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Sacred Heart, Mississippi State grab First Four wins in NCAA women’s tourney

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Sacred Heart’s Olivia Tucker, right, and Ny’Ceara Pryor (1) celebrate with teammates after a 57-47 victory against Southern in a First Four.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Sacred Heart’s Olivia Tucker, right, and Ny’Ceara Pryor (1) celebrate with teammates after a 57-47 victory against Southern in a First Four.

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NCAA women’s tourney gets underway with First Four games

STANFORD, Calif. >> Kelsey Wood had her second double-double of the season, Ny’Ceara Pryor added 11 points, eight rebounds and a career-high 10 assists and Sacred Heart won its first NCAA Tournament game with a 57-47 victory over Southern tonight in the First Four.

Sacred Heart (19-13), which has won six games in a row, plays fifth-ranked and top-seeded Stanford in the first round Friday.

Wood finished with 10 points and a season-high tying 11 rebounds, and Olivia Tucker added 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting, 1 of 10 from 3-point range, for the Pioneers.

Genovea Johnson, the only Southern player to score in double figures, finished with 13 points.

The Jaguars (18-15) had won five games in a row and nine of their last 10.

MISSISSIPPI STATE 70, ILLINOIS 56

SOUTH BEND, Ind. >> Jessika Carter had 22 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, Anastasia Hayes added 11 points, seven rebounds and five assists and Mississippi State beat Illinois in a First Four game.

Mississippi State (21-10) advances to the field of 64 to take on No. 6 seed Creighton. The Bulldogs improved to 14-3 in the NCAA Tournament since the 2016-17 season.

Makira Cook scored 21 points and Genesis Bryant added 17 for Illinois (22-10), which had one of the best turnarounds in the country after finishing last season with a record of 7-20.

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