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NCAA women’s tournament: Second-seeded Oregon State survives Long Beach State’s upset bid

UPDATED: Fri., March 17, 2017, 10:59 p.m.

Oregon State’s Mikayla Pivec, left, and Long Beach State’s Madison Montgomery  hit the floor chasing a loose ball during Friday’s first-round game in Corvallis, Oregon. (Timothy J. Gonzalez / Associated Press)
Oregon State’s Mikayla Pivec, left, and Long Beach State’s Madison Montgomery hit the floor chasing a loose ball during Friday’s first-round game in Corvallis, Oregon. (Timothy J. Gonzalez / Associated Press)

Raven Benton and Long Beach State nearly made history.

With 5 seconds left and the 15th-seeded 49ers down by a point, Benton let go on a jumper that she thought looked good. All eyes were on the ball as it hit the back of the basket and bounced away, and second-seeded Oregon State hung on for a 56-55 first-round victory Friday in Stockton Regional play of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament in Corvallis.

A No. 15 seed had never defeated a No. 2 in tournament history.

Afterward, 49ers coach Jody Wynn consoled her near-Cinderella team.

“I told them they deserved to win – and they felt the same way,” Wynn said.

Breanna Brown scored 12 points while Mikayla Pivec and Marie Gulich each added 10 points for Oregon State (30-4), which was also seeded second last season when they made a run to the Final Four.

Benton finished with 17 points Long Beach State (23-11). Madison Montgomery added 15.

The 49ers took over the lead on Jessica Gertz’s 3-pointer with 2:48 left, but Sydney Wiese hit two free throws to put Oregon State back in front 56-55 with 1:07 to go.

Long Beach State tried to manage the clock, but Benton missed a long jumper with 5 seconds left and Anna Kim’s 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the backboard, ending the upset bid.

Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said the story of the game was Long Beach.

“This is a good team,” he said about the 49ers. “You throw seeds out the window.”

(7) Creighton 76, (10) Toledo 49: Marissa Janning had 15 of her 19 points in the first quarter and the Bluejays (24-7) built an early lead and routed the Rockets (25-9) in Corvallis.

(1) South Carolina 90, (16) UNC Asheville 40: Allisha Gray scored 22 points and had 12 rebounds to lead the Gamecocks (28-4) over the Bulldogs (19-15) in Columbia, South Carolina.

(8) Arizona St. 73, (9) Michigan St. 61: Quinn Dornstauder scored 16 points to lead the Sun Devils (20-12) past the Spartans (21-12) in Columbia.

(3) Florida State 87, (14) Western Illinois 66: Shakayla Thomas scored 23 points and the Seminoles (26-6) beat the Leathernecks (26-7) In Tallahassee, Florida.

(6) Missouri 66, (11) South Florida 64: Sierra Michaelis scored 16 points, including the winning basket with 0.6 seconds remaining, and the Tigers (22-10) rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to beat the Bulls (24-9) in Tallahassee.

Lexington Regional

(1) Notre Dame 79, (16) Robert Morris 49: Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale scored 15 points each to help the Irish (31-3) beat the Colonials (22-11) in South Bend, Indiana.

(9) Purdue 74, (8) Green Bay 62: Ashley Morrisette scored 20 points, Dominique Oden added 13 and the Boilermakers (23-12) defeated the Phoenix (27-6) in South Bend.

(3) Texas 78, (14) Central Arkansas 50: Brooke McCarty scored 15 points and the Longhorns (23-8) overwhelmed the Bears (26-5) in the first half before cruising to a victory in Austin, Texas.

(6) North Carolina State 62, (11) Auburn 48: Dominique Wilson scored 23 points and Miah Spencer added 13 to help the Wolfpack (23-8) roll over the Tigers (17-15) in Austin.

(4) Kentucky 73, (13) Belmont 70: Maci Morris made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 37 seconds, including two with 3.2 seconds remaining, to help the Wildcats (22-10) edge the Bruins (27-6) in Lexington, Kentucky.

(5) Ohio State 70, (12) Western Kentucky 63: Kelsey Mitchell and Asia Doss each scored 15 points, Shayla Cooper grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds and the Buckeyes (27-6) withstood a late charge from the Hilltoppers (27-7) for a win in Lexington.

Oklahoma Regional

(2) Mississippi St 110, (15) Troy 69: Blair Schaefer scored a career-high 21 points, Ameshya Williams added 15 and the Bulldogs (30-4) rolled past the Trojans (22-11) in Starkville, Mississippi.

(7) DePaul 88, (10) Northern Iowa 67: Tanita Allen scored 25 points, Lauren Prochaska and Brooke Schulte each added 12 and the Blue Demons (27-7) beat the Panthers (24-9) in Starkville.

Bridgeport Regional

(3) Maryland 103, (14) Bucknell 61: Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 28 points, Brionna Jones had 25 points and 10 rebounds, and the Terrapins (31-2) beat the Bison (27-6) in College Park, Maryland, to earn their seventh consecutive trip to the second round of the tournament.

(6) West Virginia 75, (11) Elon 62: Tynice Martin scored 26 points, Katrina Pardee made a pair of pivotal 3-pointers and the Mountaineers (24-10) pulled away to a victory over the Phoenix (27-7) in College Park.


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