March Madness Update #3

March 5

The Washington State Cougars dream run at the Pac 12 Conference Tournament has carried them all the way to the Grand Final.

Having seen off second seed, and number three ranked team in the nation, Utah in the quarter-finals they powered away from third seed Colorado (that included Charlotte Whittaker) in the fourth quarter to win 61-49. Charlisse Leger-Walker led the WSU scoring with 15 points to go with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal. 

The reward for Washington State is a first ever championship game which will see them match up with UCLA on Monday after they ousted number one seed Stanford in the other semi-final.

Also headed for a first ever grand final are Wofford College. Helen Matthews had 5 points, 5 rebounds and a couple of assists as regular season champions Wofford beat UNC Greensboro to advance to the Southern Conference tournament championship game. Wofford will meet the number two ranked Chattanooga in the final on Sunday, the winner of course advancing to the NCAA Tournament beginning March 15.

Tayla Dalton scored 11 points, claimed 6 rebounds and dished 4 assists while Jade Kirisome, playing her 108th Division I game, made both her 3-point attempts for 6 points as St Mary’s College were beaten 82-77 by Pacific. The second round defeat eliminated St Mary’s from the West Coast Conference Tournament (WCCT).

There was better news from the WCCT with BYU working their way to the semi-finals with a 66-56 win against San Francisco. Arielle Mackey-Williams and Kaylee Smiler combined to make 6 from 7 threes. Mackey-Williams finished with 14 points while Smiler, playing her 101st game for BYU, scored 6 points.

University of California Irvine clinched a share of the Big West Conference regular season title with a 52-44 victory over CSU Bakersfield.

Freshman Akiva McBirney-Griffin, an NBL championship winner with Otago Nuggets in 2021, has enjoyed a solid freshman year earning 8 starts in his 28 appearances.

Flynn Cameron had 16 points and 5 assists as UC Riverside clinched third seed at the Big West Conference Tournament after a 73-72 overtime win at Cal Poly. The 5 assists pushed Cameron up to fifth spot on UCR’s single season record for assists made – he has 108 in 32 games in this campaign.

Older brother Tobias Cameron scored 10 points as Abilene Christian wrapped up Western Athletic Conference regular season play with a 72-54 defeat at the hands of Sam Houston.

Colorado State completed Mountain West regular season fixtures with a 92-84 victory over New Mexico. James Moors with 8 points, on 4 from 5 shooting, plus 5 rebounds in the win.

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