by Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup
Chiney Ogwumike is ready to stand on her own two feet. To many, she is known as “Nneka’s little sister,” but this year, she has worked to get out of her big sister’s shadow. Many had doubts on whether Chiney could shoulder the load and expected a drop off this year with the Cardinal. Instead, Stanford has been unstoppable this year. Chiney has to show she’s is a prime-time player, and with the big victory against Baylor, she has Stanford locked in as the No. 1 team in the nation.
The past week saw Penn State take a loss to UConn, and Louisville, Maryland and others rebound from tough out of conference losses. It will be interesting to see Tennessee play its first big test of the season against Baylor, and how coach Holly Warlick sets up her gameplan to slow down Griner.
1. Stanford (Last Week, 1)
The Cardinal may not have played much the past week, but they were dominant nonetheless in their last game against Gonzaga, winning 69-41. Chiney Ogwumike continues to dominate opponents, with 21 points and 11 rebounds against the Bulldogs. This week they play Pacific and an undefeated South Carolina team.
2. UConn (Last Week, 2)
UConn had a week of rest after their last contest against Penn State, a 67-52 win. Look for coach Geno Auriemma to add some new dimensions on both sides of the floor and try them out against Oakland in preparation for top-ranked Stanford in two weeks.
3. Baylor (Last Week, 3)
Baylor kept the 44-game home winning streak alive with a victory against Oral Roberts, 94-56. Odyssey Sims continued to show why she is the best point guard in the nation with 27 points, 6 assists and 6 steals in the contest.
4. Duke (Last Week, 4)
Duke continued its stellar play on the road with a nice non-conference victory against St. Johns, 60-42. All-American Liz Williams was a force on the defensive end with 5 swats in the game.
5. Kentucky (Last Week, 5)
The Wildcats are on a roll with a seven-game win streak. Outside of the close game against in state rival Louisville, Kentucky is beating their opponents by and average of 30 points or more, which warrants them this high ranking. The relentless defense of Kentucky has caused 20 turnovers against DePaul and 33 against Middle Tennessee.
6. Notre Dame (Last Week, 8 )
The Fighting Irish took their frustrations out on Utah State beating them 109-70 after a tough loss to Baylor last week. All-American Skylar Diggins can score at will, but in order for Notre Dame to reach their goal of a championship, she will need to create easy points for others as well. Look for Jewell Loyd to be a key player for the Irish as the season progresses.
7. Maryland (Last Week, 10)
The Terps may have lost a lot of punch in the backcourt, but they have found ways around the lack of guard depth and be successful. Lets give credit to Alyssa Thomas for showing different facets of her game when needed, facilitating the offense and keeping other involved. Hopefully for Maryland, sharing the ball and getting the best shot available will become contagious team-wide.
8. Georgia (Last Week, 6)
The Bulldogs are undefeated, but fall in the ranking due to the strength of schedule in non-conference play. Close to 10 games into the season, questions are still left unanswered of how this team will react when they face a team that is on the same level talent-wise.
9. Louisville (Last Week, 7)
The Cardinal rebounded well by a one-point loss against Kentucky with a big victory against Valparaiso 96-40. The Cardinal are still bringing along Monique Reid slowly, and will need to up her minutes as they head into conference play. Next game, they play an underrated team in Colorado.
10. Penn State (Last Week, 9)
The Lions caught the Hoyas slipping and jumped to a 28-point lead at half, which led to a 97-74 victory. Maggie Lucas had a poor outing against UConn, but made up for lost time with a 39-point game against Georgetown. Lucas was on fire with seven threes in the game and 10-11 from the line.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
1. Alyssa Thomas, Maryland, forward
The Terps may be down both starters in the backcourt for the rest of the year, but the reigning ACC Player of the Year is ready to shoulder the load offensively. Thomas was dominant against George Mason, with a triple-double consisting of 11 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.
2. Tayler Hill, Ohio State, guard
The Buckeyes are on a 28-game home winning streak, and a big reason for that success has been Tayler Hill. The senior guard continues to roll offensively this year with 19 points in limited action against Lafayette.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Tennessee vs Baylor
Since the season opener slip up against Chattanooga, the Lady Vols have been sensational, winning six straight and beating three top-25 opponents. Baylor, since the lost against Stanford, has been on a tear as well, beating its past six opponents by 25 points or more. This will be the first big game for new coach Holly Warlick, it will be interesting to see how she handles the matchup against Brittney Griner.