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The Associated Press | February 20, 2014

No. 7 Duke holds on to defeat NC State in rivalry week marquee

No. 7 Duke holds on to beat No. 14 NC State 83-70

DURHAM, N.C. -- With the tension of tournament time coming up, coach Joanne P. McCallie wanted a test for No. 7 Duke.

She can always count on getting one from NC State -- even when it looked like another blowout for the Blue Devils.

Tricia Liston scored 24 points and Duke held on to beat No. 14 NC State 83-70 on Thursday night.

Haley Peters scored five of her 13 for the Blue Devils (24-3, 11-2 ACC) after the Wolfpack trimmed their 24-point lead to four.

Loyd leads No. 2 Irish past Demon Deacons

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Jewell Loyd had 29 points and 10 rebounds and No. 2 Notre Dame overcame its own poor shooting to beat Wake Forest 86-61 on Thursday night and remain undefeated.

Kayla McBride added 19 points and Taya Reimer 10 for the Fighting Irish (26-0, 13-0), who shot just 39.4 percent from the field (28 of 71) and made only 3 of 16 3-pointers.

However, Notre Dame overcame one of its worst shooting games this season by forcing the Demon Deacons (14-12, 5-8) into 22 turnovers, held them to 35.7 percent shooting (20 of 56) and outrebounded them 49-39.

Dearica Hamby had 26 points and Jill Brunori added 10 points and 10 rebounds for Wake Forest, which saw a two-game winning streak end after hitting just 5 of 16 3-pointers and went 16 of 29 from the free-throw line.

No. 4 South Carolina routs No. 15 Kentucky 81-58

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Aleighsa Welch had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Khadijah Sessions added 18 points as No. 4 South Carolina routed No. 15 Kentucky 81-58 on Thursday night to set a school record for regular-season victories.

Elem Ibiam added 16 points for the Gamecocks (24-2, 12-1 SEC), who cruised to their milestone win behind 60 percent second-half shooting and 53 percent overall. They also dominated the boards 44-19 and won their eighth consecutive and stayed in first place.

No. 8 Maryland defeats Florida State 87-77

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Alyssa Thomas had 22 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds for her fourth triple-double of the season, Katie Rutan tied a Maryland record with eight 3-pointers and the eighth-ranked Terrapins defeated slumping Florida State 87-77 on Thursday night.

It was the sixth career triple-double for Thomas, a 6-foot-2 senior forward. She is 74 points short of matching Crystal Langhorne's school record of 2,247.

Rutan scored 24 points, one short of her career high set at Xavier in 2010. She went 8 for 10 beyond the arc in matching the school mark of 3s in a game set by Tiffany Brown in 2001 and tied by Kristi Toliver in 2009.

Lucas, No. 9 Penn State tops Northwestern 82-73

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Maggie Lucas scored 26 points to lead No. 9 Penn State to an 82-73 victory against Northwestern on Thursday night that kept the Lady Lions on top of the Big Ten standings.

Tori Waldner had a career-high 14 points and Ariel Edwards added 15 for Penn State (21-5, 12-2), which has won four consecutive games and 15 of its past 17.

Maggie Lyon had 17 points, including five 3-pointers, to pace Northwestern (14-12, 4-9), which lost its fifth consecutive. Lauren Douglas added 16 points for the Wildcats, while Nia Coffey and Alex Cohen scored 14 apiece.

Northwestern drew to within 76-71 with just under a minute to play on two free throws by Douglas and a steal and subsequent basket by Christen Inman. Forced to foul despite a full-court press that was giving Penn State fits, the Wildcats could only watch as Penn State padded its lead from the free-throw line.

Simmons, No. 10 Lady Vols trounce Auburn 93-63

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Meighan Simmons can't pinpoint a reason for her career-long mastery of Auburn.

Simmons scored 26 points as No. 10 Tennessee trounced Auburn 93-63 on Thursday night for the Lady Vols' seventh victory in their past eight games. A 5-foot-9 senior, she averaged 26.5 points in Tennessee's two victories against Auburn last season.

''No explanation,'' Simmons said. ''I just try to come out and play hard. It's not ever about me. It's really about the team. I just want to do whatever I can to kind of help the team win, just do my role and pay attention to what I need to do out there on the floor and just be a leader.''

Simmons sparked an early 19-0 run and had 25 points in the game's first 21 minutes, 42 seconds before cooling off down the stretch. She made 10 of her first 15 shots before missing her last seven attempts with the game well out of reach.

No. 11 North Carolina trips Virginia 80-74

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Stephanie Mavunga had 17 points and 10 rebounds and No. 11 North Carolina opened the second half with a 24-7 run and beat Virginia 80-74.

Allisha Gray scored 18 to lead the Tar Heels (21-6, 9-4 Atlantic Coast Conference). It was North Carolina's fourth consecutive victory, and its 18th in the past 19 meetings with Virginia.

Faith Randolph scored 24 points and Lexi Gerson 12 for the Cavaliers (13-12, 6-7). Virginia trailed 34-32 at halftime, but missed 11 of its first 13 shots in the second half as the Tar Heels opened a 58-39 lead. Mavunga and Diamond DeShields each had seven points in the game-changing burst.

DeShields, coming of a 38-point effort in a victory against NC State, didn't score at John Paul Jones Arena until just 16:41 remained.

The Cavaliers got within four on Randolph's 3-pointer with 16 seconds to play, but the Tar Heels didn't falter.

No. 16 Texas A&M runs past Ole Miss 73-61

OXFORD, Miss. -- Courtney Williams scored 26 points and Karla Gilbert added 21 with 10 rebounds to help No. 16 Texas A&M defeat Mississippi 73-61 on Thursday night.

The Aggies (21-6, 11-2 SEC) shot 48.3 percent from the field, with Gilbert going 8 of 10. Courtney Walker contributed 13 points and Jordan Jones had nine with six assists.

Tia Faleru paced Ole Miss (10-17, 1-12) with 21 points and 10 boards, while Valencia McFarland chipped in 12 with nine assists.

Texas A&M broke away from a 10-all tie with a 20-5 surge ignited by a three-point play from Gilbert. Williams contributed 11 points during the run, and the Aggies coasted to a 38-24 halftime advantage.

The Rebels opened the second half with a 9-0 run fueled by three baskets from Faleru to pull within five, but Texas A&M countered with a 10-2 surge to grab a double-digit lead for good with 12:43 remaining.

No. 17 Nebraska surges past Ohio State 67-59

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Rachel Theriot scored 26 points and Jordan Hooper had 24 to spark a late rally that pushed No. 17 Nebraska's winning streak to seven with a 67-59 win against Ohio State on Thursday.

Ohio State went up 52-44 with 8:02 left but the Cornhuskers (20-5, 10-3 Big Ten) put together a 17-0 run, holding the Buckeyes scoreless (14-15, 4-9) until just 43 seconds remained. Then Theriot hit six free throws to ice the game.

Emily Cady and Hailie Sample pulled down 11 rebounds apiece for Nebraska, which also made 13 of 16 free throws. Ohio State was just 2 of 4 from the line.

Ameryst Alston tied her career-high with 31 points for Ohio State, which lost its fifth consecutive game.

Georgia hangs on to beat No. 19 LSU 71-67

ATHENS, Ga. -- Erika Ford had 20 points on Thursday night as Georgia jumped to a big lead early and repelled a late challenge to defeat the No. 19 LSU women 71-67.

Shacobia Barbee made two free throws to put Georgia (18-8, 6-7 SEC) up by four with 14 seconds left and LSU (18-8, 7-6) didn't get another shot from there.

Jeanne Keeney's 3-pointer for LSU made it 69-67 with 24 seconds left.

After LSU took an early 4-2 lead, Georgia scored 20 consecutive points, capped by Barbee's 3-pointer for a 22-4 lead with 9:53 left in the first half. Barbee finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

LSU closed within 57-55 with 4:14 left. The Lady Tigers cut the deficit down to two points four more times but never got closer.

Moses leads No. 21 Purdue against Minnesota 63-42

MINNEAPOLIS -- Courtney Moses scored 27 points as No. 21 Purdue defeated Minnesota 63-42 on Thursday night.

Moses, a senior guard, is now at 1,591 career points. She passed Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp and Camille Cooper for No. 11 on the Boilermakers' career scoring list.

Versyp reached 180 victories in her eighth season as Purdue's coach, No. 2 behind Lin Dunn (1988-96), who won 206.

Dee Dee Williams didn't score for Purdue but did her job on defense, helping to keep Big Ten scoring leader Rachel Banham to eight points on 1 of 17 shooting. Banham came in averaging 23.9 points in conference games.

Sari Noga scored 15 points for the Golden Gophers (17-10, 6-7), who had a four-game win streak snapped.

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