Tough night for ranked women’s teams

Rough night to be a ranked team.

Six of the 11 Top 25 teams playing Thursday night lost,

including No. 9 Wisconsin-Green Bay which fell for the first time

this season. Tenth-ranked Ohio State lost to Illinois on a

last-second shot and No. 11 Tennessee was soundly beaten at

Vanderbilt.

Amazingly, all of the losses came to unranked opponents, marking

the first time in 11 years that that many Top 25 teams lost on the

same night to non-ranked teams according to STATS LLC.

”It’s crazy. It makes for exciting races,” said Stanford coach

Tara VanDerveer, who avoided being one of the upsets as the No. 4

Cardinal beat Southern California 69-52. ”It is something that I

know everybody wants – I can’t say I do – but everybody else

does,”

Stanford hasn’t lost in the conference lately, winning 69

straight games against Pac-12 opponents.

Green Bay was on a similar run in the Horizon League with 36

straight regular season conference victories until Thursday night.

The Phoenix had won their conference games this season by an

average of 25 points, although Detroit did manage to only lose by

nine when the two teams met earlier this season.

Still Green Bay had only lost once to Detroit at home, 15 years

ago. Titans coach Autumn Rademacher remembers that game fondly as

she was a player for Detroit in it.

”I definitely brag a whole lot about all my accomplishments and

I just have always challenged them to shut me up, period,”

Rademacher said. ”At some point they want to show me up. They want

to do me one better and I said, `Hey, guess what, this one is very

sweet for you guys.”’

Detroit was also the last team to beat Green Bay before its

36-game conference run.

Illinois pulled off its own special victory, knocking off No. 10

Ohio State 66-65 on a layup by Alexis Burke with two seconds left.

It was the Illini’s first victory over a Top 10 team since

2003.

Green Bay wasn’t the only Top 25 team to get stunned at home.

Thirteenth-ranked Nebraska lost 63-52 to Michigan. The Cornhuskers

had a dismal first half trailing 32-12 at the break which left

Michigan coach Kevin Borseth astonished.

”If you told me we’d hold them under 20 points at halftime I

would say you’re nuts, not a chance,” he said. ”I had every

imaginable, concocted defense figured out to stop them, because I

didn’t think we’d be able to stop them.”

The Lady Vols just couldn’t contain Vanderbilt, losing 93-79.

It’s the most points that the Commodores had ever scored against

Tennessee giving coach Melanie Balcomb reason to celebrate.

She sprayed the student section with the ice water from her cup,

then slapped high fives before finally heading off the court. It

was just Balcomb’s second win in 23 games against Tennessee since

coming to Vanderbilt.

Tennessee had won 23 of the last 24 in this rivalry and seven

straight.

”It’s a rival game, it’s Vanderbilt against Tennessee,”

Balcomb said. ”And it’s about school pride, and you’re still

playing the orange. They’re 11th in the nation.”

No. 24 South Carolina, which knocked off Tennessee in its last

game, got blown out 68-47 by Arkansas.

”What happened was we had a huge letdown,” South Carolina

coach Dawn Staley said. ”It went into our preparation the last

couple of days, and when we don’t prepare well, we don’t usually

perform well.

”… I thought they wanted the game more than we did, and I

never thought I would say that in coaching the South Carolina

women’s basketball team,” she added.

BYU closed out the night with a 30-point win over No. 19

Gonzaga. It was the worst loss in a decade for the Bulldogs, who

were last beaten this bad by Santa Clara in 2002.

The Lady Cougars, who fell out of the Top 25 this week after

spending two weeks in the poll, shot 65 percent from the field in

the second half and scored 20 straight points to take command.

”It was our night,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. ”Some nights

you have those; the ball bounces your way.”

There was almost a seventh upset with No. 5 Duke struggling to

beat Boston College 71-62. The Blue Devils were set up for their

own potential let down after blowing out rival North Carolina by 40

on Monday.

”I think it’s always hard when you come off a game with a lot

of emotion,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. ”You’ve got to

handle it and get back in the flow. I think it took us a while. I

don’t think we were nearly as aggressive as we should have been.

Our shot contesting was horrible in the first half and our

rebounding was passive. I think it’s a pretty important lesson of

how you have to battle and get right to the next thing.”

Follow Doug Feinberg on Twitter at

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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Stanford, Calif. and Teresa

M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn. contributed to this report.