WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: No. 2 ND stays perfect, tops No. 13 'Pack 84-60

2014-03-02T21:00:00Z WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: No. 2 ND stays perfect, tops No. 13 'Pack 84-60The Associated Press The Associated Press
March 02, 2014 9:00 pm  • 

Natalie Achonwa scored 19 points and No. 2 Notre Dame polished off a perfect regular season by beating No. 13 North Carolina State 84-60 on Sunday.

Jewell Loyd added 18 points for the Fighting Irish (29-0, 16-0).

They shot 56 percent and led by 30 after an overwhelming second-half run helped them cap the first undefeated regular season for an Atlantic Coast Conference school since the 2006-07 Duke team.

Freshman Miah Spencer had a season-high 18 points for the Wolfpack (24-6, 11-5).

They missed 10 consecutive shots and went scoreless for 7½ minutes while the Irish turned a tight game into yet another blowout.

Kayla McBride added 12 points on 5-of-15 shooting for Notre Dame, which in an 11-day span beat each of the four of the North Carolina-based ACC schools by double figures — and three were in the top 15 at the time.

No. 19 Purdue 82, No. 16 Nebraska 66: Courtney Moses had a season-high 29 points, the injured KK Houser provided an emotional lift and the Purdue women spoiled Nebraska's Big Ten title hopes.

Despite tearing her ACL at Michigan State on Feb. 2, Houser started the game and played the first 2:34. She also entered the game shortly before the conclusion to be honored as a senior with a standing ovation.

Moses, meanwhile, celebrated her senior day by helping the Boilermakers (21-7, 11-5) to a great start, scoring eight points during Purdue's 10-0 run to start the game.

By halftime, Purdue led 43-23 and Moses had 18 points with 5-of-6 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line.

Rachel Theriot had 24 points to lead Nebraska (22-6, 12-4) which entered the game with an opportunity to share the Big Ten title with No. 8 Penn State.

No. 21 Michigan State 76, Indiana 56: Aerial Powers scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 21 Michigan State wrapped up a share of the Big Ten Conference championship with the win over Indiana.

The Spartans (21-8, 13-3 Big Ten) entered the final game of the regular season in a three-way tie with Penn State and Nebraska for the conference crown. Penn State clinched a share of the title with a win Saturday, but No. 19 Purdue upset the No. 16 Cornhuskers Sunday, leaving Michigan State to share the title with the Nittany Lions.

Powers' double-double was her eighth of the season. Tori Jankoska scored 15 points and senior Annalise Pickrel scored 14 in her final home game. Senior Klarissa Bell had six points.

Lyndsay Leikem scored 11 points to lead Indiana (18-11, 5-11), but was the lone Hoosier to score in double figures. The team shot 37.1 percent (23 of 62).

No. 25 Iowa 81, Illinois 56: Theairra Taylor scored 17 points and Ally Disterhoft added 14 more to propel Iowa to an rout over Illinois.

Leading by 18 at the break, Iowa (23-7, 11-5 Big Ten) continued to pull away in the second half, using a 23-3 run bookended by a Bethany Doolittle layup and a Taylor jumper to take its largest lead of the game, 65-30 with 9:57 to go. The Hawkeyes then protected the advantage down the stretch.

Illinois (9-20, 2-14) was led by Amber Moore, who scored 14 points.

No. 10 Tennessee 73, No. 4 S. Carolina 61: Isabelle Harrison had 20 points and 15 rebounds as Tennessee defeated South Carolina to snap the Gamecocks' 10-game winning streak in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Tennessee (24-5, 13-3 SEC) never trailed as it ended an eight-game losing streak against top-five opponents and clinched the No. 2 seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament that begins Wednesday at Duluth, Ga.

Tennessee hadn't beaten a top-five team since an 82-72 overtime victory over No. 3 Stanford on Dec. 19, 2010.

South Carolina (26-3, 14-2) already had clinched its first SEC title Thursday with a 67-56 victory over Georgia.

No. 11 West Virginia 71, No. 6 Baylor 69: Averee Fields stole an errant pass and drove for a go-ahead layup with 12 seconds left and West Virginia beat Baylor, the Lady Bears' first conference home loss in four years.

West Virginia (26-3, 15-2) won its ninth consecutive game to match Baylor for the Big 12 lead with one game left in the regular season.

Odyssey Sims, the nation's leading scorer, had 39 points in her final regular-season home game. But the senior guard also had 10 turnovers, including the pass that Fields got in the Baylor end of the court before missing a last shot.

Baylor (25-4, 15-2) had won 35 consecutive Big 12 home games since losing their final regular-season game of the 2009-10 season to Texas.

No. 14 N. Carolina 64, No. 7 Duke 60: Diamond DeShields scored 18 points while fellow freshman Allisha Gray scored all 12 of her points after halftime to help North Carolina beat Duke in the teams' regular-season finale.

Freshman Stephanie Mavunga had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Tar Heels (22-8, 10-6 Atlantic Coast Conference), who clinched their first season sweep of the Blue Devils since the 2007-08 season. North Carolina ran off a 20-0 run spanning halftime to lead by 19 points, then watched Duke (25-5, 12-4) respond with a 16-0 burst and fight back to within a point before holding on down the stretch.

Mavunga came up big, scoring on a stickback after Duke got within 53-52 on Ka'lia Johnson's three-point play. She then kicked out to Gray for a 3-pointer then scored inside off a feed from DeShields that pushed the lead back to 60-52 with 2:02 left.

No. 9 Maryland 87, Virginia Tech 48: Alyssa Thomas scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in her final home game as Maryland defeated Virginia Tech.

It was Thomas' nation-leading 23rd double-double of the season coming before a crowd that filled most of the Comcast Center's lower bowl, in part to honor the senior in a postgame ceremony.

Thomas is second in school history in points (2,234) and rebounds (1,167). She needs 13 points and 63 boards to catch Washington Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne in both categories.

Tierney Pfirman added 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Maryland (24-5, 12-4 ACC) in her first career double-double. Brene Moseley added 13 points for Maryland, which won its third straight and will begin ACC Tournament play Friday.

Virginia Tech leading scorer Uju Ugkoka, who entered averaging nearly 19 points per game, was held to only three for the Hokies (4-12, 14-15).

No. 17 Texas A&M 83, Florida 72: Karla Gilbert scored 23 points to lead Texas A&M over Florida.

In a close game, Texas A&M (23-7, 13-3 SEC) finally broke away with a 13-4 run capped by a Tori Scott jumper that made it 62-54 with 7:22 to go, and extended the advantage to double-figures down the stretch.

Scott contributed 19 points and Courtney Walker had 17 for the Aggies, who shot 51 percent from the field in their final regular season game to tie their best conference record. Achiri Ade had 14 points and 13 rebounds in the win, while Jordan Jones had 14 rebounds.

Florida (18-11, 8-8) closed to within two on a Kayla Lewis layup that made it 52-50 with 10:42 to play but it was as close as the Gators would get in the second half.

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

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