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Centennial product Lucas leads Tar Heels’ charge in women’s NCAA

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Italee Lucas gave the nation’s top 3-point shooting team a dose of her long-range game Saturday.

The Centennial High School product sank four 3-pointers among her 22 points as No. 14 North Carolina outlasted Fresno State 82-68 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

"It’s a good thing I did (hit some 3s) to balance them out because if they kept on hitting 3s and we were scoring 2s, it would have been a closer game," Lucas said.

The Tar Heels (27-8) will play the Kentucky-Hampton winner Monday night at The Pit.

The 12th-seeded Bulldogs (25-8) have never won an NCAA Tournament game yet gave the fifth-seeded Tar Heels all they could handle for 30 minutes thanks to their long-range shooting. But they were done in by North Carolina’s size and strength and probably Albuquerque’s mile-high altitude, too.

"We knew they were going to take a lot of 3s to try and compensate for their size. They couldn’t really go inside because of our big players," Lucas said. "For a little while it was a back-and-forth 3-point game, but overall you have to have some size inside to win a big game."

Bulldogs senior Jaleesa Ross sank four 3-pointers but missed 16, leaving her with 389 3s for her career, three shy of the national record held by Kansas State’s Laurie Koehn.

In all, Fresno State fired up 50 3-pointers, a record at The Pit, and sank 14 for a 28 percent clip, a little off its season average of 34.2 percent. The Bulldogs only hit seven 2-point baskets.

Hayley Munro led Fresno State, which had won 10 straight, with 15 points, and Ross and Rosie Moult each scored 14.

SPOKANE REGIONAL

■ Kentucky 66, Hampton 62 — At Albuquerque, N.M., Brittany Henderson scored four of her six points in overtime as the fourth-seeded Wildcats (25-8) survived a scare from the 13th-seeded Lady Pirates (25-7).

■ St. John’s 55, Texas Tech 50 — At Stanford, Calif., Nadirah McKenith scored 14 points as the ninth-seeded Red Storm (22-10) beat the eighth-seeded Red Raiders (22-11).

■ Stanford 86, UC Davis 59 — At Stanford, Calif., Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 22 points as the top-seeded Cardinal (30-2) ran their school-record home win streak to 62 games by beating the 16th-seeded Aggies (24-9).

■ Gonzaga 92, Iowa 86 — At Spokane, Wash., Courtney Vandersloot scored a career-high 34 points and Kayla Standish added 30 as the 11th-seeded Bulldogs (29-4) won their 19th straight game by beating the sixth-seeded Hawkeyes (22-9) on Gonzaga’s home court.

■ UCLA 55, Montana 47 — At Spokane, Wash., Jasmine Dixon scored 15 points, including a key basket with 56 seconds left, as the third-seeded Bruins (28-4) finally shook the 14th-seeded Lady Griz (18-15).

PHILADELPHIA REGIONAL

■ Penn State 75, Dayton 66 — At State College, Pa., Alex Bentley scored 25 points to lift the sixth-seeded Lady Lions (25-9) past the 11th-seeded Flyers (21-12).

■ DePaul 56, Navy 43 — At State College, Pa., Felicia Chester had 12 points and 10 rebounds as the third-seeded Blue Demons (28-6) topped the 14th-seeded Midshipmen (20-12).

■ Marist 74, Iowa State 64 — At Durham, N.C., Kate Oliver scored 16 points as the 10th-seeded Red Foxes (31-2) won their 27th straight game, and their NCAA opener for the first time in three years, with a victory over the seventh-seeded Cyclones (22-11).

■ Duke 90, Tennessee-Martin 45 — At Durham, N.C., Jasmine Thomas scored 18 points as the second-seeded Blue Devils (30-3) routed the 15th-seeded Skyhawks (21-11).

DAYTON REGIONAL

■ Tennessee 99, Stetson 34 — At Knoxville, Tenn., Glory Johnson had 14 points and 10 rebounds as the top-seeded Lady Volunteers (32-2) cruised past the 16th-seeded Hatters (20-13).

■ Marquette 68, Texas 65 — At Knoxville, Tenn., Tatiyiana McMorris hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to send the eighth-seeded Golden Eagles (24-8) past the ninth-seeded Longhorns (19-14).

■ Georgia Tech 69, Bowling Green 58 — At Columbus, Ohio, Sasha Goodlett took care of things in the paint with 19 points and fifth-seeded Georgia Tech forced 25 turnovers in beating the Yellow Jackets (24-10).

■ Ohio State 80, Central Florida 69 — At Columbus, Ohio, Jantel Lavender collected her 75th career double-double with 30 points and 11 rebounds as the fourth-seeded Buckeyes fought off the Golden Knights (22-11).

■ Temple 63, Arizona State 45 — At Salt Lake City, Victoria Macauley scored 12 points and Shey Peddy set a single-season team steals record to lead the 10th-seeded Owls over the seventh-seeded Sun Devils (20-11).

■ Notre Dame 67, Utah 54 — At Salt Lake City, Skylar Diggins and Natalie Novosel scored 20 points apiece as the second-seeded Fighting Irish (27-7) beat the 15th-seeded Utes (18-17).

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