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Notre Dame Women Keep Virginia at Distance

Virginia forward Sarah Imovbioh (42) shoots next to Notre Dame forward Ariel Braker (44) during an NCAA basketball game Sunday Jan. 12, 2014 in Charlottesville, VA. Notre Dame defeated Virginia  79-72. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)

Virginia forward Sarah Imovbioh (42) shoots next to Notre Dame forward Ariel Braker (44) during an NCAA basketball game Sunday Jan. 12, 2014 in Charlottesville, VA. Notre Dame defeated Virginia 79-72. (AP Photo/Andrew Shurtleff)

Charlottesville, Va. — Natalie Achonwa scored a career-high 26 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and No. 2 Notre Dame survived a late challenge by Virginia and beat the Cavaliers 79-72 on Sunday afternoon.

Kayla McBride added 23 points and five assists for the Fighting Irish (15-0, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), and Jewell Loyd had 17.

Faith Randolph led Virginia (8-8, 1-2) with 23 points and Sarah Imovbioh had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

No. 3 Duke 78, Boston College 57

Durham, m.c. — Richa Jackson scored a season-high 17 points and Haley Peters added 15 to help Duke beat Boston College.

Alexis Jones had 10 for the Blue Devils (16-1, 3-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who picked up the 800th victory in their program’s history.

No. 4 Stanford 87 No. 17 Colorado 77

Boulder, Colo. — Chiney Ogwumike had 34 points and 16 rebounds to lead Stanford over Colorado.

No. 5 Louisville 62, South Florida 54

Tampa, Fla. — Shoni Schimmel scored 25 points, five of them in the final seven minutes to help Louisville hold off South Florida.

Vanderbilt 74, No. 8 Tennessee 63

Nashville, Tenn. — Jasmine Lister scored 22 points and Christina Foggie added 21 as Vanderbilt upset Tennessee giving the Commodores a very rare win over their in-state rival.

Vanderbilt (14-3, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) snapped a three-game skid against Tennessee with its first win in the series since Feb. 9, 2012. The Commodores now have nine victories in the 70 games they count having played against Tennessee.

Marqu’es Webb added 12 for Vanderbilt, which now has won 11 of its last 12.

Tennessee (13-3, 2-2) snapped a two-game streak as the Lady Vols start a two-game road swing in the SEC. Isabelle Harrison snapped a school-record streak of double-doubles at seven as she scored 10 points and had only five rebounds before fouling out.

Meighan Simmons led the Lady Vols with 19 points. Jasmine Jones had 13 and Cierra Burdick 11.

No. 9 Kentucky 80, Missouri 69

Lexington, Ky. — Bria Goss scored 20 points to lead Kentucky to a win over Missouri.

Goss had a clutch three-point play with 3:34 left that helped the Wildcats (14-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) snap a two-game losing streak. It was the 700th victory for the program.

Kentucky had five players score in double figures. Janee Thompson scored 16, Jennifer O’Neill and DeNesha Stallworth had 11 points apiece and Samarie Walker finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds.

Bri Kulas led the Tigers (13-4, 2-2) with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Morgan Eye finished with 14 points.

No. 10 South Carolina 72, Auburn 66

Auburn, Ala. — Tiffany Mitchell scored 18 points to lead South Carolina to a comeback victory over Auburn.

Mitchell had six steals for South Carolina (16-1, 3-0 SEC), which entered the game ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring defense. Freshman center Alaina Coates scored all 14 of her points in the first half and shot 4-for-5 from the field in the victory.

Auburn (10-6, 1-2) led by as many as 12 points in the first half before a late rally from the Gamecocks. South Carolina took its first lead of the game within in the first minute of the second half on an Asia Dozier 3-pointer.

After posting a season-low seven points against Vanderbilt last Thursday, Auburn senior forward Tyrese Tanner led the Tigers with 16 points. Auburn was held to just 11-of-31 shooting in the second half.

No. 12 LSU 82, Florida 68

Baton Rouge, La. — Theresa Plaisance scored 19 points and Danielle Ballard got her first double-double of the season as LSU handed Florida its only conference defeat.

The Lady Tigers (13-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) opened with a 14-2 burst sparked by a Jeanne Kenney 3-pointer to build a lead it never lost, but later had to quell a Florida drive midway through the second half to secure the win.

Ballard contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds for LSU, while Shanece McKinney added 10 points.

Trailing by as many as 19 points, Florida (13-4, 3-1) shaved the deficit to single-digits in the second half with a 7-0 run that included a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws from Kayla Lewis, making it 62-55 with 8:23 to go. The Lady Tigers responded with an 11-4 run to keep the game out of reach.

Cassie Peoples led the Gators with 22 points.

No. 13 North Carolina 65, No. 18 Florida State 61

Tallahassee, Fla. — Diamond DeShields scored 25 points and North Carolina’s second half effort brought down Florida State.

Stephanie Mavugna tossed in 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for North Carolina (14-2, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

Florida State (14-3, 2-1 ACC) led the Tar Heels 36-29 at intermission after taking control midway through the half and leading by as many as 10 points on a Cheetah Delgado 3-pointer at 2:57.

It took North Carolina almost 12 minutes of the second half to catch the Seminoles when Xylina McDaniel broke inside for a layup tying the score at 50. McDaniel added two free throws and another score inside the paint and the Tar Heels led 56-50 two minutes later.

Florida State could move no closer than four points down the stretch.

Morgan Jones led Seminole scorers with 18 points.

No. 21 Purdue 84, No. 14 Penn State 74

State College, Pa. — Courtney Moses scored 25 points and Purdue upset Penn State.

Purdue (11-4, 1-2), which lost its Big 10 opening games to Ohio State and Northwestern was up 46-37 over Penn State (11-4, 2-1) at intermission.

In the second half, Moses put the Boilermakers in front 58-43, hitting a 3-pointer at 13:41.

Penn State clawed back and two free throws by Tori Waldner capped a comeback effort and the Lady Lions trailed Purdue by just two points, 68-66 with seven minutes to play.

On cue, Purdue intensified their efforts and ran off six straight points in taking a 74-66 lead into the final minutes. Kk Houser iced the victory for Purdue landing a jump shot and making four free throws in the final 1:16.

Meanwhile, Penn State’s new football coach James Franklin was at the game and addressed the home crowd at the half.

No. 16 Nebraska 75, Illinois 56

Champaign, Ill. — Jordan Hooper scored 22 points and Emily Cady added 19 points and 10 rebounds to help No. 16 Nebraska roll to a win over Illinois.

Hooper is now just 10 points shy of 2,000 in her career. Cady made 6 of 9 from the floor and all six of her free throwsfor Nebraska (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten).

The Cornhuskers bounced back after having their five-game winning streak snapped by Michigan State Thursday night.

Amber Moore hit a 3-pointer to pull Illinois (7-9, 0-3) within four points, 29-25 with 18:40 remaining. Nebraska answered with a 25-15 run to stretch its lead to 54-40 at the 9:59 mark, and the Cornhuskers led by double digits the rest of the way.

Ivory Crawford had 19 points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Illini.

No. 19 California 68, Utah 59

Salt Lake City — Brittany Boyd scored 24 points and hauled in seven rebounds to lead No. 19 California to a win over Utah.

California (12-3, 4-0 Pac-12) opened up an early lead with a 9-0 run capped by a Mikayla Lyles 3-pointer that made it 28-15, and held on to the advantage the rest of the game.

Reshanda Gray contributed 15 points and seven rebounds in the win, which gave California its second straight weekend sweep. The Golden Bears hit 26 of 65 from the field, including 3 of 10 from long range.

Utah (7-8, 0-4) closed to within a point, 36-35, on a Cheyenne Wilson jumper early in the second half, and got to within three, 50-47, on a Ciera Dunbar layup with 5:14 left, before California pulled away.

Michelle Plouffe led Utah with 19 points and 14 rebounds.

No. 20 N.c. State 62, Wake Forest 54

Winston-Salem, n.c. — Kody Burke’s 18 points helped lead North Carolina State to a victory over Wake Forest.

Both teams were off the mark shooting following the opening tip with NC State (15-2, 2-1 ACC) leading 20-15 at the end of the turnover ridden first half.

The Wolf Pack opened the second with a 12-5 run, capped by Markeisha Gatling’s jumper at 16:06 to go up 32-20.

Wake Forest (9-7, 0-3) stayed within striking distance over the next 14 minutes and trailed by just five points with 2:18 remaining on Millesa Calicott’s 3-pointer.

It became a free throw contest leading up to the final buzzer and NC State was able to make 9 of 15 tries in the final two minutes to preserve the victory.

The Demon Deacons shot only 30 percent from the floor and Dearica Hamby led the way with 13 points.

No. 23 Arizona State 59, UCLA 57

Tempe, Ariz. — Adrianne Thomas scored 11 points and hit a key 3-pointer to lift Arizona State to a victory over UCLA.

Luiana Livulo made a jumper for UCLA that tied it at 54 with 2:06 remaining. Thomas hit her 3-pointer and Joy Burke made a layup to give the Sun Devils a 59-54 lead with 55 seconds to play. Thea Lemberger’s jumper and a free throw by Nirra Fields pulled the Bruins within two with 17 seconds left.

Elisha Davis missed both free throws during the Sun Devils’ next possession, but the Bruins couldn’t capitalize as Antonye Nyingifa missed a 3-pointer with 15 seconds left and then Rehma Gardner missed a shot at the buzzer.

Arizona State (14-2, 3-1 Pac-12) remains unbeaten at home.

UCLA (8-9, 2-3) has lost three conference games by a combined six points.

Texas A&M 58, No. 25 Georgia 44

Athens, Ga. — Courtney Walker scored 16 points to lead Texas A&M to its second straight win over a ranked team, beating Georgia.

The Aggies (13-4, 3-0 SEC) took an early lead and never lost it, controlling the boards 50-35 and holding the Lady Bulldogs to 16-for-55 shooting (29 percent). Both teams shot poorly from 3-point range, with Texas A&M hitting just 1 of 10 and Georgia faring even worse, making 1 of 15.

Jordan Jones contributed 13 points for the Aggies, while Tori Scott added 11, including the team’s only 3-pointer to cap a 14-5 run early in the second half that kept the game out of reach. Achiri Ade pulled in 16 rebounds.

Georgia (12-5, 0-4) has now lost four straight.

Shacobla Barbee led the Lady Bulldogs with 16 points, the team’s only player in double figures.