Auburn Comeback Falls Short In 62-54 Loss To No. 22 Purdue
|WOmen's BASkEtBALL RESULTS
|Purdue 62, Auburn 54
|South Carolina 79, North Carolina 48
|LSU 77, Lamar 35
|Notre Dame 92, Kentucky 83
|North Carolina State 66, Vanderbilt 59
AUBURN – The Auburn women’s basketball team suffered a 62-54 loss to No. 22 Purdue Sunday afternoon at Auburn Arena. Auburn rallied from 12 points down, cutting the lead to four in the final minutes but ran out of time. The Tigers fell to 6-3, while the Boilermakers improved to 8-3.
“If it weren’t for the 3-point shot today, I’m not sure we scored a lot of points,” Auburn Head Coach Nell Fortner said. “Luckily, we had that falling, but we didn’t have much of an inside game, and we didn’t have much of an answer for Alex Guyton. She had a heck of a day today.”
The Tigers shot just 30.2 percent from the floor, but went 8-of-17 from beyond the arc. Junior Blanche Alverson’s season-high 15 points all came from 3-point range, as did nine of freshman Hasina Muhammad’s 17 points.
Alverson’s five 3-pointers tied her career high and moved her past former Tiger Carolyn Jones (1988-91) for sixth all-time at Auburn in career 3-pointers with 107.
Meanwhile, Purdue’s senior forward Alex Guyton came off the bench to finish with a career-high 19 points. Guyton shot 7-of-10 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the free throw line.
“She’s a nice player,” Fortner said. “She’s really big, and we didn’t do a good job of just keeping the ball out of her hands to begin with. That’s the first problem. You have to keep the ball out of her hands, and I think that’s the best way to defend her.”
Auburn led 21-20 at halftime, but the Boilermakers scored the first four points of the period to re-take the lead, one they would not give up the rest of the game.
A 3-pointer by Alverson with 16:34 left in the game cut the Purdue lead to one, but that would be the last Auburn field goal for almost 10 minutes as the Boilermakers pulled away for a 12-point lead with 7:04 to go. Alverson ended the drought with a trey at the 6:49 mark, cutting the Purdue lead back to single digits.
The Tigers would cut the Boilermaker lead to as few as four points with 4:41 left in the game, but Purdue was able to hold on to the lead for the 62-54 final score.
Behind Guyton, the Boilermakers also got help from senior guard Brittany Rayburn who added 15 points for Purdue, despite having suffered a bout of pneumonia this past week. Starting junior forward Sam Ostarello also tallied 10 points and seven rebounds for Purdue.
For Auburn, Parrisha Simmons notched a career-high in both scoring and rebounding for a second-consecutive game as the senior forward picked up nine points and 16 boards in the effort. The 16 rebounds are the most for an Auburn player in a game in almost two years.
Gamecocks Fire on All Cylinders to Knock Off No. 18/16 North Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina used efficient offense, stifling defense and strong rebounding to upend No. 18/16 North Carolina 79-48 in the Carolina’s Challenge Sunday afternoon at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. The Gamecocks (9-2) exploded out of the gate and never looked back, executing the game plan to perfection from the opening tip. While the offense surged, shooting 58.3 percent in the first half, the defense was just as electric throughout the contest as South Carolina held the nation’s highest scoring defense 39.5 points below its season average. It was the third-largest margin of victory over a nationally ranked team in Gamecock history.
“This is a good win for a team,” South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley said. “Our players have been working extremely hard and put in position to compete and win, and win in pretty good fashion. Our defense has been pretty steady. Some other players have been stepping up from time to time on the offensive end. We got our production from people we can count on to get production from. So, it was a good, quality win in that we got La’Keisha [Sutton] (going). Ieasia [Walker] played well. Although she didn’t score a lot of points, she jump-started our defense. She controlled our basketball team and the tempo of the game. It was great for everybody to play well.”
While the Gamecocks built their early-season success on defense, it was the offense that proved early that the Tar Heels would have their hands full. South Carolina opened with an 11-0 run starting with a pair of 3-pointers from Markeshia Grant. She needed the next two on a driving layup, and La’Keisha Sutton buried a 3 from the right win for the early double-digit advantage. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels, who entered the game out-rebounding opponents by 9.5 boards per game, were limited to one shot on their offensive possessions.
After UNC pulled within 13-5, the Gamecocks put together a 12-2 run, forcing three of the Tar Heels’ 17 turnovers in the stretch. Ashley Bruner got the surge started with a move on the left block then took a charge from North Carolina’s Chay Shegog on the other end. Ieasia Walker turned that miscue into a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, and Aleighsa Welch stuck back a Gamecock miss for a 20-5 advantage. Shegog interrupted the run with a bucket, but the Gamecocks went right back at it with Sancheon White hitting a long jumper from the left side. Grant hit a free throw after another North Carolina turnover, and after two more one-and-done possessions from the Tar Heels, Sutton sank a long jump shot for a 25-7 lead with 11:17 left in the half.
The lead twice stretched to 21 before the Tar Heels put together a run that cut South Carolina’s lead to 12 with 3:03 left in the period. Candace Wood scored six of the 11 points during the stretch, while She’la White’s free throws delivered the final margin of 36-24. The Gamecocks responded decisively, starting with Sutton’s 3 from the left wing keying a 14-3 surge highlighted by four layups and an end-of-the-half 3-pointer from Tina Roy.
Trailing 50-27 at the break, North Carolina would get no closer in the second half as the Gamecock defense continued to frustrate the typically high-scoring Tar Heels. The Gamecocks’ 31-point winning margin was the highest since the then-No. 23 Gamecocks upended then-No. 16 North Carolina by 32 (85-53) on Dec. 20, 2011.
South Carolina shot 47.1 percent from the field in the game, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range, and out-rebounded the Tar Heels 47-30. Walker’s six assists led a season-best effort of 19 from the team. Sutton’s 21 and Grant’s 20 led the offense, making it the first South Carolina game with multiple 20-point scorers since February 2010. Welch joined the senior duo in double digits with 10 points to go with her game-high six rebounds.
26-0 RUN CRIPPLES LAMAR, CARRIES LSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO FOURTH STRAIGHT WIN, 77-35
BATON ROUGE – A 26-0 run beginning midway through the first half proved to be the spark needed for the LSU women’s basketball team as the Lady Tigers dominated Lamar and won its fourth consecutive game by a score of 77-35 on Sunday afternoon in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
Every LSU player accounted for a field goal led by a game-high 15 points from Adrienne Webb, who finished 3-of-7 from three-point range. Junior guard Bianca Lutley came off the bench for a season-high 11 points and a career-best seven rebounds and seven assists. LaSondra Barrett added nine points and six assists on 4-of-5 shooting. Barrett moved into 18th place in LSU career scoring with 1,235 points.
“The lineup we had out there played very aggressively and they played like a unit,” said LSU head coach Nikki Caldwell. “Bianca Lutley played really well in that stretch. She’s a player who calms us but she also distributes the basketball very well and she did that for us today. I also look at LaSondra Barrett’s play where she had six assists. She got her teammates involved and to me that is a great attribute for a player to have.”
Four Lady Tigers registered at least three assists as LSU (7-3) finished with a season-best 27 assists and 33 field goals. The 27 assists were the most in a game by the Lady Tigers since producing 27 against Centenary on Nov. 15, 2009. Offensively, LSU shot 55 percent from the floor, its fourth straight game of 49 percent or better. The Lady Tigers buried a season-high 9-of-20 from three-point land.
“We took a lot of shots from three today but they all seemed to come off good passes,” said Caldwell. “There was a lot of unselfish play. When you start shooting well, it can be contagious. When you’re shooting 45 percent from behind the three-point line that is a great percentage.”
LSU came into Sunday’s game boasting the Southeastern Conference’s top field goal percentage defense and one of the top 10 scoring defenses nationally. Lamar became the latest victim of the Lady Tigers’ pressure defense, finishing at 25.6 percent for the game and committing 30 turnovers that led to 31 LSU points.
The Lady Cardinals (5-6) dropped their fourth consecutive contest and fell to 11-4 all-time against LSU. Lamar was making its first appearance in Baton Rouge since 1997. LSU also won its 11th consecutive game in the month of December dating back to 2009.
The Lady Cardinals held a 14-13 lead following Shauna Long’s three at the 10:03 point in the first half. It would be Lamar’s final field goal of the half as LSU took complete control of the game with a 24-0 spurt in the final nine minutes. Swayze Black ignited the run with a pair of steals. The Lady Tigers scored seven points in a span of 30 seconds when Barrett fired in a three and Webb converted two jumpers in transition off turnovers.
Lutley buried a three of her own and Taylor Turnbow and Courtney Jones provided a pair of paint buckets. Sheila Boykin’s layup with 33 seconds culminated a dominant first half that saw LSU carry a 37-14 lead into the locker room. Jones accounted for the final field goal of the 26-0 run to start the second half.
The Lady Tigers connected for six threes in the second half as Webb, Krystal Forthan, Theresa Plaisance, Lutley and Barrett each made at least one. Shanece McKinney and Forthan accounted for the final margin with a pair of layups.
Kalis Loyd led Lamar in scoring with 10 points, six points below her season average.
Kentucky Falls To Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Skylar Diggins' only 3-pointer Sunday was a big one, leading No. 3 Notre Dame to a 92-83 victory and handing No. 8 Kentucky its first loss of the season.
Natalie Novosel led five Irish players in double figures with 23 points, and Diggins (16 points, 11 assists) and Devereaux Peters (13 points, 13 rebounds) each had double-doubles for Notre Dame (10-1), which has won seven straight since losing to top-ranked Baylor. The Irish also evened their series with Kentucky after losing their first matchup last year.
Samantha Drake had 21 points for the Wildcats (10-1), who had tied Baylor and Vanderbilt for the second-longest winning streak in the country by opening the season with 10 straight victories. A'dia Mathies added 17 before fouling out with 7:25 to play, and Samarie Walker, playing in her first game since transferring from Connecticut, had seven points and seven rebounds.
The Wildcats came into the game leading the nation in turnover margin (plus 17) and steals (16.5), but the Irish simply have too many weapons. They led by as much as 10 in the second half before Drake's layup gave Kentucky a 75-74 lead with 5:07 to play.
The Irish then showed off their nasty defense, holding the Wildcats to just two field goals the rest of the game.
Novosel made a pair of free throws and Peters scored on a layup to put the Irish up 78-75 with 4:09 to play. Kentucky's Bernisha Pinkett attempted a 3-pointer but it sailed over the rim and the Wildcats couldn't corral the rebound, watching helplessly as it rolled out of bounds. After a timeout, Diggins coolly drilled a 3 and Novosel converted a pair of free throws. Peters then made an easy layup and, just like that, the Irish were back up 85-75 with 2:40 to play.
Kentucky never threatened again.
Vanderbilt Loses First Game Of The Season
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Kody Burke scored a career-high 21 points and North Carolina State withstood a furious rally by Vanderbilt (No. 18 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) to upset the Commodores 66-59 Sunday.
Bonae Holston added 15 points and 7 rebounds for the Wolfpack (7-3). Vanderbilt (10-1) was led by Stephanie Holzer's 15 points and Christina Foggie's 13.
NC State took control with a 21-4 run early. The Wolfpack scored the final five points of the half and led 34-22 at intermission. Burke had 17 points in the first half.
Vanderbilt closed to 43-37 five minutes into the second half but lost momentum when Foggie sat down for almost six minutes with foul trouble. NC State's biggest lead was 14 at 55-41 and they led 60-51, before Foggie hit a pair of three-pointers in the final minutes.
Vanderbilt cut the lead to 62-59 before NC State made four foul shots in the final seconds.