SAN ANTONIO: South Carolina coach Dawn Staley got her 500th career victory when Aliyah Boston and the top-seeded Gamecocks beat Mercer 79-53 on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Staley is 328-102 in 13 seasons at South Carolina, after going 172-80 in eight seasons at Temple.
Boston had 20 points and 18 rebounds for South Carolina (23-4), which grabbed the lead for good when it closed the first half with a 16-5 run. Victaria Saxton also scored 20 points in the Hemisfair Region game at the Alamodome.
The Gamecocks were national champs in 2017, when the Final Four was last played in Texas. They finished 32-1 last season, spent the final 10 weeks at No. 1 and Staley was the AP coach of the year, but didnt get a chance to win another title because the NCAA Tournament was canceled because of the pandemic.
Amoria Neal-Tysor had 15 points for Mercer (19-7).
The Gamecocks will the Oregon State-Florida State winner in the second round.
GEORGIA TECH 54, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 52, OT
SAN ANTONIO: Lorela Cubaj recovered from a scary fall to score 14 points, including the go-ahead free throws in overtime, and fifth-seeded Georgia Tech overcame a 17-point halftime deficit to beat 12th-seeded Stephen F. Austin.
The Yellow Jackets (16-8) will face the West Virginia-Lehigh winner.
Avery Brittingham had 16 points with 13 rebounds for the Ladyjacks (24-3).
N.C. STATE 79, NORTH CAROLINA A&T 58
SAN MARCOS, Texas: Jada Boyd scored 15 of her 18 points in the second half and top-seeded North Carolina State overcame a slow start to beat 16th-seeded North Carolina.
N.C. State (21-2) was making its fourth straight tournament appearance and 26th overall, but earned a No. 1 seed for the first time. N.C. State will face the South Florida-Washington State winner.
Chanin Scott led NC A&T (14-3) with 23 points.
RIVER WALK REGION
BAYLOR 101, JACKSON STATE 52
SAN ANTONIO: Moon Ursin scored a career-high 24 points and second-seeded Baylor routed Jackson State.
All-American NaLyssa Smith added 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting and had 10 rebounds for the Bears (26-2). They will face Virginia Tech on Tuesday.
Keshuna Luckett led the 15th-seeded Tigers (19-6) with 15 points.
VIRGINIA TECH 70, MARQUETTE 63
SAN MARCOS, Texas: Elizabeth Kitley had 23 points and seventh-seeded Virginia Tech built a big lead and held off 10th-seeded Marquette.
Kitley also had eight rebounds, four assists and three blocks for Virginia Tech (15-9).
Van Kleunen led Marquette (19-7) with 18 points.
TENNESSEE 87, MIDDLE TENNESSEE 62
AUSTIN, Texas: Rennia Davis had 24 points and 14 rebounds and No. 3 seed Tennessee used a dominant second half to beat 14th-seeded Middle Tennessee.
Rae Burrell scored 22 points and Jordan Walker had nine points and 14 rebounds for Tennessee (17-7). The Vols outrebounded the Blue Raiders (17-8) 56-21.
Tennessee will face Michigan in the second round.
Anastasia Hayes scored 26 points for Middle Tennessee.
MICHIGAN 87, FLORIDA GULF COAST 66
SAN ANTONIO: Leigha Brown scored 28 points, including 17 straight for sixth-seeded Michigan, and the Wolverines beat 11th-seed Florida Gulf Coast.
Big Ten player of the year Naz Hillmon finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Wolverines (15-5).
Kierstan Bell had 25 points for Florida Gulf Coast (26-3). The Eagles has won 15 in a row.
KENTUCKY 71, IDAHO STATE 63
SAN ANTONIO: Rhyne Howard and Chasity Patterson scored 14 points apiece and fourth-seeded Kentucky beat 13th-seeded Idaho State.
Blair Green added 10 points for the Wildcats (18-8). They will Iowa in the second round.
Diaba Konate led the Big Sky champion Bengals (22-4) with 16 points.
IOWA 87, CENTRAL MICHIGAN 72
SAN ANTONIO: Freshman Caitlin Clark, the nations leading scorer, had 23 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and fifth-seeded Iowa beat 12th-seeded Central Michigan.
Monika Czinano also scored 23 points for Iowa (19-9).
Micaela Kelly had 23 points for Central Michigan (18-9).
SYRACUSE 72, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 55
AUSTIN, Texas: Emily Engstler scored 18 points and made three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and eight-seeded Syracuse pulled away to beat ninth-seeded South Dakota State.
Syracuse (15-8) will face the UConn-High Point winner.
Paiton Burckhard had 17 points for South Dakota State (21-4).
OKLAHOMA STATE 84, WAKE FOREST 61
SAN ANTONIO: Natasha Mack had 27 points and 15 rebounds in eighth-seeded Oklahoma States victory over ninth-seeded Wake Forest.
Mack was 13 of 22 from the field for Oklahoma State (19-8). JaMee Asberry added 18 points with four 3-pointers.
Oklahoma State will face the Stanford-Utah Valley winner.
Christina Morra led Wake Forest (12-13) with 18 points.