Title game rematch between UConn, Louisville turns into Husky rout
STORRS, Conn. -- Breanna Stewart had 24 points and 10 rebounds to lead top-ranked UConn to an 81-64 victory versus No. 4 Louisville on Sunday in a rematch of last season's national championship game.
Just as in the matchup last April, which UConn won by 33 points, Stewart and the Huskies were too much for Louisville. The win was UConn's 31st in a row dating back to last season's title run. That's the fifth-longest winning streak in school history.
The Huskies (25-0, 12-0 American Athletic Conference) led by 11 at the half and when Louisville (23-2, 11-1) got within 47-40, Stewart answered with five unanswered points to ignite a 16-5 run that put the game away. Louisville could only get within 14 the rest of the way.
Asia Taylor scored 18 points to lead Louisville, which had its 16-game winning streak end. The Cardinals' only other loss came back on Dec. 1 against Kentucky.
Stewart, who scored 22 points in the national championship game, got UConn going in the first half. UConn only led 29-24 before Stewart, a 6-foot-4 sophomore, hit consecutive 3-pointers to give UConn its first double-digit lead of the game. The Huskies led 44-33 at the half.
UConn did receive a slight scare late in the first half when Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis went down with 18 seconds left, injuring her left elbow on a jump ball play.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Jewell Loyd scored 23 points, Kayla McBride added 18 and second-ranked Notre Dame opened a 33-point halftime lead Sunday en route to a 101-64 victory against Syracuse to improve to 23-0, matching the best start in school history.
Notre Dame took control from the start, beating the Syracuse zone inside and outside, jumping to a 14-2 lead, extending it to 29-10 midway through the first half and 61-28 at halftime.
The other time the Irish (10-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) started 23-0 was in 2000-01 en route to the national championship.
Brittney Sykes led the Orange (17-7, 6-5) with 14 points.
Irish coach Muffet McGraw (737-258) tied the late North Carolina State coach Kay Yow for 11th place in career wins. Yow died in 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer. The Irish and Orange wore pink as part of the Play4Kay game raising awareness of cancer research.
SEATTLE -- Kelsey Plum scored 23 points, Mercedes Wetmore added 18 and Washington held off a late charge by No. 3 Stanford for an 87-82 upset victory Sunday.
It was the highest-ranked opponent the Huskies have beaten since winning against No. 2 Stanford in 1990.
The loss snapped a 62-game road conference winning streak for Stanford (22-2, 11-1 Pac-12), as well as a 14-game run against Washington (13-10, 6-6). The Cardinal's last loss in road or neutral conference games was Jan. 18, 2009, against California in Berkeley. Stanford's only other loss this year came at No. 1 Connecticut.
Chiney Ogwumike, the Pac-12's leading scorer, had 23 points but was held in check for most of the game, and her teammates were unable to pick up the slack. The Cardinal especially had trouble from long-range, shooting 9-for-41 on 3-pointers.
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Aleighsa Welch scored 16 points and had a career-best five blocks to lead No. 6 South Carolina to its sixth consecutive victory with a 67-49 win against Arkansas on Sunday.
The Gamecocks (22-2, 10-1) maintained their hold on first place in the Southeastern Conference.
Arkansas (16-8, 3-8) did its best to pack in the middle and disrupt South Carolina's game plan of feeding the 6-foot Welch and 6-4 forwards Elem Ibiam and Alaina Coates underneath. But Ibiam and Coates both added 10 points each while the trio of low-post players combined for 21 rebounds.
South Carolina also turned up its defense against the Razorbacks, holding them to under 30 percent shooting for a second time this season. Arkansas leading scorer Jessica Jackson was held to half her 16.6 points-a-game average with eight points on 1 of 12 shooting.
Tiffany Mitchell added 15 points for South Carolina.
WACO, Texas -- Odyssey Sims scored 33 points with three 3-pointers and No. 7 Baylor clinched its 14th consecutive 20-win season with an 81-64 victory against No. 12 Oklahoma State on Sunday.
The Lady Bears (20-3, 10-1 Big 12) have won 33 consecutive conference home games. They have won six in a row overall since their first consecutive losses in four years.
Sims, the nation's leading scorer at 30 points a game, was held to a season-low 17 points against the Cowgirls just two weeks ago.
She was 7-of-27 shooting without making a 3-pointer on eight chances from beyond the arc in 42 minutes in that game, but converted a three-point play with 3.8 seconds left in overtime for a 69-66 win.
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Maggie Lucas had 23 points, including 12 during a 21-3 run, to lead No. 9 Penn State past Ohio State 74-54 on Sunday.
Dara Taylor and Talia East each added 12 points for the Nittany Lions (18-5, 9-2 Big Ten), who took the top spot in the conference a day earlier when Michigan State lost at Nebraska. They had won six in a row before a 73-70 loss to Iowa on Thursday night.
Raven Ferguson and Ameryst Alston each scored 16 points for the Buckeyes (14-13, 4-7), who have lost six of eight. Alston, fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 17.4 points a game, was held out of the starting lineup after she showed up late for the morning shootaround, held during a snow squall.
Penn State has won the past five meetings with the Buckeyes.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Alyssa Thomas had 22 points, seven rebounds and four assists as No. 10 Maryland breezed past Clemson 95-43 Sunday to extend its winning streak against the Tigers to 14 games.
Brionna Jones scored 14 for the Terrapins (19-4, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who have won three consecutive blowouts following a three-game skid. Maryland defeated Syracuse by 25 points and beat Pittsburgh by 48 before dismissing Clemson without difficulty.
The Terrapins opened with a 16-2 run, extended the margin to 21 points late in the first half and toyed with the Tigers (11-14, 3-8) the rest of the way. Maryland hasn't lost to Clemson since March 7, 2003.
Nikki Dixon led Clemson with 13 points and Chancie Dunn added 10. The Tigers have lost six of eight, all within the conference.
Thomas, a 6-foot-2 senior, left with 8 minutes left and the Terrapins up 71-37. She ranks third on the Maryland career list in points and needs only 129 to break Crystal Langhorne's school record of 2,247.
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Carissa Crutchfield scored a career-high 20 points to lead Arizona to a huge upset against No. 11 Arizona State 68-49 on Sunday.
Arizona (5-18, 1-11 Pac 12) has endured a tough season, losing two players to ACL injuries and another who withdrew for personal reasons, but won its first Pac-12 game of the season in impressive fashion, avenging Tuesday's 60-36 loss at ASU.
The Wildcats had an early 8-0 run, including a Crutchfield jumper, en route to a 30-24 halftime lead.
Arizona's lead hit 10 after Erica Barnes' jumper at 16:25 of the second, which started another 8-0 run, while ASU missed seven consecutive shots and never mustered a challenge down the stretch.
Deja Mann led Arizona State (20-4, 9-3) with 15, but Arizona limited the Sun Devils to 25 points below their season average in scoring.
ASU shot 32 percent and made just 2 of 12 from beyond the arc.
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Len'Nique Brown hit a game-winning floater with 4.5 seconds left in overtime to lead No. 14 NC State past Virginia Tech 72-71 on Sunday.
Brown's game-winner followed a 3-pointer by Hannah Young that gave Virginia Tech a 71-70 lead with 27 seconds remaining. Virginia Tech had a chance to win in the waning seconds but Serafina Maulupe's heave at the buzzer from nearly halfcourt hit the front of the rim and N.C. State (21-3, 8-2 ACC) prevailed.
The Wolfpack are off to their best start since the 1981-82 season, when they also began 21-3. Virginia Tech (11-12, 1-9) has still never beaten NC State, with the Wolfpack now having won all 15 meetings between the two.
The Hokies led 46-36 with 11 minutes left in regulation but N.C. State came back and forced overtime on a layup by Markeisha Gatling with 26 seconds left that tied the game at 60-60.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- January Miller scored 20 points, including 3 of 4 late free throws, to lead Florida in an 86-80 upset of No. 15 Kentucky on Sunday.
Florida (17-7, 7-4 SEC) led by as much as 10 in the first half, but Kentucky (17-6, 5-5) scored the last six before intermission and trailed 40-36 at halftime.
The Wildcats tied it at 40 just 1:30 into the second, but the Gators ran off 14 unanswered points before Kentucky coach Matthew Mitchell called timeout. His club started to chip away, cutting the deficit to one on Azia Bishop's layup at 73-72 with 3:57 left.
But Florida countered with a Lily Svete 3-pointer and made 4 of 6 free throws down the stretch.
Kayla Lewis added 18 points and 17 rebounds for the Gators, while Svete finished with 17.
Jennifer O'Neill led Kentucky with 20 points. DeNesha Stallworth had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Courtney Walker scored 22 points, going 10 of 20 from the field and making a critical layup in the game's final minute as No. 19 Texas A&M edged No. 16 LSU 72-67 on Sunday.
With Texas A&M (18-6, 8-2 SEC) leading by a point, Walker made a layup with 54 seconds left to extend the Aggies' lead to 70-67. Jeanne Kenney then missed a jumper for LSU (18-6, 7-4) and Texas A&M made two free throws down the stretch to help seal the win.
Texas A&M held the Lady Tigers scoreless for the final 5 1/2 minutes of the first half, using its defense to go on a 12-0 run that spanned into the beginning of the second and take a 29-24 lead. LSU remained close throughout but never regained the lead.
Courtney Williams added 16 points for the Aggies while Danielle Ballard led LSU with 22.
PULLMAN, Wash. -- Reshanda Gray scored 24 points and Brittany Boyd added 23 as No. 23 California pulled away for an 87-70 win against Washington State on Sunday.
California (16-7, 8-4 Pac-12) trailed by as many as eight in the second half and was down 55-51 with 11 1/2 minutes to play. The Golden Bears then went on a 24-2 run to mount a 75-57 lead and put the game out of reach as Washington State (12-12, 6-6) went nearly nine minutes down the stretch without scoring from the field.
Afure Jemerigbe added 18 points and Gennifer Brandon scored 13 for Cal, which held a 55-27 rebounding advantage. Brandon led the Golden Bears with season-high 20 rebounds while Gray had 10.
Tia Presley led Washington State with 20 points. The Cougars have now dropped six of seven games after beginning conference play 5-0.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Ashley Morrissette and April Wilson each sank 3-pointers in the final 2 minutes to help No. 25 Purdue put away Michigan 65-56 on Sunday.
The Wolverines moved out to a 27-13 lead in the first half after two 3-pointers by Madison Ristovski. Purdue countered as Whitney Bays had two layups, a jumper and two free throws to fuel a 14-2 run to close the half.
Purdue pushed toward a six-point lead at the midway mark, but Michigan pulled within one, 51-50 with 5:19 remaining. Morrissette and Wilson each sank 3-pointers, and Purdue sank its next eight free throws to end the game on a 14-6 run.
The Boilermakers (17-7, 7-5 Big Ten) were led by Bays, who finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Wilson scored 14 points and Camille Redmon added 10 with eight boards.
Cyesha Goree paced Michigan (15-9, 6-5) with 12 points and 11 rebounds.