The Duke women's team claimed its eighth Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title by routing North Carolina 92-73 in the final.

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Duke’s key players exited the game one at a time, a blowout victory securely in hand, and Chelsea Gray got off the bench to greet each one with a huge hug.

These new-look Blue Devils proved they can win a championship without their injured star — and now it is time to chase the NCAA tournament trophy.

No. 6 Duke claimed its eighth Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title by routing No. 15 North Carolina 92-73 in Sunday’s final.

Freshman Alexis Jones, who slid over to replace Gray at point guard, scored a career-high 24 points and was voted most valuable player of the tournament. Gray has a season-ending knee injury.

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“I just know Lex has taken this opportunity and really stepped up, and that’s important,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “She’s a great guard; Chelsea’s a great guard. They play beautifully together. They play well individually. … There (are) things we don’t control.

“We don’t control the fact that Chelsea can’t play, and we do control what we can do, and I think Lex has been amazing.”

Elizabeth Williams also had 24 points, and Haley Peters scored 17 for the top-seeded Blue Devils (30-2).

Duke led by as many as 26 and shot nearly 57 percent to roll to its third ACC title in four years.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored all 25 of her points in the second half for the third-seeded Tar Heels (28-6), who lost their seventh straight in the series.


No. 19 Texas A&M 75,

No. 7 Kentucky 67

Kelsey Bone collected 18 points and 15 rebounds, with most of her production coming in the second half, and the Aggies (24-9) beat the Wildcats (27-5) in Duluth, Ga., to win the SEC tournament championship in their first year in the conference.

The Aggies, the No. 4 seed, beat top-seeded Tennessee in the semifinals before beating No. 2 seed Kentucky.

Big Ten

Purdue 62, Michigan St. 47

Drey Mingo scored 24 points, and the Boilermakers (24-8) defeated the Spartans (24-8) in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for their second consecutive conference-tournament championship.

Purdue led by as much as 23 points in the first half.

Big 12

No. 1 Baylor 77,

Oklahoma St. 69

Brittney Griner had 30 points and 10 rebounds as the Bears (31-1) turned back the Cowgirls (21-10) in the tournament semifinals in Dallas.

Baylor has won 48 consecutive Big 12 regular-season or tournament games and will face Iowa State (23-7) in Monday’s title game.

Toni Young had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma State.

Big East

No. 2 Notre Dame 75,

South Florida 66

Natalie Achonwa contributed 20 points and 20 rebounds to lead the Fighting Irish (29-1) past the Bulls (21-10) in the quarterfinal round in Hartford, Conn.

Skylar Diggins, the Big East player of the year, added 15 points for Notre Dame.

South Florida’s Andrell Smith scored 27 points and her sister, Andrea Smith, added 18.

No. 3 Connecticut 94,

DePaul 61

Breanna Stewart scored 21 points as UConn (28-3) cruised past the Blue Demons (21-11) in a quarterfinal game.


• Liberty beat Longwood 54-45 in the conference final in Conway, S.C., to earn the Big South’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.

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