- The Washington Times
Thursday, March 17, 2022

Howard won its first-ever NCAA Women’s Tournament game on Wednesday night to join Maryland and American as D.C. area teams dancing this weekend. 

The Bison, appearing in the dance for the first time since 2001, earned a close victory in the 16th-seed play-in game to advance to the first round of the tournament. Howard forwards Brooklynn Fort-Davis (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Krislyn Marsh (14 points, 16 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles to lead the Bison to the 55-53 win over Incarnate Word.

The victory sets the Bison up for a challenging tilt against No. 1 overall seed South Carolina on Friday at 2 p.m. Howard is hoping to pull a UMBC-esque upset over the Gamecocks. Only one 16-seed has beaten a No. 1 in women’s tournament history: Harvard’s upset of Stanford in 1998. 

Howard is now one of three D.C. area women’s basketball teams competing in the Round of 64 this weekend. Maryland, a No. 4 seed, is scheduled to take on No. 13 Delaware Friday at 5 p.m., while No. 14 American will face off against No. 3 Michigan on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

The Terrapins (21-8) started the year as a top-five team, but they ended the regular season ranked No. 13 by the Associated Press after finishing fourth in the Big Ten standings and losing their first game of the conference tournament. Last season, the Terrapins won the Big Ten tournament, but were upset by Texas in the Sweet 16.

Maryland is led by sophomore forward Angel Reese, who is pacing the team in scoring and rebounding at 17.5 points and 10.8 boards. Reese, a Baltimore native, on Wednesday was voted by the AP as a third-team All-American. Two other Terrapins were picked as honorable mentions on the list: Ashley Owusu (14 points per game) and Katie Benzan (10.5 points per contest). 

If Maryland defeats Delaware Friday, it will play the winner of No. 5 Virginia Tech and No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday. 

American, meanwhile, is in a similar position as the Bison — hoping for an upset. The Eagles (23-8) defeated Bucknell in the Patriot League tournament championship to earn the NCAA Tournament bid. 

American, riding a seven-game winning streak into the dance, is led by guard Jade Edwards (12.8 points, 6.6 rebounds) and forward Taylor Brown (10.3 points). 

• Jacob Calvin Meyer can be reached at jmeyer@washingtontimes.com.

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