No. 1 South Carolina stays unbeaten with win over Kentucky
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Aliyah Boston had 14 points and 14 rebounds as No. 1 South Carolina won its 28th straight game with an 87-69 victory over Kentucky on Thursday night.
The Gamecocks (10-0 Southeastern Conference) stayed perfect at 22-0 and now head for an NCAA Tournament title game rematch at No. 5 UConn on Sunday.
Boston, the reigning AP player of the year, extended her school mark with her 75th career double-double and moved within 11 of the SEC record of 86 games with a double-double held by LSU great Sylvia Fowles.
Things weren’t perfect for South Carolina, which fell behind early, then had its 15-point halftime lead cut to 54-48 midway through the third quarter.
Still, its dominant inside game — South Carolina outscored the Wildcats 62-14 in the paint — was more than enough to shut down Kentucky (10-12, 2-8), the last team to defeat the defending national champions at the SEC Tournament last March.
Robyn Benton had 24 points to lead Kentucky, which has lost three of its past four games.
No. 3 LSU 82, GEORGIA 77, OT
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Angel Reese had 23 points and 14 rebounds to extend her program-record streak of double-doubles to 22 games, and LSU narrowly remained unbeaten with a victory over Georgia.
Alexis Morris highlighted her 15-point night with a 3 from the right corner in the final minute of the extra period to give LSU (22-0, 10-0 SEC) a 77-74 lead, and the Tigers held on from there.
Diamond Battles scored 22 points for Georgia (15-9, 4-6), which had a chance to pull within a point when De’Mauri Flournoy was fouled behind the 3-point line with 8 seconds left. But Flournoy made just one free throw.
Morris rebounded Flournoy’s last miss and then hit two free throws for the final margin.
No. 6 IOWA 96, No. 8 MARYLAND 82
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Caitlin Clark scored 42 points and Monika Czinano had 28 as Iowa defeated Maryland.
Clark, who entered second in the nation in scoring at 27.1 points per game, was 13 of 19 from the field, including 6 for 11 on 3-pointers. She also had seven rebounds and eight assists.
It was the sixth time in her career that Clark scored 40 or more points.
Iowa freshman Hannah Stuelke added 13 as the Hawkeyes (18-4, 10-1 Big Ten) extended their winning streak to seven and stayed in second place in the Big Ten, a half-game behind No. 4 Indiana.
Maryland (18-5, 9-3) had its five-game winning streak snapped and fell into a third-place tie with No. 10 Ohio State. The Terrapins host the Buckeyes on Sunday.
No. 9 NOTRE DAME 72, BOSTON COLLEGE 59
BOSTON (AP) — Olivia Miles scored 22 points with 10 assists and eight rebounds, combining with Sonia Citron to score 14 straight points in the fourth quarter when Notre Dame pulled away from Boston College.
Citron finished with 23 points to help the Irish (18-2, 9-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) bounce back from their first league loss of the season, a 69-65 defeat at North Carolina State on Sunday.
Maria Gakdeng scored 16 points, T’Yana Todd had 13 and Andrea Daly scored 10 with eight rebounds for BC (14-11, 4-8). The Eagles, who beat Pittsburgh on Sunday to snap a five-game losing streak, were looking for their second victory over a Top 25 team this season, having also beaten then-No. 10 N.C. State on Jan. 5.
BC came within five points, 55-50, before the Irish ran off 14 points in a row — nine by Citron, and five by Miles.
No. 11 NORTH CAROLINA 73, VIRGINIA 62
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Freshman Kayla McPherson came off the bench to score 14 points and North Carolina cruised to a victory over Virginia.
McPherson has played just two games in the last 800 days. She had a knee injury that sidelined her for her senior year of high school and a different lower-body injury that kept her out of the Tar Heels’ first 20 games this season. It didn’t show against Virginia.
McPherson, who had eight points in North Carolina’s 69-58 road win over Clemson on Sunday, connected on 6 of 10 shots with two 3-pointers and added four assists for the Tar Heels (17-5, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won eight straight conference games after a three-game skid to open ACC play.
London Clarkson scored 23 points off the bench to lead the Cavaliers (14-9, 3-9), who have lost five straight.
No. 13 VIRGINIA TECH 78, SYRACUSE 64
BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) —- Elizabeth Kitley had 20 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, Cayla King scored 19 points with five 3-pointers and Virginia Tech beat Syracuse.
Kitley missed her first four shots and went scoreless in the first quarter before making all four shots in the second quarter to finish with eight points at the break. She made 4 of 5 shots in the third for nine points and recorded her 13th double-double of the season. King reached 200 career 3-pointers as she hit double figures for the first time since Jan. 1.
Virginia Tech (18-4, 8-4 ACC) opened the fourth quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points to pull away.
Dyaisha Fair, averaging 19.8 points per game, had 20 points, six rebound and five assists and Georgia Woolley scored 18 points for Syracuse (14-9, 5-7).
GEORGIA TECH 68, No. 15 NORTH CAROLINA STATE 62
ATLANTA (AP) — Tonie Morgan tied her career-high with 17 points and contributed two of the six free throws Georgia Tech made in the last 30 seconds to secure a win over North Carolina State.
The Yellow Jackets took a 56-53 lead on Kayla Blackshear’s three-point play with 5:03 to go and then Nerea Hermosa scored the next three Tech baskets on Morgan assists.
The Wolfpack missed a tying 3-pointer with a minute to play and Hermosa turned an offensive rebound into two free throws for a 65-60 lead with 29.3 seconds to play. N.C. State had turnovers on its next two possessions, which led to three more free throws. Morgan made it 68-60 with 15.6 remaining.
Hermosa had 14 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Yellow Jackets (12-10, 3-8 Atlantic Coast Conference). Cameron Swartz added 12 points and Morgan also had 10 assists.
Diamond Johnson scored 17 points for the Wolfpack (16-6, 6-5)
No. 16 DUKE 53, PITTSBURGH 44
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Shayeann Day-Wilson and Celeste Taylor each scored 13 points and Duke beat Pittsburgh.
Taylor scored nine of her points in the fourth quarter to help Duke pull away. Pittsburgh was within 35-32 with 1:47 left in the third quarter. But the Panthers missed their next 11 field goals attempts before a make with 3:26 remaining in the game.
Vanessa de Jesus finished an alley-oop layup, off an assist by Taylor, to give Duke a 49-40 lead with 2:10 left.
Elizabeth Balogun added nine points and Kennedy Brown grabbed nine rebounds for Duke (19-3, 9-2 ACC), which plays at No. 9 Notre Dame on Sunday.
Emy Hayford, averaging 1.8 points per game, scored 12 points for Pittsburgh (7-15, 0-11).
SANTA CLARA 77, No. 17 GONZAGA 72
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Tess Heal scored 16 points, capped by two free throws with 1.8 seconds to play, and Santa Clara ended Gonzaga’s 14-game winning streak.
The Broncos, who lost the first match-up this season 78-61 for its 14th straight loss in the series, trailed by 12 points in the first quarter but had a 64-50 lead on Heal’s 3-pointer with 7:20 to play. After Olivia Pollerd’s 3-pointer had Santa Clara up 69-61 with 3:43 to go, the Broncos only got off one more shot and had three turnovers.
Kaylynne Truong’s 3-pointer at 1:38 capped a 13-3 run that pulled Gonzaga within 69-66, but the Broncos made 8 of 10 free throws in the last 35 seconds.
Pollerd also had 16 points for the Broncos (14-10, 5-6 West Coast Conference).
Yvonne Ejim scored 26 points for Gonzaga (21-3, 11-1), which dropped into a first-place tie with Portland.
No. 18 MICHIGAN 74, ILLINOIS 57
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Leigha Brown scored 27 points to propel Michigan to a victory over Illinois.
Brown sank 10 of 13 shots from the floor and all seven of her free throws for the Wolverines (18-5, 8-4 Big Ten Conference). She added five assists and four rebounds. Maddie Nolan and Emily Kiser scored 10 points apiece. Kiser snagged six rebounds.
Kendall Bostic and Genesis Bryant both had 18 points to pace the Fighting Illini (17-6, 7-5).
UTEP 65, NO. 21 MIDDLE TENNESSEE 62
EL PASO, Texas (AP) — Elina Arike scored 20 points, Jazion Jackson buried a 3-pointer in the final second and the UTEP women beat Middle Tennessee, ending the Lady Raiders’ 16-game win streak.
The Miners (14-6, 7-4 Conference USA), who led most of the game, took a 51-45 lead into the fourth quarter. Jalynn Gregory scored 11 of her 20 points in the final period and Middle Tennessee (18-3, 11-1) tied the game at 62 when Kseniya Malashka made the second of two free throws with 59 seconds left in OT
UTEP turned the ball over on its next possession. Arike blocked a Gregory shot and Malashaka grabbed the offensive rebound, but Avery Crouse stole the ball to set up Jackson’s game-winner.
No. 23 FLORIDA STATE 72, WAKE FOREST 44
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Ta’Niya Latson scored 19 points, Makayla Timpson added 16 points and Florida State eased by Wake Forest.
Florida State pulled away in the second quarter by outscoring Wake Forest 21-4. The Demon Deacons were 1-of-17 shooting in the quarter with four turnovers. Erin Howard hit two 3-pointers and scored eight of her nine points in the second quarter. Latson added seven points.
Latson also scored five points during a 7-0 run to open the third quarter for a 25-point lead. Florida State (20-5, 9-3 ACC) led by as many as 29 points, 60-31, early in the fourth quarter.
Jewel Spear led Wake Forest (13-10, 4-8) with 11 points.
AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25