Ncaa Women

Ncaa Tournament

March 15, 2006|By SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL

ALBUQUERQUE REGIONAL PREVIEW

No. 1 Ohio State

Record -- 28-2, 15-1 in Big Ten

Coach -- Jim Foster

Top players -- C Jessica Daven port (18.6 ppg, 8.7 rpg), F Brandie Hoskins (12.3 ppg), G Marscilla Parker (10.9 ppg), G Ashley Allen (3.8 apg).

Comment -- The Big Ten champi ons have the nation's second-longest win streak at 19. Davenport, the two-time conference Player of the Year, is a force inside but the Buckeyes need guards Parker and Allen to play well to get to the Final Four in Boston.

No. 2 Maryland

Record -- 28-4, 12-2 in Atlantic Coast Conference

Coach -- Brenda Frese

Top players -- F Crystal Langhorne (16.3 ppg, 8.6 rpg), F Laura Harper (11.0 ppg and 6.9 rpg), G Marissa Coleman (14.6 ppg, 7.7 rpg), G Shay Doron (14.1 ppg, 4.2 apg)

Comment -- The young and talent ed Terps just missed a No. 1 seed. Langhorne and Harper form an im pressive low-post tandem. All five starters average in double figures.

No. 3 Baylor

Record -- 24-6, 12-4 in Big 12

Coach -- Kim Mulkey-Robertson

Top players -- C Sophia Young (22.2 ppg, 10.0 rpg), G Angela Tisdale (12.2 ppg, 5.9 apg), F Chameka Scott (8.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg)

Comment -- The defending nation al champions will make another run behind Young, the Big 12 Player of the Year.

No. 4 Arizona State

Record -- 24-6, 14-4 in Pac-10

Coach -- Charli Turner Thorne

Top players -- F Kristin Kovesdy (12.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg), F Emily Wester berg (11.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg), G Jill Noe (8.0 ppg)

Comment -- The Sun Devils, who had win streaks of nine and 10 games, are a deep team that relies on defense and rebounding. Kovesdy, a senior, is solid in the middle.

No. 5 Utah

Record -- 24-6, 12-4 in Mountain West

Coach -- Elaine Elliott

Top players -- C Kim Smith (19.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg), G Shona Thorburn (11.3 ppg, 7.1 apg), G Julie Larsen (10.0 ppg)

Comment -- Canadian duo Smith and Thorburn lead the way for the fourth year in a row. The Utes, funda mentally sound, allow 55 points per game.

No. 6 Florida

Record -- 21-8, 8-6 in Southeastern Conference

Coach -- Carolyn Peck

Top players -- F Dalila Eshe (14.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg), F Brittany Davis (12.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg), G Sha Brooks (13.9 ppg), G Sarah Lowe (3.9 apg)

Comment -- The Gators showed they can beat anyone with upsets of LSU and Tennessee. The senior-domi nated squad would like a storybook ending to their careers.

No. 7 St. John's

Record -- 21-7, 11-5 in Big East

Coach -- Kim Barnes Arico

Top players -- F Angela Clark (14.0 ppg, 8.5 rpg), G Kia Wright (14.1 ppg, 4.3 apg), F Danielle Chambers (9.1 rpg)

Comment -- Arico has transformed the Red Storm into one of the Big East's best in her four seasons. Clark and Wright were Long Island high school teammates.

No. 8 Boston College

Record -- 19-11, 6-8 in ACC

Coach -- Cathy Inglese

Top players -- F Brooke Queenan (14.6 ppg, 8.0 rpg), F Aja Parham (9.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg), G Sarah Marshall (5.9 apg)

Comment -- The Eagles, who had their ups and downs in their first ACC season, need to regain some consistency. BC excels on defense, al lowing 58 points per game.

No. 9 Notre Dame

Record -- 18-11, 8-8 in Big East

Coach -- Muffet McGraw

Top players -- G Megan Duffy (15.7 ppg, 4.1 apg), F Lindsay Schrad er (9.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg), G Courtney LaV ere (9.1 ppg)

Comment -- The Irish played well down the stretch to make the tourna ment. Duffy won the Francis Pome roy Naismith award, given to the best senior in the nation 5 feet 8 or short er.

No. 10 California

Record -- 18-11, 10-8 in Pac-10

Coach -- Joanne Boyle

Top players -- C Devanei Hamp ton (15.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg), F Alexis Gray-Lawson (14.5 ppg), F Ashley Walker (13.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg)

Comment -- First-year coach Boyle, who came from Duke and Richmond, has Cal back in the postseason for the first time since 1993. The Golden Bears start four freshmen, all from California.

No. 11 New Mexico

Record -- 21-9, 11-5 in Mountain West

Coach -- Don Flanagan

Top players -- F Dionne Marsh (15.5 ppg), G Katie Montgomery (10.7 ppg, 3.4 apg), F Abbie Letz (10.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg)

Comment -- The defensive-minded Lobos, who posted their sixth consecu tive 20-win season, are tough to beat in the tournament. Marsh set a school re cord with 213 trips to the free-throw line.

No. 12 Middle Tennessee

Record -- 20-10, 10-4 in Sun Belt

Coach -- Rick Insell

Top players -- F Chrissy Givens (21.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 4.6 apg), Krystle Horton (11.9 ppg), Tia Stovall (9.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg)

Comment -- The Blue Raiders are NCAA spoilers, having upset North Carolina (2004) and N.C. State (2005).

No. 13 Stephen F. Austin

Record -- 23-7, 14-2 in Southland

Coach -- Lee Ann Riley

Top players -- LaToya Mills (17.1 ppg, 9.2 rpg), Britany Vinson (10.8 ppg), Kirby Killingsworth (9.2 ppg)

CommentThe Ladyjacks are making their 18th tournament appearance, first in three years.

No. 14 Northern Arizona

Record -- 22-10, 9-5 in Big Sky

Coach -- Laurie Kelly

Top players -- Alyssa Wahl (14.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg), Megan Porter (11.2 ppg), Nicky Eason (10.3 ppg), Sandra Vik sryte (10.1 ppg)

Comment -- The Lumberjacks, making their first NCAA appearance, have four players who average at least 10 points a game. Kim Wink field, the team's three-point shooter, elevated her game in the Big Sky tournament.

No. 15 Sacred Heart

Record -- 26-4, 16-2 in Northeast

Coach -- Ed Swanson

Top players -- Amanda Pape (18.0 ppg, 3.3 spg), Jasmine Walker (12.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg), Nicolle Rubino (12.1 ppg)

Comment -- The NEC champion Pi oneers used a strong offense, led by conference Player of the Year Pape, to reach the tournament for the first time since becoming a Division I pro gram seven years ago.

No. 16 Oakland (Mich.)

Record -- 15-15, 8-8 in Mid-Conti nent

Coach -- Beckie Francis

Top players -- Jayme Wilson (15.5 ppg, 5.2 rpg), Anne Hafeli (14.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Nicole Piggott (12.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg)

Comment -- The Golden Grizzlies defeated the top three seeds to win the Mid-Continent tournament. They start five guards and try to make up for their lack of size with an intense man-to-man defense.

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