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The PAC 12 is the most interesting power conference (ya, the B12 is kinda fun, and the SEC sure was — before all of those devastating injuries.)

Arizona State stakes a claim to “we’re better than the competition we’ve plowed through on our way to a #10 ranking” by taking down #12 Stanford, 53-52. It wasn’t a particularly elegant game, but it did give the Sun Devils their first sweep of the Cardinal since 1984.

“Beating Stanford is just such a mental hurdle for our team,” Moos said. “When you can finally overcome beating Stanford, that’s when you know your team has reached mental toughness.”

Washington, who’s been on the edge of upsetting folks, did it against #7 Oregon State, 76-67.

“It’ll hit us tomorrow how big of a deal it was,” Washington coach Mike Neighbors said. “Right now it’s just good we bounced back from a tough two-game road swing.”

The Beavers were down a player, Gabby Hanson.

“Gabby’s our best perimeter defender and if you had to miss one game in the conference, this was not the one I would choose,” Rueck said. “Washington’s strength is their perimeter so we certainly missed her. I thought we played with a lot of heart tonight. We competed, it just wasn’t our night.”

Speaking of upsets, Cornell does it again: Penn loses first game at Palestra in over a year

Penn (11-7, 2-2 Ivy) struggled once again on offense, and Cornell (13-6, 4-1 Ivy) took great care of the ball to keep the Quakers from making up for it defensively. Penn turned it over 14 times and was only able to force the visitors into five miscues. 

“It just goes to show you how much they had control of this game,” coach Mike McLaughlin said of Cornell’s ball control. “We have to cause a little more havoc on defense. We gave up too many shots at the basket, there were too many breakdowns – mental breakdowns.”

Next up for Cornell: undefeated Princeton.

Minus their leading scorer (ankle), #19 Nebraska couldn’t overcome #21 Rutgers. It was old school Scarlet Knights, winning ugly, 46-43. While it won’t win any style points, it was the 177th win in the B1G Ten for coach C. Vivian Stringer, making her the winningest in the conference.

“I was shocked when they talked about it,” Stringer said after the game. “I didn’t even know anything about that…I was just trying to get through this game.”

Finally got that “mini-signature win, though it was also pretty style-free:” #25 Syracuse over #13 North Carolina, 61-56.

The two teams combined to go 13-for-55 from the 3-point line and Syracuse pulled out the win after only shooting 27 percent from the field.

Shhh… that’s New Mexico State at 7-0 in the WAC. There’s a familiar name coaching the Aggies: Mark Trakh is in his fourth year.

Okay, it wasn’t anything to write home about, but it’s nice the getting back into the rankings didn’t freak the Colonials out: George Washington wins 52-35 over Davidson. Didja see the article in the Times about the University?

OUCH: Wright State stomped all over the Penguins, 92-55 to earn a little revenge. Nice news on senior Courtney Boyd:

Boyd has faced tragedy, injuries and adversity over the last few years at Wright State. On Thursday, she showed signs of a comeback. 

WOWZA: It took three overtimes, but we got a Debbie Antonelli Special: New Orleans with the upset over McNeese State, 90-86. When the two teams played each other on the 31st, the Cowgirls won 82-58.

“We made a few adjustments in practice and many people did not understand the first time why we played zone. When we played McNeese the first time we forgot our rotations. We were ready tonight. Their words coming were We can and we will,” said Coach Keeshawn Davenport.

Well, lookee here: like the Pac-12, C-USA has got some competition at the top. Southern Miss takes down Middle Tennessee State in OT, 70-65.

Southern Miss enjoys the underdog label.

Especially against MTSU. The Lady Eagles knocked off the Lady Raiders for the second time this season — and the third time since MTSU joined Conference USA last season — with a 70-65 overtime win Thursday at Reed Green Coliseum.

For the third time in three weeks, Southern Miss’ women’s basketball team beat the league’s first-place team, sandwiching a win over Western Kentucky with the victories over MTSU.

Western Kentucky will face the Blue Raiders on the 21st. After that, it’s a race to the Conference Championship.

The West Coast Conference is still a three way battle between Gonzaga, BYU (win #300 for coach Judkins) and St. Mary’s… with San Diego knocking on the door. Gonzaga faces all three in the last three weeks of the regular season. St. Mary’s next faces feisty Pacific and their equally feisty point guard.

Think she’s too short, isn’t quick enough or can’t shoot.

Kristina Johnson would like nothing more than prove you wrong.

Though often the shortest player on the court, the 5-foot-5 senior point guard has contributed to the Pacific basketball team in ways that sometimes can’t be measured. Johnson brings controled fury and a team-first attitude to the Tigers, who host Saint Mary’s in an important West Coast Conference game at 2 p.m. today at Spanos Center.

See – there is no WBH curse! William & Mary (4-6, CAA) takes Drexel (8-2) into overtime… and comes away with the win, 72-68.

For the second straight game the William and Mary women’s basketball team prevailed in a double-overtime, dropping Drexel 72-68 in two extra sessions in Philadelphia on Friday night. Senior Jazmen Boone led five Tribe players in double-figures with a game-high 16 points. With the win, the Tribe, which won its fourth straight game, moved its record to 11-11, 5-6 in Colonial Athletic Association play, while the Dragons fall to 14-8, 8-3 in league action.

Wait. Maybe there is… the Salukis (5-5, Missouri Valley) take down Drake,  81-76. (They lost to the Bulldogs 81-66 in their previous matchup.)

 It was scene that hasn’t been witnessed at the SIU Arena for a long time — especially where women’s basketball is involved.

Dyana Pierre picked up teammate Rishonda Napier and carried her off the floor (Great photo -WHB) after the Salukis upset Drake 81-76. Napier scored 30 points as the Saluki women handed the Bulldogs their first conference loss of the year.

The victory was the twelfth of the year for the Salukis. SIU won just five games last year.

High Point stumbled against Presbyterian, 78-59, and are now three games behind Liberty in the Big South.

Upcoming games of interest:

SIUE women’s basketball at UT Martin. The Cougars, who earned their 9th straight, are 9-1 in the Ohio Valley. The Skyhawks are 10-0 in the OVC. A win today would make a program record conference start.

Rivalry rematch: FGCU v. Stetson.

The Atlantic Sun Conference believes its two flagship women’s basketball programs – FGCU and Stetson – have their best chance to make the NCAA tournament in the same season for the first time ever.

Both teams, of course, would much prefer to be the automatic qualifier.

In-state rivalry: Western Michigan v. Central Michigan.

Youth has not been a major characteristic of the Central Michigan University women’s basketball team in recent seasons.

Many of the teams that have played in the maroon and gold have featured a class of seniors blazing a trail for the freshmen to follow in the seasons to come. 

For this season’s freshmen, it is a different story.

Service rivalry: Army v. Navy.

Sunday games of interest:

A-10 rivals: Dayton v. #24 George Washington.

In-state rivalry: #20 Texas v. #3 Baylor.

In-state rivalry: Miami v. #9 FSU.

Wednesday marks the Women’s Sports Foundation’s 29th annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and Florida State has several reasons to celebrate.

The last two years have seen an unprecedented run of success for FSU’s women’s programs. That includes a national championship for soccer, a best-ever regular season for volleyball, a Women’s College World Series appearance for softball and a current Top-10 ranking for basketball.

CAA rivals: Drexel v. James Madison. Coach Kenny Brooks just won his 300th.

America East old v. new: Hartford v. Maine.

Maine is currently riding its longest winning streak since it strung together 13-straight during the 2004-05 campaign. The Black Bears are coming off their biggest win of the year as they defeated the current #1 team in the conference, UAlbany, by a score of 52-44 back on Feb. 1. UAlbany, who leads the league in scoring (67.4 ppg) were held to its lowest total of the year in the loss to Maine. The win snapped a 10-game losing skid against the Great Danes dating back to 2010. 

SEC rivals: #17 Mississippi State v. #14 Texas A&M.

Big 10 rivals: #5 Maryland v. #19 Nebraska.

Though she’s 13 years retired, Maryland women’s basketball players call her “Coach.” At 70, Chris Weller still attends the games and even some workouts of the team she ran for 27 years.

Once, last year, she addressed the Terps after practice.

“I wanted them to know about the legacy we’ve followed,” said Brenda Frese, her successor.

The players got an earful.

She’s back: Versyp reinstates Moore

Foreign Flashback: Abrosimova Brought Magic To Storrs

Now back in Moscow, busier than ever, Svetlana Abrosimova remains a social media maven. She checks in with the world as often as time allows.

So it did not surprise her to learn that Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, the precocious three-point shooter from California, was about to knock her off the list of UConn’s Top 10 career scorers. She’d been reading about it and knew it was coming. .

And for those who remember the unique relationship Abrosimova still shares with Geno Auriemma, hearing that her congratulations to Mosqueda-Lewis was accompanied with a customary dig at her former UConn coach does not surprise.

“I could have scored a lot more if coach Auriemma didn’t make me play defense all the time,” Abrosimova tweeted.

Dueling Delphi’s: From Harvey Araton at the NY Times: Diana Taurasi Can Rest Easy, but W.N.B.A. Can’t

Taurasi’s decision was also an unavoidable commentary on the state of the professional game in the United States, just now short of two decades old, not far removed from its developmental cradle. The growth of the W.N.B.A. notwithstanding, its long-term forecast remains partly cloudy and it may never provide a lucrative, full-time living for its talent.

From Patricia Babcock McGraw: Taurasi’s decision to skip season isn’t a WNBA death sentence

When push comes to shove for aging WNBA stars, their overseas careers might get the push, and the WNBA might get the shove.

Doomsayers are predicting, well, doom for the WNBA, a mass exodus of its stars. Especially now that Taurasi has officially opened this can of worms.

But here’s what the WNBA has going for it: Loyalty. History. Location.

In other W news:

Delle Donne feeling good after “crazy” 2014 season

At Wednesday’s launch of their 10th anniversary celebrations, Elena Delle Donne showed why she’s been made the face of the Sky franchise. She was outgoing in her interactions with the 150 or so girls there for a sports expo, mingled easily with media and dignitaries and spoke strongly about the Sky’s present, future and what the franchise means for the Chicago sports landscape.

It was clear that the offseason has been good for Delle Donne after a 2014 season that was memorable for a lot of negative reasons.

Nothing like stoking an inter-city rivalry: 

Shavonte Zellous signed with Turkish basketball team Fenerbahce on Friday.

Zellous played last season for rival Galatasary, leading that team to the championship in both the domestic and Euroleague. She has been embroiled in a salary dispute for the past few months with that club.

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Turkey's Işıl Alben after her game-winner over France

Turkey’s Işıl Alben after her game-winner over France

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with BG on the bench and EDD moving better, they had a chance to make the Merc sing this:

Instead, a total team effort — and some classic DT — has Phoenix singing this:

It’s lovely knowing that pro women’s basketball ain’t over and, selfishly, I’m hoping that Elena is healthy enough (and fortunate enough) to be named to the USA National Team. I want to see her on the same side as BG in Turkey. ’cause then, they can all sing:

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engine, it’s clear this team will be cookin’ with gas – ’cause the “second” team is rockin’ the house.

It’s likely “Las Segundas”  will eventually have their own struggles, and that the Bird-Parker (ooo, Jazz!) – Taurasi- Charles (uniform malfunction aside) and the (still hobbled)-Fowles quintet will find their rhythm, but whoever they put on the court, the US is a damn tough out. There’s just no drop off. Writes Doug: Depth leads U.S. women’s basketball team past Turkey

Coming off the bench is a new role for McCoughtry, who has started for almost her entire career since high school. It’s a role she thrives in.

“Honestly not starting has been the best thing for my career,” she said. “I’ve gained discipline and I think before I didn’t have the discipline. This took my game to another level.”

From USA Basketball: USA Women Remain Unbeaten With 89-58 Rout of Turkey the box and extra quotes.

The Baltimore Brew is proud: Another Baltimore Olympian to cheer for: Angel McCoughtry – A member of the 2012 U.S. women’s basketball team, she honed her skills at a city rec center

The other games: The Czech Republic, the US’s next opponent, finally got a win, taking down Croatia 89-70. Check out Lee’s discussion of why

with 1.6 seconds left in the game, the score stood at 89-70 in favor of the Czechs, when Croatia’s Anna Lelas turned the ball over on a traveling violation. But instead of simply inbounding and allowing time to expire, Czech coach Lubor Blazek called time out, and the television cameras that are ubiquitous in Olympic arenas showed him in the huddle drawing up a final play.

China downed Angola, 76-52.

It certainly ain’t pretty — and I’ve got to believe some Aussie fans are pulling out their hair, even if LJ is amongst the scoringest (all hail Janeth) — but the Opals managed to dispatch Brazil, 67-61. As for Brazilian fans? Something’s got to change…

Similar score — and the Brits must be so proud, even in their lossRussia 67, UK 61.

France squeaked by Canada, 64-60.

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RebKell: Turkey v. USA

Olympics Women’s Basketball Preliminary Round Group A
The Basketball Arena – London, England – 10:15 PM Local Time – 5:15 PM ET
TV: NBC Sports Network / NBC Specialty: Basketball

Online video for cable subscribers:
http://www.nbcolympics.com/liveextra/video-watch.html?video=womens-group-a-turkey-vs-united-states

Alternate online video:
http://www.thefirstrow.eu/watch/133233/1/watch-olympic:-united-states-vs-turkey,-womens.html

Preview/Boxscore:
http://london2012.fiba.com/pages/eng/fe/12/olym/p/eid/6232/gid/26/grid/A/rid/9087/sid/6233/game.html

http://www.nbcolympics.com/basketball/event/women/match=bkw400a09/index.html

Live stats:
http://london2012.fiba.com/extSTATIC/fiba-live/?event=6233(scroll down to game #26)

 Here’s the preview from USA Basketball: Preview – USA Women Take On Turkey

The U.S. women’s Olympic team has an edge over its male counterparts when it comes to international basketball: The style of play is second nature to them.That means the women don’t have to make major adjustments.

“The European game is different, we all know that,” said U.S. guard Diana Taurasi, who has played in both Turkey and Russia. “The best thing about it is that we’ve all played probably more European basketball than WNBA basketball. So we’re all really familiar with it, the way it’s reffed, the way they call things, the way you have to adjust during the game.

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now it’s Istanbul not Constantinople.… Yup, it’s a Sunday morning musical reference. Why?

Galatasaray broke open a close game midway through the fourth quarter and beat VICI Aistes in the EuroLeague Women opener for both sides on Thursday evening.

New Gala star Diana Taurasi had 31 points, including a perfect seven-of-seven effort from long range, and Alba Torrens added 18 as the Turkish giants won 83-66 in Istanbul.

And a shout out to Catamount Courtney Pilypaitis, who dropped in 17pts for the Lithuanian team.

Do keep up with the Euroleague through the work of Paul Nilsen. He brings us this (awful) news about Amaya:

The contrast of emotions during week one could barely have been starker than in the Spanish capital. It’s hasn’t been the greatest of starts to the season for Rivas Ecopolis who firstly lost the Liga Femenina SuperCup and then crashed at home to Gospic Croatia Osiguranje.

To make matters considerably worse, the influential Amaya Valdemoro sustained a serious injury after a horrific fall which resulted in her breaking both of her wrists. I am sure everyone associated with the competition will join me in wishing her a speedy recovery.

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Proof that even those who

remember the past are condemned to repeat it (perhaps because Twitter makes people stoopid?): The Angel in Turkey kerfuffle.

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and do a Q&A with ex-coach Donovan.

Speaking of ex-WNBA coaches, from the Auburn Plainsman: Fortner’s passion and confidence key to team’s success

Angel checks in from Turkey.

A less well-known player, UMass’s Kate Mills, talks Europe ball with Delaware Online.

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Opals star Penny Taylor’s season cut short

Taylor, a former world championship MVP and two-time WNBA championship winner with Phoenix, has been in career-best form with Fenerbahce in Turkey.

But some personal issues, including a family illness, have forced her to make the tough decision to return to Australia, with the 29-year-old expected back this week.

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From the Plain Dealer: Turkey!

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I think this is the latest on

the Taurasi Testing Tempest in Turkey: Taurasi could face U.S. Olympic ban

You can also go to Swish Appeal for Diana Taurasi Link Roundup: Patience Required Until January 2 Test

And there’s this from Ben at SlamOnline: Laboratory That Tested Taurasi Has Questionable History – Lab previously suspended by World Anti-Doping Agency.

Lots of speculation. All awaiting testing of sample “B.”

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