NORMAN, Okla. ( Associated Press) — Taylor Robertson scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half to help No. 4 seed Oklahoma beat No. 13 seed IUPUI 78-72 on Saturday in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Madi Williams added 21 points for the Sooners (25-8), who got a tournament win for first-year coach Jennie Baranczyk. Oklahoma will host Notre Dame in a second-round game on Monday. Notre Dame defeated Massachusetts 89-78 earlier in the evening.
Rachel McLimore scored 18 points for IUPUI. Macee Williams, the four-time Horizon League Player of the Year, had 17 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for the Jaguars (24-7), who played in their first-ever tournament game.
IUPUI came in confident. The Jaguars had won 19 of 20 and had defeated No. 15 Iowa on the road in December. IUPUI led early, but Skylar Vann’s layup as time expired in the first quarter gave Oklahoma an 18-17 lead. Macee Williams scored 10 points in the first quarter for IUPUI in just seven minutes of action.
Oklahoma led 41-37 at halftime, despite having trouble getting Robertson open for shots. The Sooners’ No. 2 scorer for the season only had two field goal attempts and five points before the break.
Oklahoma held IUPUI to 5-for-19 shooting in the third quarter, and the Sooners scored just enough. A pullup jumper by Madi Williams as time expired gave the Sooners a 59-49 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Jaguars hung around, but never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
IUPUI: Macee Williams, a graduate, is just the fourth Division I women’s player to win conference player of the year honors four times. She averaged at least 13 points all five seasons she played and started 141 of her 142 games with the Jaguars. Things will be different without the school’s all-time scoring and rebounding leader.
Oklahoma: The Sooners are one of the nation’s highest-scoring teams, and they like to push the pace. They found a way to win against a team that slowed it down.
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: twitter.com/CliffBruntAP
More Associated Press coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25