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The Associated Press | December 21, 2013

Top 25 Roundup: Gamecocks hold off Eagles

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No. 10 South Carolina tops Winthrop 69-61

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Tiffany Mitchell doesn't mind having the ball in her hands at the biggest moments for No. 10 South Carolina.

Mitchell scored 20 points, including a crucial basket to thwart Winthrop's late charge in a 69-61 victory Friday. Mitchell was on target against the Eagles of the Big South Conference, making 7 of 9 field goals. Four of those were 3-pointers, including one where she got fouled and converted the free throw for a four-point play.

Her biggest basket, though, came after Winthrop cut a 19-point lead down to 61-57 in the final four minutes, her jump shot increasing the Gamecocks lead to eight points. The Eagles could get no closer than five points the rest of the way.

Mitchell said the other go-to player is Aleighsa Welch, who added 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

The Gamecocks looked like they'd make easy work of Winthrop in the noon game, rushing out to a 14-0 lead in front of grade-school children on holiday break. South Carolina eventually led 33-14.

NC State powers to upset of No. 12 LSU 89-79

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Markeisha Gatling and Kody Burke each scored 25 points to lead NC State to an 89-79 win against No. 12 LSU on Friday night.

Gatling shot 11 of 13 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds, six off the offensive glass, to lead the Wolfpack (11-1) to its first win against a ranked opponent since a 76-69 win against No.19 Florida State on Valentine's Day.

Burke drilled three consecutive jumpers to help NC State to a 12-6 lead to start the game, but the Lady Tigers clawed their way back into the game, taking a lead on a Theresa Plaisance 3-pointer with 9:44 left in the game.

Gatling's layup with 8:01 left sparked an 11-1 run that put the Wolfpack back in the lead for good.

Plaisance finished with 18 points off the bench to lead LSU (9-2). Jeanne Kenney added another 17 points.

No. 24 Florida State edges Pacific 73-66

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Natasha Howard scored 20 points and had eight rebounds to lead No. 24 Florida State to a 73-66 win against Pacific in the Long Beach Classic on Friday night.

Morgan Jones and Yashira Delgado contributed 11 points apiece for Florida State (10-1), which held off Pacific late in the second half by hitting 6 of 8 from the foul line in the closing minutes to preserve the win.

Pacific (4-5) trailed the entire game but kept the score close, narrowing the gap to four points on a 3-pointer by Madison Parrish to make it 67-63 with 1:37 left. But the Tigers couldn't overtake Florida State down the stretch.

Kendall Kenyon led Pacific with 24 points and 11 rebounds, while KiKi Moore added 14 points and Parrish had 10.

Florida State went 23 of 59 from the field and was just 1 of 11 from 3-point range.


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