Middle Tennessee State forward Ebony Rowe, whose uniform has a black patch… (Dave Martin / Associated…)
Wearing No. 20 patches to honor their slain teammate, Middle Tennessee stayed close in the early going before falling to sixth-seeded Georgia, 56-41, Sunday in the first round of the NCAA women's tournament at Auburn, Ala.
Jasmine James scored eight of her 18 points over the final 5 minutes 40 seconds to lead the Bulldogs (22-10) over the 11th-seeded Blue Raiders (23-8), whose teammate Tina Stewart was stabbed to death March 2.
"With everything that we have been through, it took a little bit more than pride for us to continue playing, because no one around the country has been through what we have been through," Middle Tennessee guard Kortni Jones said.
Stewart's freshman roommate is charged with first-degree murder in her death. The team came together to attend her funeral in Memphis, Tenn., but couldn't pull out either game after her death.
No. 3 Florida State 76, No. 14 Samford 46: The Seminoles (24-7), who play Georgia next, beat the Bulldogs (25-8) at Auburn.
No. 7 Rutgers 76, No. 10 Louisiana Tech 51: In a coaching duel in which the mentor prevailed, Vivian Stringer's Scarlet Knights (20-12) pulled away after Teresa Witherspoon's Lady Techsters (24-8) tied it at 14-14 at Bossier City, La. Rutgers plays Texas A&M next.
No. 2 Texas A&M 87, No. 15 McNeese State 47: The Aggies (28-5) defeated the Cowgirls (26-7) at Bossier City, La.
No. 1 Baylor 66, No. 16 Prairie View A&M 30: The Bears (32-2), who play West Virginia next, held the Panthers (21-12) to an NCAA-record low of eight first-half points at Waco, Texas.
No. 9 West Virginia 79, No. 8 Houston 73: The Mountaineers (24-9) took control by turning a three-point deficit into a 12-point lead when Courtney Taylor of the Cougars (26-6) sat down with her second foul in the first half at Waco.
No. 5 Wis. Green Bay 59, No. 12 Ark. Little Rock 55: The Phoenix (33-1), which plays Michigan State next, beat the Trojans (23-8) at Wichita, Kan., to stretch its win streak to 21.
No. 4 Michigan State 69, No. 13 Northern Iowa 66: The Spartans (27-5) hung on when Erin Brocka of the Panthers (27-6) missed a three-point shot in the final seconds at Wichita.
No. 2 Xavier 72, No. 15 South Dakota State 56: Ta'Shia Phillips' 27 points led the Musketeers (28-2), who play Louisville next, over the Jackrabbits (19-14) at Cincinnati.
No. 7 Louisville 81, No. 10 Vanderbilt 62: Shoni Schimmel's 19 points led the Cardinals (21-12) over the Commodores (20-12) at Cincinnati.
No. 3 Miami 80, No. 14 Gardner-Webb 62: The Hurricanes (28-4), who play Oklahoma next, beat the Runnin' Bulldogs (23-11) at Charlottesville, Va.
No. 6 Oklahoma 86, No. 11 James Madison 72: After the Sooners (22-11) let a 19-point lead drop to six, at 74-68, they put away the Dukes (26-8) at Charlottesville, Va.
No. 1 Connecticut 75, No. 16 Hartford 39: After nearly a two-week layoff, the Huskies (33-1), who play Purdue next, raced by the Hawks (17-16) at Storrs, Conn.
No. 9 Purdue 53, No. 8 Kansas State 45: Drey Mingo, who overcame a life-threatening bout with meningitis this season, contributed 16 points as the Boilermakers (21-11) beat the Wildcats (21-11) at Storrs.
No. 4 Maryland 70, No. 13 St. Francis, Pa. 48: The Terrapins (24-7), who play Georgetown next, scored the game's first 13 points against the Red Flash (22-12) at College Park, Md.
No. 5 Georgetown 65, No. 12 Princeton 49: Sugar Rodgers scored 16 of her 26 points in the first half as the Hoyas (23-10) beat the Tigers (24-5) at College Park.
USC 78, Nevada 59: Ashley Corral and Jackie Gemelos each had 20 points to lead the Trojans over the Wolf Pack (22-11) in a second-round game at Reno. USC (21-12) next plays Brigham Young on Wednesday.