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HomeSportsBasketballWomen's Top 25 roundup: Angel Reese returns in No. 7 LSU's win

Women’s Top 25 roundup: Angel Reese returns in No. 7 LSU’s win

In a rematch of a game in last season’s Final Four, LSU got past Virginia Tech again on Thursday in an ACC/SEC Challenge game at Baton Rouge, La., as Tigers star Angel Reese returned to action.

Behind 19 points and 15 rebounds from Aneesah Morrow, the seventh-ranked Tigers beat the ninth-ranked Hokies 82-64. In her return from a four-game absence, All-America forward Angel Reese added 19 points and nine boards for LSU (8-1), while Mikaylah Williams had 20 points and five assists. LSU coach Kim Mulkey never explained the reason why Reese was away from the team.

“It felt great,” Reese said of being back on the court. “I mean, it was a long two weeks to be away from the team. Taking time to yourself is all really important. I feel like that’s just something that was important in resetting and refocusing within the team. I’m just happy to be back. This place was amazing tonight, and I’m just happy to be here with them.”

Virginia Tech (5-2) was powered by Georgia Amoore’s 25 points, while Elizabeth Kitley added 16 points and 11 rebounds and Matilda Ekh put up 11 points.

Virginia Tech led by as much as nine points in the first quarter, but then LSU outscored the Hokies 22-9 in the second frame to take a six-point lead into the break. The Tigers went on to lead by as much as 22 points in the second half as they shot 50 percent from the floor and won the rebounding battle by 14.

Back on March 31 in a national semifinal game at Dallas, LSU beat Virginia Tech 79-72 en route to winning the championship.

No. 1 South Carolina 65, No. 24 North Carolina 58

Bree Hall scored 15 points as the Gamecocks erased an 11-point deficit to top the Tar Heels in front of a sold-out crowd at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C. The contest was part of the ACC/SEC Challenge.

Hall’s 3-pointer with 2:08 remaining pushed the lead to eight points for the Gamecocks (6-0). The Tar Heels (5-3) trimmed the deficit to three points with 26 seconds remaining but never got any closer.

“These guys stuck to the defensive gameplan as much as I could’ve asked,” North Carolina coach Courtney Banghart said. “We fought. On the glass we were really good. South Carolina is a great team. They’re big, and this was just a good college basketball game for all the fans.”

Kamilla Cardoso scored just six points for South Carolina, but she had a game-high 16 rebounds and four blocks. Te-Hina Paopao added 14 points and four assists for the Gamecocks.

Deja Kelly had 20 points for North Carolina while Alyssa Ustby contributed 18 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks. The Tar Heels got no points from their bench and shot just 4-of-21 from 3-point range.

Despite that, North Carolina built an 11-point lead after Ustby sank a pull-up jumper from the elbow to start the second quarter. South Carolina chipped away at the deficit and wound up making 15 of 22 free throws and 6 of 11 3-point attempts. The Tar Heels were 12 of 17 at the foul line.

The Gamecocks will remain in North Carolina’s Research Triangle and play at Duke on Sunday.

Arkansas 71, No. 15 Florida State 58

Taliah Scott scored 24 points as the Razorbacks took down the Seminoles in an ACC/SEC Challenge game at Tallahassee, Fla.

Also crucial for Arkansas (7-1) was the presence of Saylor Poffenbarger, who grabbed a school-record 23 rebounds to go along with 13 points. Samara Spencer added 15 points and six assists for the Razorbacks.

Makayla Timpson powered Florida State (5-2) with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Taniya Latson added 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, and O’Mariah Gordon chipped in 16 points.

Arkansas led 28-26 at halftime, then really pulled away by outscoring Florida State 24-6 in the third quarter. The Razorbacks connected on 13 3-point shots overall.

The Razorbacks have another challenge on Sunday when they host No. 2 UCLA.

No. 17 Indiana 67, Maine 59

Anne Simon’s 34 points, 11 rebounds and five steals weren’t quite enough as the Black Bears fell short of upsetting the Hoosiers in Bangor, Maine.

Key for Indiana (6-1) in the tough road game was the play of All-America forward — and Maine native — Mackenzie Holmes, who had 22 points and seven rebounds. Sydney Parrish added 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Sara Scalia chipped in 10 points.

Maine (4-4) got 14 points and 13 rebounds from Adrianna Smith. The Black Bears led 37-29 at halftime, but the Hoosiers outscored them 38-22 in the second half to take the lead and pull away. Indiana had 21 assists on 25 made field goals.

No. 13 Baylor 85, SMU 61

Dariana Littlepage-Buggs had 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Bears remained unbeaten by downing the Mustangs in Dallas.

Baylor (6-0) also got a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds from Dre’Una Edwards, plus 17 points from Bella Fontleroy. Tamia Jones led SMU (3-4) with 17 points, while Tiara Young added 16 points and nine boards.

SMU led by four points early, but then Baylor ended the first quarter on a 14-6 run and closed the second frame on a 9-0 run to take a double-digit lead into halftime. The Bears shot 45.8 percent from the field overall and led by as much as 29 points.

–Field Level Media

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