Raleigh, N.C. For a few minutes in the second half, Baylor appeared in serious danger of becoming an upset victim in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Chattanooga seized momentum midway through the half, trimming a 14-point deficit to one. But the young Lady Bears responded like veterans. They knocked down clutch shots and fought off a feisty No. 12 seed for a 68-55 win Sunday afternoon at the RBC Center.
Fifth-seeded Baylor (26-7) advanced to play fourth-seeded North Carolina State on Tuesday in large part because of their underclassmen's performance under pressure. Sophomore wing Jessica Morrow scored seven points during the critical 14-5 spurt, including a 3-pointer when the Lady Mocs (25-8) pulled within one. Freshman guard Latara Darrett drilled a 3-pointer during the run that just beat the shot-clock buzzer, a shot Chattanooga coach Wes Moore called the biggest of the game.
"We don't get rattled," said Morrow, whose 13 points led five Lady Bears in double figures. "We keep our composure. We know how to play when teams make their runs at us."
Added Moore: "When they needed to hit the big shot, they did. That's what champions do."
Mulkey thought her inexperienced squad - freshmen Darrett, Jessika Bradley and Danielle Wilson played significant minutes against the Lady Mocs - was prepared for the NCAA Tournament after competing in the Big 12. Baylor confirmed their coach's thoughts by showing backbone with the game on the line Sunday.
"Composure is something that a coach can't really control," Mulkey said. "When they're in the line of fire and experience it for themselves, that's when they grow up."
Temple 64, Nebraska 61
Raleigh, N.C. - Lady Comfort scored the go-ahead basket in the final two minutes and Fatima Maddox hit four clinching free throws to help Temple rally from a four-point deficit in the final 21â2 minutes.
Maddox scored 18 points for the eighth-seeded Owls (25-7). Comfort added 15 points, while Kamesha Hairston shook off a bad first half and finished with 12.
Kiera Hardy scored 23 points for the ninth-seeded Cornhuskers (22-10), who were making their first NCAA appearance in seven years.
Bowling Green 70, Oklahoma State 66
East lansing, Mich. - The Falcons won an NCAA tournament game for the first time since 1989, and it wasn't easy.
Bowling Green, which had lost six consecutive opening-round games, got a layup by Ali Mann to go ahead 62-60 with less than 2 minutes to play.
Mann's pass to Kate Achter for a layup gave Bowling Green a 64-60 lead, and the Falcons (30-3) hit enough free throws to hang on for the victory.
Andrea Riley led Oklahoma State (20-11) with 20 points.