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Rice Ousts UCSB


SANTA BARBARA — Maybe it was first-round jitters by the UC Santa Barbara women's basketball team.

Or perhaps it was Rice that was much better than its 13th seed would suggest.

Whatever the reason, the result was another early exit from the NCAA tournament for the Gauchos.

Despite an enthusiastic sellout crowd of 5,824 at the Thunderdome, Rice held on for a 67-64 victory over Santa Barbara in the first round of the West Regional.

Rice (22-9) was led by Kim Smallwood, who scored 16 of her 22 points in the second half.

The Owls didn't look like a team that was playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time.

They made 19 of 34 shots (55.9%) in the second half.

The Gauchos took a 28-27 lead at the half behind 14 points and six rebounds by Greathouse.

But their shooting form was missing from the start. They made only six of 23 shots (26%)

Rice kept it close behind Kirra Jordan and Kim Smallwood, who each scored six points.

North Carolina 62, Maine 57--The fifth-seeded Tar Heels turned up their defensive pressure in the second half and put an end to the Black Bears' upset hopes in a come-from-behind at Santa Barbara.

Perhaps the biggest difference for the Tar Heels (19-12) was the inside play of forward LaQuanda Barksdale in the second half.

She scored 16 of her 23 points after halftime and finished with a game-high 13 rebounds to help North Carolina overcome an 11-point deficit.

"At halftime, we talked about how we weren't getting it inside enough," said Barksdale, the Atlantic Coast Conference's leading scorer. "In the second half, we were able to do that a lot better."

Maine (20-11) held a 24-20 halftime lead. Center Jamie Cassidy had 30 points and nine rebounds.

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