LOS ANGELES >> BYU entered its NCAA tournament first-round matchup as a decided underdog. From the moment the game tipped off however, the Cougars didn’t look the part.
Lexi Eaton scored 25 points, Jennifer Hamson finished one block shy of a triple-double and 12th seeded BYU upset No. 5 North Carolina State 72-57 in the first round of the Lincoln regional on Saturday.
‘Iolani graduate Kylie Maeda tied her career high with 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the field for the Cougars (27-6), who will face fourth-seeded Nebraska in the second round on Monday at Pauley Pavilion on UCLA’s campus.
“They believed in themselves,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. “This is how we won 27 games — defend, pound it inside, take what the defense gives us and everyone helping. I’m glad they came and played the way they played all year.”
BYU held a seven-point halftime lead and never trailed in the second half, ballooning its lead to 21 at one point. It was the Cougars’ 11th win in their last 12 games and their first tournament win since 2006.
Hamson, the West Coast Conference Player of the Year, scored 12 points — all in the second half — and tied her career-highs with 19 rebounds and nine blocks.
Led by the 6-foot-7 senior center, BYU outrebounded NC State 52-37 and blocked 15 shots.
“My whole focus was just to rebound and play defense,” she said. “I have great teammates who take advantage offensively when I’m not feeling it. We just worked together.”
Eaton added eight rebounds and four assists, Morgan Bradley added 13 points and 12 rebounds.
NC State (25-8) shot a season-worst 27.4 percent from the field in its second-lowest scoring output of the season.
DEPAUL 104, OKLAHOMA 100
DURHAM, N.C. >> Megan Rogowski scored 24 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 40.5 seconds left to help the seventh-seeded Blue Demons (28-6) Beat the 10th-seeded Sooners (18-15).
DUKE 87, WINTHROP 45
DURHAM, N.C. >> Tricia Liston scored 20 points and the second-seeded Blue Devils (28-6) routed the 15th-seeded Eagles (24-9).
NEBRASKA 75, FRESNO STATE 55
LOS ANGELES >> Jordan Hooper had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the fourth-seeded Cornhuskers (26-6) defeated the 13th-seeded Bulldogs (22-11)
NOTRE DAME REGIONAL
NOTRE DAME 93, ROBERT MORRIS 42
TOLEDO, Ohio >> Michaela Mabrey scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half, and the top-seeded Fighting Irish (33-0) breezed past the Colonials (21-12). The Irish take on ninth-seeded Arizona State in the second round Monday.
ARIZONA STATE 69, VANDERBILT 61
TOLEDO, Ohio >> Katie Hempen scored 16 points and the Sun Devils (23-9) handed held off the eighth-seeded Commodores (18-13).
KENTUCKY 106, WRIGHT STATE 60
LEXINGTON, Ky. >> Jennifer O’Neill scored 21 points and the third-seeded Wildcats (25-8) crushed the undersized Raiders (26-9) making their tournament debut.
SYRACUSE 59, CHATTANOOGA 53
LEXINGTON, Ky. >> Syracuse guard Brittney Sykes had 13 points and 12 rebounds before injuring her right knee midway through the second half as the sixth-seeded Orange (23-9) beat the Lady Mocs (29-4) for its first-ever NCAA tournament win.
PURDUE 84, AKRON 55
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. >> Whitney Bays scored 20 points as the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (22-8) routed the Zips (23-10) to give coach Sharon Versyp her 300th career win and set up a Monday night showdown between the Boilermakers and fifth-seeded Oklahoma State.
OKLAHOMA STATE 61, FLORIDA GULF COAST 60, OT
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. >> Tiffany Bias’ driving layup with 41 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the Cowgirls (24-8) to a victory over the 12-seeded Eagles (26-8).
CALIFORNIA 64, FORDHAM 63
WACO, Texas >> Brittany Boyd scored 22 points, including the game-winning jumper with 14 seconds left, and the seventh-seeded Golden Bears (22-9) survived against the feisty Rams (25-8).
BAYLOR 87, WESTERN KENTUCKY 74
WACO, Texas >> Nina Davis had 32 points and 10 rebounds in her NCAA tournament debut and Odyssey Sims scored 31 points and the Lady Bears (30-4) beat the Hilltoppers (24-9) with coach Kim Mulkey serving an NCAA suspension.
TENNESSEE 70, NORTHWESTERN STATE 46
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. >> Isabelle Harrison scored 12 points and sparked a game-changing 12-0 run as the top-seeded Lady Vols (28-5) withstood an ailing head coach and a lethargic first-half performance to beat the Demons (21-13).
Tennessee coach Holly Warlick missed the Lady Vols’ morning shootaround with what school officials described as a case of food poisoning. Warlick rejoined her team for the game.
ST. JOHN’S 71, SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA 68
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. >> Briana Brown sank a 3-pointer with four-tenths of a second left to give the eighth-seeded Red Storm (23-10) a victory over the ninth-seeded Trojans (22-13).
Southern California guard Brianna Barrett missed a desperation shot at the buzzer.
STANFORD 81, SOUTH DAKOTA 62
AMES, Iowa >> Chiney Ogwumike scored 23 points to become the Pac-12’s career scoring leader, and the second-seeded Cardinal (30-3) used two big runs to pull away from the Coyotes (19-14) and advance to a Monday game against No. 10 Florida State.
FLORIDA STATE 55, IOWA STATE 44
AMES, Iowa >> Natasha Howard had her school-record 15th double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds and the Seminoles (21-11) defeated the cold-shooting Cyclones (20-11).