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Mar 20, 2024 9:22 pm

Presbyterian wins NCAA debut, earns shot at No. 1 South Carolina

presbyterian sacred heart

Mara Neira scored 14 points to help Presbyterian win in its first-ever Division I NCAA Tournament game, a 49-42 victory over Sacred Heart on Wednesday night in a First Four battle at Columbia, S.C.

The Blue Hose (21-14) move on as a No. 16 seed to face host and No. 1 overall seed South Carolina on Friday.

Presbyterian also got 12 points and five rebounds from Bryanna Brady.

Ny’Ceara Pryor paced Sacred Heart (24-10) with 12 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. Sierra Johnson added 10 points for the Pioneers.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Presbyterian opened the second frame with an 11-2 run to build a 14-point lead, capped off by a 3-pointer from Neira.

Pryor, Sacred Heart’s leading scorer this season at 18.9 points per game, started the game by missing her first nine shots. She sank her first field goal at the 8:42 mark in the third quarter. A 3-pointer from Pryor with 2:42 to go in the fourth cut Presbyterian’s lead to three points, but the Pioneers never tied the game.

Presbyterian, which won the Big South tournament this month, played in Division II until 2007.

–Field Level Media

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