By AP Sports
Megan Daines scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half including the go-ahead foul shot as No. 9 seed Kansas State rallied past eighth-seeded George Washington 56-51 in a women’s NCAA Tournament first-round game Friday.
The Wildcats (19-12) used a 14-5 burst in the third quarter including her foul shot for Kansas State’s first lead of the game, 39-38, with 37 seconds left in the period.
George Washington (26-7) kept things tight, trailing 52-51 on Jonquel Jones foul shot with 20.1 seconds left.
But the Wildcats made four of six free throws down the stretch to open the NCAA Tournament with a victory for the eighth time in their last nine appearances.
Jones had 20 points, 13 rebound and six blocks for the Colonials.
Kansas State will face either top-seeded host South Carolina or No. 16 seed Jacksonville in Sunday’s second round.
George Washington lost an opening NCAA game for just the fourth time in 17 appearances.
The Colonials had several chances to bail themselves out and move on. After the Wildcats’ Brianna Craig missed both foul shots with 20.1 seconds left, she got her own rebound and was sent to the foul line once more — this time making both.
Jones took a long 3-pointer on George Washington’s next trip down with 7 seconds left that was off the mark.
Breanna Lewis had 13 points, eight rebounds and six blocks for the Wildcats.
George Washington came in to prove NCAA selectors it was seeded too low. A year ago, the Colonials were on the edge of hosting the first two rounds — even moving a gymnastics meet off campus to free themselves up for the NCAA Tournament.
Instead, the committee sent George Washington west where the 29-win team was upset in the opening round by Gonzaga.
This time, the Colonials again swept won the Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and tournament crowns yet were put in a four-team pod led by powerhouse and top seed South Carolina.
George Washington showed in the second quarter it would not leave this regional early, going on 15-5 run to lead 31-22 at the break.
Jones was in the middle of things for the Colonials with a three-point play after Kansas State cut the lead to 24-20.
The Wildcats hurt themselves at the foul line, making just two of nine attempts. They went nearly six minutes without scoring in the second quarter as George Washington pulled in front.UP NEXT
Kansas State plays either No. 1 seed South Carolina or No. 16 seed Jacksonville in the second round Sunday.