college basketball

Mack Scores 27 Points, Leads Oklahoma State Over Wake Forest

Oklahoma State players cheer from the bench during the first half of a game against Wake Forest in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament at the Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas, March 21, 2021.
Ronald Cortes/AP

Natasha Mack scored 27 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Oklahoma State to an 84-61 victory over Wake Forest in an opening-round women's NCAA Tournament game Sunday.

Mack was 13-of-22 shooting, feasting on variety of shots inside, and collected her 18th double-double of the season to send Oklahoma State (19-8), the eighth seed in the Alamo Region, into a second-round matchup against the winner of overall No. 1 seed Stanford and 16th-seeded Utah Valley on Tuesday. She was also a force on defense with 11 rebounds on the defensive boards and blocking four shots, extending her nation-leading total to 111.

Ja'Mee Asberry, who combined with Mack as one of the nation's top-scoring tandems with a combined 37.2 points per game, added 18 points with four 3-pointers.

As tight as the first quarter was, ending tied at 15-all, the second period quickly turned in the Cowgirls' favor and proved to be the turning point. Neferatali Notoa opened the quarter with a 3-pointer and four Wake Forest turnovers and two Cowgirls 3-pointers later Oklahoma State had a 14-point lead midway through the period. Another Asberry 3-pointer at the end of the period made it 42-29. Mack had 15 points and eight rebounds by halftime, and Asberry nine points on three second-quarter 3-pointers.

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The lead remained in double figures in the second half with the Cowgirls up by as many as 25 points late in the fourth quarter.

Christina Morra led Wake Forest with 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting for the ninth-seeded Demon Deacons (12-13). Ivana Raca added 13 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double this season. Jewel Spear scored 11 points and Gina Conti 10. Conti had nine assists boosting her to No. 2 on the program's career list with 494, passing Nicole Levesque (488, 1991-94).

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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