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Tynice Martin lifted West Virginia to a 75-62 win over Elon in the opening round of the NCAA women’s tournament.

 

COLLEGE PARK, Md.  — Tynice Martin scored 26 points and Katrina Pardee hit back-to-back 3s during a 10-0 fourth-quarter run that propelled sixth-seeded West Virginia to a 75-62 win over Elon on Friday afternoon in the first round of NCAA women’s tournament.

Lanay Montgomery added 13 points and 10 rebounds for West Virginia (24-10), which won its fifth straight game and will face No. 3 seed Maryland on Sunday.

Pardee scored 14 on 4-of-5 shooting from 3, while Teana Muldrow grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with six points and four assists.

Elon (27-7), the Colonial Athletic Association tournament champs, got 19 points from Shea Burnett and 17 from Lauren Brown, whose 3 tied the game at 53-53 early in the fourth quarter.

That’s when Montgomery scored the go-ahead jumper, Martin made two free throws and Pardee tacked on her 3-pointers to surge the Mountaineers to a 63-53 lead.

Martin finished 9-of-10 on free throws and became the 34th Mountaineer to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

After West Virginia started 2-of-10 from the floor, coach Mike Carey thought his team lacked the fire it displayed in winning the Big 12 tournament.

“Give Elon a lot of credit. They gave us everything we could handle,” Carey said. “I thought we came out flat, didn’t have energy. I don’t understand why not. The Big 12 tournament, we had all kinds of energy.

“But tournament time means you just have to advance. You can’t play in the second round unless you win the first round. I have no doubt that we’ll come out Sunday with energy.”

Maryland crushed No. 14 seed Bucknell,103-61 earlier Friday.

West Virginia shot 47.4 percent (27-of-57) from the field and 47.1 percent (8-of-17) from 3-point range. The Mountaineers limited Elon to 39.3 percent shooting (24-of-61) from the field and 26.7 percent (4-of-15) from 3.

WVU held a 38-28 rebounding edge on the Phoenix , who were making their first NCAA tournament appearance.

West Virginia trailed 13-10 after one quarter before taking a 28-27 lead into half.

“We knew that they were going to drive and penetrate, we just came out flat,” Martin said. “We were a step slow in the first half.”

In the third quarter WVU built a six-point edge before Elon rallied to pull even.

“I think this game is a tough pill for all of us to swallow,” said Phoenix coach Charlotte Smith. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team for the way that they came out and played. We had a great came plan and executed and did a lot of things well today.”

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