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Gamecocks, UNC, UConn Among 1st-Round Winners

Connecticut's Moriah Jefferson, left, pressures Prairie View A&M's LaReahn Washington, right, during the first half of a first-round game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Connecticut's Moriah Jefferson, left, pressures Prairie View A&M's LaReahn Washington, right, during the first half of a first-round game of the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Seattle — Tiffany Mitchell scored 24 points, Alaina Coates added 13, and top-seeded South Carolina took a while to pull away from No. 16 seed Cal State Northridge in a 73-58 win on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

South Carolina (28-4) were the new kids when it came to being a top seed in the NCAAs, garnering the achievement after never being higher than a No. 3 seed in the past. And while the Gamecocks didn’t play poorly against the champions of the Big West Conference, it took far longer than expected to finally dispatch the pesky Matadors.

Oregon State 55, MTSU 36

Seattle — Sydney Wiese made six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 26 points, and ninth-seeded Oregon State ousted eighth-seeded Middle Tennessee State.

North Carolina 60, Ut Martin 68

Chapel Hill, n.c. — Xylina McDaniel scored the go-ahead basket off an offensive rebound with 56 seconds remaining to help fourth-seeded North Carolina overcome an 18-point second half deficit and defeat UT Martin.

Michigan State 91, Hampton 61

Chapel Hill, n.c. — Freshman Aerial Powers had 26 points and 18 rebounds, Annalise Pickrel added 21 points and fifth-seeded Michigan State defeated No. 12 Hampton.

Penn State 62, Wichita State 56

State College, Pa. — Maggie Lucas scored 22 points, rallying Penn State from an early scare in a 62-56 win over Wichita State in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

Florida 83, Dayton 69

State College, Pa. — Cassie Peoples scored 21 points and all five Florida starters scored in double figures, leading the Gators past Dayton in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

Louisville Regional

Louisville 88, Idaho 42

Iowa City, Iowa — Sara Hammond led five players in double figures with 16 points and third-seeded Louisville rolled past Idaho.

Jude Schimmel had 14 points and Asia Taylor scored 13 for the Cardinals (31-4), who’ll face either Marist or host Iowa in the second round on Tuesday.

Iowa 87, Marist 65

Iowa City, Iowa — Theairra Taylor scored 22 points, Bethany Doolittle added 21 and Iowa blew out Marist.

Samantha Logic had 11 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds for the sixth-seeded Hawkeyes (27-8), who will face third-seeded Louisville on Tuesday for a trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

Maryland 90, Army 52

College Park, Md. — Alyssa Thomas had 13 points and 14 rebounds, Lexie Brown scored 21 and No. 4 seed Maryland closed the first half with 20 straight points to roll past Army.

LSU 98, Georgia Tech 78

Baton Rouge, La. — Danielle Ballard scored 24 points and LSU led wire-to-wire in a victory over Georgia Tech.

West Virginia 76, Albany (n.y.) 61

Baton Rouge, La. — Christal Caldwell scored 26 points, Bria Holmes added 20, and West Virginia defeated Albany 76-61 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Sunday.

Lincoln Regional

UConn 87, Prairie View A&M 44

Storrs, Conn. — Breanna Stewart led a balanced offense with 19 points and 10 rebounds as defending champion UConn routed Prairie View A&M.

Saint Joseph’s 67, Georgia 57

Storrs, Conn. — Erin Shields had 18 points and seven rebounds to lead ninth-seeded Saint Joseph’s to a win over eighth-seed Georgia in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

James Madison 72, Gonzaga 63

College Station, Texas — Kirby Burkholder had 28 points and 18 rebounds to lead No. 11 seed James Madison to a win over No. 6 seed Gonzaga.

Texas A&M 70, North Dakota 55

College Station, Texas — Courtney Walker had 19 points and eight rebounds and No. 3 seed Texas A&M used a big run to pull away from tournament newcomer North Dakota.

The Aggies, who won the national title in 2011, were making their ninth straight appearance in the tournament and North Dakota was one of five women’s teams in the tournament for the first time.

North Dakota didn’t look like a tournament rookie early. The game was tied late in the first half before Texas A&M (25-8) went on a 14-0 run which spanned the first and second halves to go on top 40-26 with 16 ½ minutes remaining.

Madi Buck led North Dakota (22-10) with 22 points and nine rebounds.