brought some interesting games. But first, did you catch ESPN’s Top Basketball Moment of 2015?
Now, about those games…
Looking at the Maryland game tape for ways to beat the Huskies? Might have to burn it. The UConn-Cinncinatti game saw Georgetown transfer/Big East Freshman of the Year Natalie Butler finally make her debut…and it was pretty.
Speaking of Maryland in the paint: Brionna Jones led the initially sluggish Terps over Illinois. Perhaps it was a little UConn hangover plus banner distraction? Ten years later, Maryland celebrates its 2006 women’s basketball national champions. That was a fun game to be in the arena…
Hello, 10-1 Army. Army West Point’s Kelsey Minato became “the first women’s basketball player at the academy to reach 2,000 career points and is just one of three women’s players to reach the feat in Patriot League history.”
Because it’s still new: Hello, (8-5, 1-0 in the Summit) Omaha.
Hello, 12-1 Virginia Tech. “No one’s been paying attention to us,” Coach Dennis Wolff said, “so please don’t jinx us.” (Sorry, that’s what we do at the WHB!) B.C., Louisville and Syracuse are up next.
For a fan base hungry for a winner while the big two sports have struggled, the mostly homegrown Missouri women’s basketball team has arrived just in time.
“It’s definitely got a different feel. There is a buzz,” Pingeton said. “We’ve got so many local kids on our team that are really talented. We’ve got a pretty darn good group of girls that suit up and put that jersey on. We’ve had some good success in the nonconference — certainly aware of how tough it’s going to get — and I think we play a fun, exciting style and we’re winning.”
Games to keep an eye on:
TCU (9-3) v. Kansas Sate (10-2). Just want folks to pay attention.
Marshall (10-1) v. Western Kentucky (9-2). Just giving the Herd some well-deserved attention as they face the Hilltoppers.
Oklahoma State (11-1) v. Iowa State (9-3). Can the Cowgirls build on a big win?
Abilene Christian (9-2) v. Central Arkansas (10-1). Just paying attention.
Santa Clara (12-2) v. Gonzaga (11-4).St. Mary’s (10-4) v. San Diego (12-1). It’s the WCC. ’nuff said.
Oregon (11-0) v #21 UCLA (9-3). Can the Bruins ding another undefeated?
#19 Cal v. #17 Arizona State. Fun in the sun.
#10 Oregon State v. USC-West. Another test for the Trojans.
#8 Mississippi v. Florida (12-1). What kind of bite do the Gators have?
#12 Duke v. Syracuse. So, what is happening with the Blue Devils?
Boston College (11-1) v. Virginia Tech (12-1). A battle of two under-the-radar teams.
James Madison v. William & Mary. A game that will help the Tribe see how far they’ve come.
Nebraska v. #14 Northwestern. The Wildcats need to bounce back.
#18 Oklahoma v. #4 Baylor. How quickly can the Bears regroup?
Georgia v. #16 Texas A&M. How legit are this year’s Dawgs?
#25 DePaul v. St. John’s. The Red Storm has been quietly rising.
In other news:
But quietly—about a 60-minute drive from Fargo-Moorhead in Norman County of Minnesota—the Ada-Borup High School girls basketball program has created its own buzz. That’s why Dave Smart’s Cougars have been named The Forum’s sports story of the year.
“When I made my choice to leave school and go pro, a lot of people had doubts. Some even said I wasn’t ready or strong enough to compete at this level,” Loyd said. “Winning that award validated my choice. I’m really not a big fan of trying to prove people wrong, I just focus on what I need to do, but I was proud to say that I did.”
No, not THAT California: It’s a new year for California women’s basketball
In her fifth season as a head coach in college basketball, Jess Strom knows the final practices before winter break can be tough. Especially after a loss. To your biggest rival.
But that’s why Strom was pleasantly surprised by the response from her California team after its 78-72 loss Dec. 16 at IUP. Then again, maybe that’s a natural reaction for the the defending NCAA Division II champion Vulcans — not that Strom necessarily wants to make that connection.