Maryland women pour it on Alabama 100-64 to reach Sweet 16

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

SAN ANTONIO — The Maryland Terrapins are ruthless and relentless on offense and rolling once again into the Sweet 16.

Angel Reese scored 19 points, leading a wave of scoring off the bench, as No. 2 seed Maryland and its offensive juggernaut overwhelmed No. 7 Alabama 100-64 on Wednesday in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament.

“It showed the balance of our team and the depth that we have,” Terrapins coach Brenda Frese said.

And just how scary this bunch may look to the rest of the tournament field.

The Terrapins (27-2) came into the tournament with the nation’s highest-scoring offense and have yet to take their foot off the gas. The Terps are averaging 99 points in their two tournament wins after scoring 91.3 per game in the regular season.

Maryland hit the 100-point mark for the seventh time this season and got 46 points off the bench. The Terps were so dominant, season scoring leader Ashley Owusu didn’t make her first basket until the lead was already 46-23 in the second quarter. Five Maryland players scored in double figures.

“Obviously its fun when you’ve got your bench coming out and destroying,” said reserve Faith Masonius, who added 16 points. “That’s a championship team right there.”

The Terps also played aggressive, suffocating defense. Maryland harassed ballhandlers in the backcourt, smothered briefly open shooters and controlled the rebounding.

Jasmine Walker led Alabama (17-10) with 23 points. Jordan Lewis who had 32 points, and 11 rebounds and eight assists in Alabama’s first-round victory, had eight points, two rebounds and one assist against Maryland’s defensive pressure.

The Terps ran out to a 30-9 lead after the first quarter, shot 68% over the first half and scored in every possible way. Mimi Collins scored her team’s first nine points. Maryland made four consecutive 3-pointers and Alabama looked bewildered just trying to find the ball.

“They are just really hard to guard. They are so good offensively and we just really didn’t have an answer,” Alabama coach Kristy Curry said.

By the second quarter, Maryland was pushing the ball inside for Reese, whose power moves and scoop layups in the post propelled a 24-point second quarter that built a 54-25 lead by halftime. Alabama paid for every mistake: Maryland turned 11 turnovers into 18 points in the first half.

Alabama finally showed some life to start the third quarter. Maryland missed its first two shots and consecutive 3-pointers from the Crimson Tide cut the lead to 22.

That was enough for Frese, who won a national championship in 2006. After Frese called timeout, the ball pressure and quick ball movement returned and a 7-0 run with a 3-pointer from Chloe Bibby had the lead back to 29 in a blur.

“Today was about emptying the tank,” Frese said. “We wanted to go hard, and play hard for 40 minutes.”


Maryland advances to play the winner of Wednesday night’s Hemisfair Region matchup between No. 3 UCLA and No. 6 Texas.


Maryland and Alabama squads met in the second round of an NCAA Tournament for the second time in less than 48 hours, with an opposite result. The second-seeded Alabama men blew out the 10th-seeded Terps 96-77 in Indianapolis on Monday night.


Despite being overwhelmed, the Crimson Tide may be building something in Tuscaloosa. Alabama hadn’t been to the tournament since 1999. Curry has now taken three programs to the NCAAs, including Purdue and Texas Tech. She led the Boilermakers to the national title game in 2001. She may have some rebuilding to do, as the Tide started three seniors.

“We did stuff that people weren’t able to do in 20-plus years. My senior year we made history,” Walker said. “That’s what I’m most proud about.”

Kentucky moves scrimmage to Eastern Kentucky for flood relief

Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal/USA TODAY NETWORK

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky will play its annual Blue-White men’s basketball scrimmage in Eastern Kentucky to benefit victims of the devastating summer floods.

The school announced that the Oct. 22 event at Appalachian Wireless Arena in Pikeville will feature a pregame Fan Fest. Ticket proceeds will go through Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief.

Wildcat players will also participate in a community service activity with local organizations in the relief effort.

Kentucky coach John Calipari said the team was excited to play for Eastern Kentucky fans and added, “We hope we can provide a temporary escape with basketball and community engagement.”

The scrimmage traditionally is held at Rupp Arena. It will occur eight days after its Big Blue Madness public workout at Rupp.

Kentucky’s Tionna Herron recovering from open-heart surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky coach Kyra Elzy says freshman Tionna Herron is recovering from open-heart surgery to correct a structural abnormality.

The 6-foot-4 post player learned of her condition after arriving at school in June and received other opinions before surgery was recommended. Senior trainer Courtney Jones said in a release that Herron underwent surgery Aug. 24 at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and is recovering at home in DeSoto, Texas.

Elzy said Herron “is the definition of a warrior” and all are grateful to be on the other side of the player’s surgery. Herron is expected back on campus early next month and will continue rehabilitation until she’s cleared to return to normal activity.

“Her will and determination to eventually return to the court is inspiring, and it’s that `game-on’ attitude that is what makes her such a perfect fit in our program,” Elzy said in a release. “We are so thrilled for Tionna’s return to our locker room; it’s not the same without our full team together.”

Herron committed to Kentucky during last fall’s early signing period, rated as a four-star prospect and a top-70 player in last year’s class. Kentucky won last year’s Southeastern Conference Tournament and reached the NCAA Tournament’s first round.

Emoni Bates charged with 2 felonies

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SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich — Emoni Bates, a former basketball prodigy who transferred to Eastern Michigan from Memphis, was charged with two felonies after police found a gun in a car during a traffic stop.

The 18-year-old Bates failed to stop at an intersection Sunday night and a search turned up the weapon, said Derrick Jackson, a spokesman for the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office.

Defense attorney Steve Haney told The Associated Press that the vehicle and the gun didn’t belong to Bates.

“I hope people can reserve judgment and understand there’s a presumption of innocence,” Haney said. “This was not his vehicle. This was not his gun. … We’re still gathering facts, too.”

Bates was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and altering identification marks on a firearm. He was released after his lawyer entered a not guilty plea. Bates’ next court hearing is Oct. 6.

“This is his first brush with the law,” Haney said in court. “He poses no threat or risk to society.”

Less than a month ago, the 6-foot-9 Bates transferred to Eastern Michigan to play for his hometown Eagles. Bates averaged nearly 10 points a game last season as a freshman at Memphis, where he enrolled after reclassifying to skip a year of high school and join the class of 2021.

“We are aware of a situation involving one of our student athletes,” EMU spokesman Greg Steiner said. “We are working to gather more details and will have further comment when more information is available.”

Bates was the first sophomore to win the Gatorade national player of the year award in high school basketball in 2020, beating out Cade Cunningham and Evan Mobley. Detroit drafted Cunningham No. 1 overall last year, two spots before Cleveland took Mobley in the 2021 NBA draft.

Bates committed to playing for Tom Izzo at Michigan State two years ago, later de-committed and signed with Memphis. Bates played in 18 games for the Tigers, who finished 22-11 under Penny Hardaway. Bates missed much of the season with a back injury before appearing in Memphis’ two NCAA Tournament games.

In 2019, as a high school freshman, the slender and skilled guard led Ypsilanti Lincoln to a state title and was named Michigan’s Division 1 Player of the Year by The Associated Press. His sophomore season was cut short by the pandemic and he attended Ypsi Prep Academy as a junior, his final year of high school.

UConn to pay Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million over firing

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STORRS, Conn. — UConn announced Thursday it has agreed to pay former men’s basketball coach Kevin Ollie another $3.9 million to settle discrimination claims surrounding his 2018 firing.

The money is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in back salary Ollie has already been paid after an arbitrator ruled in January that he was improperly fired under the school’s agreement with its professor’s union.

“I am grateful that we were able to reach agreement,” Ollie said in a statement Thursday. “My time at UConn as a student-athlete and coach is something I will always cherish. I am pleased that this matter is now fully and finally resolved.”

Ollie, a former UConn point guard who guided the Huskies to a 127-79 record and the 2014 national championship in six seasons as head coach, was let go after two losing seasons. UConn also stopped paying him under his contract, citing numerous NCAA violations in terminating the deal.

In 2019, the NCAA placed UConn on probation for two years and Ollie was sanctioned individually for violations, which the NCAA found occurred between 2013 and 2018. Ollie’s attorneys, Jacques Parenteau and William Madsen, accused UConn of making false claims to the NCAA for the purpose of firing Ollie “with cause.”

The school had argued that Ollie’s transgressions were serious and that his individual contract superseded those union protections.

Ollie’s lawyers had argued that white coaches, including Hall-of-Famers Jim Calhoun and women’s coach Geno Auriemma, had also committed NCAA violations, without being fired, and indicated they were planning to file a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The school and Ollie said in a joint statement Thursday they were settling “to avoid further costly and protracted litigation.”

Both sides declined to comment further.

Ollie, who faced three years of restrictions from the NCAA on becoming a college basketball coach again, is currently coaching for Overtime Elite, a league that prepares top prospects who are not attending college for the pros.

Dream’s McDonald returning to Arizona to coach under Barnes

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TUCSON, Ariz. — Atlanta Dream guard Aari McDonald is returning to Arizona to work under coach Adia Barnes.

The school announced that McDonald will serve as director of recruiting operations while continuing to fulfill her WNBA commitments. She will oversee all recruiting logistics, assist with on-campus visits, manage recruit information and social media content at Arizona.

McDonald was one of the best players in Arizona history after transferring from Washington as a sophomore. She was an All-American and the Pac-12 player of the year in 2020-21, leading the Wildcats to the national championship game, which they lost to Stanford.

McDonald broke Barnes’ single-season scoring record and had the highest career scoring average in school history before being selected by the Dream with the third overall pick of the 2021 WNBA draft.