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Women’s Top 25 roundup: No. 6 USC escapes upset vs. Long Beach St.


Playing without starters Rayah Marshall and Juju Watkins, No. 6 USC needed a career-high 36 points from McKenzie Forbes to escape upset-minded Long Beach State 85-77 in Long Beach, Calif.

Forbes shot 13-of-16 from the charity stripe and also had four assists and seven rebounds to lead the Trojans (10-0) as Marshall and Watkins were sidelined with illnesses. Kayla Padilla added 16 points and Taylor Bigby scored 11.

The Beach (5-5) were steered by Savannah Tucker’s 17 points.

USC led by as many as 14 points, but the Beach used a 9-2 fourth quarter run to trim the deficit to four points with a bit more than two minutes left to play.

The Trojans lost the rebounding battle by 10, but made 31-of-39 free throws and scored 23 points off 22 Long Beach State turnovers.

USC will put its unbeaten record on the line on Dec. 30 when it opens Pac-12 play at No. 2 UCLA.

No. 2 UCLA 85, Hawaii 46

The Bruins were never challenged by the Rainbow Wahine in Los Angeles and easily stayed unbeaten at 11-0.

Five players scored in double figures for UCLA, led by Charisma Osborne’s 17 points. She was joined by Lauren Betts (16), Kiki Rice (14), Londynn Jones (12) and Christeen Iwuala (10).

Hawaii (3-6) grabbed a 3-2 lead on a 3-pointer by MeiLani McBee 30 seconds into the game, but it never led again. The Bruins scored the next 14 points and outscored the Rainbow Wahine squad 45-16 in the first half.

26 Hawaii turnovers led to 22 UCLA points.

No. 4 Iowa 98, Loyola Chicago 69

Caitlin Clark’s triple-double of 35 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists powered the Hawkeyes to a win over the Ramblers in Iowa City, Iowa.

Clark shot 12-of-21 from the floor and also had a block and a steal for Iowa (12-1). Hannah Stuelke added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes, while Kate Martin scored 19 points.

Loyola Chicago (6-5) was led by Emma Nolan’s 15 points and Sam Galanopoulos’ 14 points and four assists.

The Ramblers led by as many as seven points in the first half before Iowa pulled away by outscoring them 28-15 in the third quarter. The Hawkeyes scored 33 points off 23 Loyola Chicago turnovers and outscored the Ramblers in the paint 56-24.

No. 8 Colorado 78, Northern Colorado 56

After a slow start, the Buffaloes controlled the final three quarters to steadily distance themselves from the in-state rival Bears as they improved to 10-1 this season and stayed unbeaten at home (5-0).

Colorado trailed 35-28 but scored the final 13 points of the second quarter to take a 41-35 lead and gain control of the game.

Aaronette Vonleh recorded 14 points to go along with five blocks to help Colorado dominate the paint scoring 48-14. Jaylyn Sherrod led the Buffaloes in scoring with 16 points.

The Buffaloes withstood some hot outside shooting from the Bears. Northern Colorado (4-5) finished 9 of 20 (45 percent) from deep, with Delaynie Byrne hitting three 3-pointers as part of her team-leading 21 points.

No. 10 Baylor 73, South Florida 50

Darianna Littlepage-Buggs had 18 points and 13 rebounds as the Bears remained unbeaten and topped the Bulls at the West Palm Beach Classic in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Baylor (11-0) also had three other players score in double figures. Sarah Andrews scored 19 points, while Dre’Una Edwards and Jada Walker each had 10.

USF (8-5) was powered by Carla Brito’s 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Vittoria Blasigh scored 16 points.

The Bulls led by three points early, but Baylor went up by 20 by halftime and went on to lead by as many as 26 points. The Bears scored 20 points off 17 USF turnovers and outscored the Bulls 38-14 in the paint.

Next up for Baylor is its Big 12 opener at No. 5 Texas on Dec. 30.

No. 11 Utah 89, Weber State 36

The Utes jumped to a 22-5 lead after one quarter and never looked back, cruising to victory in Salt Lake City.

Alissa Pili led the Utes (10-2) with 19 points and added seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Jenna Johnson had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Kennady McQueen added 17 points and six rebounds. Dasia Young chipped in 10 points.

The Wildcats (3-9) were outrebounded 47-27 and shot just 15 of 57 (26.3 percent) from the field.

Conversely, Utah shot 51.5 percent (34 of 66), including 14 of 35 (40 percent) from 3-point range.

No. 14 Notre Dame 84, Western Michigan 47

Hannah Hidalgo secured her first collegiate triple-double — and just the second ever by a Notre Dame freshman — as the Irish raced away from the Broncos in South Bend, Ind.

Hidalgo tallied 26 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and five steals in the ninth straight win for Notre Dame (9-1). Anna DeWolfe added 17 points and Maddy Westbeld scored 15 while also grabbing eight boards.

Kaitlyn Zarycki led Western Michigan (5-5) with 16 points.

The Broncos led by five points in the first quarter before Notre Dame grabbed the lead and never looked back. The Irish outrebounded Western Michigan 55-28 and outscored the Broncos in the paint 44-24.

No. 15 Virginia Tech 76, William & Mary 43

Elizabeth Kitley piled up 23 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Hokies over the visiting Tribe in Blacksburg, Va.

Georgia Amoore added 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds for Virginia Tech (9-2), while Carys Baker chipped in 13 points. Bella Nascimento led William & Mary (4-7) with 22 points.

The Tribe led by as many as eight points in the first quarter. Virginia Tech led by three points at intermission and then pulled ahead in the third quarter by outscoring the Tribe 20-9. The Hokies won the rebounding battle 52-32 and made 16-of-17 free throws.

No. 18 Marquette 67, Bucknell 39

The Golden Eagles sprinted to a 23-4 lead after one quarter in Milwaukee and coasted to their 12th straight win to open the season, their best start in program history.

Liza Karlen collected 17 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Frannie Hottinger matched her 13 rebounds while scoring nine, and Mackenzie Hare poured in 15 points.

Bucknell (3-8) was paced in scoring by Ashley Sofilkanich, though she was only 5 of 15 from the floor in finishing with 12 points.

The Bison shot just 2 of 12 (16.7 percent) from the 3-point line.

No. 21 Creighton 58, South Dakota State 46

Emma Ronsiek notched 19 points and seven blocks to help the Bluejays beat the visiting Jackrabbits in Omaha, Neb.

Ronsiek also had six rebounds and three assists for Creighton (9-2), while Morgan Maly added 13 points. Brooklyn Meyer led South Dakota State (6-5) with 12 points and seven rebounds, and Tori Nelson added 10 points and six assists.

The Jackrabbits led 19-11 after the first quarter, but then Creighton locked down on defense and outscored its opponent 33-11 over the second and third frames to lead by as many as 16 points.

Key for Creighton was its ability to take care of the ball. The Bluejays had just six turnovers while South Dakota State coughed up 17.

–Field Level Media

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