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UConn crushes Mercer 83-38 to advance to second round of NCAA Tournament

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Paige Bueckers NCAA Tournament vs. Mercer

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — paige buckers started and scored 12 points as UConn began its run to a 12th NCAA Tournament title with an 83-38 first-round victory over No. 15 seed Mercer on Saturday.

Last season’s national player of the year played 25 minutes, the most in six matches since returning from a left knee injury that kept her out for more than two months. She also had five assists and four rebounds.

christian williams he had 13 points to lead the Huskies (26-5) who opened the tournament with a win for the 28th consecutive time. Dorka Juhasz He added 10 points and 10 rebounds.

shannon titus he had 12 points to lead Mercer (23-7), who was making his fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Bears, champions of the Southern Conference, have never won an NCAA Tournament game.

The Huskies led 43-23 at halftime, then shut out Mercer 20-0 in the third quarter. It was the third time in two years that a team has kept an opponent scoreless in an NCAA Tournament game. Stanford eliminated Montana State in the first quarter on Friday night and South Carolina held Texas scoreless for one quarter in the 2021 tournament.

The Huskies limited Mercer to just 13 of 56 shots (23%).

Mercer played much of the match without a top scorer Amoria Neal-Tysor (17 points per game), who landed hard on her left elbow while driving to the basket in the second quarter and had to be helped into the locker room. She finished with four points and left the second half with her arm in a sling.

BIG PICTURE

Mercer: The Bears had allowed only one other opponent to score 70 points this season. That came in early December in a 71-70 overtime loss to Tennessee State.

UConn: The Huskies improve to 126-21 in the NCAA Tournament and 29-2 in their opening game.

UNTIL NEXT TIME:

UConn faces the winner of Saturday’s second game between No. 7 seed UCF and No. 10 seed Florida.

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