WOMEN'S BASKETBALL Lions overcome sluggish start
nBentley, defense shine for No. 8 Penn State in 71-56 victory over 23rd-ranked Michigan State. ASSOCIATED PRESS
Alex Bentley was Penn State's offensive star Sunday with 24 points. Still, the senior guard had no qualms about giving credit for the team's 20th victory to the defense.
"We needed more energy on the defensive end and we just needed to get after it; that's when the game started to turn around," Bentley said of eighth-ranked Penn State overcoming a slow start to overwhelm No. 23 Michigan State, 71-56.
Maggie Lucas added 19 points as the Lady Lions (20-3, 10-1) won their 18th straight home game and built a two-game lead in the Big Ten Conference because second-place Purdue lost to Michigan on Sunday.
Annalise Pickrel scored 16 points for the Spartans (18-6, 6-4) and Jasmine Thomas and Jasmine Hines added eight apiece, but the Spartans scored just five second-chance points against Penn State despite outrebounding the Lady Lions 41-33.
Connecticut 91, DePaul 44: Stefanie Dolson scored 23 points to lead the No. 3 Huskies (22-1, 9-1 Big East) over the late-arriving Blue Demons (17-7, 6-4), who ran into blizzard-related travel delays and reached the arena only 75 minutes before the opening tip.
Stanford 69, Arizona State 45: Chiney Ogwumike had 26 points and 14 rebounds to help the fourth-ranked Cardinal (22-2, 11-1 Pac-12) romp past the Sun Devils (11-13, 3-9).
California 91, Arizona 86: Talia Caldwell scored a career-high 20 points and had 12 rebounds, and Gennifer Brandon had 22 points and 14 rebounds as the No. 6 Golden Bears (21-2, 11-1 Pac-12) extended their winning streak to nine games by beat the Wildcats (11-11, 3-8).
LSU 62, Georgia 54: Theresa Plaisance had 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots, and the Lady Tigers (14-10, 5-6 SEC) snapped a snapped a two-game slide by upsetting the ninth-ranked Bulldogs (20-4, 8-3).
Kentucky 75, Vanderbilt 53: A'dia Mathies scored a season-high 28 points, and the No. 10 Wildcats (21-3, 9-2 SEC) collected their second straight road victory by rolling over the Commordores (15-8, 5-5).
Tennessee 97, Mississippi 68: Meighan Simmons scored 24 points and the 12th-ranked Lady Vols (19-5, 10-1 SEC) shot 59.4 percent (38 of 64) to beat the Rebels (8-15, 1-9) for the 24th straight time.
Michigan 67, Purdue 56: Kate Thompson scored 22 points, hitting six 3-pointers to set Michigan's single-season record, and the Wolverines (18-6, 7-4) upended the No. 13 Boilermakers (18-5, 7-3).
Texas A&M 50, South Carolina 48: Kelsey Bone scored 13 points, including the winning basket with 8.7 seconds left, as the 14th-ranked Aggies (19-5, 9-1 SEC) edged the No. 15 Gamecocks (20-4, 8-3).
North Carolina 60, Georgia Tech 58: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 14 points, including two late baskets, to help the No. 16 Tar Heels (22-3, 10-2 ACC) hold off a late rally by the Yellow Jackets (10-14, 3-10).
UCLA 80, Washington State 65: Jasmine Dixon, Alyssia Brewer and Mariah Williams scored 14 points apiece, and the 17th-ranked Bruins (19-4, 10-2 Pac-12) earned their sixth consecutive win by overpowering the Cougars (9-14, 5-7) in the second half.
Dayton 68, Fordham 57: Amber Deane scored 14 points and Kelley Austria added 12 as the No. 18 Flyers (21-1, 9-0 A10), who are off to their best start in school history, rocked the Rams (16-7, 6-2).
Florida State 93, Miami 78: Leonor Rodriguez led six players in double figures with 21 points as the Seminoles (19-4, 9-3 ACC), ranked 19th, swept the season series against the Hurricanes (16-7, 7-6).
Delaware 71, James Madison 64: Elena Delle Donne had 20 points to become the Colonial Athletic Association's career leading scorer and added 10 rebounds as the No. 20 Blue Hens (20-3, 11-0) won their 15th straight and snapped the Dukes' (15-8, 9-2) eight-game winning streak.
Colorado 84, Oregon 59: Chucky Jeffery had 15 points and 15 rebounds to power the 21st-ranked host Buffaloes (18-5, 7-5 Pac-12) over the Ducks (3-21, 1-11).
Oklahoma 80, Oklahoma State 61: Nicole Griffin scored 21 points for Oklahoma, and Sharane Campbell and Joanna McFarland each posted double-doubles as the No. 23 Sooners (18-5, 8-3 Big 12) took the lead for good at 27-26 late in the first half, then romped past the 22nd-ranked Cowgirls (16-6, 5-6).