Sunday, October 17News That Matters

Road to Women’s Round of 16 Is Rockier for Some

Now, eyes are on Missouri State. And rightfully so.

“You haven’t seen any highlights from our game in the first round, and you didn’t see anything about us going into this game,” Missouri State Coach Amaka Agugua-Hamilton said in a postgame interview. “The N.C.A.A. tweeted out Wright State’s picture. We handle a lot of disrespect, but it just fuels our fire.”

Agugua-Hamilton has already made history. She’s Missouri State’s first Black female coach of any sport; this is her first postseason.

Right before Missouri State put the game away, Maryland joined UConn and Baylor in the 100-point club with a 100-64 rout of seventh-seeded Alabama. This will be Maryland’s 14th appearance in the round of 16.

The Crimson Tide’s Jasmine Walker led all scorers with 23 points, but five Terps scored in double figures, led by 19 from the freshman Angel Reese, who injured her foot in her fourth game of the season. Faith Masonius, a sophomore, had a career-high 16 points.

“In an ironic way, when Angel got hurt, it allowed a lot of players to develop their plays,” Maryland Coach Brenda Frese said in a postgame interview. “Now, the longer we’ve played, it’s allowed Angel to get back in the fold.”

On Tuesday, all the No. 1 seeds — UConn, Stanford, South Carolina and North Carolina State — glided into their spots in the Sweet 16 along with Iowa, Michigan, Georgia Tech and Baylor.

When the round of 16 starts Saturday, expect more crowd noise. Paying spectators will be allowed in person at the Alamodome, where the remainder of the women’s tournament will be played at up to 17 percent capacity.

Natalie Weiner and Marisa Ingemi contributed reporting.