The Associated Press | January 9, 2014 Top 25: No. 3 Duke defeats deflated Syracuse Share No. 3 Duke beats Syracuse 86-53SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Tricia Liston had 20 points and eight rebounds as No. 3 Duke beat Syracuse 86-53 on Thursday night, spoiling the Orange's first home game in the Atlantic Coast Conference.Elizabeth Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds for Duke (15-1, 2-0), whose only loss was to top-ranked UConn 83-61 in December.The Blue Devils have beaten four ranked opponents this season- California, Purdue, Oklahoma, and Kentucky. Syracuse (11-4, 0-2) dropped out of the poll this week after consecutive losses to No. 23 Arizona State and North Carolina State, now ranked No. 20. The highest-ranked team a Syracuse women's squad has beaten was No. 2 Connecticut, 62-59 in January 1996.Duke won the only previous meeting between the teams, 84-40, in the Big Four Classic in Greensboro, N.C., in December 1995.McBride paces No. 2 Irish to 95-53 win against Boston CollegeSOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Kayla McBride had 20 points and eight rebounds, Taya Reimer added 15 points and second-ranked Notre Dame made 62 percent of its shots to beat Boston College 95-53 Thursday night, handing the Eagles their worst loss this season.The Fighting Irish (2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) improved to 14-0 for just the third time in program history and won their 37th consecutive regular-season game and 20th consecutive at home. The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Eagles (10-6, 1-1).The Irish, who started slow in their ACC debut against Clemson, took control from the start against BC, opening a 20-10 lead when Reimer scored inside 9 minutes in. The Eagles, whose previous biggest loss was by 27 to USC, trailed 49-21 at halftime as the Irish reserves scored one more point than Boston College at intermission.Kristen Doherty led BC with 13 points.No. 6 Maryland rolls past Wake Forest 76-49COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Freshman Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 15 points, and No. 6 Maryland cruised past Wake Forest 76-49 Thursday night for its 13th consecutive victory.The Terrapins (14-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led by 15 at halftime and stretched the margin to 21 with 14 minutes left en route to their 16th consecutive win over the Demon Deacons (9-6, 0-2).Alyssa Thomas had 11 points, five rebounds and six assists for Maryland, ending her run of 13 successive double-doubles. Alicia DeVaughn contributed 11 points, Chloe Pavlech added 10 and the Terrapins had assists on 23 of their 31 baskets.Dearica Hamby had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Demon Deacons, who have dropped two in a row following a five-game winning streak.No. 8 Lady Vols trounce Mississippi 94-70KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Ariel Massengale had 23 points and a career-high seven rebounds Thursday night as No. 8 Tennessee defeated Mississippi 94-70 on a night when the Lady Vols surpassed 5 million in all-time home attendance.Tennessee (13-2, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) beat Mississippi (9-7, 0-2) for the 25th consecutive time.Massengale, coming off a career-high 28 points in a win at Georgia on Sunday, reached 20 points in consecutive games for the first time in her career.The announced crowd of 10,382 increased Tennessee's all-time home attendance to 5,006,586.NCAA spokesman Rick Nixon said earlier in the week there isn't a way to verify if Tennessee is the first women's program to reach the 5 million mark because the NCAA doesn't measure each school's all-time cumulative attendance.Mississippi's Tia Faleru, who came in averaging 16 points and an SEC-best 9.9 rebounds, finished with eight points and nine rebounds.No. 10 South Carolina downs No. 9 Kentucky 68-59COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Aleighsa Welch had 16 points and 14 rebounds, and freshman Alaina Coates added 10 points and 17 rebounds to lead No. 10 South Carolina to a 68-59 win against No. 9 Kentucky on Thursday night.Tiffany Mitchell scored 17 points and the Gamecocks (15-1, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) held the SEC's highest-scoring team 33 points below its average. The Wildcats shot just 32 percent, and South Carolina set a school record with 14 blocked shots - six by Elem Ibiam.Kentucky (13-3, 1-2) made five of its first seven shots as South Carolina initially struggled to stop the Wildcats inside. But the Gamecocks quickly figured things out and led by as many as 22 points in the second half.The Wildcats cut the lead to eight before Coates' layup with 1:03 left gave her a fifth double-double in 16 games.Janee Thompson, Samarie Walker and Azia Bishop each scored 12 points for Kentucky.Texas A&M comes back to knock off No. 12 LSU 52-48BATON ROUGE, La. -- Courtney Williams led Texas A&M with 17 points as the Aggies climbed back in the final 40 seconds to beat No. 12 LSU 52-48 in Southeastern Conference play on Thursday night.LSU went ahead for the first time in the second half at 36-34 with 8:19 left to play and led until Texas A&M's Jordan Jones made a layup to tie the game with 1:08 left to play. A jumper and two free throws later put the Aggies (12-4, 2-0) up by three with 17 seconds remaining. LSU cut A&M's lead to one point with 14 seconds to go after Raigyne Moncrief scored on an assist from Theresa Plaisance.The Lady Tigers (12-3, 1-1) turned the ball over on their final possession.Williams, A&M's leading scorer, fouled out with 5:28 to play.Plaisance led the Lady Tigers with 16 points, and has scored 10-plus points in the last five games.No. 13 North Carolina beats No. 20 N.C. State 79-70CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Freshman Diamond DeShields scored 21 points to help No. 13 North Carolina beat No. 20 North Carolina State 79-70 on Thursday night.Xylina McDaniel added 15 points for the Tar Heels (13-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who used a 24-2 run late in the first half to take control after an early 10-point deficit. UNC led 45-29 at halftime and by double figures for most of the second half, though the Wolfpack (14-2, 1-1) rallied to within five points three times in the final 3 minutes only to fall short.Markeisha Gatling had 18 points to lead N.C. State, which had its first national ranking since the 2006-07 season under late Hall of Famer Kay Yow. First-year coach Wes Moore's team was trying for its first 2-0 ACC start since 2000.No. 14 Penn State holds off Illinois 82-76CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Maggie Lucas scored 24 points as No. 14 Penn State beat Illinois 82-76 Thursday night.Trailing 79-61 with 3:06 remaining, Illinois used a 15-1 run, capped by an Alexis Smith 3-pointer with 23 seconds left, to pull within four, 80-76, but Maggie Lucas hit a pair of free throw 15 seconds later to seal the victory for Penn State (11-3, 2-0 Big Ten).Dara Taylor's conventional three-point play just over 2 minutes into the second half sparked a 22-5 Penn State run, giving the Lady Lions a 57-43 lead with 11:13 to play. They led by as many as 19.Jacqui Grant scored 10 of her 15 points in the first half as Illinois took a 32-31 lead into the break.Ariel Edwards scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Penn State, which overcame 27 turnovers.Ivory Crawford had 25 points and seven assists for Illinois (7-8, 0-2).The Tar Heels shot 51 percent, with DeShields scoring 10 points during UNC's big run.Michigan State upsets No. 16 Nebraska 70-57EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Annalise Pickrel and Aerial Powers each scored 17 points as Michigan State opened its Big Ten Conference home schedule with a 70-57 upset of No. 16 Nebraska on Thursday night.Michigan State (10-5, 2-0) never trailed, and led by as many as 25 in the second half. The Spartans finished the first half on an 8-0 run, led by six consecutive points from Pickrel, to go up 37-24 at halftime.Powers had 15 rebounds in the game while Pickrel grabbed 10. Tori Jankoska and Becca Mills each added 10 points.Jordan Hooper led the Cornhuskers (11-3, 1-1) with 21 points. Emily Cady added 16 points and 12 rebounds while Rachel Theriot contributed 11 points and eight assists.Nebraska had its five-game winning streak snapped and was playing on the road for the first time since a loss at No. 18 North Carolina on Dec. 4.Howard pushes No. 18 Florida State past Miami (Fla.) 68-63CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- Natasha Howard tied career highs with 27 points and 18 rebounds in No. 18 Florida State's 68-63 win against Miami (Fla.) on Thursday night.The Seminoles (14-1, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) pushed ahead in the second half when Howard hit a jumper and two free throws, and Morgan Jones sank a 3-pointer during an 8-3 run to lead 57-50 with 8:07 remaining.Miami (9-6, 1-1) pulled back within two after a Keyona Hayes layup and a Krystal Saunders 3-pointer, but Howard countered with three free throws and a layup to increase Florida State's lead back to five. Miami pulled within three, but Cheetah Delgado and Jones each hit free throws to seal it.Howard was 11 of 17 from the field and grabbed seven offensive boards. Jones scored 17 points and Delgado added 10 with 10 assists.Saunders led the Hurricanes with 16 points and Caprice Jassany Williams had 12 with 11 rebounds.Northwestern edges No. 21 Purdue 71-68EVANSTON, Ill. -- Maggie Lyon scored 20 points and Christen Inman added 18 more as Northwestern edged No. 21 Purdue 71-68 on Thursday night.Northwestern (11-4, 1-1 Big Ten Conference) opened the second half with an 11-4 run to take its first lead of the game, then used a 15-2 burst sparked by an Inman layup to build a double-digit margin at 61-47 with just under nine minutes to play. The Wildcats later held off a Purdue rally down the stretch to cement the win.Alex Cohen and Lauren Douglas contributed 10 points each for Northwestern, which shot 44 percent from the field and hit 6 of 12 from 3-point range.Purdue (10-4, 0-2 Big Ten) closed the gap in the final minute pulling within a point on an April Wilson trey to make it 69-68 before the drive stalled.Camille Redmon led the Boilermakers with 14 points and 10 rebounds.Missouri upsets No. 25 Georgia 66-56COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Brianna Kulas scored 24 points and gathered 13 rebounds to lead Missouri in a mild upset of No. 25 Georgia 66-56 on Thursday night.The teams had the same number of field goals for the game, but Missouri (13-3, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) hit two more 3-pointers and eight more free throws than Georgia (12-4, 0-3).Kayla McDowell added 13 points for the Tigers, as they rebounded from a loss to Arkansas earlier in the week.Georgia was led by Khaalidah Miller's 12 points, while Krista Donald added 11. The Lady Bulldogs have lost three in a row and four of their last five.Georgia led by as many as 10 in the first half, but Missouri rallied to trail by just two at the intermission as Lindsey Cunningham had a pair of buckets in the last 49 seconds of the frame. Missouri then outscored Georgia 33-21 in the second half.