Simmons' layup lifts Alabama past No. 9 Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Daisha Simmons scored 17 of her 22 points in the second half, including a layup with 2.3 seconds remaining that lifted Alabama to a 57-55 win against No. 9 Kentucky on Thursday night.
Kentucky (15-4, 3-3 Southeastern Conference), tied the score at 55-all on two free throws by Jennifer O'Neill with 14.9 seconds to go. However, the Crimson Tide (9-10, 2-4) had plenty of time to set up for the last shot by Simmons.
A desperation attempt by Kastine Evans bounced off the back of the rim as time expired, giving Alabama its first win in Lexington since 2002.
No. 3 Duke holds on for 85-77 OT win at No. 24 Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- No. 3 Duke took the best punch No. 24 Florida State had on Thursday night and seemed to be in trouble midway through the second half. The Blue Devils trailed by eight and the Seminoles' Natasha Howard was in the midst of a career-night.
Tricia Liston and Elizabeth Williams, however, wouldn't allow Duke to suffer its second loss of the season.
Liston scored 25 points and Williams had 20 as the Blue Devils needed overtime to beat the Seminoles 85-77.
No. 7 UNC pulls away from Wake Forest 83-65
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Diamond DeShields and Allisha Gray had 19 points each and No. 7 North Carolina pulled away down the stretch in a 83-65 win at Wake Forest on Thursday night.
North Carolina (17-3, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its 11th consecutive in the series. Xylina McDaniel and Stephanie Mavunga added 12 points each for UNC.
Dearica Hamby led the Demon Deacons (10-9, 1-5) with 22 points and Chelsea Douglas added 20.
UNC has won 12 of its last 13 games. The Deacons have lost five of their past six.
Wolfe leads Virginia past No. 6 Terps 86-72
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A four-game stretch against ranked teams that looked to be a problem when Virginia started with losses to No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 3 Duke is now looking as if it could be the turning point of the Cavaliers' season.
Kelsey Wolfe scored 24 points and Ataira Franklin and Faith Randolph each scored 19 Thursday night, and Virginia jumped No. 6 Maryland after halftime and ended the Terrapins' 14-game winning streak with an 86-72 victory.
No. 11 Lady Vols breeze past Florida 89-69
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Meighan Simmons scored 21 points Thursday as No. 11 Tennessee capitalized on its 3-point accuracy to beat Florida 89-69 on a night dedicated to honoring former Lady Vols coach Pat Summitt.
Bashaara Graves added 17 points and eight rebounds for Tennessee (15-4, 4-2 SEC), which shot 10 of 21 from 3-point range and handed Florida (13-6, 3-3) its third consecutive loss.
Andraya Carter scored 14 points, Jasmine Jones had 13 points and Isabelle Harrison added 12 for Tennessee. Kayla Lewis led Florida with 14 points.
Tennessee guard Ariel Massengale didn't return to the game after getting hit in the face and falling to the floor while making a steal late in the first half.
Plaisance leads No. 15 LSU past Auburn 71-60
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Theresa Plaisance had 19 points and 11 rebounds on Thursday night to lead No. 15 LSU to a 71-60 victory against Auburn.
LSU led 62-56 with 3:46 to play and used a 9-0 run to build a 15-point advantage before Auburn scored two meaningless baskets in the final 40 seconds.
After battling back-and-forth for much of the first half, LSU (15-4, 4-2 SEC) trailed 36-35 at halftime. Raigyne Moncrief's layup 30 seconds into the second sparked a six-point LSU run for a 41-36 lead.
Auburn (11-8, 2-4) battled back to a 41-41 tie, but LSU went on a 17-3 run to take a 58-44 lead with 7:24 left in the game.
No. 17 Texas A&M beats Missouri 62-57
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Courtney Walker scored 21 points as No. 17 Texas A&M won its ninth consecutive game and remained undefeated in conference play with a 62-57 win against Missouri on Thursday night.
After trailing for much of the first half and 33-31 at halftime, Texas A&M (16-4, 6-0 SEC) took the lead early in the second and never relinquished it.
The Tigers (13-6, 2-4) hung around though and cut their deficit to 60-56 with 1:15 to play. Missouri then got the ball back after a missed 3-pointer by Texas A&M but the Tigers missed 3s on their next two possessions and the Aggies prevailed.
No. 22 Purdue cruises by Northwestern 90-65
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Liza Clemons scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 22 Purdue handled Northwestern 90-65 on Thursday night.
Purdue (14-5, 4-3 Big Ten) closed the first half on a 13-4 run to take a 45-34 lead into halftime. The Boilermakers continued to pull away after the break, opening the half on an 11-3 run, and Northwestern (12-7, 2-4) was unable to cut the deficit to single digits during the second half.
Northwestern came within 71-59 with 7:13 left in the second half before Purdue put the game out of reach with a 17-2 run.
Whitney Bays scored 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting for the Boilermakers, and April Wilson added 11 points. KK Houser had nine points and nine rebounds.
No. 23 NC State defeat Boston College 85-76
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Markeisha Gatling scored 27 points and Kody Burke added 24 with 11 rebounds as No. 23 North Carolina State defeated Boston College 85-76 Thursday night.
NC State (17-3, 4-2 ACC) shot 48.1 percent from the field. Len'Nique Brown had 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists, and Krystal Barrett dished out eight assists.
The Eagles (11-9, 2-4) were 23-of-60 from the field (38.3 percent) and hit 13 3-pointers, but also committed 28 fouls and 12 turnovers. Kelly Hughes led Boston College with 23 points and Katie Zenevitch chipped in 19.
Brown, Burke and Myisha Goodwin-Coleman each sank 3-pointers to push the Wolfpack out to an early 15-2 lead, but Boston College fought back to make it a two-point game, 41-39 at the break.
The Wolfpack opened the second half with a 21-10 run, pushing the lead to 13 at the midway mark. NC State is 11-0 at home this season.
No. 25 Gonzaga needs OT to beat Loyola Marymount
LOS ANGELES -- Haiden Palmer scored a career-high 32 points as No. 25 Gonzaga held on to defeat Loyola Marymount 91-82 in overtime Thursday for its seventh-consecutive win.
Loyola Marymount (5-14, 2-6 West Coast Conference) set up overtime when Deanna Johnson, who had a career-high 25 points, made three free throws with less than a second remaining.
Shelby Chezlek rebounded a missed free throw and scored to give Gonzaga (17-3, 7-1) a 73-72 lead with 30 seconds and Sunny Greinacher added two free throws at 3 seconds to make it a three-point game, setting up Johnson's heroics.
With Palmer scoring 17 points and Lindsay Sherbert 12, Gonzaga opened a 44-31 lead at the half. But Loyola, which has lost 12 in a row to the Bulldogs went on a 14-0 run to take a 57-53 lead with 8:30 to play.
Greinacher had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Gonzaga.