Charli Collier had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and No. 6 seed Texas beat Bradley 81-62 in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Monday night.
Collier swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key to end the first quarter, capping a 13-0 run that put the Longhorns (19-9) ahead to stay after the Braves took their only lead in their first-ever NCAA tourney game.
It was the 18th double-double this season for Collier, a junior who has already declared herself available for next month’s WNBA draft. Audrey Warren added 19 points, Joanne Allen-Taylor had 12 and Ashley Chevalier 10.
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Lasha Petree scored a season-high 33 points and Gabi Haack had 16 points and eight rebounds for the mid-major Braves (17-12), who like Texas finished fifth in their conference during the regular season.
The private school in Peoria, Illinois, that plays in the Missouri Valley Conference has an enrollment of just under 5,900 students. Texas of the Big 12 is a state school with more than 50,000 students.
The Longhorns jumped ahead 6-0 even while missing 12 of their first 15 shots. Bradley then had its only go-ahead run, with Petree twisting and turning for a layup high off the glass, before Haack hit a 3-pointer and Tatum Koenig converted a Texas turnover into a breakaway layup.
Texas played its first NCAA Tournament game for coach Vic Schaefer, who returned to his hometown when he took the job last year after a successful run at Mississippi State. The Bulldogs from the SEC played in back-to-back NCAA championship games in 2017 and 2018.
RUN OF HER OWN
Petree had a 7-0 run all by herself in a span of less than a minute in the second quarter. After a layup with 3:46 left in the first half, Warren missed a 3-pointer and Petree then had another layup. She then made a fast-break 3-pointer with 2:51 left after a turnover by Warren, though the Braves were still down 42-24 at the time.
NOT FAR FROM HOME
The Longhorns were playing only about 30 miles from their home arena in Austin, Texas, where three NCAA Tournament games were being played each of the first two rounds. They actually had to travel 50 miles to get to the game on the Texas State campus since every tourney team is staying in San Antonio, where the rest of the games will be played.
The Longhorns play their second-round game on Wednesday against third-seeded UCLA or 14th-seeded Wyoming, who played later Monday night.