Pickering’s Pellington scores 30, leads Arizona into second round at NCAA Women’s March Madness

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Published March 21, 2022 at 8:03 am

Down five heading into the fourth quarter, the defending national championship finalist Arizona Wildcats looked like the inexperienced squad in Saturday’s opening match of the NCAA March Madness Women’s tournament.

Then they gave Shaina Pellington the ball. The senior guard from Pickering responded as she and teammate Cate Reese, who had missed the last three games with a separated shoulder, combine to score 22 of the ‘Cats 24 fourth quarter points to pull away and bounce the UNLV Running Rebels 72-67.

Pellington led all scorers with 30 points and the Canadian Olympian chipped in three boards and four assists as well as Arizona, playing in front of a home crowd in Tucson, advanced to the second round.

Arizona, seeded #4, takes on fifth-seeded North Carolina in today’s second round.

In men’s play involving players from Durham Region, the fourth-seeded Providence Friars are into the Sweet 16 after a pair of tournament victories. Providence beat South Dakota State in the opening match 67-56 and followed that up with a big win over Richmond 79-51.

Pickering’s Matteus Case, a role player with the Friars, didn’t see any action in the opener but came off the bench in garbage time against Richmond to record one rebound and get on the stat sheet.

Meanwhile, Vermont Catamounts and Erik Beckett of Ajax exited the tournament in the first round despite a strong second half, losing 75-71 to Arkansas. Beckett did not see any game action.

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