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Gary Putnik and Evan Marinofsky | | January 30, 2022

Stanford downs Arizona in national title rematch, LSU escapes and more from Sunday's action

Committee chair Nina King breaks down first women's basketball top-16 rankings of 2022

Another great Sunday in women's college basketball as we saw a couple close calls, a first-half defensive masterclass and close play in conference matchups. Check out the scores and the best of what Sunday had to offer. 

Top-25 results

Here are all the results of DI women's basketball games with top-25 teams in action:

No. 2 Stanford holds off No. 8 Arizona in 2021 national championship rematch

No. 2 Stanford took down No. 8 Arizona, 75-69, in the national championship rematch from last year. 

Even though Arizona fought back to lead the game numerous times, and even kept the score close at the end, Stanford’s performances from Cameron Brink and Jana Van Gytenbeek were just too much to handle. 

Brink posted a game-high 25 points, most notably scoring seven down the stretch of the third quarter to help put the Cardinal in a commanding 55-46 lead after 30 minutes.

Still, Arizona wasn’t without top performers. 

Cate Reese was superb. She was most important when she went on a 9-0 run of her own to open the third quarter and bring the Wildcats to within one point. She finished the day with 17 points and 7 rebounds. 

Shaina Pellington, her teammate, was also a key cog, scoring 16 points and facilitating play for the Arizona offense. 

With the win, Stanford improves to 7-0 atop the Pac-12. Arizona falls to 5-3. 

No. 3 NC State comes back to beat UNC 

The Tar Heels put a bit of a scare into the Wolfpack when they led, 33-27, at halftime. 

But then NC State came out firing in the third quarter with 23 points to UNC's 11 and they never looked back. NC State went on to win, 66-58. 

Graduate student Kai Crutchfield led NC State to the win with her 16 points. The Wolfpack also got key contributions from junior Jakia Brown-Turner (13 points), senior Elissa Cunane (11 points, 12 rebounds) and graduate student Kayla Jones (11 rebounds, six assists). 

South Carolina put on a defensive showcase in the first half at Florida

No. 1 South Carolina has continued to amaze all season long. This time the Gamecocks held Florida to three points in the first quarter and 10 in the second for a grand total of 13 points in the first half en route to a 62-50 win.

Dawn Staley's squad held the Gators scoreless for the first five minutes of the game before Florida's Kiara Smith made the first field goal for her team. The Gators shot 1-17 from the field to start the game.

TOP 16: Check out the first in-season reveal of the top 16 rankings

Credit to Florida, the Gators continued to fight and ended up outscoring the Gamecocks in the final two quarters. The Gators fell short as there wasn't enough time to complete a comeback. 

No. 12 LSU escapes with win over short-handed Kentucky

No. 12 LSU was able to get away with a 78-69 win over Kentucky on Sunday. The Wildcats were on their fourth game in eight days, and had seven players available for the road trip to Baton Rouge. 

Believe it or not, Kentucky actually had a lead going into halftime up 34-33. The Tigers did a good job of bouncing back and showing some more life in the second half, but every time LSU thought it had the Wildcats on the ropes, Kentucky would fight back to keep it close. 

Khayla Pointer was the difference maker in the win with 28 points, followed by three other Tigers scoring in double digits. Kentucky leaned on Jada Walker and Rhyne Howard; the two combined for 44 in a respectable showing.

🔮: Here are the latest predictions for the 2022 NCAA women's basketball tournament bracket

Louisville, Georgia hold off late comebacks in top-25 matchups

No. 5 Louisville was able to come out of its matchup with No. 21 Duke to win 77-65. The Cardinals took a 45-27 lead into the half, but the Blue Devils begun to mount a comeback in the third where they outscored Louisville 20-15.

The Cardinals' defense stepped up in the fourth and was able to hold off more of Duke's offense. At one point in the fourth the Blue Devils were within seven.

No. 15 Georgia also held off a late push from a conference opponent as the Bulldogs beat No. 24 Ole Miss 62-52. 

After being down by as much as 17 at one point in the third, the Rebels were able to bring it within six with about three minutes left to play. But, the Dawgs stepped up and came up clutch to escape with a win.

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