• Duke downs North Carolina, 65-58
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     | March 04,2013
     
    AP Photo

    Duke’s Alexis Jones passes over North Carolina’s Brittany Rountree during the second half in Durham, N.C., Sunday.

    DURHAM, N.C. — Freshman Alexis Jones scored a season-high 22 points and fifth-ranked Duke beat No. 15 North Carolina 65-58 on Sunday for its Atlantic Coast Conference-record 17th regular-season league victory.

    Elizabeth Williams added 13 points for the Blue Devils (27-2, 17-1).

    They overcame a season-high 29 turnovers by forcing the hot-and-cold Tar Heels (26-5, 14-4) to miss 19 consecutive shots during a span of roughly 10 minutes in the second half and beat their archrivals for the sixth straight time.

    Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led North Carolina with 16 points on 5-of-23 shooting.

    The Tar Heels got as close as six points in the final minutes, clawing to 50-44 when freshman Xylina McDaniel was fouled while making a layup with 3:03 left.

    After she missed the free throw, Duke pulled away.

    No. 7 PENN STATE 82, No. 20 NEBRASKA 67

    LINCOLN, Neb. — Maggie Lucas scored 34 points to lead Penn State to a victory over Nebraska, clinching the Lady Lions’ second straight outright Big Ten championship and ending the Cornhuskers’ 10-game win streak.

    Lucas made a career-high eight 3-pointers, with four of them coming in a bunch to help the Lady Lions stretch their lead in the first half and three more keeping the Huskers at bay early in the second.

    Penn State (24-4, 14-2) improved to 6-1 against ranked opponents and secured its best conference record since going 15-1 in 2003-04.

    The Huskers (22-7, 12-4) were playing their last game at the Devaney Center, their home for 37 seasons. They move into a new downtown arena next season.

    Alex Bentley scored 13 points and Mia Nickson and Nikkie Greene 10 apiece for Penn State.

    No. 10 KENTUCKY 78, NO. 8 TENNESSEE 65

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — A’dia Mathies scored 13 second-half points, including back-to-back 3-pointers during Kentucky’s 19-6 run, to help the Wildcats pull away from Tennessee.

    Mathies, Kentucky’s No. 2 career scorer, finished with 16 points in her home finale. Jennifer O’Neill added four 3-pointers for 16 points as Kentucky (25-4, 13-3) claimed the No. 2 seed for this week’s Southeastern Conference tournament.

    Kentucky set the tone throughout but emerged from a 36-32 halftime lead with a big run set up by three steals and two rebounds by Samarie Walker (10 points). That put the Wildcats up 55-38 and they stayed safely ahead to make Matthew Mitchell the program’s winningest coach with 139 victories.

    Regular-season champion Tennessee (23-6, 14-2) played without center Isabelle Harrison, who sustained a right knee injury Thursday.

    No. 9 MARYLAND 88, WAKE FOREST 61

    COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Tianna Hawkins scored 18 points, Alyssa Thomas added 16, and Maryland defeated Wake Forest to snap its first losing streak of the season.

    Coming off losses to Top 25 foes Duke and Florida State, the Terrapins (23-6, 14-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 38-22 at halftime and coasted to their 14th straight victory over the Demon Deacons (12-18, 5-13).

    Maryland will receive a first-round bye in the ACC tournament, which gets under way Thursday. The Terrapins, who won the event last year, will be seeded either second or third.

    Playing in her final regular-season home game, Hawkins grabbed 11 rebounds for her 13th double-double of the season and 37th of her career. The 6-foot-3 senior forward leads the ACC in scoring and ranks second in rebounding.

    No. 11 GEORGIA 55, VANDERBILT 50

    ATHENS, Ga. — Jasmine Hassell scored 16 points and Georgia rebounded from a disappointing Southeastern Conference loss to beat Vanderbilt in each team’s regular-season finale.

    Georgia’s shooters could only improve after shooting 18.2 percent in a 50-38 loss to Mississippi State on Thursday. The Bulldogs (24-5, 12-4) shot 35.8 percent (19 of 53) Sunday, though they only made 2 of 11 3-pointers.

    Erika Ford put Georgia up 15-13 with two free throws midway through the first half, and the Bulldogs never relinquished the lead.

    Hassell added six rebounds and is averaging 15.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game over her past seven.

    Jasmine James added 10 points and five assists for Georgia.

    Jasmine Lister paced Vanderbilt (19-10, 9-7) with 17 points, and Tiffany Clarke added 13 points and nine rebounds. The Commodores will be the seventh seed in the SEC tournament, and will play Thursday in Duluth.

    No. 12 DAYTON 73, SAINT JOSEPH’S 66

    DAYTON, Ohio — Andrea Hoover scored 19 points and Samantha MacKay added 18 points and seven assists as Dayton wrapped up its first Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season title by beating Saint Joseph’s.

    The Flyers (26-1, 14-0) set a record for victories since moving to Division I in the 1985-86 season. Both teams advanced to Saturday’s Atlantic 10 tournament quarterfinals, where Saint Joseph’s (20-8, 11-3) will be the host and fourth seed.

    A 16-4 run in the final 6 minutes of the first half gave Dayton a 37-25 halftime lead. Kelley Austria hit two 3-pointers during that run.

    The Flyers led by as many as 18 points in the second half. Erin Shields and Natasha Cloud led a Saint Joseph’s rally that cut it to four, but MacKay secured the win with four free throws in the final 17 seconds.

    Shields scored 28 points and Cloud 17 for the Hawks.

    LSU 67, No. 13 TEXAS A&M 52

    COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Theresa Plaisance scored 16 points and Danielle Ballard had 15 points and 11 rebounds Sunday to lead LSU to a victory over Texas A&M in the regular-season finale for both teams.

    Ballard, a freshman, posted her second consecutive double-double for the Tigers (19-10, 10-6 SEC), who have won six in a row entering next weekend’s Southeastern Conference tournament. Ballard had 14 points and 10 rebounds on Thursday in a win over Alabama.

    Bianca Lutley had 14 points and five assists and Adrienne Webb scored 11 points for LSU.

    Kelsey Bone led the Aggies (21-9, 11-5) with 13 points. Courtney Williams scored 11.

    Texas A&M led 24-20 at halftime. The Aggies were 0 for 8 from 3-point range.

    No. 14 SOUTH CAROLINA 67, FLORIDA 56

    COLUMBIA, S.C. — Ashley Bruner scored 16 points and Aleighsa Welch and Ieasia Walker added 14 apiece as South Carolina defeated Florida.

    The Gamecocks (23-6, 11-5) set a school record for Southeastern Conference victories in a season and tied their program record for regular-season wins.

    Khadijah Sessions’ 3-pointer started a 9-2 run that gave the Gamecocks a 53-44 lead with 6:32 remaining. They led 61-49 with 3:41 left after a three-point play and another free throw by Welch and a jumper by Bruner.

    Welch also had 10 rebounds for her ninth double-double of the season, and Walker tied her career high with eight assists.

    Sydney Moss scored 16 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Gators (17-13, 6-10). Jaterra Bonds added 12 points before fouling out and Jennifer George had 10 points and blocked four shots.

    Both teams will begin play Thursday at the SEC tournament in Duluth, Ga.

    No. 17 UCLA 68, ARIZONA 57

    TUCSON, Ariz. — Alyssia Brewer scored 22 points on 11-for-14 shooting and UCLA finished the Pac-12 regular season with a victory over Arizona.

    Nirra Fields scored 21 and tied Brewer and Jasmine Dixon with a team-high eight rebounds for the Bruins (23-6, 14-4), who have won four in a row. UCLA is the third seed and will receive a bye in the Pac-12 tournament that begins Thursday in Seattle.

    Markel Walker had 10 points and seven assists for the Bruins, who played without Thea Lemberger, who injured her elbow in Friday’s win at Arizona State.

    Davellyn White had 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for Arizona (12-17, 4-14). The Wildcats have lost four in a row.

    No. 18 DELAWARE 62, DREXEL 57

    NEWARK, Del. — Elena Delle Donne posted a double-double and Lauren Carra scored a season-high 21 points to help Delaware beat Drexel and tie a school record with 21 straight wins.

    Delle Donne finished with 28 points and 10 rebounds, her eighth double-double this season, while Carra made 7 of 14 shots, including a 3-pointer that broke a 54-all tie with 1:36 left to play.

    Drexel’s Rachel Pearson answered with a 3 of her own but Carra and Delle Donne combined to make five free throws over the final minute while the Dragons (20-8, 13-4) went scoreless.

    Delaware (26-3, 17-0), which clinched its second straight Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title Thursday, made 15 of 16 free throws in winning its 36th straight CAA game.

    Hollie Mershon paced Drexel with 26 points but made just 11 of 30 shots. The Dragons had won four straight.

    No. 19 COLORADO 66, OREGON STATE 63, OT

    CORVALLIS, Ore. — Chucky Jeffery scored 25 points and Colorado rallied to beat Oregon State for the Buffaloes’ ninth win in a row.

    The Buffaloes (24-5, 13-5 Pac-12) trailed by 16 points in the first half, and by 10 with 11:46 to play. But Jeffery’s 3-pointer began a 15-2 run that saw Colorado take the lead for the first time.

    Colorado led until Jamie Weisner’s 3-pointer with 9 seconds left tied it at 56. In overtime, Brittany Wilson’s 3-pointer in the first minute put the Buffs ahead to stay. Arielle Roberson’s two free throws with 6 seconds left ended the scoring.

    Roberson finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds — eight on the offensive glass. Ali Gibson scored 15 points and Weisner had 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Beavers (10-20, 4-14).

    Colorado is the No. 4 seed in the Pac-12 tournament next weekend.

    VIRGINIA 72, No. 24 FLORIDA STATE 60

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Faith Randolph scored a career-high 19 points and Simone Egwu had 17 points and 11 rebounds as Virginia ended a five-game losing streak by defeating Florida State in the teams’ regular-season finale.

    The Cavaliers (16-13, 8-10 Atlantic Coast Conference) overcame a 22-point performance by Florida State’s Alexa Deluzio, whose six 3-pointers tied her career high.

    Natasha Howard’s three-point play gave the Seminoles (21-8, 11-7) their final lead, 55-53 with 5:42 left, but the Cavaliers ran off the next seven points. Randolph’s 3-pointer put them ahead to stay, 58-55, at the 4:14 mark, and they pulled away with 10-for-10 free-throw shooting in the final 2 minutes.

    Ataira Franklin scored 18 points for Virginia, which will be seeded sixth and play Thursday at the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C.

    Leonor Rodriguez scored 14 points for fourth-seeded Florida State, which has a bye into Friday’s quarterfinals despite the loss.

    No. 25 PURDUE 76, ILLINOIS 65

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Courtney Moses scored 21 points, leading four Purdue players in double figures, and the Boilermakers defeated Illinois.

    Drey Mingo scored 18 and Sam Ostarello and KK Houser had 12 points apiece. Ostarello had nine rebounds while Houser contributed seven rebounds and eight assists for Purdue (21-8, 10-6 Big Ten). It was the regular-season finale for both teams; the Big Ten tournament begins Thursday in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

    The Boilermakers took control with a 13-0 run midway through the second half that gave them a 60-50 lead.

    Karisma Penn had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead the Illini (16-12, 9-7). Adrienne GodBold scored 18 points and Ivory Crawford scored 11.

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