LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kianna Smith and Hailey Van Lith each scored 20 points, with Van Lith making a couple of clutch baskets to spark a critical 9-0 run in the final minutes to help No. 3 Louisville escape Syracuse 84-71. The determined Orange rallied to tie the game at 62 early in the fourth before Smith and Van Lith delivered consecutive 3s to give the Cardinals a 68-64 edge. Van Lith made another basket before Olivia Cochran followed with a three-point play to make it 73-66 as the Cardinals won their 14th in row. Christianna Carr had 19 points for Syracuse.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Elissa Cunane had 10 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action and No. 4 North Carolina State stretched its winning streak against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents to 14 with a 66-43 victory at Virginia. The Wolfpack trailed 15-6 after missing 12 consecutive shots during a 13-0 run by Virginia in the opening period, but used a 20-1 run to take command and led 29-20 at halftime. Amandine Toi scored 14 to lead Virginia, which lost its fourth in a row. The Cavaliers led 15-11 after the first period but faded quickly thereafter. Taylor Valladay was Virginia’s second-leading scorer with just seven.
UNDATED (AP) — Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is in uncharted territory. Midway through his 46th year at the helm, his Orange are a .500 team after 16 games. Boeheim attributes the record mostly to an underperforming defense. Before a 77-61 victory at home over Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, the Orange had fallen below .500 after three straight conference losses by a combined nine points. Two were on the road, a one-point loss to Miami and a three-point overtime loss to Wake Forest. The Orange’s second-half performance against the Panthers — Pitt was held to 5-of-21 shooting — was the sort of moment Boeheim has been waiting for.
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Elizabeth Kitley had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Aisha Sheppard hit three fourth-quarter 3-pointers as Virginia Tech beat No. 16 Duke 65-54. The Hokies swept Duke for the first time in a season series after having beaten the Blue Devils 77-55 on Dec. 30. It’s also their third straight win over the Blue Devils and Kenny Brooks’ 450th victory as a head coach. Sheppard finished with 13 points and Georgia Amore 10 for the Hokies. Elizabeth Balogun scored 15 points, Miela Goodchild had 12 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double and Shayeann Day-Wilson added 10 points for Duke
ATLANTA (AP) — Lorela Cubaj scored a career-high 24 points and No. 15 Georgia Tech closed on a 13-2 run for a 68-64 victory over Florida State. Lotta-Maj Lahtinen added 16 points for Georgia Tech (13-3, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Lahtinen made a 3-pointer that gave Georgia Tech a 63-62 lead with 2:16 remaining. On their next possession, Eylia Love made a layup under the basket that gave the Yellow Jackets the lead for good at 65-64 with 48.5 seconds to play. Jones and Makayla Timpson each scored 12 points to lead Florida State (7-7, 1-3).
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Dara Mabrey scored a season-best 22 points, Olivia Miles added 15 points and 12 assists and No. 20 Notre Dame built a big lead early and cruised to a 74-64 victory over Wake Forest on Thursday night. Notre Dame (12-3, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) made nearly half its shots (27 of 56) while forcing 19 turnovers. Jewel Spear scored 17 to lead Wake Forest (12-5, 2-4). Notre Dame opened on a 16-2 run with the help of two Mabrey 3-pointers and built a 37-22 halftime lead. The Irish pushed the advantage to 26 points early in the fourth.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville coach Scott Satterfield has named former Cardinals standout and Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch as the program’s director of player development. Branch caught 21 passes in two Super Bowl victories with the New England Patriots, including 11 against the Philadelphia Eagles to tie a game record and earn MVP honors in Super Bowl XXXIX. Branch was also a two-time All-Conference USA first team selection at Louisville from 2000-01. His No. 9 is among the program’s honored jerseys.
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