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Michigan St. maintains share of Big Ten lead

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Adreian Payne had 20 points and 14 rebounds, and No. 9 Michigan State cruised past Northwestern 85-70 Thursday night to stay tied atop the Big Ten.

The Spartans (21-4, 10-2 Big Ten) are even in the standings with rival Michigan, which hosts Michigan State on Feb. 23.

"It's amazing," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said of Payne, his senior star. "Here's a kid that two or three years ago couldn't get up and down the floor more than 15-18 minutes a game. Now he's carrying our team. I'm proud of him."

Gary Harris added 14 points for Michigan State, which shot 53 percent against a team with a sterling defensive reputation. The Wildcats had not allowed 80 points in a game in more than a month.

Michigan State point guard Keith Appling (wrist) did not play.

No. 18 Creighton 68, Butler 63: Doug McDermott scored 26 and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 47.8 seconds left for the visiting Bluejays (20-4, 10-2 Big East). Creighton is within a half-game of Villanova in the conference standings.

No. 21 Wisconsin 78, Minnesota 70: Frank Kaminsky scored 17 for the host Badgers (20-5, 7-5 Big Ten), who kept it interesting with late free-throw issues.

No. 20 Memphis: Reserve forward Dominic Woodson was suspended indefinitely for cursing while on the bench during Wednesday's win over UCF.

Weather issues: Snow caused two games involving ranked teams, No. 13 Louisville at Temple and No. 23 SMU at Rutgers, to be moved to tonight. And a day after snow and ice postponed No. 8 Duke at North Carolina until next Thursday, the ACC announced the game will begin at 9.

Women: Howard sets FSU record with 40 points

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Natasha Howard scored a school-record 40 and Florida State won 83-59 at Syracuse.

Howard was 14-of-19 from the floor and 12-of-15 from the line. Her free throw with 56 seconds left surpassed the 39 points scored by Roneeka Hodges against Maryland in 2005.

"Natasha was incredible," FSU coach Sue Semrau said.

The Seminoles (17-7, 5-6 ACC) outrebounded the Orange (17-8, 6-6) 43-24.

No. 2 Notre Dame 82, BC 61: Kayla McBride scored 21 and the visiting Irish (24-0 11-0 ACC) coasted to the best start in school history. The 2000-01 team started 23-0 and won the national title.

No. 9 Maryland 67, Miami 52: Alyssa Thomas scored 18 and the Terrapins (20-4, 8-3 ACC) never trailed in their first victory at Miami since 2009. The Hurricanes (12-12, 4-7) were outrebounded 48-20, including 25-7 offensive.

No. 11 Penn State 71, Indiana 63: Maggie Lucas scored 32 for the visiting Nittany Lions (19-5, 10-2 Big Ten). Lucas made all eight of her free throws and is 140-of-145 or 96.5 percent, on target to break the NCAA single-season record of 96.4 percent set by Penn State's Adrienne Squire in 2006. The senior passed 500 career rebounds to become the first Lion with 2,000 points, 500 rebounds, 250 assists and 200 steals.

No. 10 N.C. St. 69, Clemson 63, OT: Markeisha Gatling scored 20, combining with Kody Burke for 10 of the visiting Wolfpack's 13 overtime points, and N.C. State (22-3, 9-2 ACC) won its sixth straight. The Tigers erased a late six-point deficit to force overtime.

No. 13 W. Virginia 76, Oklahoma 75: Bria Holmes scored 19 and the visiting Mountaineers (21-3, 10-2 Big 12) rallied. Aaryn Ellensburg moved into second on the Sooners' career list with 2,190 points.

No. 14 Texas A&M 78, Georgia 73, ot: Courtney Walker scored 25 for the host Aggies (19-6, 9-2 SEC), who scored six straight in the final minute to force OT.

Auburn 68, No. 16 Vanderbilt 62: Tyrese Tanner made a jumper with 24 seconds left to give the Tigers the lead, and Peyton Davis and Kiani Parker added two free throws each as Auburn won at Nashville for the first time since 1999. The Tigers had lost 21 straight at Vanderbilt (17-7, 6-5).

No. 17 UNC 86, Pitt 50: Allisha Gray scored 21 and Diamond DeShields added 19 as the host Tar Heels (19-6, 7-4 ACC) shot 48.6 percent. The Panthers shot 27.9 percent, going 2-for-21 on 3-pointers.

No. 18 Kentucky 108, Mississippi 78: Jennifer O'Neill scored 27 for the host Wildcats (18-6, 6-5 SEC). Tia Faleru led the Rebels with career highs in points (31) and rebounds (16).

No. 20 Gonzaga 66, San Diego 48: Haiden Palmer had 16 points, eight rebounds and seven steals as the Bulldogs (23-3, 13-1 West Coast Conference) handed the Toreros their first loss in 14 home games.

No. 21 Nebraska 76, Michigan 68: Jordan Hooper scored 23 to move into second on the school's all-time list and had nine rebounds to lead the visiting Cornhuskers (18-5, 8-3 Big Ten). Nebraska shot 59 percent — 55 percent on 3-pointers — and 86 percent on free throws.

Final four changes: The women's Final Four will move to a Friday-Sunday format beginning in 2017. That was the format from 1996-2002 before switching to the current Sunday-Tuesday in 2003. Also, preliminary rounds will be moved up a day, with the first games of the tournament played on Friday. The moves were made to help improve attendance.

Michigan St. maintains share of Big Ten lead 02/13/14 [Last modified: Thursday, February 13, 2014 11:50pm]
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