COLUMBIA — Ieasia Walker was flummoxed by her team’s performance on Sunday at Georgia. She knew the USC women’s basketball team had missed a golden opportunity for a huge road win against a ranked foe.
“I think she took the Georgia loss to heart,” USC coach Dawn Staley said. “And she did something about it.”
Whenever USC needed a big shot Thursday against LSU, Walker delivered. Whenever the Gamecocks needed a big stop at the other end, she picked LSU’s pockets. In the end, USC’s 66-59 victory was made possible in large part by Walker’s 24 points and five steals.
As USC improved to 15-3 overall and 3-2 in SEC play, Walker became the latest member of the Gamecock women’s 1,000-point club.
• No. 10 Florida 68, (at) Texas A&M 47 | Mike Rosario scored 19 points and Patric Young added 18 as Florida cruised to a victory over Texas A&M.
The Aggies led by one point midway through the first half before a big run by the Gators gave them a 35-18 halftime lead, and they didn’t let up in the second half.
It was a letdown for Texas A&M (12-4, 2-1 Southeastern Conference), which was coming off an 83-71 victory at Kentucky on Saturday. Elston Turner scored a career-high 40 points in that win, but managed just four points Thursday on 1-of-10 shooting. It is the fifth straight win for Florida (13-2, 3-0) which is in the midst of playing four of five games on the road.
• (At) Elon 73, Furman 59 | Lucas Troutman scored 18 points and Josh Bonney came off the bench to score 15 as Elon defeated Furman in a Southern Conference game.
Troutman hit 8 of 11 shots and Bonney, who played 21 minutes, made 7 of 10 for the Phoenix (10-7, 3-2), who never trailed and led 42-27 at the half.
Elon began the second half with a 9-0 run, which included two layups by Troutman, to make it 51-27, and the Phoenix maintained a lead of at least 17 points until the final 1:29.
Bobby Austin, who scored 19 points to pace the Paladins (4-12, 1-4), scored seven points in the final 2:05, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Colin Reddick had 18 points for Furman, which lost on the road for the 11th straight time, including eight this season.
Ryley Beaumont finished with 10 points and nine rebounds for Elon.
• (At) Georgia Southern 51, College of Charleston 47 | C.J. Reed scored 14 points and Cleon Roberts chipped in 12 to help Georgia Southern rally and beat College of Charleston in Southern Conference play to win back-to-back games for just the second time this season.
Reed and Roberts combined to go a perfect 9 of 9 from the free-throw line. Eric Ferguson added 11 points for Georgia Southern (8-10, 2-3), which made just 6 of 24 shots in the first half and trailed 20-13 at intermission.
Georgia Southern never trailed by more than four in the second half and took a one-point lead four times before Ferguson's dunk put the Eagles up for good 45-44 with 42 seconds remaining. Reed sank two free throws and Roberts added four in the final 30 seconds.
Andrew Lawrence scored 15 for College of Charleston (12-6, 4-2), which was held to just one field goal over the final 3 minutes.
• USC Upstate 66, (at) Kennesaw State 54 | Torrey Craig had 17 points and 10 rebounds as South Carolina-Upstate led wire-to-wire to defeat Kennesaw State, snapping a two-game skid.
Ricardo Glenn added 16 points for the Spartans (9-9, 3-2 Atlantic Sun Conference) who won their third consecutive league road game and eighth straight game in the series.
South Carolina-Upstate held Markeith Cummings, who came in as the league’s scoring leader (18.6 points per game) to 10 points on 3-of-11 shooting, including 0 of 4 3-pointers.
Craig, who entered the game ranked second in A-Sun scoring (17.1), was 6-of-12 shooting with three treys, including two as the Spartans took an 18-6 lead.
South Carolina-Upstate never let the Owls get closer than nine in the second half. The Spartans dominated inside, with a 41-23 rebounding edge and 36-16 advantage in the paint. Delbert Love’s 15 points paced Kennesaw State (2-16, 1-5), which has lost three straight.
• No. 5 Michigan 83 , (at) No. 9 Minnesota 75 | Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 21 points and Trey Burke had 18 points and nine assists to help Michigan stave off Minnesota.
Hardaway hit four 3-pointers in the first half for the Wolverines (17-1, 4-1 Big Ten), who had the lead for the final 33 minutes of the game and finished with 13 steals to fuel their fast break. Nik Stauskas added 11 points.
Austin Hollins led the Gophers (15-3, 3-2) with 21 points and four steals, and Trevor Mbakwe had 13 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. Andre Hollins was drawn into early foul trouble, but he came alive after halftime to finish with 13 points and four assists.
The Gophers crept back in the game after falling behind by 19 points early in the second half but squandered some opportunities to really make the Wolverines worry. Joe Coleman missed three of four free throws in the final 4 minutes.
Women’s Top 25
• (At) No. 5 Kentucky 100, Mississippi State 47 | DeNesha Stallworth scored 25 points and Kentucky moved to 17-1 for the best start in school history with a rout of Mississippi State.
Stallworth was 9 of 15 from the field for the Wildcats, who moved past the 1982-83 team which opened 16-1.
A’dia Mathies added 21 points and Bria Goss had 13 as Kentucky (17-1, 5-0 Southeastern Conference) also extended its school-record winning streak to 16 games and its record home win streak to 32.
Kendra Grant had 11 points and Carnecia Williams 10 for Mississippi State (8-10, 0-5), which lost its fifth straight overall and sixth in a row to Kentucky. It was also the Bulldogs’ second consecutive lopsided loss on the Wildcats’ home floor, following a 48-point defeat last January.
• (At) No. 8 Penn State 84, Wisconsin 40 | Nikki Greene scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Penn State to a rout of Wisconsin.
Alex Bentley added 14 points, Maggie Lucas had 11 and Ariel Edwards 10 for the Nittany Lions (14-2, 4-0 Big Ten), who won their eighth straight game overall and third in a row by at least 20 points. It was Penn State’s first conference victory of 40 or more points since the 2000-01 season.
Morgan Paige scored 14 points and Jacki Gulczynski had 10 for Wisconsin (8-10, 0-5), which lost its sixth consecutive game.
Penn State was able to make the most of a size advantage under the basket, scoring 52 points in the paint compared to 10 by the Badgers.
• (At) No. 11 North Carolina 71, Virginia 60 | Xylina McDaniel scored 15 points with nine rebounds as North Carolina cruised past Virginia to win its 11th straight game.
The Tar Heels (18-1, 6-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), who came in leading the nation in steals (14.9 per game) had 14 steals and scored 32 points off 24 Cavaliers turnovers.
North Carolina led 23-12 with 11:27 to go in the first half en route to a 42-22 halftime advantage.
The Tar Heels expanded their cushion to 27 with 13:29 left, then Virginia made a 13-2 run to get to 60-44. After going more than 5 1/2 minutes without a field goal, North Carolina pushed the lead to 21 before the Cavaliers closed the final 3:52 with a 10-0 burst.
Waltiea Rolle and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt added 14 points apiece for North Carolina. Telia McCall and Kelsey Wolfe scored 13 each for Virginia (11-6, 3-3).
• (At) No. 12 Purdue 75, Minnesota 67 | Sam Ostarello had 19 points and 14 rebounds as Purdue defeated Minnesota.
Courtney Moses added 18 points and six assists, Drey Mingo scored 14 points and KK Houser had 10 assists for the Boilermakers (15-2, 4-0 Big Ten), who had gone into overtime to win each of their last three games.
Rachel Banham and Leah Cotton led Minnesota (13-5, 2-2) with 17 points apiece, and Shayne Mullaney had 12.
Purdue never trailed in the game, scoring the first six points of the game en route to a 38-33 halftime advantage. The Boilermakers led by as many as 14 points in the second half.
Minnesota tied the game once, at 20-20 with 7:21 left in the first half, but Purdue scored the next eight points on a three-point play by Mingo, a 3-pointer from Moses and a layup from Ostarello.
• No. 22 Florida State 67, (at) Boston College 57 | Chastity Clayton’s 14 points paced four Florida State players in double figures as the Seminoles topped Atlantic Coast Conference-rival Boston College to sweep the season series.
Leonor Rodriguez added 13, Alexa Deluzio 12 and Natasha Howard 10 for Florida State (14-3, 4-2), which is now 10-1 all-time against the Eagles.
Freshman Nicole Boudreau led Boston College (8-8, 2-3) with 18 points on 4-of-5 3-point shooting. Kristen Doherty added 12 points and Katie Zenevitch 10 as each player reached double figures for the 10th time this year.
The Eagles used a 12-2 run – including seven points from Kristen Doherty – midway through the second half to cut the Seminoles’ advantage to 50-47 with 8:06 left. Florida State rebounded with a 7-2 run, however, and Boston College never pulled closer than four points again.
Florida State won the team’s previous matchup 76-70 on Dec. 30.