Archive for January, 2018

than to speak out and remove all doubt”?

Too bad the Missouri AD didn’t. Oiy vey, gevalt!

And that’s all I’m gonna say about THAT!


In case you missed it: Duquesne women’s basketball off to its best start in Atlantic 10 Conference play at 8-0

Robert Morris continues to rule the NEC. BTW: Robert Morris’ Honoka Ikematsu is one of the best shooters in women’s basketball

Honoka Ikematsu’s ability to shoot separated her from the pack as a high school basketball player in Kumamoto, Japan. She possessed an American shooting style, using one hand to guide the ball and her second hand to push it, in a country where many players use both hands to push the ball.

That form gave the Robert Morris coaching staff confidence that Ikematsu would have a relatively painless transition into American basketball.

The Big East…*insert puzzled emoji*

Still not distracted by the polls, TCU handles Iowa State, 75-52.

Whoa! Two overtimes, and St. Louis comes out with a win over Fordham, 91-85.

It was a squeaker, but North Carolina A&T got by Norfolk State, 53-51, to move to 7-0 in the MEAC.

Duquesne v. Dayton… and it’s Dayton with the 79-70 win to stay perfect in the A10.

A win is a win. #8 Texas over Kansas, 55-41.

Nothing like a good stomping to help you feel better about yourself: #18 Ohio State over Penn State, 94-64.

Central Michigan stays undefeated in the MAC, taking down challenger Buffalo, 86-79.

In the Mountain West, a battle between Wyoming and Colorado State. The Rams got the (upset?) win over the Cowgirls, 64-53.

Congrats! Lisa Bluder Named Recipient of IGHSAU First Lady Award

Some upcoming games of interest:

6:30: #12 Tennessee v. #14 Texas A&M. The Vols try and right the ship.

7pm: #3 Louisville v. Virginia. Both are 8-1 in the ACC. Guess we’ll see if that means anything.

7pm: #10 Florida State (6-2) v. NC State (6-3).

7pm: #11 Maryland v. Rutgers. So Scarlet Knights – ya wanna be a pretender or a contender?

7pm: South Carolina hosts UConn: USC’s historic challenge of facing No. 1, No. 2 back-to-back is no risk, huge reward

From Sean Hurd: Gabby Williams putting finishing touches on stellar UConn career

Gabby Williams has never been a fan of boxes, likely because she has never fit into one.

The UConn senior is a position-less player in a position-oriented game, making her an enigma in a sport that seems desperate to define her.

Hartford Courant: Azura Stevens Joining The UConn-South Carolina Party

From Mechelle: After NCAA title as a freshman, Tyasha Harris working hard for more

Nothing rattles Tyasha Harris. Not even a theater going pitch-dark during a horror film.

“We went to see ‘Insidious,’ and the crazy thing is, in the middle of the movie, the town had a power outage,” Harris said of a recent outing with her South Carolina teammates. “So the movie went down, and they just gave us a free ticket so we could go back and see it. It wasn’t that good a movie, though.”

A calm floor leader is exactly what South Carolina needs.

Also: Kia Nurse’s breakout season keeps UConn offense humming

8pm: Michigan v. Purdue. The Wolverines try and keep their run going against the (occasionally) upset-minded Boilermakers.

8pm: #17 Georgia v. LSU. Speaking of upset-minded….

8pm: Nebraska v. Illinois. The Huskers aren’t ranked (yet), but this game likely won’t garner them the voters’ attention – unless they lose.

8pm: Western Illinois v South Dakota. If the Leathernecks want the upset, they’ll have to do it on the Coyotes’ home.

8:30: #2 Mississippi State v. #15 Missouri. What’s the Tigers’ post-kerfuffle mood?

9:00: Gonzaga v. San Diego. The Bulldogs have quietly moved to 9-0 in the WCC.


NCAA.com: Watch list for 2018 Nancy Lieberman Award narrowed to 10

Also NCAA.com: Quinnipiac asserting dominance in MAAC, earns Team of the Week

The Southern: Hefferman: Hinson’s actions speak louder than words for Stiles

Barry Hinson saw most of Jackie Stiles’ 3,394 points when they were both at Missouri State University, which was then known as Southwest Missouri State.

Stiles, a 5-foot-8 guard from Kansas City, Kansas, took the Lady Bears to the 2001 Final Four and was the NCAA’s all-time women’s scorer until Washington guard Kelsey Plum broke her record last season. She later played in the WNBA. Now Hinson is trying to be with Stiles in spirit, as she prepares for surgery this week for ocular melanoma.

SIU’s men’s basketball team wore black shooting shirts before tipping off against Missouri State in Springfield Saturday that said “Fight Love Pray” on the front and “Stiles 10” on the back.

WNBA news (not the news we want, but we appreciate it: Inside The W with Michelle Smith: Offseason Preview

The WNBA Free Agency period opens February 1, giving teams the first opportunity to begin making roster moves ahead of April’s Draft. Some franchises will look to secure key players. Others seek role players who can provide the missing piece to contention.

Summitt: WNBA Offseason Primer: Washington Mystics

and WNBA Offseason Primer: Connecticut Sun

and WNBA Offseason Primer: New York Liberty

Post-Bulletin: Whalen wants another title before retiring

In the, “I’m gonna need a bigger plate,” category: Opals coach Sandy Brondello preparing for big 2018 with Commonwealth Games and World Cup action

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— granted, I ran a Professional Development, drove to Boston to see my mom, got to hear the amazing Bill Charlap trio, ate bacon, and saw my college roomie, so it was a GOOD weekend for me. But dang, did women’s basketball have a weekend!

Flashing back… That Baylor v. Texas game was kind of a dud. Unless you were a Baylor fan. Kristy Wallace leads way for Baylor on emotional night. Explains why Wallace was named espnW’s player of the week.

Something’s up in #21 Georgia (like their ranking?). Dawgs downed the #11 Tigers, 62-50.

We knew #12 Ohio State’s lack of defense was a sore point… but giving up 103 to unranked Iowa? Ouch.

Shall we say Maryland lost their focus after their big win over the Buckeyes? Terps escaped Northwestern by 3.

’cause we know in-state rivalries are the BEST. South Dakota took down the Wabbits, 67-61. Coyotes are now 7-0 in the Summit.

Things went pretty much as expected on Friday... except for Stanford whomping #24 Arizona State, 74-50. And St. Peter’s getting their first MAAC win of the season!

Drexel is making a statement, taking down Elon, 58-56, and moving to 7-1 in the CAA.

Saturday, Kelsey Mitchell became the Big Ten’s all-time leading scorer as Ohio State got a desperately needed win over Michigan State, outscoring the Spartans by 13 in the fourth to win by 14.

Disappointing to see Rutgers continue it’s Big Ten slump. They fall to Indiana, 64-58.

Mercer stays undefeated in the Southern, overwhelming Chattanooga in the third quarter to cruise to the 71-50 win.

Belmont is just roaring through the OVC. If (more like “when”) they make the Tournament, I pity the team who faces them.

Whoops! Portland gets its first WCC win, beating St. Mary’s, 68-65.

UC Davis moves to 7-0 in the Big West, coming from behind to beat an improving Santa Barbara, 69-63.

Sunday was nobody’s day of rest.

#3 Baylor waited until the second half to get going, finally putting away #20 West Virginia, 83-72.

#5 Notre Dame continues to make the case for McGraw as COY, smothering #8 Florida State, 100-69.

Took ya long enough, Sabrina. Sheesh! Ionescu gets her 9th triple-double9th triple-double as the #7 Ducks defeated Utah, 84-68.

Ummm…going 14-27 on free throws would probably mean defeat for most teams. But if you balance that with crashing the boards and grabbing 23 – count’em: 20. 3. offensive rebounds, you give yourself a chance. And that’s exactly what LSU did v. #10 Tennessee, winning 70-59.

Sooooo, I guess these if you look up “chippy” in the dictionary, you’ll see a video clip of South Carolina v. Missouri. Lot’s of pre-game stoking of the fires of discontent, and they flared. Tied with about four minutes left, Gamecocks pulled away for the win, 64-54.

Yes! Iona gets its first win of the season.

I can’t figure Virginia out. Can you? They’re at 8-1 in the ACC.

Hello, Nebraska: Huskers humble Hawkeye women

In other news, Mechelle is stomping around in her old grounds: Two-sport standout Peyton Williams is a quick study at Kansas State

You might assume someone who has been playing Division I sports nonstop since August and is also a top-notch student in anthropology wouldn’t have much time to read for fun.

But Peyton Williams currently has seven books going. The Kansas State volleyball and basketball standout was reading four of them while at home in Topeka, Kansas, during a brief holiday break. She left those there and took three new ones for the Wildcats’ first post-break road trip, a four-hour bus ride to Oklahoma State.

“I’m a book-book person,” Williams said, referring to her preference for the real thing, rather than the electronic version.

Jayhawks, Wildcats come together to celebrate 50 years of women’s sports

There is an old adage, perhaps equal parts truth and cynicism, that maintains that history is written by the victors. But you could say of women’s basketball, history is written — and has been made by — the persistent.

The facts aren’t always as readily available, the stories typically not as well-known. But they are especially meaningful if you get to talk to the people who lived them.

Such was the case Sunday at Allen Fieldhouse, as the women’s basketball teams from Kansas and Kansas State met for 117th time.

More history: 1992-93 Iowa women’s basketball: A fairy-tale season

Listen up! Around the Rim: Marquette head coach Carolyn Kieger shares her experience being a young coach, talks about her recruiting strategy, the vision she’s set for the program, her journey to coaching

Cool! Duke and China women’s basketball teams collaborate

Count down: Chattanooga’s Jim Foster downplays looming 900-win milestone

Looming: With Upcoming South Carolina Test, UConn Women On Right Track,

When a legend leaves: Washington U. women’s basketball is adjusting to new style

When Randi Henderson accepted the job as head women’s basketball coach at Washington University, she expected challenges.

After all, she was taking over for Hall of Famer Nancy Fahey, who stepped down last March to take the job at the University of Illinois. In 31 seasons with the Bears, Fahey’s teams went 737-133 (.847 winning percentage), won 23 conference titles and made 29 NCAA Division III tournament appearances. Her squads made 10 Final Fours and captured national championships in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2010.

“One of the first things I wanted to make clear was that Coach Fahey and I have very similar visions for this program — to win championships,’’ Henderson said.

Summitt Hoops: WNBA Offseason Primer: Dallas Wings and WNBA Offseason Primer: Seattle Storm and WNBA Offseason Primer: Chicago Sky

OZY: Is the WNBA Ready for This College Star (Wilson)?

WATN? Lindsey Harding: Former WNBA Players Learning Life After Basketball At NBA League Office

WATN? Vanessa Nygaard’s pro pedigree elevating Windward basketball


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So that happened….

I think we can all agree that #12 Ohio State is somewhat allergic to defense, but honestly, who had the scout on Christinaki? #14 Maryland squashed the Buckeyes, staking a claim to the Big 10 title and setting the Columbus locals to thinking about their aspirations for Final Four… a 30-pt loss?

Around the corner, #16 Michigan said, “Don’t overlook us,” as they dismantled Michigan State, 74-48.

The victory…snapped a four-game losing streak to the Spartans (14-7, 4-4).

“They try and remind me to enjoy the moment sometimes, because as a coach, you are always looking to the next game, and sometimes you don’t sit back and look how far you’ve come,” said Michigan sixth-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico after Tuesday’s win.

“But I can’t tell you how incredibly proud I am of this team. We got robbed last year not getting to the NCAA tournament, and they have been on a mission since that announcement.”

Yes, I see (soon to be ranked?) Nebraska, winning 75-51 over Purdue. Coach Williams as Conference COY, anyone?

The galloping Cowgirls got tripped up by Iowa State, 78-69. Thanks to Bridget Carleton’s career-high 39 points, the Cyclones outscored #19 Oklahoma State 30-17 in the fourth quarter. Ouch.

Stinky news for West Virginia’s Tynice Martin, but I don’t know that anyone’s really surprised. Didn’t stop the Mountaineers from handling Texas Tech, 82-52.

#24 TCU made sure their first ranking since 2010 didn’t go to their head, defeating Kansas, 68-63.

In a match up of Patriot heavyweights, Bucknell came out ahead. Navy and the Bison both sit at 6-3. They join Lehigh, who got upset by Loyola (MD), 67-64, on a last-second three by Alexis Gray. Of course, they’re all chasing American, now 8-0 in conference play.

Well, lookee here! Stephen F. Austin continues to grow in the Southland. They defeat perennial conference-boss Central Arkansas, 59-46, and move to 7-0 in the conference.

YES!!!! Air Force gets their first win of the season, 57-50 over Utah State. Iona, you’re next!

In other news

Graham: Tennessee freshman Rennia Davis a quick study on and off the court

By the time a freshman plays in the NCAA tournament, she isn’t really a freshman anymore. At least that’s the adage. Accumulated wisdom is supposed to shape her into something more like the player she will be as a sophomore than the naive new arrival of the previous fall.

Its freshman class at the forefront of a resurgence with the promise to end a decade-long Final Four drought, Tennessee had reason to hope there was a kernel of truth to the line after a 15-0 start this season. Following a brutal four-game stretch that included a meltdown at Notre Dame and a blowout loss against Mississippi State, that adage becomes a necessity for Rennia Davis, Anastasia Hayes and Evina Westbrook.

Listen Up! LaChina Robinson and Terrika Foster-Brasby gear up for We Back Pat Week by chatting with Tennessee’s Jaime Nared, Mercedes Russell and Lady Vol great Tamika Catchings. Plus, WBB analyst Brenda VanLengen talks Big 12.

Hail, the mid-majors! Top three remain the same in mid-major top 10 poll

Landed: Ex-Nebraska coach Yori joins Creighton’s staff as Connie Yori returns to roots, takes role as Creighton women’s basketball adviser

Damn: Davidson’s Andrea Robinson has leukemia, out remainder of season

Chiney speaks: The WNBA All-Star and first-generation Nigerian-American on how basketball helped her define her identity

I went to my first basketball practice when I was 9, living in Houston. It was my older sister Nneka’s first practice too. We both showed up wearing jean shorts, halter tops, glasses and Keds sneakers. We had no idea what we were doing. I ran to hide in the bathroom, crying while Nneka stumbled through practice — she’s always been the more curious one, while I want to win at everything I do. I made her play me one-on-one at home after every practice. She was basically my first coach.

Nneka and I both play in the WNBA now, and our two younger sisters, Olivia and Erica, are pre-med students who play basketball at Rice. We never could have imagined that basketball would change our lives. Most of the Nigerian parents I knew had very strict ideas about child-rearing: You went to school, got good grades and came back home. That was it, that was your childhood. Any child who didn’t aspire to be a doctor or lawyer had a lot of explaining to do.

Maya speaks: A Pioneering Spirit – The Lynx forward is as fearless and captivating off the court as she is on it

Dear Black Athlete,

Don’t ever forget that you are a citizen—a part of a community

With being an athlete there comes privilege and responsibility—mainly the responsibility to never stop seeking to understand your fellow citizen and neighbor—more importantly, the ones who aren’t exactly like you.

This has been my journey as I’ve stepped into the world of mass incarceration in America and how this phenomenon has unfairly impacted black and brown men and families.

I’ve witnessed double standards and unchecked power in our home of the United States and I’m moved to act.

San Antonio-Express: Hammon has made an impact on, off the court

Congrats: Potomac honors former basketball standout Lynetta Kizer

Speaking of congrats: Williams Reflects On MVP Season In Perth

More international: Import Sydney Wiese bids fond farewell to Fire after title win

The WHB has mentioned them… and here’s something from the AP on’em: Small Ohio school quietly makes college basketball history

Last Saturday’s 113-75 victory over Northwood in front of 242 fans in Livonia, Michigan, was the 19th of the season and the 56th straight.

Ashland broke the NCAA Division II record with its 52nd consecutive win back on Jan. 6, surpassing the string put together by Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas, in 2005-06.

Coach Robyn Fralick and her players are perfectly polite but somewhat indifferent about the reporters and TV crews visiting campus since they broke the record. They know this team has been good for a long time.

Now hush – #6 Texas is playing #3 Baylor….

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Aaaaand, they’re back.

Both A’ja Wilson and Tyasha Harris returned to the line up, and #10 South Carolina easily handled Kentucky, 81-64.

#1 UConn returns to form (sans Samuelson) and plucked the Owls.

Mississippi State’s 72-52 win over the Vols finally gave viewers a chance to measure the Bulldogs against a ranked team (Oregon’s been the only one they’ve faced). They look impressive, don’t they? Seasoned and solid.

“Today for us, it was about toughness and competitive spirit,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said.

Schaefer referenced the location, the opponent and the occasion in complimenting his team. The victory occurred on “We Back Pat” day, an annual event to honor the late Pat Summitt and raise awareness for the former Tennessee coaching legend’s foundation and the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

“She wouldn’t be proud that we won,” Schaefer said. “But she would be proud of how we won.”

Notre Dame took on Clemson and there was not one smidge of drama involved.

Soooo, Florida State started shaky and, to be honest, it was looking like it was going to be a Louisville blowout. But the Seminoles regained their balance, and slowly clawed back. And then everybody decided to JUST STOP SCORING. Eventually, the 14,248 attendees at the YUM watched FSU give the Cardinals their first loss of the season…*squints* 50-49.

Not sure how to categorize UNC’s 92-86 OT win over #16 Duke. Surprising? Huge? Season shifting? Or was it just a product of in-state-rivalry pride? Pick whichever suits, but celebrate if you’re a Tar Heel named Paris Kea.

Glad I warned’em! Cal escapes with a 3-point win over USC, 62-59.

Nebraska over Rutgers, 52-42, and this may explain why: Omaha World-Herald: Strength coach Stuart Hart helps Nebraska women’s basketball physically and mentally

“He’s really raised the bar of the expectations they have of themselves,” coach Amy Williams said. “I’ve talked a lot about the increase in confidence — I know I sound like a broken record — but I think a lot of that has to do with what Coach Stuart has done with them and the confidence he’s instilled in pushing them beyond what they’re capable of.”

Marquette tries to settle things down in the Big East by downing Villanova, 67-57.

Duquesne says to George Mason, “Don’t @ us,” 71-64. Paul Zeise: Duquesne is the center of the Pittsburgh basketball world

The women’s team is loaded with skill. It feeds off its fearless leader, Chassidy Omogrosso, who, pound for pound, is the best basketball player in the city. The team feeds off her energy but certainly isn’t a one-man show. Burt has assembled a perfect mix of international and local players.

Elon says to the Blue Hens, “Don’t get cocky,” 64-51.

IUPUI stakes a claim to the second spot in the Horizon rankings with their 64-61 win over Wright State. Of note: WSU retired Kim Demmings’ jersey.

Demmings, a 2011 Richmond High School graduate, graduated from Wright State in 2016, after scoring 2,677 points, the most in Horizon League women’s basketball history and in Wright State men’s or women’s basketball.

“She is incredible as a person and a player, and she will be an amazing coach,” Richmond High School girls basketball coach Casey Pohlenz said in a text message.

Wichita State says, “They don’t call us the ‘Shockers‘ for nothing,” takes down South Florida, 64-56.

*All Sing* Fi-na-lly! Coach Graves’ #7 Ducks get the win over #18 Oregon Statefirst time in the last 15 tries.

“That’s a heck of a team,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said of the Beavers. “They do not quit. I thought we were obviously in control the whole game and they just keep coming at you, coming at you, coming at you.”

Gophers got game. They take down #20 Iowa, 77-72.


7pm: WaPo: Maybe not a women’s basketball rivalry, but #14 Maryland- #12 Ohio State is a big game

7pm: LSU v. #15 TAMU. Been kinda topsy-turvy for the Aggies. Just in time, coach Blair sits in the Coach’s Chair.

Can you talk about your experience coaching at Louisiana Tech, at the dawning of women’s collegiate basketball?

Sonja Hogg is the first lady of college basketball: she knew how to dress, how to press, and she knew how to recruit. Leon Barmore was the Bobby Knight of women’s basketball. I was in the middle of that with recruiting. All three of us were six months apart in age. It worked, and I don’t know if it could ever work again with the egos that the three of us had. My job was to massage the egos.

It was back then Old Dominion, Louisiana Tech, Long Beach State, Western Kentucky and Cheney State that were the big dogs. Those were the programs, and then they died out to start the 1980’s. You could get it done at those smaller venues back then. We would pack them in to the old field house, and after two years when we won National Championships, we moved (the venue) to the new assembly center. Karl Malone was playing at Louisiana Tech at that time. We opened that arena in the 1983-84 season and we played Cheryl Miller and USC in the opening round (of the NCAA Tournament) and we got beat at home. You could tell Cheryl was the next coming. She was the first 6-3 kid who could play all five positions. She was ahead of her time.

In other news

Poll time! TCU in Top 25 for first time since 2010

Bracketology time! And some words from Charlie.

Congrats! Florida State’s Shakayla Thomas named espnW’s player of the week

The Spokesman-Review: Emma Stach’s energy key to Gonzaga’s defense

Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Lisa Fortier says it all the time: “Our offense starts with our defense.”

Often that means shutting down the other team’s best player. It’s a thankless task — unless you’re senior guard Emma Stach, who wouldn’t have it any other way.

Damnit: Former Baylor player Chameka Scott dies at 33 #f*ckcancer. From Mechelle

“For me, as an athlete, my body had been tested physically day in and day out,” Scott told ESPN in 2016. “So the challenges I had to face with cancer — the weight loss, the surgeries, the recovery — no matter how bad it got, I knew there was a process. You push your body hard, then you build back up. And the discipline to do that is like playing, too.”

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The entertainment continued…

Friday saw all sorts of fun-ness.

Utah doubled up #22 Arizona State in the fourth quarter to eek out the 2-point upset.

“We didn’t play perfectly, but we hung in there and I am so proud of our team,” Roberts said. “This was a game that was going to be about toughness and it really was.”

#18 Oregon State’s Kat Tudor made seven 3-pointers (career-high 34 points) to help lift the Beavers to an OT win over #7 Oregon. Ionescu, who forced overtime by hitting a 3-pointer with 3.5 seconds left in regulation, led all scorers with 35 points. Gotta love those in-state rivalries!

Speaking of which – #21 Cal kept it a tight one with the #13 Bruins, but eventually UCLA earned the 60-52 win.

Soooo…. about the Big East. Butler over Creighton. Georgetown STOMPS Marquette. Villanova double stomps DePaul. What is going on?

Drake is for real making a run at the MVC, taking down Northern Iowa, 81-64. (Yes, I see you, 6-1 Missouri State!)

Saturday, everyone pretty much stuck to form (Yes, #24 OSU squeaked by Oklahoma and North Dakota stunned Northern Colorado) giving us plenty of time to catch up on some reading.

From the Detroit Free Press: Katelynn Flaherty: Unassuming guard now Michigan’s top all-time scorer

Scoring is what Flaherty, now with 2,478 career points, has always done. She never has been the biggest or most athletic. She has faced exotic defenses — box-and-ones, triangle-and-twos — throughout her life. 

Yet none of that seems to stop her.

“Here you have this little 5-foot-7 guard that owns the Michigan scoring record now — like who would’ve ever thought it?” said Lynn Flaherty, Katelynn’s mother. “Because I say, if you just see Katelynn walking down the street, you would probably never even pick her out to be a basketball player sometimes.”

College Insider: Mid Major Poll

Interesting: NCAA Division II expands international reach to Mexico

Congrats! (I still miss hearing her call games) NCAA president honors broadcaster Robin Roberts

Proximity is power,” Roberts said. “Every coach I’ve ever had has stressed to me that it’s position, position, position. You can hope and pray all you want — and I’m a very spiritual person — but if you don’t put yourself in position to make the basket, you don’t put yourself in position for good things to happen to you. It kind of clicked with me that I was always doing that in sports. I was always worrying about my positioning. I had to do the same thing off the court.”


The Astonishing’s Interview with Women’s Basketball Great Pokey Chatman!

Summitt: WNBA Offseason Primer: Atlanta Dream

Bullets Forever: Checking in on the Mystics who are staying in the United States

Sunday Slate of Games

12pm: Marquette v. Villanova. It’s the Big East, so I have not a clue.

12pm: George Mason (4-1) v. Duquesne (5-0). Interesting A-10 matchup.

12pm: #10 South Carolina v. Kentucky. This might have been more interesting in past years, but injuries are the wildcard.

But while both teams have plenty of their own issues to deal with, there’s no overlooking the intense, sometimes heated rivalry between the two programs.

“Doesn’t matter what the records are,” USC coach Dawn Staley said Friday. “It’ll probably be a knock out, drag out (game).”

1pm: Delaware (5-1) v Elon (3-3). Just keeping an eye on the Blue Hens.

2pm: IUPUI v. Wright State. Both are wannabes to Green Bay’s Horizon crown.

With 2,677 points, Kim Demmings isn’t just the most prolific scorer to wear a WSU uniform, she’s the Horizon League’s all-time top scorer in women’s basketball and is ranked as the No. 34 all-time scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.

The 5-foot-8 guard was the Horizon League’s newcomer of the year as a freshman and as a junior she was named the Horizon League’s player of the year, was MVP of the conference tournament and led WSU to its only NCAA Tournament berth.

2:30: #15 Duke v. North Carolina. Neighbors going at it.

The last time the Blue Devils started 0-2 in ACC play was the 1992-93 season, when they began conference play 0-9. Since getting off to the same two-game start this season, however, Duke has made sure that history doesn’t repeat itself. 

The No. 15 Blue Devils will roll into Carmichael Arena to face North Carolina Sunday afternoon riding a four-game winning streak after dropping their first two conference games. Duke has beaten the Tar Heels by a combined 60 points in the past two meetings between the rival programs in Chapel Hill, including a 95-71 blowout last year.

3pm: #3 Mississippi State v. #6 Tennessee. Can MSU stay unbeatenunbeaten? How do the Vols recover from an awful loss?  AP: Turnovers Bothering No. 6 Lady Vols During Difficult Stretch.

Three days after committing 28 turnovers to blow a 23-point lead at No. 5 Notre Dame , Tennessee (16-2, 4-1 SEC) is back home Sunday to face No. 3 Mississippi State (19-0, 5-0). Tennessee has the second-highest turnover total in the SEC, while Mississippi State leads the conference in turnover margin.

“They get after you,” Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said of Mississippi State. “You’d better protect the ball.”

Tennessee hasn’t done that often enough.

 BTW: Check out Pedal for Pat 2018

4pm: #21 California v. USC. Overlook USC at your own peril.

5pm: #12 Florida State v. #2 Louisville. Am I wrong to feel like FSU has been shaky this year (they only have 2 losses)? Huge crowd at the YUM Center for this game.

6pm: Nebraska v. #25 Rutgers. Gotta win if you want to stay ranked.

8pm: #18 Oregon State v. #7 Oregon. Revenge meet crankiness: Coaches frustrated by quick turnaround for women’s basketball Civil Wars

Did you catch this? Dawn Staley speaks out powerfully in support of WNBA player alleging sexual assault. THEN READ THIS. Because if you think girls/women’s basketball is immune to the horror that has enveloped US Gymnastics, you’ve not been paying attention: Nancy Hogshead-Makar, How to Stop Sexual Abuse in Sports

The national #MeToo movement seems like a sudden wildfire, but within the Olympic world sexual abuse has been a decades-long slow burning fuse. Sexual abuse of Olympic athletes, unfortunately, is neither new nor surprising for those of us who have seen and experienced it firsthand during our athletic and professional careers. It’s an issue that has only been exacerbated by U.S. Olympic Committee and National Sports Governing Bodies policies that are designed to deflect from civil liability.


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Are you not THOROUGHLY entertained!

So, everything was falling into place for #6 Tennessee’s first win over #5 Notre Dame in a loooong time. Big lead – but on the Irish’s home court. When slowly, inexorably, McGraw’s team started chipping away. The Vols couldn’t get the ball in to Russell or hold on to the ball (too many turnovers), and fell apart under Notre Dame’s onslaught. The result? The greatest successful comeback in Notre Dame women’s basketball history culminated in a 14-point win.

Unfortunately for Notre Dame, much of the Irish’s narrative this season has been summed up by three awful letters: A-C-L. Coach Muffet McGraw’s basketball team has been hit so hard by knee injuries — four players are sitting out with them — that you half-expect a knee brace to be added to the Fighting Irish’s leprechaun logo.

But what they did Thursday in a table-turner for the ages against Tennessee — from down 23 to winning 84-70 — wasn’t just the “fight” part of the Irish in a never-give-up sense. They fought to establish what has become a staple of McGraw’s program: a smart, efficient, dependable offense.

Meanwhile, Penn State got the upset win over #25 Rutgers after Teniya Page (34pts) made 4 of 5 free throws with a second left (Getting T’d up can be brutal). That’s their first win over a ranked team this year.

#2 Louisville got three quarters of doggedness from Pittsburgh, and then put the Panthers away in the fourth.

#1 UConn beat Tulsa by 18, but don’t talk to Geno about it. Fans Deserve Money Back After ‘Disgraceful Effort’ Vs. Tulsa. Pity them at their next practice. Pity their next opponent.

#10 South Carolina is still without A’Ja Wilson or Mikiah Herbert Harrigan, and Vandy tried to take advantage. Nope, said Alexis Jennings (27pts), as the Gamecocks win, 95-82.

Told ya to keep an eye on Wake Forest. #12 Florida State (missing starting point guard AJ Alix because of the flu) had to stage a furious comeback in the fourth quarter to get the game into OT. The Seminoles prevailed in the extra quarter and escaped with a two-point win, 81-79.

Make that 25-in-a-row. Behind Haley Gorecki’s career-high 28 points and Lexie Brown’s, #15 Duke made sure Virginia Tech stayed put, 86-75.

Other News

NCAA.com: TCU women’s basketball doesn’t view last week’s consecutive Top 25 wins as upsets and, from TCU 360: Okonkwo key to Horned Frog women’s basketball

Oi! Oi! Australian Lauren Mills makes unique journey to Iowa State women’s basketball

Hmmm… A picture in time: UConn, Mississippi State sit atop first NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee top 16 reveal . Charlie has some thoughts.

Interesting to see who is NOT on the list (did they submit bids?) Cleveland, Dallas among Women’s Final Four finalist bid cities for 2021-24


.com: WNBA Overseas Update: Pair of Seattle Teammates Shining, Williams Honored

In case you’re dreaming about your team’s possibilities: WNBA Free Agency 2018: Unrestricted Free Agents

Bullets Forever Blog wonders: Roundtable: How long is the Mystics’ championship window?  (no pressure)



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Are you not STILL entertained?

#18 Michigan learned a lot from the overtime loss to #8 Ohio State, and they put it to good use, coming away with at 84-75 win IN Columbus.

Michigan head coach Kim Barnes Arico wouldn’t let up. With 30 seconds remaining and her team leading No. 8 Ohio State 84-75, she screamed at her team from the sideline. The Buckeyes made their final push. The clock continued to tick.

Then with 12 seconds remaining, Wolverine junior center Hallie Thome pulled down the rebound after senior guard Asia Doss’ off-balance 3-pointer clanked off the rim, sealing No. 19 Michigan’s upset. Arico turned around and finally relented, breaking out in a smile and raising her arms to the sky before hugging senior forward Jillian Dunston, who stood behind her.

The Wolverines had done it.

Listen Up! Kim Barnes Arico on Michigan Insider audio boom

Not to be outdone, Nebraska knocked off #20 Iowa.

An improved season for the Nebraska women’s basketball season had still been missing something, but not anymore.

Nebraska defeated 20th ranked Iowa 74-65 on Tuesday at Pinnacle Bank Arena, giving Nebraska its first win against a ranked team this season in its third attempt at doing so, and coach Amy Williams’ first win over a ranked opponent with the Huskers.

Unwilling to be part of a three-fer-upsetter, Maryland fought back in the fourth to down Indiana, 74-70.

#17 West Virginia, though, obliged, falling to #24 Oklahoma State, 79-73.

Told you I have no idea what’s up with the Big East. Villanova falls to Penn, 79-77.

Another upset: Loyola (MD) over Bucknell, 68-65.

Yup! The A10’s gonna be a battle. Dayton squeaked by Fordham, 63-62.

In other news

Listen Up! Sirius (ly): Around the Rim is now on @espnUonSiriusXM chanel 84 starting this Sunday.

Listen Up! La China joins the fabulous Burn It All Down podcast

Listen Up! Louisville coach Jeff Walz joins Mark Ennis and Luke Hancock.

NCAA Women’s basketball players of the week: Asia Durr leads Louisville to first No. 2 ranking

Michelle Smith: Pac-12 Women’s Basketball sophomores shine

Borislava Hristova, Washington State. Up in Pullman, they call her “Bobby Buckets.” Hristova is a redshirt sophomore, having missed most of last season with a knee injury after establishing herself as an impact player as a freshman. She was leading the Cougars in scoring at the time of her injury. Hristova, who is tied for the Pac-12 scoring lead at 19.2 points a game, looks like she has shaken off any rust from sitting out last year. Last week, Hristova put up a career-high 36 points on 15-of-21 shooting against Colorado, tying for the third-most points in a game in program history. The Bulgarian native has put up seven 20-point game this season.

Also: Ruthy Hebard: Outstanding as a freshman and still going strong in year two

This past summer, Hebard traveled with USA Basketball’s U19 team to Italy for the U19 FIBA World Cup. There, she got a look at her new teammates, Anneli Maley and Aina Ayuso, and played against some top-tier international talent.

Hebard’s physicality has been hugely beneficial for Oregon. Now ranked No. 7 in the country — its highest ranking ever— the intensity is taken up another notch.

Also: Anne Patterson, AP:  Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu is about more than just triple-doubles

“I just play, to be honest, I don’t think about anything,” she said. “I just go out there and play and do the best that I can in order for us to win. So if that’s rebounding, passing, scoring, whatever it is. That’s what I focus on. Just to win.”

BTW: She left U-Conn. — and became college basketball’s leading rebounder at George Mason

Butler’s career GPS, though, introduced a few short detours. First there was a season at Georgetown, where the late-blooming 6-foot-5 center became an unexpected collegiate force and the Big East freshman of the year. Then came three years with the most famous program in the sport: Butler played in two Final Fours with Connecticut, won a national championship and graduated with a degree in communications. And then — recalculating, recalculating — the route finally wound back home to Mason.

Also! January 21st starts “We Back Pat” week. “She would love this team” – Warlick reflects

BOOM! Barb Stevens joins the 1000 win club.

Barbara Stevens couldn’t imagine being mentioned in the same conversation with Geno Auriemma and Pat Summitt.

Yet Bentley’s longtime women’s basketball coach has a chance to join those two icons in the 1,000-victory club on Wednesday. A win over Adelphi, which has beaten Bentley four straight times, would give Stevens 1,000 wins, making her the fifth women’s college basketball coach to reach that milestone. Tara VanDerveer and Sylvia Hatchell are the others.

“You look at all those coaches. They are huge names in the sport,” Stevens told The Associated Press by phone. “I don’t see the connection with me and them. I found my niche and I don’t need any limelight. I don’t need anything like that. What I’m trying to do in a small way is create a program that can be successful and that’s it.”

Heads up! First NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee Top-16 reveal set for January 18

Speaking of the Tourney, from Charlie: Mid-majors missing an opportunity for at-large inclusion

With a lack of worthy candidates and minimal conference tournament upsets, last season’s NCAA tournament field included only one at-large bid for a mid-major team (Northern Iowa) — for just the second time in 10 years.

With the Big 12 possibly only a four-bid conference this year, the bottom half of the SEC struggling to find its footing and the American Athletic Conference showing a large drop-off after Connecticut and South Florida, the door appears wide open for multiple mid-major at-large entries.

If only there were as many worthy candidates.

High School

Wait…what? Andrew Hill leaves game against Lick in third quarter

During a timeout in the third quarter of his team’s girls basketball game against Andrew Hill, James Lick coach Kyle McIntyre was about diagram a play when his players told him to turn around.

Andrew Hill was leaving the gym.

Lick led on its home court 56-25 on Thursday night when Joanne Winterstein gathered her players and walked out of the facility while yelling at and taking pictures of the referees, according to McIntyre.


Aussie! Aussie! Bye! Bye! It’s Time to Draw the Curtain (Erin Phillips)

Aussie! Aussie! Hello? Liz Cambage to return to WNBA with Dallas Wings after season end with Melbourne Boomers

Congrats! Atlanta Dream’s Bria Holmes to miss 2018 season because of pregnancy

Welcome back! Crystal Robinson Hired as Assistant Coach on Dan Hughes’ Staff

Please do: Keep room in your heart for Jackie Stiles as she battles cancer

Sure, we don’t know if they’ll be playing or WHERE they’ll be playing, but Tina Charles given franchise tag by the New York Liberty

The. Shoe. Drops.

WNBA All-Star guard Layshia Clarendon has filed a civil lawsuit against the regents of the University of California, alleging she was sexually assaulted by Mohamed Muqtar, a longtime Cal-Berkeley athletic department employee.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court, claims negligence on the part of the regents, who oversee Cal-Berkeley. Muqtar, 61, who has worked in the athletic department for more than 25 years, also is named as a defendant. He is the assistant athletic director for student services and graduated from the school in 1987 with a degree in economics.

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