No. 1 South Carolina tops Tennessee for SEC title

March 6, 2023 GMT
South Carolina's Aliyah Boston holds up the championship trophy after defeating Tennessee 74-58 to win the championship game of the Southeastern Conference women's tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)
South Carolina's Aliyah Boston holds up the championship trophy after defeating Tennessee 74-58 to win the championship game of the Southeastern Conference women's tournament in Greenville, S.C., Sunday, March 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

GREEENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Zia Cooke scored 24 points and Aliyah Boston added 18 as No. 1 South Carolina pulled away in the final two quarters to beat Tennessee 74-58 for the SEC championship on Sunday.

The Gamecocks (32-0) won their seventh league tournament in the past nine seasons and head to the NCAA Tournament as clear-cut favorites for a second straight national crown.

When it was over, South Carolina players came out to hug each other as the large group of fans — the arena is about 90 minutes away from the Gamecocks’ campus — cheered the latest success.

Not that it came easily. Third-seeded Tennessee (23-11), sky high after taking down No. 4 LSU on Saturday night in the semifinals, trailed 39-36 after Rickea Jackson’s 3-pointer early in the second quarter.

The Gamecocks, the SEC regular-season champs, answered with a 16-4 burst powered by Boston and Cooke to open this one up and win their 38th straight dating back to last season’s NCAA Tournament run.

No. 7 IOWA 105, No. 14 OHIO STATE 72

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Caitlin Clark had 30 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds in her 10th career triple-double for the Iowa Hawkeyes, who built a 37-point halftime lead and beat Ohio State to win the Big Ten Tournament for the second straight year.

Monika Czinano scored 26 points on 11-for-12 shooting for the No. 7 Hawkeyes (26-6), who entered the chat about a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament with this championship run.

Clark had 23 points in the first half, just one fewer than the Buckeyes (25-7). She stepped back for NBA-range 3-pointers from the wing, drove hard to the hoop to draw fouls and dished out a steady stream of laser-like passes that were as devastating to Ohio State’s defense as they were pretty for the Iowa-dominated crowd to watch.

The announced attendance of 9,505 set the Big Ten Tournament record for a single session to beat the 2004 championship game in Indianapolis between Purdue and Penn State (9,417).

Taylor Mikesell had 24 points and McMahon added 23 points for the Buckeyes.


GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Georgia Amoore scored 25 points to help Virginia Tech beat Louisville to win its first Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament title.

Two-time league player of the year Elizabeth Kitley added 20 points for the Hokies (27-4), who continued their late-season tear with an 11th straight win. Virginia Tech turned its first trip to the ACC title game into a strong finishing act, pushing to a double-digit lead before halftime and keeping the Cardinals at arm’s distance the rest of the way to cap a tournament where the Hokies rarely trailed in three games.

While Amoore and Kitley led the offense, the Hokies got a vital second-half spark from Taylor Soule. She had all 13 of her points after halftime, including nine in the third quarter with multiple finishes in the paint as the Hokies poked and probed the Cardinals’ trapping pressure.

Chrislyn Carr scored 27 points to lead fourth-seeded Louisville (23-11).


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Aaliyah Edwards and Dorka Juhasz each put up double-doubles for the second consecutive game, Nika Muhl added another and No. 9 UConn advanced to its 19th straight conference tournament final with a win over fifth-seeded Marquette in the Big East Tournament..

Edwards scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, while Juhasz scored 14 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Muhl did it a bit differently, with 11 points and 10 assists.

Lou Lopez Senechal added 14 points for the Huskies (28-5), who are seeking a 10th straight league tournament title.

Liza Karlen scored 18 points and Mackenzie Hare added 15 for Marquette (21-10).


UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Maddy Siegrist scored 37 points and grabbed 11 rebounds — her 16th double-double this season — to help Villanova beat Creighton in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament.

The No. 2 seed Wildcats play top-seeded UConn for the Big East title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The ninth-ranked Huskies are the only team to beat Villanova (28-5) since the middle of December.

Siegrest, who scored at least 30 points for the 14th time this season, had 11 in the fourth quarter. The Blue Jays made it a one-possession game on three occasions in the final period but, each time, Siegrist answered, twice scoring inside before grabbing an air-balled 3-point point shot, drawing a foul and hitting two free throws to make it 63-59 with 26 seconds to play.

Lauren Jensen scored 22 points, Emma Ronsiek had 15 points, five assists and two steals for Creighton (22-8). Molly Mogensen added 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.


LAS VEGAS (AP) — Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 23 points and Bella Murekatete added 21 to help Washington State earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament by beating UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship on Sunday.

It was the first-ever tournament championship for the Washington State women’s basketball program.

Up by three with just nine seconds left, Washington State Astera Tuhina got a piece of UCLA guard Charisma Osborne’s 3-point attempt to tie the game. With the arrow pointing their way, the Cougars took possession after a held ball on the rebound, and Tara Wallack hit one of two free throws with 5.1 seconds left to give Washington State a four-point lead to ultimately seal the victory.

Tuhina had six assists and Wallack added eight rebounds for the Cougars (23-10).

Osborne led the Bruins (25-9) with 19 points.


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