Women’s College Basketball Recap: Week 12
UConn snaps Duke’s winning streak, Brittney Griner throws down a monstrous two-handed jam.
by Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup
No need to lower rims, Brittney Griner has bunnies. Many feel the game needs women’s game may need to go above the rim to attract a bigger audience and make the game more explosive. Griner is showing there is no need for a rim adjustment.
Skylar Diggins, Elena Delle Donne and Griner are all examples of explosive and unique players that are future superstars in for the WNBA for years to come. Griner posted her 11th dunk during her college career last week. Her last jam was two-handed as well. At any given moment, we can see her take the game above the rim, which will keep fans glued to the tube.
1. Baylor (Last Week, 1)
We may not acknowledge it, but Griner has carved out a collegiate career that makes her one of the most dynamic players in women’s college basketball history. Last game, Griner dunked for the 11th time in her career against Iowa State. This one was a two-handed jam. “I thought it was good. It energized us,” Griner said. “I wish I would have made my other shots like I made that dunk.” Baylor continues to build on a great campaign, and Baylor looks to repeat as Champions this year. Next game for the Bears is against 20th ranked Oklahoma.
2. UConn (Last Week, 4)
The Huskies sunk their teeth in the Blue Devils with a huge victory at Storrs, 79-49. In the first half the contest was close, but UConn opened things up in the second half with a 47-19 edge. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis was sensational in the contest with 21 points and 6 rebounds. The Huskies jump back into conference play against Cincinnati on Saturday.
3. Notre Dame (Last Week, 3)
Skylar Diggins continued her All-American campaign with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists in a victory against St. John’s, 74-50. Natalie Achonwa has proven to be a steady option this year for the Fighting Irish down low. Against St. John’s, she posted a chunky statline of 16 points and 12 rebounds with 8 offensive rebounds.
4. Kentucky (Last Week, 5)
Kentucky continues to keep the ball rolling with this 17-game winning streak. They are one of the hottest teams in the nation right now. Their last victory came against Auburn, 97-53. Reigning SEC Player of the Year, A’dia Mathies, led the team in scoring with 23 points. The Wildcats look to stay undefeated in conference play with their next game at 18th-ranked South Carolina.
5. Duke (Last Week, 2)
Duke was right there in the first half with UConn, but the second half things really fell apart in a 79-49 loss in Storrs, CT. All-American center Liz Williams really struggled on the offensive end, shooting 5-15 in the game. Duke’s bench didn’t produce much offense either, getting outscored 23-9 in the game. Look for the Blue Devils to rebound next game against Clemson.
6. Tennessee (Last Week, 6)
Coach Holly Warlick continues to push this program in the right direction. Even though there may have been a coaching change and the baton was passed from Summitt to Warlick, some things never change, case in point was beating Alabama. Tennessee notched its 39th consecutive victory against the Crimson Tide earlier this week, winning 96-69. Bashaara Graves had 21 points and 8 rebounds as one of five Tennessee players to score in double figures.
7. Stanford (Last Week, 7)
The Cardinal have rebounded nicely since their loss last week to California with back-to-back victories against Pac-12 members. Despite the fact she only made two field goals in the first half against USC, Chiney Ogwumike put the team on her back offensively last game with 29 points and 16 rebounds. Look for Stanford to keep the ball rolling against a Utah and a hot Colorado this week.
8. California (Last Week, 8 )
The Golden Bears squeaked out a close victory against 14th ranked UCLA, 70-65. Laysia Clarendon led the way with 22 points in the contest. The Bears are off to their best start since ’08-09. “I think this team is hungry to not just be good but be great and be Championship-caliber,” Lindsay Gottlieb said. “It doesn’t get any easier. But I do think it speaks to the fact that we’re a legitimate top-level basketball team.”
9. Penn State (Last Week, 10)
The Nittany Lions stayed on track with a victory against 23rd ranked Michigan 59-49. Maggie Lucas scored 19 points and Alex Bentley added 16 to help the Lady Lions take over sole possession of first place in the Big Ten. They were also the only teams in the conference heading into the meeting that were undefeated in conference play, so this was a big victory for Penn State. The Lions are currently on a 9 game winning streak.
10. North Carolina (Last Week, 9)
The Tar Heels have had the week off since their 70-61 victory against Virginia. Hopefully this time was put to great use, as North Carolina will head into their biggest game of the season against 10 ranked Maryland. The first victory was in North Carolina 60-57, and the Terps will be looking for revenge on their home floor. The Tar Heels will put their best foot forward to prove that game we no fluke.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, Forward, UConn
The Cali native continues to dominate opponents in or out of conference play. Last game, she helped UConn snap the nation’s longest winning streak in college basketball held by Duke with a 21-point, 6-rebound performance.
Britney Griner, Center, Baylor
The 6-8 frontcourt star has been a terror in college basketball since she laced up her kicks for the first time for Baylor. Last week she continued her onslaught against opponents with a solid performance in limited time against Iowa State with points and a monstrous two-handed jam.
GAME OF THE WEEK: Notre Dame vs Tennessee
Notre Dame is riding on cloud nine since their victory against UConn and are one of the hottest teams in college basketball. Point guard Skylar Diggins and forward Natalie Achonwa provide a great inside-out punch for the Irish. Coach Warlick has a young team but they are playing great basketball as well this year. It will be interesting to see what gameplan she devises to slow down Diggins.