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story.lead_photo.caption The Associated Press FORWARD FIGHTS: Iowa forward Hannah Stewart, front, fights for a rebound with Mercer center Rachel Selph during a first-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Friday in Iowa City, Iowa. Iowa won 66-61.

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Megan Gustafson scored 30 points with 16 rebounds and second-seeded Iowa narrowly avoided a monumental upset, holding off No. 15 Mercer 66-61 on Friday for its first NCAA Tournament win in four years.

No 15 seed has ever won an NCAA Tournament game going 0-101 now.

Makenzie Meyer added 16 for the Hawkeyes (27-6), who survived the opening round at home despite committing 24 turnovers.

Hannah Stewart hit three consecutive baskets after Iowa got down by two with 4:19 to go, putting the Hawkeyes ahead 64-61. Stewart missed a jumper with 21 seconds left, but the ball knocked off a Mercer player.

Iowa's Tania Davis then missed two free throws, but the Hawkeyes were bailed out of the ensuing scrum by the possession arrow.

Kathleen Doyle finally sealed it for Iowa with two free throws with 8.9 second to go.

No. 4 SOUTH CAROLINA 74, No. 13 BELMONT 52

Te'a Cooper scored 13 points, Alexis Jennings added 12 points and nine rebounds, and South Carolina shook off a sluggish start to pull away from seed Belmont.

Tyasha Harris chipped in with 12 points and six assists and Doniyah Cliney added 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting for the Gamecocks, who won in their first game since getting upset by Arkansas in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

The Gamecocks (22-9) advanced to Sunday's second round, where they'll face either Bucknell or Florida State.

Darby Maggard had 13 points and Conley Chinn had 10 for Belmont (26-7).

ALBANY REGIONAL

No. 1 LOUISVILLE 69,

No. 16 ROBERT MORRIS 34

Asia Durr and Sam Fuehring each had 19 points, and Louisville scored 27 straight points in the first half to overwhelm Robert Morris.

The absences of suspended coach Jeff Walz and injured point guard Arica Carter didn't affect the Cardinals (30-3), who led 32-4 early in the second quarter by holding the Colonials scoreless for nearly 15 minutes. Robert Morris (22-11) missed 17 consecutive shots during that drought before making three of five entering halftime, but the game was out of reach by then.

Natalie Villaflor had 13 points and Nneka Ezeigbo nine for the Colonials, who had won their last four games.

No. 8 MICHIGAN 84,

No. 9 KANSAS STATE 54

Naz Hillmon scored 17 points off the bench, Nicole Munger and Kayla Robbins each added 13 and Michigan shot a season-high 56 percent to run away from Kansas State.

Michigan's 17-5 surge over 5:10 in the second quarter provided a 43-28 halftime lead that expanded to as many as 37 late in the fourth. The Wolverines (22-11) owned rebounding 50-19 -- including a 33-13 gap defensively -- and paint scoring 52-26 while holding the Wildcats (21-12) to 36 percent shooting.

Christianna Carr had 21 points and Rachel Ranke 11 for Kansas State.

CHICAGO REGIONAL

No. 5 MARQUETTE 58,

No. 12 RICE 54, OT

Natisha Hiedeman scored 13 points, Allazia Blockton had 12 and Marquette overcame a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to get a win over Rice.

The Golden Eagles (27-7), who are in the tournament for the third straight season, will play the winner of the Wright State-Texas A&M game.

Amani Wilborn made a jumper with 3 1/2 minutes left in overtime to put Marquette up 54-52 and extend its run to 11-0. Blockton extended the lead to 4 with a shot with just over a minute to go.

The Owls (28-4) ended a scoring drought of about seven minutes stretching back to the fourth quarter when Erica Ogwumike made a basket with 51 seconds left.

But Hiedeman made two free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining to make it 58-54 and secure the victory.

Sports on 03/23/2019

Print Headline: Iowa holds off pesky Mercer 66-61

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