Wildcats storm back to defeat Gamecock women

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LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kastine Evans hit two free throws with 8.8 seconds left, and No. 9 Kentucky fought back from a 14-point halftime deficit Thursday night to beat No. 14 South Carolina 78-74.

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South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell is double-teamed by Kentucky's Azia Bishop (left) and Kastine Evans. Evans hit two free throws in the final 10 seconds to cap a big comeback by the Wildcats.  JAMES CRISP/ASSOCIATED PRESS
JAMES CRISP/ASSOCIATED PRESS
South Carolina's Tiffany Mitchell is double-teamed by Kentucky's Azia Bishop (left) and Kastine Evans. Evans hit two free throws in the final 10 seconds to cap a big comeback by the Wildcats.

Jennifer O’Neill scored 19 points for the Wildcats (22-3, 10-2 Southeastern Conference).

The loss was the first in 19 games this season for South Carolina (20-5, 8-4) when it led at halftime. Aleighsa Welch and Elem Ibiam led the Gamecocks with 15 points apiece.

South Carolina shot 18 of 32 in the first half, and its efficiency improved early in the second.

The Gamecocks made their first five attempts after halftime and did not miss a shot until 11:05 was left.

But the Wildcats answered methodically, maximizing opportunities. A’dia Mathies hit a 3-pointer with 3:50 to play to give Kentucky its first lead of the second half at 69-68.

NO. 5 DUKE 77, VIRGINIA TECH 33

In Blacksburg, Va., Elizabeth Williams and Haley Peters each matched their career high with 25 points apiece as Duke (23-1, 13-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) took a big early lead against overmatched Virginia Tech (8-16, 2-11) and cruised to its seventh consecutive victory.

NO. 7 MARYLAND 75, CLEMSON 45

In College Park, Md., Tianna Hawkins posted her 12th double-double of the season with 30 points and 12 rebounds and Maryland (20-5 overall, 11-2 ACC) dominated Clemson (6-18, 2-11).

The Terrapins have not lost to Clemson since a 63-61 setback on March 7, 2003, in the ACC Tournament.

Nikki Dixon had 13 points for the Tigers.

NO. 8 PENN STATE 81, IOWA 69

In Iowa City, Iowa, Maggie Lucas scored 21 points and Penn State (21-3, 11-1 Big Ten) clamped down on Iowa (16-10, 5-7).

NO. 14 NORTH CAROLINA 76,

WAKE FOREST 56

In Chapel Hill, N.C., Xylina McDaniel scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead North Carolina (23-3, 11-2 ACC) over Wake Forest (11-14, 4-9).

NO. 18 PURDUE 68, WISCONSIN 58

In Madison, Wis., KK Houser scored 20 points, Drey Mingo added 12 points and eight rebounds, and Purdue (19-5, 8-3 Big Ten) rallied in the closing minutes to beat Wisconsin (11-14, 3-9).

NORTH CAROLINA STATE 76,

NO. 19 FLORIDA STATE 69

In Tallahassee, Fla., Kody Burke scored 26 points, tying her career high, to lead North Carolina State (13-12, 5-8 ACC) over Florida State (19-5, 9-4).

NO. 20 DELAWARE 86,

OLD DOMINION 62

In Newark, Del., Elena Delle Donne scored 17 of her 26 points in the first half and Delaware (21-3, 12-0 Colonial Athletic Association) beat Old Dominion (16-9, 7-6).

NO. 24 IOWA STATE 72,

NO. 22 OKLAHOMA 66

In Norman, Okla., Hallie Christofferson scored 27 points, and Iowa State (18-5, 9-4 Big 12) beat Oklahoma (18-6, 8-4).


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