Naz Hillmon scored 17 points off the bench, Nicole Munger and Kayla Robbins each added 13 and eighth-seeded Michigan shot a season-high 56 percent to run away from No. 9 seed Kansas State 84-54 on Friday in the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Michigan’s 17-5 surge over 5:10 in the second quarter provided a 43-28 halftime lead that expanded to as many as 37 late in the fourth. The Wolverines (22-11) owned rebounding 50-19 — including a 33-13 gap defensively — and paint scoring 52-26 while holding the Wildcats (21-12) to 36 percent shooting.
Hillmon, a freshman forward, was strong on both ends as she made 8 of 10 from the field and grabbed 10 rebounds in 21 minutes. Munger and Robbins combined to make 11 of 18 shots while Deja Church added 12 points and a team-high seven assists.
Michigan shot well and hit 16 of 26 after halftime on the way to winning its 10th in 12 contests.
Christianna Carr had 21 points and Rachel Ranke 11 for Kansas State, which committed 17 turnovers leading to 26 Michigan points. The Wildcats’ rebounding total marked a season-low.
Michigan will face top-seeded Louisville in Sunday’s second round. The Cardinals routed No. 16 seed Robert Morris 69-34 in the first game.
Kansas State: The Wildcats’ perimeter game got them with 26-23 in the second and on the verge of reclaiming the lead. The Big 12 school never got closer and struggled to contend with Michigan’s size, especially inside.
Michigan: The Wolverines have done a lot right down the stretch, and it paid off big with a dominant beginning to the NCAA Tournament. They seemed to get better as the game progressed and had many contributors as 10 of 14 players scored at least a point. They also dished out at least 20 assists for the fourth time in six games.