The Minnesota girls’ basketball community had a big presence in the opening weekend of the women’s NCAA tournament. More than 20 local players were in the 64-team field.

Though none of their teams advanced to the Sweet 16, there were several standout performances from the group.

The highlights:

Jessica January (pictured above)
College: DePaul
Year/position: Sr., guard
High School: Richfield

January, tabbed preseason Big East Player of the Year and an All-American, missed most of the conference regular-season with a hand injury. Since returning to DePaul’s lineup on Feb. 25, she has been among the team’s top producers. January scored nine points with four rebounds and two assists in the 88-67 first-round victory over Northern Iowa. She was an assist shy of a double-double in her final college game with 18 points and nine assists in the 92-71 second-round loss to Mississippi.

Seanna Johnson
College: Iowa State
Year/position: Sr., guard
High School: DeLaSalle

Johnson closed out her college career with a double-double, scoring 21 points and 11 rebounds in the first-round 85-65 loss to Syracuse. She also added six assists, two steals and one block. Hopkins product TeeTee Starks, a freshman guard at Iowa State, scored three points in the game.

Riley Nordgaard
College: Montana State
Year/position: Sr., forward
High School: Canby

Nordgaard scored 10 points and had seven rebounds, three assists and two steals in the first-round 91-63 loss to Washington. She averaged 13.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game and was named to the All-Big Sky Team in her final season. Nordgaard started her college career at Augustana.

Marissa Janning
College: Creighton
Year/position: Sr., guard
High School: Watertown-Mayer

Janning was Creighton’s leading scorer with 19 points in the first-round 76-49 victory over Toledo. She also had six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block in the Blue Jays’ win. Oregon State limited her to seven points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal in the second-round 64-52 loss to the Beavers.

Sydney Lamberty
College: Creighton
Year/position: Jr., guard
High School: Park

Lamberty scored a combined team-high 36 points in Creighton’s two NCAA tournament games. She contributed 16 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals in the win over Toledo. She responded with an even better performance against Oregon State: 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Creighton has six Minnesotans on its roster. Baily Norby (Forest Lake) and Kylie Brown (Simley) combined for nine points and nine rebounds in the first-round victory.  

Hannah Schonhardt (pictured above far right)
College: Northern Iowa
Year/position: Sr., forward
High School: Holy Family

Schonhardt had seven points, seven rebounds, one block and one assist in the first-round 88-67 loss to DePaul. She was one of two Minnesotans in Northern Iowa’s starting lineup and three on the roster. Angie Davison (Maple Grove) was the team’s starting guard.

Kiara Russell
College: Arizona State
Year/position: Fr., guard
High School: Osseo

Russell played a regular role for Arizona State off the bench and scored five points and had six assists in the Sun Devils’ 73-61 first-round victory over Michigan State. She had three assists and one rebound in the second-round 71-68 loss to South Carolina. Freshman forward Jamie Ruden (Rochester John Marshall) also played a role off the bench and had a combined two points and two rebounds in the NCAA tournament. 

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