Arizona defeats Auburn in NCAA women’s tournament First Four

Freshman Jada Williams had 17 points, Helena Pueyo scored 14 of her 16 points in the second half and Arizona earned its fourth straight opening win in the NCAA Tournament over Auburn on Thursday night in the First Four.

Arizona (18-15) will move into the bracket as the No. 11 seed and will face sixth-seeded Syracuse on Saturday. The Wildcats improved to 8-3 in NCAA Tournament games under coach Adia Barnes.

Auburn (20-12) was making its 22nd NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2019.

Arizona’s defenve was the key to victory. The Wildcats entered ranked 22nd nationally in opponent turnovers, forcing 19.7 per game. Auburn’s 20th turnover came with 5:57 left in the third quarter before finishing with 23.

Auburn had 10 turnovers and just eight points in the first quarter before trailing 27-19 at the half after turning it over 17 times and shooting 32 per cent from the field.

Holy Cross tops UT Martin

Senior Cara McCormack set career highs with 23 points and seven three-pointers, Bronagh Power-Cassidy added 15 points and Holy Cross secured its second NCAA Tournament win in program history, routing UT Martin in the First Four.

Holy Cross (21-12) has won five straight games and seven of its last nine, including the Patriot League Tournament championship for the second straight season. The Crusaders, in their 14th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, will move on and face top-seeded Iowa on Saturday on ABC.

UT Martin (16-17) was coming off a loss in the Ohio Valley Conference championship game, but received an automatic bid due to Southern Indiana’s ineligibility. The Screaming Eagles are in the second year of the four-year reclassification to Division I and are ineligible to play in the tournament.

Holy Cross made 10 three-pointers in the first half — to tie its season high for an entire game. The Crusaders finished 12 of 32 from distance.

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