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“Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

Welcome to Stanford’s world. And it’s not just one thing, but several somethings: #13 ASU went into Maples Pavilion, jumped out to a 17-point first half lead, and then held on for dear life, escaping with a three-point victory. How huge is this for the Sun Devils? (And no, we WHB folks are NOT surprised..)

The Sun Devils (17-1, 6-0 Pac-12) snapped a 16-game losing streak in the rivalry and won at Maples Pavilion for only the second time spanning 33 chances in program history and first since March 3, 1984. Coach Charli Turner Thorne, in her 18th year leading ASU, had never beaten the Cardinal at Stanford — where she played her college ball under Hall of Fame coach Tara VanDerveer.

Guess that leave that CTT took in 2011 really revived her.

It doesn’t get any easier for the #11 Cardinal: The still have to play the Washingtons again (though at home), face ASU in Arizona…. and #9 Oregon State is looming Feb. 26th at OSU.

The Beavers will move on undefeated in Pac-12 play by virtue of their hard-fought victory, 75-67, over Washington.

Sure, Jewell Loyd scored 34 points, but that’s what she does. If I were Holly, I’d be worried that, as a team, #6 Notre Dame shot a sizzling 58.2% on their way to an 11pt victory over #5 Tennessee.

The new Associated Press Top 25 released Monday suggested neither Notre Dame nor Tennessee will be in attendance when the Final Four convenes in Tampa.

If there are four teams that can play better basketball than the sixth-ranked Fighting Irish and fifth-ranked Lady Vols played Monday in South Bend in front of a national television audience, especially for a stretch of scintillating can-you-top-this shot-making in the first half, college basketball is in for a heck of a show in April.

But if Jewell Loyd isn’t part of that show, it will be our loss.

#3 Baylor carved up the #8 Longhorns in Waco, 75-58. Yes, Ariel Atkins is back, but #8 Texas seems to have lost some of its mojo. The fact Nneka Enemkpali left the game with a knee injury has got to make everyone’s gut clench.

UPDATED: Texas forward Enemkpali lost for season with torn ACL

In other weekend scores:

Speaking of lost mojo – Northwestern has stumbled badly, losing three of their last four.

West Virginia righted their ship – at least for one game – and took down #21 Oklahoma State, 61-49. The Cowgirls seem to have thrown a shoe.

Sic’em Sooners: Down go the Horned Frogs and the Cowgirls. Texas Tech is next, followed by Texas. Sherri and company seem to be on their way to rescuing a seemingly lost season.

Many people, some at least, when things are going very well, begin to look for when, where and how everything might fall apart. And things are going very well for coach Sherri Coale’s Oklahoma women’s basketball team.

Yet, even with today’s 3:30 p.m. tip coming up against Bedlam rival Oklahoma State, the Sooners appear not at all wrapped up in what might go wrong, nor how they might be affected if something were to go wrong.

Heck, yes, the MAC is going to be a dogfight: Ohio, Central Michigan, Akron and Ball State are pounding on everyone… and each other.

American is busy putting distance between themselves and the rest of the Patriot League.

Keep an eye on this one in the West Coast Conference: Gonzaga (6-0) at St. Mary’s (5-1), January 22nd.

Middle Tennessee State rolled La Tech, but you’ve got to be looking ahead to their rematch against Southern Miss. And then there’s that game v. #24 Western Kentucky

Not only have the Lady Toppers won 13 games in a row, the last 11 games by have come by double digits, all by at least 14 points.

WKU’s 13-game winning streak is tied for the sixth longest streak in the nation entering Sunday’s games. Western will look for its first 14-game or better streak since the 2002-03 season when it returns to the court on Thursday. WKU has just four streaks in program history of 14 consecutive wins or better. The school record is a 21-game streak during the 1990-91 season. The Toppers’ 13 straight wins are tied for the eighth longest streak in Conference USA history.

Fresno State is enjoying it’s status atop the Mountain West. But, they just escaped Wyoming…  and face Colorado State in a couple of weeks.

Nice win for Sacramento State. They score under 80 points, yet give Eastern Washington their first in-conference loss, and move into the top spot in the Big Sky.

Ouchos Gouchos. How far Santa Barbara has fallen. They stay winless on the year as Long Beach stomps all over them, 81-44.

Illinois State is also winless and, unlucky Redbirds, they get to go up against Wichita State next.

Marist dispatched Sienna. Quinnipiac dumped the Jaspers. Thursday, they get to go against each other. 

# 16 Duke handled the Hurricanes, 68-53, behind Williams’ double-double. Miami doesn’t have a lot of time to recover from the loss (of Laura Quevedo): they face Louisville on the 25th.

In a good news, bad news day: Seton Hall overwhelmed Depaul, 107-87. The Pirates then announced they’d dimissed Bra’Shey Ali from the team for multiple violations of team rules. The leading rebounder for the Hall, Ali had similar issues at Kentucky.

Fordham and George Washington are still the cream of the A-10.

No, they’re not setting the basketball world on fire, but I am noticing Rhode Island is a LOT better than they have been in the past few years.

This is an “upset” to the uninformed: Down-two-Kentucky falls to Up-one-LSU, 84-79.

#23 Minnesota was pushed by Indiana, but escaped with a 65-61 win.

It was an ugly offensive game, 32.7% v. 32.8%, but #22 Iowa will take the 2-point win over Michigan State.

#1 South Carolina is marching through the SEC. Next up, #10 Texas A&M.

Not only did Florida get tattooed by the Gamecocks, they then had to dismiss guard Antoinette Bannister after she was charged with credit card theft and fraud.

And more on Kim: Through foundation, Kim Perrot’s spirit is felt on MLK Day

While the nation celebrated the life of civil rights leader Martin Luther King this weekend, Loretta Perrot Hunter had another strong person who changed lives on her mind.

The sister of the late University of Louisiana at Lafayette women’s basketball great and former Houston Comets star Kim Perrot had tears of joy all weekend long as Kim’s jersey was retired by the Ragin’ Cajuns Saturday.

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After their nice piece on Kansas powerhouse Emporia State, boom, they drop to #3 in the DII polls after a one-point loss against Central Missouri. It’s especially painful ’cause they were outscored 9-1 in the closing minutes of the game.

Lewis University (Ill) moves into first, Pittsburg State University (Kan) second. The Pitt State Gorillas. How can you not cheer for a team like that!?!?!

Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to indulge in some DII scanning (ain’t doing laundry grand!), but it’s interesting to see that all but two teams have one loss.

BTW, here’s a story that might explain the sudden surge of women’s basketball coverage from the Gray Lady:

Before last Tuesday night, I had never heard the name Scott Cacciola. 

Twenty-four hours later, I’m not certain that I could have been any more excited at the notion of meeting him. Cacciola is in his second year of covering the New York Knicks basketball franchise for the New York Times.

Due to the Knicks’ dismal start (OK, with a 5-35 record at the moment and having won only once in their past 26 games, perhaps atrocious would be more appropriate), the NYT sports editors decided to have mercy on their beat writer and send him around the country to view winning basketball. They fielded hundreds of suggestions from readers and, through a collaboration of sorts, are picking each trip one game at a time.

So, for the next couple of months, he’s become a modern sports version of “On the Road” with Charles Kuralt.

And he started with the nation’s top-ranked program in NCAA Division II.

Lose, Knicks, lose! (Can you tell I moved from Boston to NYC?)

In the DIII poll, last year’s champeens, Farleigh Dickinson U – Florham (N.J) are going strong at 13-0. Wonder if their governor knows they exist? Perennial top-position teams lurk below: Thomas More College (KY) (love their headline, “Tomas Uses Big Second Half Run to Veto Presidents.” And forcing 43 turnovers against Thief college? Love it.), Amherst College, Washington University – St. Louis and University of St. Thomas, (MN). Lots and lots of familiar names fill out the ranks.

The Jeffs better be careful, though… the NY Times just wrote about them, though this time it’s Jere’, so maybe they’re safe: At Amherst, Division III Team With No. 1 Ambition

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especially:

#10 Kentucky at #1 South Carolina – though having Goss on the court would be more fun)

Virginia at #21 Syracuse – a chance for the Orange to get their first ACC win or the Cavaliers to prove that this season means they’re on the road up. BTW, this stinks: Syracuse women’s basketball player Brittney Sykes out for season with ACL injury

#13 Duke at Florida State – could be a statement game for the Seminoles against a shaky Blue Devil team.

#12 Maryland at #23 Minnesota – so, who exactly IS this Gopher team?

#19 Nebraska at Illinois – careful, careful, careful, Big Red…

Georgia Tech at #8 North Carolina – can the Tar Heels regroup or does the Ramblin’ Wreck take advantage?

#15 Stanford at Washington State – yes, the Cougars aren’t quite the threat the Huskies were, but the Cardinal can’t take anything for granted this season.

Today’s games I’m keeping an eye on:

Phoenix v. Penguins.

Tigers v. Quakers.

Hatters v. Eagles.

West Coast Tigers v. Gaels.

A little West Coast news: Fresno State women’s basketball quite all right under new coach Jaime White

During her four years on the Fresno State women’s basketball team, Alex Sheedy has played for three different coaches.

Without any prompting, the senior forward majoring in mass communication and journalism will tell you which ranks atop her list.

It’s the one who has the current Bulldogs off to an 11-3 start and 3-0 in the Mountain West Conference: first-year coach Jaime White.

Oregon State Beavers women’s basketball notes and nuggets: Home sweet home — finally

Friday’s Civil War matchup will be Oregon State’s first appearance inside Gill Coliseum since Dec. 6.

For some perspective, that’s the same week former football coach Mike Riley left for Nebraska. 

Mid-west(ish): CU women’s basketball: Jamee Swan reaching potential in new role

Jamee Swan is able to laugh about the emotional swings of Jamee Swan now because she seems to be getting them under control and it’s showing up in the box score for the Colorado women’s basketball team. 

It hasn’t quite translated to Swan leading her team to more victories in the Pac-12 Conference, but she’s evolving for sure midway through her junior season. Swan has led the Buffs in scoring in four straight games, despite recently going from starter to the first player coach Linda Lappe brings off the bench.

Gophers women’s basketball: Unbeaten in Rachel Banham’s absence

A prominent objective for the Gophers women’s basketball team heading into this season was to crack the Associated Press top 25 for the first time since 2006. It seemed like an attainable goal, even though Minnesota hadn’t been nationally ranked in nearly 10 years. 

Then Rachel Banham tore her ACL, and it appeared, at least briefly, that all hope was lost. Banham was the preseason Big Ten Conference player of the year and all-important to the Gophers.

New Mexico: Team leader Chirrisse Bryce Owens has her own pace on, off court

Head coach Yvonne Sanchez said Owens has shown tremendous growth in each of her the three years in the program.

“She used to be so serious when she first got here,” Sanchez said. “She can be really light-hearted but can also be intense.”

Sanchez said Owens has outgrown the constant role of being a stickler and has blossomed into the easygoing leader the team needs.

From Jeff Metcalfe: Elisha Davis emerges as floor leader for No. 18 ASU women

“Lili can be misunderstood if you don’t really know her,” Turner Thorne said. “She wants to do her best and do things right every time and her biggest weakness is when she doesn’t, she gets frustrated with herself. I think in the back of her mind she wondered, do I belong here? Can I really play at Arizona State? Am I good enough?”

The answers we now know to those questions are yes, yes and yes.

Ouch! Broken-teeth incident lands Tulsa’s Ashley Hughes label of ‘toughest player in women’s basketball’

From the East Coast: While the Governor goes off to cheer for the Cowboys, New Jersey’s Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham’s women’s basketball team is on a 45-game roll

When it comes to winning streaks, the longer they go on, the harder they are to keep up. You get a target on your back the better you are, and when you dominate the competition, everybody wants to be the David to you Goliath.

If that’s truly the case, then when it comes to the Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham Devils, that target might be seen from space. The Devils are definitely a super-sized Goliath, having won 45 games in a row, including the 2014 DIV III Women’s Basketball Championship which capped off a 33-0 season.

Not sure what’s gotten into the NY Times, but they’re still noticing women’s basketball. This time it’s a familiar name in DII basketball: They Don’t Rebuild. They Replace. Emporia State Lady Hornets Keep Winning Despite Turnover

The Lady Hornets of Emporia State, 130 miles from home, had gone scoreless in their first two possessions against Missouri Western on Thursday night when the freshman point guard Addie Lackey cradled the basketball near midcourt and turned to her coach, Jory Collins, for instruction.

“Motion!” Collins yelled. “Let’s go!”

Three words were all it took for Lackey to ignite the offense, sending the ball from one pair of hands to the next until Merissa Quick made a short jumper. It was the type of precise possession that has become brutally familiar to opponents not only this season, but also for much of the past two decades.

At Princeton, a Student of Sports Leadership Successfully Applies Her Research: Courtney Banghart Has Led Tigers to 16-0 Record

As a women’s basketball assistant at Dartmouth in 2007, Courtney Banghart juggled her coaching duties with requirements for a master’s degree in writing and leadership development. For her final project, she conducted in-person interviews with accomplished coaches, including the North Carolina women’s soccer coach, Anson Dorrance, and the Connecticut women’s basketball coach, Geno Auriemma.

That May, days after completing and defending her 100-page oral history on sports leadership, Banghart, then 29, was hired as Princeton’s coach. She is now a rising star in a profession she never thought she would pursue when she was a neuroscience major and two-time first-team all-Ivy League guard as an undergraduate at Dartmouth.

Some Maggie Dixon follow up by Ray at Swish Appeal: Gail Marquis reflects on first women’s game at MSG and A historic classic at the Maggie Dixon Classic

Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Battling through Adversity as ACC Play Begins

One game from an extended holiday break, things were running smoothly for second year head coach Wes Moore and his NC State women’s basketball program. Despite losing 50.4 combined points per game (67.1 percent of the total offense) due to the graduation of its most recent senior class, which included WNBA Draft picks Markeisha Gatling and Kody Burke, the team was 8-3, in the midst of a three-game winning streak, and had only suffered losses to teams inside the top 49 of the RPI. 

One fast break changed a lot on December 19 against Davidson. While driving up the court, senior captain and guard Krystal “KB” Barrett stopped short to pump fake a trailing defender, suffering a non-contact injury to her right knee in the process.

Congrats! LSU’s Temeka Johnson announced as SEC Legend

 Schaefer has Miss. State on the rise

This was Vic Schaefer, coach of the Mississippi State women’s basketball team, talking late Sunday afternoon:

“We set offensive basketball back at least 20 years today.”

“We’re just not very good on the offensive end of the floor. We are not executing. We keep turning the ball over. Offensively, we are awful.”

“It’s my job to fix it and I’m not doing a very good job right now.”

Enough. Now then, you should know Schaefer’s Bulldogs, ranked No. 17 at the time, had just defeated Missouri 53-47, on the road, erasing a nine-point second-half deficit, to go to 17-0 on the season. That continued the best start and longest winning streak in school history.

From Swish Appeal, some WNBA news: Three questions on how Brian Agler will make his impact on the Los Angeles Sparks and The New York Liberty’s rehiring of Bill Laimbeer is questionable at best

Speaking of the Liberty: Cappie Pondexter Joins Athlete Ally

Q: You attended the Athlete Ally Action Awards in New York City and accepted the award given to the WNBA, which was honored for its LGBT Pride initiative. What was your takeaway from that night, meeting so many athletes and fans–both LGBT and straight–who all have such a commitment to making sports a welcoming place?

A: That night gave me a sense of peace knowing that Athlete Ally’s commitment to bridging the gap of equality in sports has grown tremendously. It is empowering to see the organization’s continued support for the LGBT community.

Congrats! Moore Honored As 2014 USA Basketball Female Athlete Of The Year

Penny Taylor urges Canberra Capital Stephanie Talbot to take WNBA plunge

Talbot is averaging 13.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists a game in her first season with the Capitals. 

She was taken at pick 33 by the Mercury in last year’s WNBA draft, but is yet to decide whether to head to the US when the next season begins in June. 

The 20-year-old’s high basketball IQ, speed, athletic frame and passing ability have impressed many astute judges, including Taylor. 

Please: Kim Perott Basketball Court proposal presented to LCG Council

The Martin Luther King Center on Cora Street in Lafayette would be considered by many an ideal place to remember Kim Perrot.  This basketball court is where Perrot’s dreams played out. Loretta Perrot is Kim’s big sister.  “I believe in my she had a mission from God.  He allowed her to be without any pain and suffering.  When the cancer overcame her she just went through it. She was a true soldier.”

From West Virginia: Flying Eagles introducing girls basketball hall of fame

Staples and Brown, the inside and outside threats from several top Woodrow teams in the mid-1980s, will be inducted into the hall. They’ll each receive a plaque, and their jerseys will be hung from the ceiling at the Woodrow gym. A special hall of fame banner will also be showcased.

Chick-fil-A at the Beckley Galleria will sponsor the girls hall. Owner Richard Jarrell has been a key booster of the team since he returned to Beckley several years ago. He’s helped get it scoreboards and better facilities, and he’s glad to be part of the new hall.

“I started going to the girls games because I was friends with (former coach) Bernie Bostick, and I loved watching the girls play,” he said. “This is past due. When they said they would do a hall of fame and were looking for a sponsor, I said, ‘I’m in!’”

Food for thought from Leland Gordon: Coaches share thoughts on 161-2 high school girls basketball game

Of all the blowouts we’ve seen here at MaxPreps, we don’t think we’ve seen one as big as 161-2.

That was the final score Monday between the girls basketball teams from Arroyo Valley (San Bernardino, Calif.) and Bloomington (Calif.), and as expected, it elicited conversation about how winning coaches are supposed to handle games where things are possibly getting out of hand.

Check out A High School Girls’ Basketball Miracle in Minnesota

We know Long Beach (college) is having a great year, but the high school entered 2015 on a sour note. Luckily,  the community came together to help:

After Christmas, the Poly girls went to Florida for a tournament. After landing in South Florida, they stopped to grab a bite to eat before making the estimated 90-minute drive to Naples. 

While they were inside the restaurant one of the team’s rental vans was broken into. Equipment and personal items were stolen. 
A Poly parent, who was making the trip a day later, was able to bring some extra uniforms so that the players who had theirs stolen would be able to play in the tournament. 

Then, enter Long Beach. 

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Cash, Catchings win WNBA sportsmanship award

It’s the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award.

Kim Perrot, 32, Leader of W.N.B.A. Champions

”Who would have thought Kim Perrot would be a two-time W.N.B.A. champion?” she said when she accepted her second championship ring during a Comets home game on June 22. ”When no one else believed in me, my teammates and the fans stuck with me.”

Perrot, who was 5 feet 5 inches and 130 pounds, was indeed an unlikely professional champion despite a record-setting college career. She held 26 school records at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, where she remains the career scoring leader with 2,157 points. As a senior, she led the nation in scoring, averaging 30.1 points a game.

Kim Perrot

Remembering Kim Perrot – 14 years later

“She was a fighter. I watched Kim for many years overseas. She was the smallest person on the court, but again, had the biggest heart,” recalled Lynette Woodward during a 2011 edition of WNBA Legends Roundtable, along with Sheryl Swoopes and Tina Thompson. “This is what the league did for us. It let the world know who she was. Just think, if we didn’t have the league, nobody would know Kim Perrot the way that we do.”

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This feels right

WNBA Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award goes to Bird, Riley

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So, why wouldn’t you have a link to the transcript of the chat with WNBA player Penny and women’s basketball journalist Mechelle on the, you know, front page of the ESPN Women’s Basketball page?

Doesn’t that seem like a common sense/business sense kind of action? I mean, it’s not like you’re throwing up a ton of new content every day, now, is it?

Speaking of the chats, thanks for the good memory, MV:

kevin (macon ga) It was 11 years ago today that Kim Perrot passed away. What’s your favorite memory of her?

Mechelle Voepel Actually, it’s not of her playing. It may seem strange, but it’s of seeing her in the arena hallway in Houston, leaving after a game. I can’t even remember specifically what year it was. She was just smiling and bouncy, like a little kid who loved to play so much that she couldn’t wait until the next time she was on court. I remember thinking at the time that she seemed so young and buoyant … so alive. And honestly, every time someone mentions her, I get that same image in my mind of her smiling after the game.

Note the day/time change for her next chat: Tues. 1pm.

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