KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Lisa Griffith scored 19 points, including three 3-pointers in a second-half charge, to lead No. 21 Arizona to a 73-61 victory over Kent on Saturday in the first round of the women's NCAA tournament Mideast Regional.
Arizona (25-6), making its fourth consecutive tournament appearance, raced to a 23-point lead midway through the second half before Mid-American Conference champion Kent (25-6) fought back.
A 16-foot jumper by Carrie Nance cut the Arizona lead to 66-61 with just under two minutes to play. Kent, however, was scoreless from there.
Arizona led 37-29 at halftime and opened the second half with a 15-4 run sparked by Griffith's 3-pointers to go up 52-33 less than three minutes into the period.
The Wildcats' biggest lead was 60-37 after a layup by LaKeisha Taylor with 13 minutes to play.
Kent then went on a 14-0 run over the next seven minutes, with Nance's jumper cutting the deficit to five with 1:50 remaining.
Arizona scored 27 points off 21 Kent turnovers, and made 76 percent of their free throws (16 of 21), while Kent made only one of 10 3-point shots, several coming at the end.
Felicity Willis had 13 points, Elizabeth Pickney had 11 and Angela Lackey had 10 for Arizona. Kent got 20 points from Julie Studer, 15 points from Nance and 10 from Alana Bader.