COLLEGE BASKETBALL

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Achonwa leads No. 2 Notre Dame past Virginia

2014-01-12T21:00:00Z 2014-01-12T23:13:13Z COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Achonwa leads No. 2 Notre Dame past VirginiaThe Associated Press The Associated Press
January 12, 2014 9:00 pm  • 

Hall of Fame coach Muffet McGraw and No. 2 Notre Dame survived their toughest test of the season to remain unbeaten.

Natalie Achonwa scored a career-high 26 points and grabbed 16 rebounds and the Fighting Irish survived a late challenge to beat Virginia 79-72 on Sunday.

"Welcome to the ACC," McGraw quipped after her team's first victory by single digits this year.

Notre Dame is one of two unbeaten teams left in the country joining former Big East rival UConn.

The Cavaliers close to within 71-69 with 3:49 remaining before the Irish held on for their 38th consecutive regular-season victory, their 27th consecutive regular-season road game and its 23rg consecutive regular-season league game.

Kayla McBride added 23 points and five assists for the Fighting Irish (15-0, 3-0 ACC), including a bizarre driving layup after Virginia closed to within two. On the play, she drove down the lane in traffic, flipped the ball up and it fell.

"I was just trying to get to the free throw line, trying to make something happen," McBride said.

Jewell Loyd added 17 points for Notre Dame.

Faith Randolph led Virginia (8-8, 1-2) with a career-best 23 points and Sarah Imovbioh had 18 points and 12 rebounds. The Cavaliers were coming off a victory at Virginia Tech in which they rallied from 17 points down to win, but couldn't quite repeat the feat despite getting so close and firing up the crowd of 4,451 at John Paul Jones Arena.

Randolph's big day highlighted a problem for McGraw — her team's susceptibility to athletic, driving players.

"Randolph played really well," the coach, in her 32nd season, said. "We expected her to play well, we expected her to shoot well, but we did a poor job guarding her because she was really difficult for us to guard. ... We've got to get a better plan, I think, on how we're going to guard people because what we're doing now isn't working."

No. 21 Purdue 84, No. 14 Penn State 74: Courtney Moses scored 25 points in the Boilermakers' upset.

Purdue (11-4, 1-2), which lost its Big Ten opening games to Ohio State and Northwestern was up 46-37 over Penn State (11-4, 2-1) at intermission.

In the second half, Moses put the Boilermakers in front 58-43, hitting a 3-pointer at 13:41.

Penn State clawed back and two free throws by Tori Waldner capped a comeback effort and the Lady Lions trailed Purdue by just two points, 68-66 with seven minutes to play.

On cue, Purdue intensified their efforts and ran off six straight points in taking a 74-66 lead into the final minutes. KK Houser iced the victory for Purdue landing a jump shot and making four free throws in the final 1:16.

Meanwhile, Penn State's new football coach James Franklin was at the game and addressed the home crowd at the half.

No. 16 Nebraska 75, Illinois 56: Emily Cady had 19 points, 10 rebounds and three assists as Nebraska rolled over Illinois.

Cady made 6 of 9 from the floor and made all six free throw attempts for Nebraska (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten). The Cornhuskers bounced back after having their five-game winning streak snapped by Michigan State Thursday night. Jordan Hooper scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds and is now just 10 points shy of scoring 2,000 career points.

Amber Moore hit a 3-pointer to pull Illinois (7-9, 0-3) within four points, 29-25 with 18:40 remaining. Nebraska answered with a 25-15 run to stretch its lead to 54-40 at the 9:59 mark, and the Cornhuskers led by double digits the rest of the way.

The Fighting Illini were led by Ivory Crawford, who scored 19 points, had eight rebounds and four steals. Jacqui Grant added 15 points.

Men's basketball

Northern Illinois 45, Bowling Green 36: Aksel Bolin hit a key 3-pointer and Travon Baker scored six of his 13 points down the stretch to lift Northern Illinois.

Bolin's 3-pointer gave Northern Illinois a 37-35 lead with 3:01 remaining. Baker then made a layup, hit a 3-pointer, and scored on one of two free throws to give the Huskies a 43-36 lead with 36 seconds to play. A Darrell Bowie dunk capped the scoring for Northern Illinois.

Bowling Green only scored three points in the final 12 minutes.

Baker shot 4 of 9 from the field and made four of six free throws for Northern Illinois (7-7, 1-1 Mid-American). Bolin finished with seven points.

It was the lowest point total in a game this season for both Northern Illinois and Bowling Green.

Richaun Holmes scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead Bowling Green (6-9, 0-2), who have lost four-straight.

Wright St. 58, Ill-Chicago 53: A.J. Pacher scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Reggie Arceneaux hit a pair of free throws with 14 seconds left for Wright State.

Wright State (11-8, 3-1 Horizon League) trailed 53-49 with 4:43 to play after Kelsey Barlow, who paced UIC with 19 points, hit a pair of free throws. Arceneaux answered with a 3-pointer which sparked a 9-0 run to close the game for the Raiders.

Wright State, which came into the game ranked 27th nationally in points allowed per game at 61.5, held UIC (5-12, 0-3) nearly 18 points below its season average of 70.8 points.

The Raiders connected on 22 of 25 free throws while the Flames made just 14 of 22.

Jerran Young scored 13 points for Wright State and Arceneaux finished with 10.

Marc Brown scored 14 points in the loss while Jordan Harks pulled down 11 rebounds.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

activate-button-3
Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Poll

Loading…

Which team will win the World Series?

View Results

NFL News