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    Wednesday, May 31, 2023

    Top 25 women's basketball roundup

    Notre Dame guard Olivia Miles goes up to shoot past Louisville guard Mykasa Robinson and forward Emily Engstler during the first half of Sunday's game in Louisville, Ky. The third-ranked Cardinals routed No. 18 Notre Dame, 73-47. (Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo)

    No. 3 Louisville 73, No. 18 Notre Dame 47

    Kianna Smith scored 17 points, Hailey Van Lith added 16 and No. 3 Louisville outscored No. 18 Notre Dame 29-6 over parts of the middle two quarters for a 73-47 rout on Sunday.

    Louisville (22-2, 13-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) took control of an initially close contest late in the second quarter after two quick fouls sent 6-foot-3 Fighting Irish forward Maya Dodson to the bench with 3:54 left. The Cardinals followed with six points over 1:16 for a 27-19 lead before Hall added a 3-pointer and Kianna Smith two free throws to cap the 11-2 spurt for a 32-21 halftime lead.

    “Our offensive philosophy sometimes is to pick a game changer for them and go at them and get them in foul trouble," said Van Lith, who made 7 of 14 from the field. "That was what we wanted to do with Maya out, and we were able to do it. Getting her out of the paint allowed us to get easier paint points, easier kickouts and have them help more.”

    Chelsie Hall's six consecutive points keyed Louisville's 11-0 spurt coming out of the break and eventual 18-4 run that broke the game open at 52-25. The Cardinals easily maintained a 20-point cushion to earn their seventh series win in nine meetings against Notre Dame (19-6, 10-4).

    Holding the ACC's second-best offense 28 points below its season average made it more satisfying.

    “I thought we did a great job defensively, there’s no question about it," Louisville coach Jeff Walz said. "But part of it was because it wasn’t as fast-paced a game.”

    Sonia Citron had 13 points and Olivia Miles 11 for the Irish, who had won five of six including an upset of then-No. 3 North Carolina State on Feb. 1. Notre Dame shot 32%, 13% below its season average and the second lowest after a 31% effort at UConn in December.

    “I would never have guessed that we'd shoot 2 for 22 from the 3(-point line) from this group, ” coach Niele Ivey said. “It just wasn't our night. Today, we really struggled to score.”

    Hall finished with 13 points while Emily Engstler had nine with 12 rebounds and five assists for Louisville, which dominated the boards 50-32. The Cardinals which returned from unexpected break after Thursday night's game against Virginia was canceled because of travel issues with the Cavaliers. Louisville earned a win by forfeit and followed with a blowout to stay within reach of first-place N.C. State.

    Given a rare night off during the stretch run nonetheless, Walz said his team got dressed up and “celebrated” with a dinner at one of Louisville's finest steak restaurants.

    “I called around a lot of the restaurants in town and, it’s tough at 2:30, three o’clock to try to get a reservation for 12," he said. "We’re very fortunate that we were able to get in there and it was quite a treat. ... That’s kind of how we celebrated playing so well defensively.”

    The Cardinals showed no rust from the extra time down time, though it took a half for them to shoot consistently. They made 50% after halftime and shot 44% overall, helped largely by a rebounding edge that provided extra chances. The Cardinals also scored 22 points off 16 turnovers.

    The Irish struggled in many phases areas after a solid start. They shot just 2 of 22 from long range (9%) and finished just were just slightly better inside the arc (18 of 41). Dodson (eight points, nine rebounds in 36 minutes) was absent for final four minutes of the first half, but her brief absence was long enough to change momentum on both ends of the floor. Junior forward Sam Brunelle left the game in the first quarter with a sprained shoulder and did not return.

    No. 1 South Carolina 72, No. 17 Georgia 54

    Aliyah Boston scored 18 points with 12 rebounds and South Carolina coasted after a strong start to beat Georgia.

    Boston posted her 18th double-double in 24 games. Destanni Henderson added 15 points for the Gamecocks, who led by 30 points in the first half.

    South Carolina (23-1, 11-1 Southeastern Conference) has won 11 consecutive games since losing at Missouri in overtime to open its conference schedule on Dec. 30.

    Georgia (17-7, 6-6) suffered its third consecutive loss despite Jenna Staiti’s 15 points and 10 rebounds.

    No. 2 Stanford 63, Colorado 46

    Lexie Hull had 14 points and tied her season high with six steals, Cameron Brink added a double-double, and Stanford pulled away in the second half to beat Colorado.

    The Cardinal (21-3, 12-0 Pac-12) trailed at halftime but outscored the Buffaloes 14-5 in the third quarter and got a big fourth from Haley Jones to remain unbeaten in conference play with two weeks left to play.

    Stanford, which ended Colorado’s 13-0 start this season with a 60-52 win in Boulder, never trailed after Hull’s 3-pointer early in the third. Hull added another 3 in the fourth that put the Cardinal ahead by 14.

    Lesila Finau scored 11 points for Colorado (16-7, 5-7).

    No. 5 NC State 77, Duke 62

    Jakia Brown-Turner scored 15 of her 19 points after halftime while North Carolina State missed only one shot in the fourth quarter to pull away late and beat Duke.

    Brown-Turner made 9 of 11 shots overall and came up with multiple key baskets in the fourth, including a 3-pointer from the right wing with 2:38 left that was part of a game-clinching 13-0 run.

    It was part of a lights-out shooting performance over the final period for N.C. State (23-3, 14-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which made 11 of 12 shots in the fourth quarter and finished the game at 57%. That also marked the first time the Wolfpack reached 14-1 in ACC play since the 1984-85 season under late Hall of Famer Kay Yow.

    That fourth-quarter flurry changed the final margin between teams that spent much of the afternoon separated by six or fewer points.

    Lexi Gordon scored 13 points for the Blue Devils (15-9, 6-8).

    No. 6 Arizona 62, Arizona State 58

    Cate Reese had 17 points, Madi Conner scored a career-high 16 off the bench and No. 6 Arizona used stifling defense in the second half to beat Arizona State 62-58 on Sunday.

    The Wildcats (18-4, 8-4 Pac-12) avenged an 81-77 loss at ASU on Friday night by holding the Sun Devils to 36.4% shooting in the second half, including 33.3% in the fourth quarter.

    Reese was 7 of 10 from the field and Conner was 7 of 12, including two 3-pointers, as Arizona shot a season-high 58.1%.

    Two days after the teams combined for 52 fouls and 69 free throw attempts, foul trouble plagued both teams throughout. So did turnovers, with each team giving it away more than 20 times.

    The Sun Devils (12-9, 4-4) turned it over twice in the final minute, allowing Arizona to build a five-point lead after ASU had tied it with 93 seconds to go.

    Koi Love’s layup with 1:22 to go proved to be the game winner.

    Jaddan Simmons led ASU with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while Mael Gillies added 15 after scoring 27 in Friday’s win over Arizona.

    No. 11 Georgia Tech 92, Clemson 84 (OT)

    Eylia Love scored a career-high 26 points — offsetting a career-best 40 points by Clemson’s Delicia Washington — and Georgia Tech survived an upset bid, defeating the Tigers.

    Love sank 10 of 16 shots as the Yellow Jackets (19-6, 10-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) ended a two-game skid by beating the Tigers (9-17, 3-12) for the ninth straight time.

    Sarah Bates had 15 points and Love scored 13 to guide Georgia Tech to a 40-32 lead at halftime.

    No. 13 Tennessee 66, Vanderbilt 52

    Jordan Horston had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Tennessee used a strong second half to defeat Vanderbilt.

    Tennessee opened the fourth quarter with a 14-1 run that put the game well in hand. The lead peaked at 62-40 when Horston hit a 3-pointer near the six-minute mark of the period.

    Tennessee (20-4, 10-2 SEC) swept the regular-season series and defeated Vanderbilt (12-14, 3-9) for the fourth consecutive time and 14th in the last 15 matchups. Tennessee leads 76-10 all-time.

    No. 14 LSU 74, Texas A&M 58

    Khayla Pointer and Alexis Morris scored 25 points each and LSU defeated Texas A&M.

    Autumn Newby had 13 rebounds and seven points for LSU (21-4, 9-3).

    Kayla Wells had 23 points for Texas A&M (14-10, 4-8 SEC) and Aaliyah Patty added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

    After LSU trailed 33-27 at halftime, Pointer scored five points early in the third quarter and the Tigers drew within 35-34 near the 7-minute mark. Texas A&M clung to its lead until LSU finally went in front when Newby made two free throws for a 43-42 lead at 3:29 of the third.

    Pointer scored 11 points in the third quarter, the last two on a layup with 14 seconds left to put LSU up by seven. Morris scored LSU’s first seven points of the fourth quarter and with a 61-51 lead the Tigers were not threatened again, outscoring the Aggies 20-9 in the period.

    Virginia Tech 66, No. 23 North Carolina 61

    Georgia Amoore put up 17 points and Virginia Tech posted a second straight win over a nationally-ranked opponent for the first time in program history, knocking off North Carolina.

    Virginia Tech picked up its 11th Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season — also a first for the program.

    The Hokies (19-6, 11-3) knocked off No. 11 Georgia Tech, 73-63, Thursday and entered the game tied with No. 18 Notre Dame for third place in the ACC.

    North Carolina (19-5, 9-5) beat Virginia Tech by 25 points January 9 in Chapel Hill, and the Tar Heels opened the game with an eye on a repeat performance, roaring to a 21-9 lead after one quarter. But the Hokies rallied in the second behind a pair of 3-pointers from Amoore to take a 31-28 lead at intermission and carried that momentum into the second half. Amoore and Aisha Sheppard hit back-to-back 3s to end the third quarter for a 52-43 lead.

    Oregon State 68, No. 24 Oregon 62

    Talia von Oelhoffen scored 23 points and snared 12 rebounds and Oregon State made enough free throws down the stretch to upset No. 24 Oregon, 68-62 on Sunday afternoon.

    Playing a home-and-home weekend series, the Ducks won Friday in Corvallis, 74-66 by getting hot in the fourth quarter. On Sunday, the Beavers knocked down 13 of 20 at the free throw line in the fourth quarter to earn the win.

    von Oelhoffen knocked down all three of her 3-point attempts and was 6 of 6 from the free throw line to lead Oregon State (12-9, 5-6 Pac-12). Ellie Mack and Jelena Mitrovic added 14 and 10 points off the bench, respectively, and the Beavers converted 26 of 38 (68.4%) from the free throw line in the game.

    Te-Hina Paopao finished with 17 points to lead Oregon (16-8, 9-4) and Endyia Rogers added another 16 points. Nyara Sabally added 13 points off the bench.

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