DURHAM, N.C. - Alana Beard scored 27 to help fourth-ranked Duke clinch the top seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament with an 87-54 victory Thursday night over Virginia.
Iciss Tillis and freshman Allison Bales added 11 points each for Duke (21-3, 12-1). Anna Prillman and Brandi Teamer led Virginia (12-13, 5-8) with 10 points each.
Duke clinched the top seed for the fourth straight season. With three games left, the Blue Devils have a three-game lead over North Carolina, which lost twice to Duke this season. The Tar Heels can do no better than a tie for the regular-season title.
Beard hit her first three shots and scored 11 in the opening 9:26. She added five points in a 12-0 run that gave Duke a 32-20 lead.
NO.5 PURDUE 65, ILLINOIS 49: Shereka Wright scored 18 and the host Boilermakers (22-2, 12-1 Big Ten) parlayed an 11-0 run to start the second half into their 13th win in a row. Tiffanie Guthrie scored 16 for the Illini (10-14, 4-9).
NO.7 PENN ST. 66, WISCONSIN 50: Jess Brungo scored 19 and the host Nittany Lions (20-4, 12-1 Big Ten) withstood a late 14-0 run by the Badgers (8-15, 2-11 Big Ten).
NO.10 STANFORD 75, USC 57: Nicole Powell had 18 points and 10 rebounds to help the host Cardinal (19-5, 12-3 Pac-10) stay in first place. Meghan Gnekow scored 15 for the Trojans (14-10, 11-5).
IOWA 81, NO.11 MINNESOTA 61: Kristi Faulkner scored 22 and Jennie Lillis had 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, leading the host Hawkeyes (15-9, 9-4 Big Ten) past the Golden Gophers (19-5, 8-5), playing their second full game without injured leading scorer Lindsay Whalen.
VANDERBILT 61, NO.15 LSU 55: Carla Thomas recorded her ninth double double of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds as the visiting Commodores (17-7, 5-6 SEC) upset the Tigers, who learned coach Sue Gunter will miss the rest of the season because of lung problems and acute bronchitis.
NO.16 UNC 79, MARYLAND 64: Ivory Latta had 13 points to lead five players in double figures for the host Tar Heels (19-5, 9-4 ACC). Devona Oliver scored 14 for the Terrapins (15-10, 7-7).
NEW MEXICO 49, NO.25 UTAH 46: Lindsey Arndt had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Abbie Letz's late 3-pointer lifted the host Lobos (15-7, 7-2 Mountain West) past the Utes (19-5, 9-1).