Dayton guard Erin Whalen, left, celebrates with teammate Tenin Magassa, right, after a First Four game against DePaul in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Ames, Iowa. Dayton won 88-57. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

First Ever NCAAW Play-In Games

Howard and Incarnate Word played the NCAA women’s basketball tournament’s inaugural First Four game on Wednesday night where Howard was able to escape 55-51.

DePaul and Dayton shortly followed where Dayton was able to run away with it 88-57.

Howard vs. Incarnate Word

In a historical moment, the women’s tournament was able to start off with a field of 68 for the first time in history. The opening game did not disappoint.

In a tight matchup the whole way, Howard was able to pull away late in the fourth.

Behind massive performances from Brooklynn Fort-Davis and Krislyn Marsh the Bison were able to come out with the win.

Both Fort-Davis and Marsh put up double-double stat lines en route to a dominating performance on both ends. Fort-Davis finished with a team-high 15 points and 11 rebounds while Marsh finished with 14 points and 16 rebounds.

Incarnate Word was led by Tiana Gardner who put up 16 points off the bench in a losing effort.

Howard’s next test will be tournament favorite and No. 1 overall seed, the South Carolina Gamecocks Friday at 2 p.m.

Dayton vs. DePaul

On a night where DePaul only had one player in double digits, Dayton was able to run away with this one by halftime.

Led by Erin Whalen who had a game-high 28 points along with seven three-pointers. Jenna Giacone also contributed with 21 points off the bench to help propel the Flyers to the next round.

After keeping it close after a first quarter score of 21-29, DePaul’s wheels fell off in the second quarter. The Blue Demons got outscored 11-26 in the second quarter and dug themselves a hole they ultimately could not climb out of.

DePaul’s lone scorer in double digits was Aneesah Morrow, who was able to put up 28 points in the defeat.

Dayton will next be in action in the round of 64 against the sixth seeded Georgia Bulldogs on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Nonetheless, all teams will be cemented in history as the inaugural games of the women’s First Four.

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