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Baylor, Florida win in first round action at the Stroh

No. 1 seed Baylor Bears cruised past UC Santa Barbara and the No. 9 seed Florida Gators edged past No. 8 Ohio State to advance to the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Sunday at the Stroh Center.

The Bears, who entered the game 34-0, outscored the Gauchos 46-16 in the first half en route to a 81-40 victory. Five players scored in double figures for the Bears, led by 14 points from Brittney Griner, who played only 22 minutes.

While the Bears only carried a 36-27 rebounding edge, they shot much better from the field. Baylor shot 58.7 percent from the field, while the Gauchos shot 26.7 percent.

Baylor also had a significant edge at the foul line. While it shot only 63.9 percent from the free throw line, Baylor made 23-of-36 shots. UC Santa Barbara only attempted seven free throws in the game.

The Bears had 41 points from six players coming off the bench.

The first game of the afternoon featured a mild upset, with Florida defeating Ohio State.

Jennifer George led Florida with 16 points and added six rebounds, and the Gators held off a late Ohio State charge, despite shooting only 35.1 percent from the field.

Big Ten Player of the Year Samantha Prahalis scored only nine points for the Buckeyes, but Tayler Hill had a strong all-around game to pick up some of the slack, scoring 23 points with four assists, four steals and three rebounds. Ohio State shot 47.5 percent as a team.

Trailing most of the game, the Buckeyes left their starting lineup in for most of the game. Hill and Prahalis each played all 40 minutes, Ashley Adams played 39 minutes and Amber Stokes played 30.

The Buckeyes only had six points from their bench, while the Gators received 19 points from their bench.

Baylor and Florida will meet in the second round. The two teams will face off Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Stroh Center.

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