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Georgia center Jenna Staiti (14) is defended by Drexel guard Keishana Washington (1) during the second half of a college basketball game in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas, Monday, March 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Ronald Cortes)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Georgia's first change to a starting lineup this season was apparent early — even against a No. 14 seed.

The second half was a different story.

Jenna Staiti scored all 19 of her points after halftime, making seven straight shots, Que Morrison had 11 points, 12 rebounds and a career-high eight assists, and No. 3 seed Georgia overcame a slow start to beat Drexel 67-53 on Monday in the women's NCAA tournament.

Georgia (21-6) advances in the Alamo Region to face the winner of the Oregon-South Dakota game.

Staiti and Gabby Connally were not in the starting lineup for the first time in 26 games. Staiti was late getting to San Antonio due to undisclosed medical reason and Connally rolled her ankle in a practice after the SEC championship game.

Georgia struggled early without them, missing its first five shots and turning it over seven times through the first 6 minutes, 10 seconds. The Bulldogs only had two made field goals until Morrison beat the first-quarter buzzer with a long jumper to pull within 15-10.

It was tied at 25-all at halftime — with Drexel (14-9) holding the lead for 14:19.

"I thought we did a really good job of settling in, disrupting them on the defensive end and some of their turnovers gave us a chance to get our offense going," Georgia coach Joni Taylor said.

After each team only made one field goal through the first four minutes of the third quarter, Staiti took over.

Staiti sank her seventh 3-pointer of the season with 44 seconds left in the third, giving her nine points in the quarter to build a 40-35 lead. Staiti made all four of her shots in the quarter, her teammates were just 3 of 13, and she kept it going in the fourth by making three straight baskets, including another 3-pointer.

 

BYU 69, Rutgers 66

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Paisley Johnson Harding scored 28 points and 11th-seeded BYU upset sixth-seed Rutgers.

After Sunday's 16-0 start for the higher seeds, the Cougars (19-5) — believed to be the last team to make the field — came out Monday morning to knock off the 21st-ranked Scarlet Knights (14-5) and advance to Wednesday's second round against third-seed Arizona.

 

Alabama 80, North Carolina 71

SAN ANTONIO — Jordan Lewis had a career-high 32 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists to help seventh-seeded Alabama beat No. 10 seed North Carolina.

It was a triumphant return to the NCAAs for the Crimson Tide (17-9), who were playing their first game in the tournament since 1999.

Stephanie Watts led the Tar Heels (13-11) with a season-high 29 points, hitting seven 3-pointers.

 

Wright State 66, Arkansas 62

AUSTIN, Texas — Angel Baker made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 29.1 seconds left and No. 13 Wright State stunned No. 4 Arkansas.

Jada Roberson made two free throws with 8.1 seconds left to seal the victory for the Horizon League tournament champions, who were playing in just their third NCAA tournament.

Baker scored 26 points for the Raiders (19-7).

Chelsea Dungee finished with 27 points for Arkansas (19-9) and led the comeback that nearly won it for the Razorbacks.

 

Indiana 63, VCU 32

SAN ANTONIO — Indiana (19-5) was locked in on defense — holding VCU to the sixth-fewest points in the history of the women's tournament — in a victory in the Mercado Region.

And the Hoosiers' offense got going in the fourth, ending the game on a 24-3 run.

Grace Berger scored 13 of her 20 points in the first half, Ali Patberg scored 12 of her 17 after halftime, and the No. 4 seed held 13th-seeded VCU (16-11) to 22.8% shooting.

 

Arizona 79, Stony Brook 44

SAN ANTONIO — Aari McDonald scored 20 points, Trinity Baptiste added 18 and Cate Reese 16 as Arizona rolled past tournament newcomer Stony Brook.

The America East champion and 14th-seeded Seawolves (15-6) led at 4-2 but were then left behind by the 11th-ranked and third-seeded Wildcats (17-5), who will take on 11th-seeded BYU on Wednesday.

 

Belmont 64, Gonzaga 59

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Belmont freshman Destinee Wells scored 25 points and had seven assists in a turnover-free game as the younger and smaller 12th seeded Bruins held on for their first victory ever in the tournament, pulling off an upset over fifth-seeded Gonzaga.

The Bruins (21-5) sealed the game with 19 seconds left when Madison Bartley made the layup while being fouled and added the free throw for a five-point lead. Jill Townsend had 17 points for Gonzaga (23-4).

 

Northwestern 62, UCF 51

SAN ANTONIO — Lindsey Pulliam scored 25 points to lead seventh-seeded Northwestern to a win over 10th-seeded UCF, the Wildcats' first tournament victory in 28 years.

Northwestern (16-8) is in the tournament for the first time since 2015 and just the third time since 1993, when the Wildcats beat Georgia Tech before falling to Tennessee in the second round.

The Knights (16-5) sustained a huge blow midway through the second quarter when they lost second-leading scorer Diamond Battles to what appeared to be a right knee injury.

 

Maryland 98, Mount St. Mary's 45

SAN ANTONIO — Ashley Owusu scored 20 points with eight rebounds and seven assists, Chloe Bibby had a double-double and seventh-ranked Maryland raced to a victory over Mount St. Mary's.

Diamond Miller added 19 points for second-seeded Maryland (25-2), which will take a 14-game winning streak into a second-round game with seventh-seeded Alabama in the Hemesfair Region on Wednesday.

No player reached double figures for Mount St. Mary's (17-7).

 

Iowa State 79, Michigan State 75

SAN ANTONIO — Ashley Joens scored an Iowa State NCAA Tournament record 33 points, including the clinching free throw with 3.1 seconds left, to lift the Cyclones to a win over Michigan State.

Nia Clouden scored 16 points for the Spartans (15-9).

 

Texas A&M 86, Troy 80

AUSTIN, Texas — Jordan Nixon scored nine points over the final six minutes, and No. 2 seed Texas A&M escaped an upset bid by No. 15 Troy with an victory.

Nixon finished with 21 points. Ciera Johnson had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Aggies (24-2).

Alexus Dye scored 26 for Troy (22-6).

 

Missoiri State 70, UC Davis 51

SAN ANTONIO — Brice Calip had 18 points and Missouri State (22-2) used a huge third-quarter run to beat UC Davis (13-3) in the first round.

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