WVU opens womens tournament run with big win against Albany

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West Virginia's backcourt duo of Christal Caldwell and Bria Holmes left coach Mike Carey confident about the Mountaineers' chances of making program history in the NCAA women's tournament.

Caldwell scored 26 points, Holmes added 20, and second-seeded West Virginia defeated Albany, 76-61, in the opening round, setting up a second-round matchup Tuesday night with host LSU, the No. 7 seed in the Louisville Region.

Averee Fields added 10 points for West Virginia (30-4), one victory from its first appearance in the Sweet 16.

"We attacked the basket and did what we are supposed to do," Carey said. "We passed the ball extremely well."

Megan Craig led the 15th-seeded Great Danes (28-5) with 23 points. But this 6-foot-9 center was hampered by two quick fouls that limited her playing time in the first half. "I'm very proud of my team," Albany coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson said. "They completed and competed to the end and finished the game as fighters."

West Virginia's defense held Albany scoreless for nearly six minutes in a 16-2 run and the Great Danes never recovered.

More Louisville Region

n LSU 98, Georgia Tech 78: Point guard Danielle Ballard scored 24 points and host LSU (20-12) beat Georgia Tech (20-12).

n Texas 79, Penn 61: PImani McGee-Stafford had 20 points as Texas (22-11) beat No. 12 Penn (23-6) at College Park, Md.

n Maryland 90, Army 52: Alyssa Thomas had 13 points as Maryland (25-6) rolled past Army (25-8) in College Park.

n Louisville 88, Idaho 42: Sara Hammond led five players in double figures with 16 points as the Cardinals (31-4) rolled past Idaho (25-9) in Iowa City, Iowa.

n Iowa 87, Marist 65: Theairra Taylor scored 22 points as Iowa (27-8) blew out Marist (27-7) in Iowa City.

Lincoln Region

n Connecticut 87, Prairie View 44: Breanna Stewart led a balanced offense with 19 points as Connecticut (35-0) routed Prairie View A&M (14-18) in Storrs, Conn.

n Saint Joseph's 67, Georgia 57: Erin Shields had 18 points to lead the Hawks (23-9) past Georgia (20-12) in Storrs.

n James Madison 72, Gonzaga 63: Kirby Burkholder had 28 points and 18 rebounds to lead No. 11 seed James Madison (29-5) past No. 6 Gonzaga (29-5) in College Station, Texas.

n Texas A&M 70, North Dakota 55: Courtney Walker had 19 points as Texas A&M (25-8) pulled away North Dakota (22-10) in College Station.

Stanford Region

n North Carolina 60, Tennessee Martin 58: Xylina McDaniel scored with 56 seconds left to lead North Carolina (25-9) past UT Martin (24-8) in Chapel Hill, N.C. Heather Butler finished with 19 points for UT Martin.

n Michigan State 91, Hampton 61: Freshman Aerial Powers had 26 points and 18 rebounds to lead Michigan State (23-9) past No. 12 Hampton (28-5) in Chapel Hill.

n Florida 83, Dayton 69: Cassie Peoples scored 21 points and all five Florida (20-12) starters scored in double figures, leading the Gators past Dayton (23-8) in University Park, Pa.

n South Carolina 73, Cal State Northridge 5: Tiffany Mitchell scored 24 points as South Carolina (28-4) defeated the Matadors (18-15) in Seattle.

n Oregon State 55, Middle Tennessee State 36: Sydney Wiese made six 3-pointers and scored 26 points as Oregon State stymied Middle Tennessee State in Seattle.

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