MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Isabelle Harrison scored 13 points as fourth-ranked Tennessee rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to beat Middle Tennessee 67-57 on Friday night in the season opener.
The Lady Vols played pretty sloppy in trailing 34-22 at halftime. They scored the first 14 of the second half, and Mercedes Russell, the Gatorade national girls player of the year from Springfield, Ore., scored nine of her 11 in the second half for Tennessee.
Ariel Massengale had 12 points for the Lady Vols, and Andraya Carter had 10.
Ebony Rowe led Middle Tennessee with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Olivia Jones had 10, and Shanice Cason had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
After Middle Tennessee lost 88-81 in overtime to the Lady Vols in Knoxville last year, the Blue Raiders drew 11,227 - the second-largest crowd in the program's history only to 11,802 who came to watch Tennessee on Nov. 25, 2009.
No. 7 KENTUCKY 75, MARIST 61
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) - Kastine Evans scored 15 points and Kentucky used a balanced offense to beat Marist.
The Wildcats (1-0) got all they could handle from the pesky Red Foxes, who have knocked off their share of top teams in the NCAA tournament over the past few years.
After trailing early on as Marist (0-1) was bolstered by a raucous sellout crowd, the Wildcats built a 17-point lead in the second half.
Just as Kentucky looked as if it was going to take control, the Red Foxes rallied scoring 11 straight to cut their deficit to 50-44 midway through the second half. They had a chance to cut it further, but a 3-pointer by Leanne Ockenden, who led the team with 16 points, rimmed out.
Kentucky then scored 12 of the next 16 points.
No. 8 MARYLAND 78, SOUTH FLORIDA 70
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Laurin Mincy scored 15 points and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough added 12 as Maryland won its season opener.
Alyssa Thomas, a preseason Associated Press All-American who averaged 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds last season to help Maryland (1-0) reached the NCAA round of 16, was severely limited by foul trouble and had just four points and three rebounds.
Courtney Williams had 21 points for South Forida (0-1), and Inga Orekhova, who averaged 12.7 points last season, finished with two points.
Maryland used a late 15-2 surge to take a 43-28 halftime lead. Thomas missed all three of her first-half shots and played 5 minutes after picking up two fouls early on.
USF rallied in the second half and pulled to 72-68 when Orekhova made two free throws with 40.3 seconds remaining. Thomas responded by making a pair free throws 20 seconds later.
No. 9 CALIFORNIA 70, LONG BEACH STATE 51
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Afure Jemerigbe scored 13 points, freshman Mercedes Jefflo had seven steals in an impressive collegiate debut, and California overcame a cold-shooting first half.
Jefflo added nine points and three assists, scoring consecutive baskets early in the second half as the Golden Bears pulled away to run their regular-season winning streak to 16 games dating to last season.
Third-year coach Lindsay Gottlieb and her players hope to build off the program's first Final Four berth in school history last season, when Cal shared the Pac-12 title with Bay Area rival Stanford.
Reshanda Gray had 10 points and 11 rebounds for Cal, and 6-3 freshman Courtney Range 14 boards.
No. 11 OKLAHOMA 78, STETSON 60
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Aaryn Ellenberg had 24 points, including six 3-pointers, to help Oklahoma win in the first round of the preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament.
The Sooners shot 41.5 percent from the field and were 15-for-34 from the field in the second half. They jumped out to a 20-point lead midway through the second half as Ellenburg scored 11 points to fuel a run.
The Hatters, who shot 27.3 percent from the field, pulled within 15 with just under eight minutes remaining, but couldn't pull any closer.
Sasha Sims led Stetson with 16 points and Jama Sharp had 11.
Kaylon Williams had 17 points and eight rebounds, and Sharane Campbell added 10 points for Oklahoma.
No. 12 NORTH CAROLINA 87, AIR FORCE 26
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) - Freshman Diamond DeShields scored 16 points to help the Tarheels beat Air Force in the opener for both teams.
Fellow rookie Stephanie Mavunga added 16 points and 13 rebounds for No. 12 North Carolina (1-0), which was without recently inducted Naismith Hall of Fame coach Sylvia Hatchell as she focuses on treatment for leukemia. With longtime assistant Andrew Calder in charge, UNC dominated from the tip by holding Air Force (0-1) to two baskets in the first half to take a 41-9 lead at the break.
Jimi Blagowsky scored seven to lead the Falcons, who shot just 14 percent (7 for 50) and had 30 turnovers.
No. 13 PENN STATE 117, ST FRANCIS 77
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) - Maggie Lucas scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Penn State beat St. Francis (Pa.).
The Nittany Lions shot 53.4 percent of the game, including a 21-for-37 effort in the second half.
With a 10-point lead midway through the first half, Penn State went on a 20-7 run to take a 49-26 lead late in the half. They closed the game on a 54-27 run, grabbing their biggest lead of 40 points.
Lucas shot 8-for-18 from the field and hit all 16 of her free throws. Ariel Edwards had 23 points and Dara Taylor had 14 for Penn State. Kaliyah Mitchell was the fourth Nittany Lion in double figures, scoring 11 points.
Alexa Hayward contributed 20 points and hit six 3-pointers for the Red Flash.
No. 15 LSU 86, STEPHEN F. AUSTIN 58
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - DaShawn Harden scored 20 points in her LSU debut to lead the Tigers in the opener of the preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament.
Harden, a junior-college transfer, made four 3-pointers to lead LSU, which hosts St. Joseph's in the second round Sunday.
LSU's Theresa Plaisance made her first four shots and finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Danielle Ballard also had 18 points for the Tigers.
The game was dedicated to the late Sue Gunter, who spent a combined 40 seasons coaching LSU and Stephen F. Austin. Gunter won 708 games and took LSU to 11 NCAA tournaments.
Porsha Roberts led Stephen F. Austin with 21 points and eight rebounds. SFA shot 34.4 percent for the game and committed 23 turnovers, which led to 18 LSU points.
No. 17 NEBRASKA 77, UCLA 49
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Two-time All-American Jordan Hooper scored 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for her 27th career double-double in the Cornhuskers' victory over the Bruins.
Rachel Theriot recorded a career-high nine assists for No. 17 Nebraska, and Allie Havers scored 14 points in her first career game. Last season, the Huskers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16.
Thea Lemberger led the Bruins with 17 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
This was the first game in the new Pinnacle Bank Arena in downtown Lincoln. The announced season-opener crowd was 9,750.
No. 21 OKLAHOMA STATE 83, LAMAR 56
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) - Guards Brittney Martin and Tiffany Bias teamed to lead the Cowgirls over Lamar.
Martin scored 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Bias added 14 points with seven assists and seven steals. Liz Donohoe added 10 points for No. 21 Oklahoma State.
Dominique Edwards led Lamar with 24 points and Shauna Long added 12.
Lamar is 0-6 all-time against Oklahoma State. The game was Robin Harmony's first as the Cardinals head coach.
No. 22 SOUTH CAROLINA 99, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 29
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Alaina Coates scored 20 points in her college debut to lead South Carolina to a season-opening win.
The game was a runaway from the opening tip, and South Carolina closed the first half on a 30-5 run to take a 52-13 lead at halftime.
Elem Ibiam made all seven of her field goal attempts to finish with 17 points for the Gamecocks. No South Carolina starter played more than 21 minutes
Charleston Southern shot 10 of 54 from the field. Alyssa Mann led the Buccaneers with nine points.
No. 25 GONZAGA 64, IDAHO 56
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Haiden Palmer scored 18 points and had seven steals to lead Gonzaga.
Palmer, last season's WCC tournament MVP, also had two blocked shots and seven rebounds. Keani Albanez hit three 3-pointers on her way to 13 points for the Bulldogs (1-0), while Sunny Greinacher had eight points and a blocked shot.
Alyssa Charlston scored 15 points, Christina Salvatore had 14 and Stacey Barr 10 for Idaho (0-1).
After trailing at the half 26-14, the Vandals stormed back with a 13-2 run to narrow the gap and kept the game close before Gonzaga pulled away with a 9-2 run that secured the win.
Both teams struggled offensively. Gonzaga shot just 33 percent from the field, 21 of 64, while Idaho was 17 of 64.