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  • Writer's pictureKate Stiger

Players Make Their Names Known in March Madness Rounds 1 and 2

The 2024 March Madness tournament has been off to a hot start with dominant performances, close games, and players shining on the biggest stage. While many of the stars in women’s college basketball showed up big, these players had standout performances that put their names in the national conversation.

Dyaisha Fair

The Syracuse senior has been climbing the ranks of the women’s college basketball all-time scoring list this season. Her outstanding performances in the NCAA tournament solidified her place at number 3 with 3,403 career points, passing former Ohio State player Kelsey Mitchell.

Fair had a huge performance for the Orange during their Round 1 win over Arizona, scoring 32 points with 4 assists and 6 steals. 

Syracuse faced UCONN in Round 2, where they ultimately lost 72-64. Fair still had a great performance and gave UCONN a tough matchup, scoring 20 points and adding 6 assists and 3 steals. 

Although her college career is now over, fans got to see how great of a player Fair is and witnessed history as she made her mark in the record books.

Kiki Iriafen

In a back-and-forth, overtime game in Round 2 against Iowa State, Kiki Iriafen dominated throughout and was a key player for Stanford to secure the win. With Cameron Brink in foul trouble for most of the game, Iriafen was the focal point of the Cardinal offense and had a great defensive presence as well.

Iriafen scored a career-high 41 points, the most points scored so far in the tournament. She also filled the rest of the stat sheet with 16 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks. 

Stanford lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament a season ago, and Iriafen made sure that this season was going to be different.

For the rest of the tournament, you can expect me to give it my all and do everything I can for my teammates.

Audi Crooks

There have been lots of freshman standouts this season and Audi Crooks added her name to that list after her explosive performance in Round 1 against Maryland. 

The Iowa State freshman scored 40 points, shooting 18-20 from the field. She is the first player in over 25 years to score 40 points while shooting 90% in an NCAA tournament game. Crooks also pulled in 12 rebounds and had 2 blocks in the Cyclones comeback win. 

Crooks is a name you will not want to forget about in the coming years. Her presence on the floor is already difficult for teams to guard and she will only get better as Iowa State builds around her.

The Sweet Sixteen will be held in Portland, OR and Albany, NY on Friday, March 29 and Saturday, March 30. Fans can tune in to ESPN and ABC to watch all of the games. 


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