Jan. 3, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A'dia Mathies scored 20 points and Jennifer O'Neill had 12 of her 17 in the second half and No. 6 Kentucky topped Florida 76-69 Thursday night in the teams' Southeastern Conference opener.
DeNesha Stallworth added 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats (13-1) won their school-record 12th straight game.
Last season's regular-season conference champions had to work hard and often for their sixth straight win over Florida.
Kentucky trailed just once, but had to withstand several rallies from Florida.
O'Neill helped with consecutive 3-pointers and eight straight points overall to give Kentucky its biggest second-half lead at 58-49. Her layup with 1:59 remaining provided a 70-62 lead.
Florida got within 72-68 with 21 seconds remaining, but Kentucky sealed it with four free throws, the final one by O'Neill in the final second.
Jaterra Bonds scored a game-high 21 points for Florida (11-4), which had its six-game winning streak end.
Kody Burke scored 11 of her 15 points after halftime to lead N.C. State, which shot just 32 percent. Marissa Kastanek added 12 points and was the only other Wolfpack player to reach double figures.
Duke didn't fare much better, shooting just 39 percent with only Peters made better than half her shots.
But the Blue Devils helped themselves by grabbing 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 13 second-chance points.
After N.C. State closed within 61-57 with 47.6 seconds left, Duke scored the game's last six points - all coming at the free-throw line.
The Blue Devils made 16 of 20 free throws after halftime compared to a 6-for-9 performance by the Wolfpack.
Duke has won eight straight meetings in Raleigh, though this was the Blue Devils' first since rallying from a 20-point second-half deficit to win 65-64 on Gray's last-second basket nearly two years ago.
But the Wolfpack had earned the program's first win against the Blue Devils in five years in March during the ACC tournament.
In that game, N.C. State held on for a 75-73 quarterfinal win against the then-No. 5 Blue Devils, marking the first time in tournament history that the No. 1 seed had failed to reach the semifinals.