to 15, and the eighth-seeded Hawkeyes (20-13) beat the ninth-seeded Scarlet Knights (19-15) at Stanford, Calif.