Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

Notre Dame tops first-ever Hoopfeed NCAA Division I women’s basketball poll

Notre Dame won the 2016 Preseason WNIT Tournament. Photo: WNIT.

Notre Dame won the 2016 Preseason WNIT Tournament. Photo: WNIT.

Notre Dame (4-0) tops the first-ever Hoopfeed NCAA Division I women’s basketball poll. With the majority of first-place votes from a 12-member panel, the Irish lead the pack. Connecticut (3-0), South Carolina (3-0), Louisville (6-0) and Baylor (3-1) round out the top five. Connecticut also received four first-place votes.

Last week was a good one for Notre Dame as they won the preseason WNIT tournament on Sunday after topping this week’s No. 15 team, Washington (3-1), 71-60. The Irish play at Louisiana-Lafayette (1-0) Tuesday night as a homecoming game for junior forward Brianna Turner, native of nearby Pearland, Texas. The matchup marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

Connecticut hosts Dayton (2-1) tonight at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 3 and regionally on SNY. The Huskies are 2-0 all-time vs. Dayton, including a 91-70 NCAA Albany Regional Final win over the Flyers on March 30, 2015.

South Carolina is coming off a 79-42 win over Maine (2-3) Monday night in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge. Five Gamecocks finished in double figures. Senior center Alaina Coates earned her third-straight double-double and was named the SEC Co-Player of the Week along with Mississippi State junior guard Morgan William. South Carolina faces Saint Peter’s (0-3) tonight at 7 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network Plus.

The teams that round out the top ten are Baylor (3-1), Maryland (4-0), Mississippi State (4-0), Ohio State (3-1) and Florida State (3-1).

Syracuse and Washington are tied at No. 13. Kentucky and West Virginia are in a tie for No. 19.

A few teams stumbled hard this week including Syracuse (3-1). The Orange lost last night to Drexel (3-1). No. 15 Texas fell to current No. 7 Mississippi State on Sunday, 79-68. Last week, the Longhorns fell on the road to Stanford.

No. 18 Tennessee lost to Penn State (3-1) on Sunday, 70-56, in University Park. Teniya Page led the Nittany Lions with 29 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter. Page is this week’s Big Ten Player of the Week.

Kentucky experienced a shocking defeat in Boulder against a Colorado team under a new head coach, JR Payne. Four Buffs scored in double figures led by Alexis Robinson’s 19 in the win for the Pac-12 underdog.

Many teams are headed to tropical locales during the Thanksgiving school break for tournaments in Mexico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. Eighteen games are scheduled for the national holiday Stay tuned for next week’s Tuesday’s poll!

Hoopfeed Rankings as of 11/22/16
Rank Team Record Points First-place Votes
1 Notre Dame 4-0 294 8
2 Connecticut 3-0 291 4
3 South Carolina 3-0 276
4 Louisville 6-0 257
5 Baylor 3-1 253
6 Maryland 4-0 242
7 Mississippi State 4-0 231
8 Ohio State 3-1 216
9 Florida State 3-1 199
10 UCLA 3-1 189
11 Stanford 3-1 169
12 Oklahoma 3-0 164
13 Syracuse 3-1 133
13 Washington 3-1 133
15 Texas 1-2 129
16 Florida 3-0 126
17 DePaul 3-0 102
18 Tennessee 3-1 83
19 Kentucky 3-1 73
19 West Virginia 3-0 73
21 Miami 3-1 58
22 Oregon State 3-0 56
23 Arizona State 2-1 43
24 Gonzaga 3-0 41
25 Michigan State 4-0 15

Other teams that received votes: Colorado, Texas A&M, South Dakota State, Michigan, Indiana, Green Bay, California, Penn State.

This week’s AP Poll || USA Today Coaches Poll

Voting panel

  • Yvonne Sanchez
  • Viet Nguyen
  • Joan Bonvicini
  • Lisa Bodine
  • Kevin Danna
  • Kristopher Gardner
  • Brenda VanLengen
  • Cindy Brunson
  • Michael Roberson
  • Mel Greenberg
  • Bobbie Kelsey Grayson
  • Cheryl Coward
  • Ben Parker (did not vote this round)

This post is part of the thread: 2016-17 College Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Big 12 and SEC Announce 2016 Women’s Basketball Challenge Schedule


The Big 12 and Southeastern conferences announced the 2016 schedule for their Women’s Basketball Challenge which will feature every team from the Big 12 against 10 squads from the SEC. The games will be scheduled over the dates of Thursday-Sunday, December 1-4. Times and television broadcasts will be released when available.

  • This season marks the first in which 10 games will be played. The format consists of five home games on campus sites for each conference.
  • Two teams from each league participated in the past two years with the conferences splitting the games each season for an overall 2-2 series record.
  • Half of the contests feature at least one team that was ranked in the final 2015-16 USA Today coaches’ poll while three will highlight top 25 matchups.

“We look forward to all 10 of our women’s basketball teams competing in the 2016 SEC/Big 12 Challenge,” said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “These marquee non-conference matchups should provide four-consecutive days of quality competition and excitement for fans across the country.”

“The Southeastern Conference looks forward to the expansion of an enhanced competitive event with our Big 12 friends,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “The SEC/Big 12 Challenge in women’s basketball will showcase the strength and depth of our women’s basketball teams and provides fans from both conferences with exciting games.”

2016 SEC/Big 12 Women’s Basketball Challenge Schedule

Thursday, December 1
Oklahoma at Kentucky
South Carolina at Texas

Friday, December 2
Auburn at Kansas State

Saturday, December 3
Texas Tech at Arkansas
Georgia at Oklahoma State
Mississippi State at Iowa State

Sunday, December 4
Kansas at Alabama
Baylor at Tennessee
Ole Miss at West Virginia


This post is part of the thread: 2016-17 College Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Oregon State’s first-ever trip to the Final Four is “pinch me stuff,” Beavers top Baylor in Elite Eight and head to Indy

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Photos: © Lee Michaelson

DALLAS – “This is pinch me stuff; there are no other words for it,” said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck as his second-seeded Beavers advanced to the first Final Four in school history after upsetting top-seeded Baylor, 60-57, to win the Elite Eight in the Dallas Regional on Monday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Someone had better notify the Indianapolis Newcomers Club:  The Beavers now head to Indiana, where they will join two other Final Four debutantes, fourth-seeded Syracuse and seventh-seeded Washington, along with the overwhelming favorite and overall top seed in the tournament, reigning champion University of Connecticut, in the national semifinals on Sunday, April 3.

Not since 2004, when Minnesota joined LSU, Tennessee and Connecticut in the Final Four has a seven-seed made it to the national semifinals. And not since 1994, when North Carolina, Alabama and Purdue made their first appearances alongside Louisiana Tech, a returning national champion, have three newcomers all made their initial appearances in the same Final Four (the previous season set the bar, as the 1993 Final Four featured four first-timers: Texas Tech, Ohio State, Iowa and Vanderbilt).

The journey to the top “has been incredible,” OSU’s Ruth Hamblin and Sydney Wiese agreed, but it has not been an easy one for the Beavers. Just five years ago, when Rueck returned to his alma mater to take the helm, Oregon State was a program locked in irons, picked to finish last in the then-Pac-10. With a 9-21 record for the 2010-11 season, an NCAA Tournament invitation was not even in the conversation for the program at that time.

The next two years saw some improvement, as OSU made its way to the WNIT. Still, Jamie Weisner, Ruth Hamblin and Deven Hunter, now seniors, remember their freshman season (2012-13) as another rough haul, losing 10 conference games in a row, and 12 of their final 13, to finish 10-21 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-12.

“When you think of our freshman year, you come in and win 10 games – there wasn’t a lot of hope in the room,” said Hamblin. “We knew what we’re capable of and I think our work ethic has just paid off, and all the hard lessons we learned, especially the losses down the stretch. We learned from those, and we built from there, and we never let our hope die.”

For Rueck, who had friends warn that they were “scared for him” and call his new job “the worst in America” at the time he signed on, the turning point came the following season (2013-14), after a couple of tough but close losses to nationally ranked Penn State and Florida, they took on Notre Dame at home in Corvallis. They lost that game too, by double digits (58-70).

“So Ruth [Hamblin] was a sophomore. Jamie [Weisner], a sophomore. Sydney [Wiese], a freshman,” Rueck recalled. “And we had lost a couple of really tough games that we thought, ‘Man, we were in it.’ We led, I think, Penn State. We were up 30 minutes in that game. Florida we were up 35 minutes and couldn’t close them. We go home for Christmas and come back and here is Notre Dame Coming in, and we had 5,000 people there that day, because we had hyped that game because everyone wanted to see Notre Dame coming off a Final Four.”

“And this team went toe-to-toe with them that day,” Rueck continued. “Ruth was two rebounds short of a triple-double that day in that game. We had the ball down four with two minutes to go. We turned it over. We ended up losing by 11, I believe. We didn’t know how to win yet, but that was the day that this team believed. From that day forward, there was a core belief that we could play with anyone.

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw also added an important word of encouragement, said Rueck. “After the game, Muffet said, ‘That’s a tournament team.’ She is the first person to say it, ‘That’s a tournament team.’ We’re like, ‘Really? Maybe we are a tournament team!’”

That faith in themselves as contenders, capable of taking on anyone, served the Beavers well on Monday, as few besides themselves could envision the Beavers, playing in their first Elite Eight, upsetting Baylor, the lone remaining one-seed in this year’s tournament aside from the Connecticut Huskies. The Lady Bears, 36-1, coming into the night’s game, had lost just once all season, in their Big 12 Conference opener at Oklahoma State. Baylor was without its star point guard Niya Johnson, sidelined for that game with a bone bruise.

The Bears are used to winning. They have two national titles to their credit, one in 2005 and again in 2012, capping a perfect, 40-0 season. They’ve been to three Final Fours, five Elite Eights, nine Sweet 16s. They’ve won both the Big 12 regular-season and the Big 12 tournament championship for the last six years in a row.

They also, for all practical purposes, were playing at home. The American Airlines Center is just an hour-and-a-half drive away from the Bears’ campus in Waco, Texas, and even on a Monday evening, plenty of the team’s supporters made that drive, as evidenced by the sea of green and gold in the crowd of 6,050.

The Bears got off to a quick start, forcing back-to-back turnovers by the Beavers, dropping in two quick buckets to take the early lead (4-0), and holding OSU scoreless over the game’s first three-and-a-half minutes.

After raining down a hailstorm of treys against DePaul on Saturday to reach the Round of Eight, Sydney Weise’s first two attempts were off the mark. Meanwhile, Hamblin missed a couple of chippies.

But perhaps because of those years of hard times, because of all the narrow losses, the Beavers did not get rattled. Instead, Wiese hoisted another from downtown and this one was good. A minute later, Wiese drained another 3-ball, to put the Beavers on top by two (4-6) and Gabriella Hanson followed that up with another long-ball off a feed from Wiese on OSU’s next possession to make it a five-point edge for the visitors.

Five points is not much of a lead against an opponent who can score the ball as prolifically as Baylor, but from that point, roughly midway through the opening period, the Bears would lead most of the way. Despite poor shooting by both sides in the early going, with Oregon State netting only five of its 16 field-goal attempts (31.3 percent) and Baylor making only 4 of 15 (26.7 percent), the Beavers’ four treys in the opening period helped them sustain a five-point lead (16-11) by the end of the first period.

Interestingly, though to that point OSU was controlling the backboards to the tune of 15-8 overall and 6-3 on the offensive glass, the Beavers weren’t getting much out of it. Baylor led, 6-3, in second-chance points. Moreover, OSU coughed up four turnovers in the opening quarter, which Baylor translated into five points. Baylor turned it over just once in the opening stanza, and Oregon State was unable to convert.  Bottom line: The key stat in the early going was perimeter shooting, where the Beavers netted 12 of their 15 points on 4-8 from beyond the arc. In contrast, Baylor went 0-2 from long range in the opening period.

That trend continued, largely unabated, throughout the second quarter, in which Baylor repeatedly closed to within a single possession, only to see Oregon State knock down a clutch shut to keep its lead alive. A trio of OSU turnovers by Hanson, Weisner and Wiese led to back-to-back jumpers by Baylor’s Nina Davis and Alexis Jones, allowing the Bears to pull within two, 16-18, at the 6:10 mark of the second period.  But OSU’s Samantha Siegner stole the ball from Alexis Jones, and after Baylor’s Kristy Wallace fouled, Weisner dished to Marie Gulich, who was filling in for Hamblin after the latter picked up her second personal early in the second quarter. Gulich laid it in to put the lead back to four (16-20).

Baylor’s Kalani Brown put back her own miss at the other end, but Wiese responded with a trey, and Gulich blocked an attempted layup by Davis.

That’s when Baylor head coach Kim Mulkey, who had been vehemently complaining about the calls almost from the opening tip, went ballistic, drawing a technical foul.

The officiating had the fans in a lather, the crowd rising nearly as one to boo the referees as they left the court, with a police escort, at the half. But at least to this observer, the problem seemed to be that the crew was inconsistent among themselves, rather than that the calls favored one side more than the other. One member of the crew would call contact with a stationary defender while in route to the hoop a charge; another would call nearly identical contact as a blocking foul.  If anything, Oregon State seemed to have more to complain about than Baylor, with Hamlin having to sit out more than 11 minutes in the opening half thanks to two early fouls (one of which seemed to have been called on a clean block) and sharpshooter Sydney Wiese also operating with two fouls picked up early on.

After the game, Mulkey attributed the loss in large part to missed free throws, which plainly were a factor—Baylor made only five of its 12 first-half attempts from the charity stripe in the opening half and 6-14 for the game as a whole.

Mulkey explained that she had been doing everything she could think of to throw the Beavers off balance. She called for a press “just to keep them out of using up the 30-second clock in the half-court.” She used her timeouts quickly, “trying to make sure they didn’t stay in a flow.”

And, she added, “The technical, you bet I meant to get it!”

Still, when she has had time to do a thorough post-mortem, Mulkey might wish she’d thought better of engaging the refs. Weisner made only one of the two free throws off the technical, but Oregon State regained possession, and Hanson knocked down a jumper. That three-point swing from the technical is exactly the ultimate margin of victory, and it enabled OSU to extend its lead to eight points roughly four minutes before the half.

Over the next three minutes, OSU would go cold, while Baylor clawed its way back, with Johnson, Kalani Brown and Alexis Jones each contributing a layup and Alexis Prince adding a foul shot, to draw within a single point (25-26) with just under two minutes to go in the half.  But the Beavers responded with an 8-0 run, including a 3-point buzzer beater in the final second, to close out the half with their biggest lead of the night, nine points, 25-34.

OSU’s shooting in the second frame had improved to 60 percent (6-15), with the majority of their scoring still coming from beyond the arc, where their seven made 3s (in 13 attempts) supplied 21 of their 34 first-half points. With Hamblin riding the pines for so much of the second period, the Beavers’ rebounding suffered; they pulled down only six boards (to Baylor’s 11) in the second frame, none of them off the offensive glass. Meanwhile, Mulkey rotated her two freshman bigs, 6-4 Beatrice Mompremier and the 6-7 Brown, in and out of the game, periodically supplementing their efforts with brief appearances by 6-3 junior Khadijiah Cave. Brown’s performance, in particular, was impressive; the frosh accounted for four of Baylor’s seven offensive rebounds in the second quarter, helping the Bears to take a 13-3 advantage in second-chance points by the half.

Baylor seized the momentum coming out of the break, thanks in large part to the efforts of Duke transfer Alexis Jones. Jones got the party started with a trey, then picked Weisner’s pocket and dropped in a midrange jumper, to start the third quarter on a solo 5-0 run.

If that news weren’t bad enough for the Beavers, Hamblin picked up her third personal only a minute into the second half.  She remained on the floor for the time being, where she would contribute six of the next eight points—and five critical rebounds—over the next four minutes. Still, with both Hamblin and, by then, 6-3 forward Deven Hunter both playing with three fouls apiece, Rueck was forced to sub them both out midway through the third period.

Baylor took advantage of their absence to launch a 6-0 run in the form of back-to-back-to-back layups by Cave, and with 3:17 to go and the Beavers once again clinging to a one-point lead (41-42) and Baylor enjoying all the momentum, Rueck was forced to call timeout, and send Hamblin and Hunter back into the fray.  Hamblin immediately put in a layup (off a feed from Hunter) but Jones answered in kind at the other end.

Weisner knocked down back-to-back jumpers, and Hamblin swatted away a Davis layup to make it a five-point OSU lead (43-48) with under a minute remaining in the period.

Brown dropped in a layup for Baylor, and was fouled by Hamblin in the process. Though Brown failed to convert the conventional three-point play, that made four personals for Hamblin, who quickly headed to the sidelines.

Finishing out the period, Wallace stole the rock from Hunter and fed it to Johnson, who without Hamblin to contend with was good for a layup. That made it a one-point game, 47-48, with OSU still on top by a nose, heading into the final frame.

Hamblin cooled her heels on the bench while the two sides traded buckets, and Baylor briefly took the lead (51-50) on a layup by Davis. Weisner knotted the score on a foul shot (one of a pair), and from there the score would be tied three more times.

Baylor’s Jones tied the score for the final time at 57 apiece with 2:19 to go. The scoreboard did not budge again until the clock wound down to the final 33 seconds.

Baylor finished the night with only eight turnovers, while forcing 19 by the Beavers, but Oregon State was helped by the fact that two of the Bears’ eight miscues occurred during the game’s final minutes, as Jones stepped out of bounds at the baseline, and as the game entered the final minute, Hamblin stole the ball from Johnson. After a timeout, Jones fouled while attempting to get it back, sending Wiese to the line, where she made one of the pair, to restore Oregon State to a one-point (57-58) edge.

Baylor allowed the clock to run down to 11 seconds before Jones hoisted the potential game-winner, a midrange jumper that skimmed the rim but rolled out. Hamblin grabbed the board, and now Baylor had no choice but to foul, sending Wiese back to the line. This time, Wiese made both to fix the final score, and after Johnson’s 3-point Hail Mary failed to find the net, the celebration began.

Four Beavers finished in double figures: Wiese posted 18 points, while handing out six assists but giving up an equal number of turnovers; Weisner contributed 16 points, plus eight rebounds and two assists, but seven turnovers; Hamblin and Hanson finished with 10 points each, while Hamblin made it a double-double with 12 rebounds, plus four blocks and a steal.  Though Hunter netted only two points, she contributed seven rebounds, plus two assists and a steal, and helped keep the Beavers in the game during some of the stretches when Hamblin was forced to the sidelines.

Baylor’s Jones led all scorers with 19 points, to which she added four boards, six assists and three steals. Brown finished with 12 points and six boards, plus an assist, a block and a steal, in just 19 minutes on the floor. Davis, who often faced double teams, rounded out the double-digit scoring for Baylor with 11 points.

Niya Johnson had an uncharacteristically poor shooting night, notching just six points on 3-10 from the field, but in the final game of her career as a Lady Bear, the plucky 5-8 point guard led all of her teammates with seven rebounds. Cave’s play is also worthy of mention. The 6-3 junior forward stood in tears, comforted by her teammates, as they stood at the baseline, hands extended in the shape of a bear claw, to thank their fans and sing the school song, but she had nothing to regret in her performance. In just 10 minutes on the floor, she posted six points on 3-6 shooting, to which she added four rebounds and three steals.

Remarkably, though 3-pointers had been the Beavers bread and butter throughout the game’s first half, Oregon State did not net another long-ball after the intermission. Mulkey credited halftime adjustments and better communication for the staunching the hemorrhaging on the perimeter:

“You knew they were going to make threes,” said Mulkey. “I thought in the first half, inexperience on the defensive end in communicating when they hit some of those threes was a big factor. … We made adjustments [at halftime]. A lot of it was communication with inexperienced post players, because it’s the posts, you know, that were setting the screens.”

One of those screeners was Hamblin, and when that big girl sets a screen, the opponent knows it. The foul trouble suffered by Hamblin, who played only 23 minutes, as well as Hunter, who tallied just 28 minutes of playing time, and their need to play with greater caution as the game progressed may have accounted for at least part of the downturn in the Beavers’ perimeter shooting.

Whatever the cause, the Beavers sent up 13 long-balls in the opening half, netting seven of them, to account for more than 60 percent of their first-half scoring. In the second half, they attempted only five more shots from beyond the arc, making none of them.

They made up the difference at the foul line, where they notched 15 points on 18 trips to the line (83.3 percent). Wiese, in particular, was a near-perfect 7-8 from the charity stripe, making 3-4 in the game’s final minute with a trip to the Final Four on the line.

Baylor, while prevailing in most other statistical categories, including points in the paint (42-18), points off turnovers (24-8), offensive rebounding (17-12), second-chance points (19-11) and bench points (18-4), shot a woeful 6-14 at the line.

“You cannot miss that many free throws and win a ball game at this level,” Mulkey observed. “We missed eight free throws, and … lost by three.”

Mulkey also noted that in a contest between “two of the best defensive teams in women’s basketball just battl[ing] their butts off,” the Beavers, a team packed with seniors and juniors, enjoyed greater experience and were able to come up with clutch plays at critical moments in the game.

“[I]n places, we’re extremely inexperienced, and I thought we got exposed. They did hit clutch shots, and we didn’t. I mean, there was how many times we had a tie ball game at the end, and we didn’t get a good shot? We either turned it over or … dribble[ed] too much, didn’t share the ball. You know, it wasn’t that [the Baylor players] didn’t want to do good. But I just thought the one that made the clutch shot was going to win there at the end.”

Though the Beavers are the highest-seeded of the three “upstart” teams to win trips to the Final Four, their bracket position places them on a collision course with the dominant UConn Huskies in the national semifinal on Sunday. If that’s causing them any anxiety, you couldn’t tell it on Monday night. Though Hamblin described the Huskies as “obviously a formidable opponent,” Wiese described the challenge ahead as “fun.”

“We’re excited for the opportunity to continue the season,” said Wiese. “We’re exactly where we want to be. To go against UConn, it will be a fun challenge for us. I know that our coaching staff is going to have a good game plan and it’s all about going out there and executing.”

“It’s fun to have UConn,” Weisner added. “That’s always been my dream. You know, to be the best, you have to beat the best, and that’s what’s next for us. I think all year we’ve prepared very well, and we’ll prepare for them. And we’ve been in this position, we’ve been doubted before. So we will just prepare and be ready for them.”


EIGHT WILL HAVE TO BE ENOUGH, AT LEAST FOR NOW: Despite impressive records and high tournament seeds, Baylor has exited the NCAA Tournament at the Elite Eight or sooner for the past three years, now four.  After winning the national championship and logging an unprecedented 40-0 season in 2012, Baylor (34-2), led by Brittney Griner, was the odds-on favorite to defend its title the following year, when the top-seeded (and No. 1-ranked) Bears were upset in the Sweet 16 by the Louisville Cardinals. In 2014, Baylor, that year a two-seed and the No. 5-ranked team in the AP poll, made it to the Elite Eight, before being sent home by No. 2 ranked and top-seeded Notre Dame and finishing the season 32-5. Last year, the Bears were again ranked No. 5 in the country and seeded at No. 2, when they ran up against the Irish in the Elite Eight, where, once again, they fell short of their goals.

In hopes of motivating themselves to break through the barriers and reach their goal of a return trip to the Final Four, the Lady Bears have been wearing bracelets all season bearing the slogan, “Eight is not enough.”

Junior forward Nina Davis tried to put this year’s loss in perspective. “It’s been a great season, you know. It’s been a long one. I couldn’t be more proud of this team. We didn’t reach our goal of making it to the Final Four, but a lot of teams don’t make it to the Elite Eight. It was only eight teams and we was (sic) one of those, and we will never take that for granted. We are going to get back in the gym and get over this eventually and try and get ready for next year.”

Kristina Higgins, a 6-5 post and a senior, added, “It was a great experience to get this far again. Most teams aren’t this lucky. I know it sounds kind of selfish for our motto to be, ‘Eight is not enough,’ but I think this team was good enough to get to the Final Four. Next year they’re going to be just as good and maybe even better. They’ve got the bigs inside still next year, still got Nina Davis, still got KK (Khadijah Cave) coming off the bench, still got Alexis Prince. This team is going to be awesome next year.”

ALL IN THE ANGLES:  As Coach Mulkey observed, this match-up featured two of the best defensive teams in women’s college basketball this season. To cite just one statistic, Oregon State is No. 1 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 31.5 percent from the field; Baylor is No. 3, holding opponents to 33-percent field-goal shooting. (Weighing in at No. 2: University of Connecticut who allows 32.9-percent shooting by opponents.) But watching them play, it’s hard to say just why and how they are so successful defensively.

For example, Beavers seemed to play Davis, the Bears’ leading scorer, averaging 16.3 points per game, too loosely, allowing the speedy and agile small forward what looked like too much room in which to operate. Still, at the end of the day, what they did, worked, as Davis came away with jut 11 points on the night, well below her average.

Mulkey herself acknowledged that she “tried to figure out” what made the Beavers so could defensively, “while watching film, and I couldn’t figure it out. It think part of it is angles. It think it’s physical play, just toughness, maybe. I don’t know that it’s height as much as it is [that] they’re in the right place at the right time and they play you pretty physical. Smart. We never – they’re not up in you defensively, like pressuring you or anything. I just think, you know, they just know how to compete.”

If playing the angles lies at the core of their effectiveness, then Ruth Hamblin, an Academic All-American who boasts a 3.84 grade-point average in her mechanical engineering major, has got to be a huge secret weapon for the Beavers. And, in fact, Hamblin believes her mathematical approach is a big help to her game.

“I think it’s huge,” said Hamblin, who notched four blocks and 12 rebounds in addition to her 10 points in the Beavers’ Elite Eight win. “It’s something that Coach Scott Rueck has taught me over the years is playing the angles to force them into a tough shot, because it’s kind of an art form down in the low post. And I don’t know if it is taught as much these days, but he’s emphasized it over the years and I think I’m a lot better at it now than I was before.”

ALL-REGIONAL TEAM:  Oregon State guard Jamie Weisner was named Most Outstanding Player of the Dallas Regional. Weisner was joined on the All-Tournament Team by her OSU teammate Sydney Wiese, Baylor’s Nina Davis and Alexis Jones, and DePaul’s Jessica January. Despite the heavy emphasis on size and post play, not only in the regional final but also in Saturday’s Sweet 16 games, all but Davis, an undersized forward at 5-11, are guards. 

This post is part of the thread: 2015-16 College Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Dishin & Swishin 3/24/16 Podcast: Stephanie White breaks down the Sweet 16

Indiana Fever head coach Stephanie White. Photo: Indiana Fever.

Indiana Fever head coach Stephanie White. Photo: Indiana Fever.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast with your feed reader or podcast app: j.mp/dishinpodcast. Available on iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts, Player FM, Acast (iOS, Android) and Podcast Addict (Android).

The subregionals are complete and the Sweet 16 are in the regional locations for the next two rounds of the 2016 NCAA tournament.

Games are on Friday and Sunday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Lexington, Kentucky. On Saturday and Monday, games will be in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Dallas, Texas. No seed below a seven-seed advanced to this round, but none of the rounds have the top four seeds left.

To break down the Sweet 16 and give some insight into what to look for this weekend, it is great to have ESPN analyst and Indiana Fever head coach Stephanie White back on Dishin & Swishin.

A former star player and now an outstanding coach, as well as one of college basketball’s top in-game commentator, White’s analysis brings that particular view to the game you can only have with experience of playing and coaching at the highest levels.

  • Will there be upsets?
  • Who should we look for to be a surprise?
  • Will the four number one seeds all advance?
  • What do teams need to do to advance?

White answers these questions and more, including analysis of the success of top seeds Connecticut, Baylor, South Carolina and Notre Dame, and what makes them so difficult to play against.

In 30 minutes, each team, each game is broken down and discussed so there is something for everyone!

Enjoy the podcast!

NCAA Tournament TV Schedule


This post is part of the following threads: 2015-16 College Season, 2015-16 Pac-12 – ongoing stories on this site. View the thread timelines for more context on this post.

Dishin & Swishin 02/04/16 Podcast: Talking with ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel about the latest in NCAA and WNBA news

Bristol, Conn. (March 18, 2013) - Mechelle Voepel during the NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented. Photo: Rich Arden/ESPN Images.

ESPN’s Mechelle Voepel. Photo: Rich Arden/ESPN Images.

Click here to subscribe to the podcast with your feed reader or podcast app: j.mp/dishinpodcast. Available on iTunes, Google Play Music Podcasts, Player FM, Acast (iOS, Android) and Podcast Addict (Android).

Every now and then it is nice to just get together with a friend and chat.

As we are nearing the end of the NCAA women’s basketball season and the start of WNBA free agency, it seems like a good time to catch up with friend of the podcast Mechelle Voepel of ESPN. There is a lot to talk about!

Some of the topics covered on the NCAA women’s basketball front:

  • UConn and South Carolina ahead of their game Monday night; does South Carolina have what it takes to beat UConn?
  • The differences between this year’s Huskies and prior years, including the approach Geno Auriemma seems to have toward playing time.
  • Who has the best chance at defeating UConn?  Baylor? Notre Dame? South Carolina? Someone else?
  • A look at the selection committee’s first top ten list, and with that the rise of the Pac -12. Can it last?
  • What is going in with Tennessee and the SEC as a whole? Can it be turned around and if so how?
  • Are the rule changes having an impact in what we are seeing this year? Especially the four quarters and the advancing the ball in the last two minutes on an out of bounds play.
  • If some of the high profiled coaching jobs open up, what will happen? Who would be willing to go where and the impact?

If that is not enough for you, then let us slide over to the WNBA and discuss:

  • Thoughts on the new schedule, seeding, and playoff formats the WNBA put into place; the good and the bad.
  • Free agency is in full swing; the importance of New York signing Shavonte Zellous and what it could mean for the franchise.
  • Will Indiana’s opponents need extra ice packs when they go against new teammates Erlana Larkins, Devereaux Peters, and Natalie Achonwa.
  • An early look at possible WNBA draft choices, including a couple of names you may not have considered before.

It is getting to be the most exciting time of the year for women’s basketball fans, and Hoopfeed and the Dishin & Swishin podcast is your source for information!

Enjoy the podcast!

This post is part of the following threads: 2015-16 College Season, 2016 WNBA Season – ongoing stories on this site. View the thread timelines for more context on this post.

2015 Preseason WNIT Championship game: DePaul at No. 5 Baylor

Full Preseason WNIT Schedule/Results

WNIT Release:

At a distance, the look of the 2015 Preseason WNIT bracket has clarity, with the highest ranked teams on either side of the draw — No. 5 Baylor and DePaul — emerging to face each other in Sunday’s championship game (3 p.m. ET at Baylor, televised by CBS Sports Network).

But there’s nothing automatic in the heat of competition, and both teams had to scale a hurdle or two to get through Thursday’s semifinals. The reward for managing the adversity is a chance to play another tough early-season game and learn more about their own internal makeup.

For the Lady Bears (3-0), it’s all about shifting roles and responsibilities around after the loss of guard Alexis Prince to a knee injury suffered Wednesday in practice. Prince scored 16 points in the team’s victory versus Southern Miss, indicating her ability to take some scoring pressure off Nina Davis, who leads the team in scoring.

Baylor definitely got tested Thursday in a 66-63 win against No. 17 South Florida, who trailed by just a point in a couple spots in the fourth quarter and showed a lot of tenacity despite shooting poorly.

“I thought we were tremendous on the defensive end, not just the first half. I thought we did okay the whole game,” said Baylor coach Kim Mulkey after the contest. “You just beat a team that has five returning starters and nine returning players. That was a very, very hard-fought win for us. I knew it was going to be. When (Alexis) Prince went out this week and had to have surgery, you have to adjust on the fly. We’re very talented, but we’re not anywhere near where we’re going to be. I have to figure out who to play and help on the perimeter.”

Baylor won the 2011 Preseason WNIT and is in the title game for the third time in four chances. The Lady Bears have now won 155 consecutive home games against non-conference foes, dating back to a loss to Auburn in the 2003 Postseason WNIT title game.

For the Blue Demons, their challenge Thursday was withstanding the scorching offense of visiting Indiana. The Hoosiers were at better than 65 percent from the field in the first half, but it was not a good sign to be actually trailing on the scoreboard (42-39).

The numbers began to balance in the second half, and DePaul’s seasoned lineup got its own rhythm solved on the way to a drama-free 84-69 victory.

“Indiana does a great job of not letting you get to the paint,” said DePaul coach Doug Bruno. “We ended up taking 34 three-pointers (making 11), because that’s what Indiana was giving us.

“Indiana forced us to take more time on offense. Brooke (Schulte) was good at picking her spots and patiently taking shots where there were openings. Eventually, our ball reversal and patience got us good looks at the rim.”

DePaul’s ability to cope with Baylor’s defense will be a key, as the Lady Bears force turnovers by the bunches. The Blue Demons should have confidence when they run their offense, with six players averaging in double figures in scoring.

Fans can watch the WNIT championship game live on CBS Sports Network. Thad Anderson (play-by-play) and Curt Miller will be calling the action from Waco, TX.  CLICK HERE to find the channel in your area.

Round 1 – Nov. 13
Southern Miss 65, Alabama State 44
Indiana 88, Tennessee State 56
St. Bonaventure 57, Siena 40
South Florida 74, Jacksonville 52
Chattanooga 68, McNeese State 53
Baylor 62, UT Arlington 20
Drexel 69, Dartmouth 53?
DePaul 105, Southern Illinois 61Round 2 
Nov. 15, 2015
South Florida 73, Drexel 58
DePaul 77, St. Bonaventure 54Nov. 16, 2015
Baylor 97, Southern Miss 42

Nov. 17, 2015
Indiana 54, Chattanooga 43

Nov. 19, 2015

Baylor 66, South Florida 63
DePaul 84, ?Indiana 69

?Nov. 22, 2015 

DePaul at Baylor, 3 p.m. ET?
?CBS Sports Network

Nov. 20, 2015
(Southern Illinois Host)

Alabama State at Tennessee State, 5 p.m. ET
Siena at Southern Illinois, 7:30 p.m. ET

(UT Arlington Host)
Dartmouth at McNeese State, 6 p.m. ET
Jacksonville at UT Arlington, 8:15 p.m. ET

Nov. 20, 2015
Southern Miss at Chattanooga, 6:30 p.m. ET

Nov. 21, 2015
St. Bonaventure at Drexel, 5 p.m. ET

This post is part of the thread: 2015-16 College Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Dishin & Swishin 11/12/15 Podcast: UConn or the field? The Roundtable looks at the NCAA season


Click here to subscribe to the podcast with your feed reader or podcast app: j.mp/dishinpodcast. Available on iTunesPlayer FM, Acast (iOS, Android) and Podcast Addict (Android).

This weekend the NCAA women’s basketball season tips off. So Dishin & Swishin asks you, if you had to choose a national champion, and the choices were three-time defending champion UConn or the rest of the field, which would you choose? Not that easy to decide, is it?

As the action begins, it is the perfect time for Dishin & Swishin host David Siegel to convene another session of the Dishin & Swishin roundtable discussions, to preview the NCAA women’s basketball season. The esteemed panel this time around consists of:

  • Stephanie White, ESPN analyst and head coach of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever
  • Brenda VanLengen, analyst for numerous networks including ESPN, Pac-12 Network and Fox Sports
  • Debbie Antonelli, SEC Network analyst for men’s and women’s games
  • Mary Murphy, making her roundtable debut, Pac-12 network analyst

The podcast moves from topic to topic, team to team, conference to conference at a frantic pace, covering a wide range of subjects including (but not limited to):

  • The impact of the new rules on the NCAA season
  • If not Connecticut, then who?
  • A look at conferences throughout the country, the separation from top to bottom, which programs can impact the national scene
  • Breaking down the preseason top 25 rankings
  • The impact of this past summer’s international play on several schools
  • Players and teams that our experts think can surprise you or are worth looking at

A fast-paced hour plus with some of the best analysts in the business. Without a doubt, you will learn something you did not know before!

Enjoy the podcast, and enjoy the season!

This post is part of the following threads: 2015-16 College Season, 2015-16 Pac-12 – ongoing stories on this site. View the thread timelines for more context on this post.

Dishin & Swishin 3/20/15 Podcast: More of The Roundtable! NCAA Tournament Preview Part II

If today’s first round of the women’s tournament goes anything like the men’s games yesterday, it will be crazy!

Yesterday, in part one of the Dishin & Swishin Roundtable, three of the four regions were discussed. Today, we talk in-depth about the teams selected, the problems with the process and the committee choices and criteria and more.

As a reminder, we have an outstanding panel, with a slight twist. Not only is there the usual array of outstanding journalists, but we have added a legendary coach to give a different perspective of things. The participants are:

  • Doug Feinberg, Associated Press national women’s basketball writer
    LaChina Robinson, ESPN analyst
    Debbie Antonelli, ESPN analyst
    Lin Dunn, former NCAA and WNBA head coach

When this group got together, along with host and moderator David Siegel, the conversation was so enjoyable and informative that we need to break it into two parts! Part one aired yesterday, and today we bring you part two.

Topics include:

  • Breaking down each region
  • Upsets? Does the No. 5 vs. No. 12 matchup produce upsets on the women’s side too?
  • Underseeding! Princeton, DePaul, James Madison and more
  • Does Arkansas with their 6-10 conference record deserve to be in the tournament or someone else?
  • Who should you be looking for? Stories, upstarts, and unknowns
  • What wins in March and April? Styles, programs, positions and coaches

Plus of course a lot more! All of the insight you have come to look for in the Roundtable discussions.

So before you submit your brackets, check out both or Dishin & Swishin’s roundtable podcasts! Enjoy!

NCAA Tournament Special: Dishin & Swishin Goes Dancing with the Coaches

Over the course of this past college season, the Dishin & Swishin podcast featured interviews with some of the very best women’s basketball coaches in the country. In fact, every coach that appeared on the podcast since October, when the season tipped off, made the NCAA tournament this year!  Coincidence?  We don’t think so!

So here they are, all in one place for you.

Dishin & Swishin 10/16/14 Podcast – Karen Aston (Texas) and Anthony Bozzella (Seton Hall)

We have a great first podcast for you today, featuring two first-time guests, two head coaches that are making headlines for doing what college coaches are supposed to do: making their programs contenders, looking out for their student-athletes, and growing women’s basketball at their schools.

Dishin & Swishin 10/23/14 Video and Podcast – Geno Auriemma (UConn) Video

First, we want you to watch the video above. Captured on the first day of practice at Connecticut, it features Geno Auriemma, the head coach of the Huskies and the USA senior national team. He talks about the difficulty in assembling a national team, the lack of practice time, being the “bad guy” to people who do not want so many UConn players and the challenges of returning to coach the Huskies.

Dishin & Swishin 10/31/14 Podcast – Lindsay Gottlieb (Cal)

On today’s Dishin & Swishin podcast we go out West and welcome back to the podcast the coach of the Golden Bears, Lindsay Gottlieb. When we last talked to Gottlieb, she was one of our panelists breaking down the Final Four this past April. Now she has her eyes set on Tampa, and she may have a Cal team strong enough to get there.

Dishin & Swishin 11/05/14 Podcast – Muffet McGraw (Notre Dame)

What a season it could turn out to be the preseason third-ranked Irish! Graduation took McBride, Achonwa, and starting forward Ariel Braker from the team, but a heralded freshman class joins the returning players to give the Irish one of their deepest teams ever.

It starts with Loyd, the unanimous preseason Associated Press All-American. On the podcast McGraw discusses the unbelievable combination of athleticism and basketball skill that Loyd brings, perhaps the best combination of those skills in Notre Dame history.

Dishin & Swishin 11/20/14 Podcast – Katie Abrahamson-Henderson (Albany) and Kenny Brooks (James Madison)

While victories in early season matchups may not get the same results in March, the continued success of Albany and James Madison in particular, should give people reason to believe these victories were no fluke; that these two programs need to be watched. In fact, in College Insider’s Mid-Major Top 25 this week, James Madison is number one, and Albany is number three.

Dishin & Swishin 12/04/14 Podcast – Jeff Walz (Louisville)

The success of Walz and his teams are helping turn Louisville into one of the hot programs in the country, with top facilities, a coach that wants to grow the game and promote and it is yielding bumper crops of recruits.

Dishin & Swishin 2/19/15 Podcast – Courtney Banghart (Princeton)

A dominant mid-major program sweeps their pre-conference schedule, including a few solid, if not spectacular, tournament credentialed teams, then steamrolls through their regular season conference games. In this case, there is no conference tournament, so the team ends their season undefeated, without a blemish.

If this where a power five conference, or a program like Connecticut, we would be talking number one seed and a place in history. However, it is Princeton we are talking about, and that leads to tough decisions regarding seedings and placements for the NCAA selection committee, something the Tigers and coach Courtney Banghart enjoy very much.

Dishin & Swishin 2/26/15 Podcast – Sue Semrau (Florida State) and Brenda Frese (Maryland)

Coming into the 2014-15 women’s basketball season, both Maryland and Florida State faced the difficult question, who would replace their WNBA lottery pick stars, who they relied on so heavily last year? Maryland’s Alyssa Thomas summered in Connecticut with the Sun, while Florida State’s Natasha Howard was in Indiana with the Fever.

For both Brenda Frese at Maryland and Sue Semrau at FSU, it came down to trust. Could they trust the returning talent to step up in various ways to replace the stars? For their respective teams, who would step up?

Dishin & Swishin 3/12/15 Podcast – Kevin McGuff (Ohio State) and Kim Mulkey (Baylor)

Conference tournaments are coming to a close and on Monday we will find out who goes dancing and where their respective ballrooms shall be.

Two teams that have earned their way there are Ohio State from the Big Ten and Baylor from the Big 12. On this week’s podcast, we are pleased to welcome back their respective coaches, Kevin McGuff and Kim Mulkey.

This post is part of the thread: 2015 NCAA Tournament – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Dishin & Swishin 3/19/15 Podcast: The Roundtable Speaks! NCAA Tournament Preview Part I


It is finally time for the Big Dance and that means it is time for Dishin & Swishin to convene its annual pre-NCAA tournament roundtable!

We have an outstanding panel today, with a slight twist. Not only is there the usual array of outstanding journalists, but we have added a legendary coach to give a different perspective of things. The participants are:

  • Doug Feinberg, Associated Press national women’s basketball writer
  • LaChina Robinson, ESPN analyst
  • Debbie Antonelli, ESPN analyst
  • Lin Dunn, former NCAA and WNBA head coach

When this group got together, along with host and moderator David Siegel, the conversation was so enjoyable and informative that we need to break it into two parts! Part one airs today, with part one being released tomorrow.

Topics include:

  • Breaking down each region
  • Upsets? Does the No. 5 vs No. 12 matchup produce upsets on the women’s side too?
  • Underseeding! Princeton, DePaul, James Madison and more
  • Does Arkansas with their 6-10 conference record deserve to be in the tournament or someone else?
  • Who should you be looking for? Stories, upstarts, and unknowns
  • What wins in March and April? Styles, programs, positions and coaches

Plus of course a lot more! All of the insight you have come to look for in the Roundtable discussions.

So before you submit your brackets, check out today and tomorrow’s Dishin & Swishin roundtable podcasts! Enjoy!

This post is part of the thread: 2015 NCAA Tournament – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Dishin & Swishin 3/12/15 Podcast: Ohio State breaks into the Top 25, while Baylor reminds us that they never left

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Conference tournaments are coming to a close and on Monday we will find out who goes dancing and where their respective ballrooms shall be.

Two teams that have earned their way there are Ohio State from the Big Ten  and Baylor from the Big 12. On this week’s podcast, we are pleased to welcome back their respective coaches, Kevin McGuff and Kim Mulkey.

Ohio State entered the fall with high hopes and expectations, in part due to an influx of talented new players, including freshmen Kelsey and Chelsea Mitchell, Makayla Waterman, Alexa Hart, and Asia Doss, plus transfer Kianna Holland. However, in a two-week span, Holland, Chelsea Mitchell, and Waterman were hit with season-ending injuries, dramatically altering the Buckeyes’ landscape.

McGuff put the ball in the hands of one of the country’s best backcourts, Kelsey Mitchell and Ameryst Alston. The duo averages 55 percent of Ohio State’s points and account for 51 percent of their shot attempts. Mitchell leads the Big Ten in scoring, Alston is third; both are in the top fifteen in assists as well. In addition, Mitchell is a finalist for the Wooden Award and the Dawn Staley Award.

Their late season surge to the Big Ten conference finals (where they fell to fourth-ranked Maryland) has propelled Ohio State into the top 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls, and has McGuff thinking this team can be seeded as high as a four or five. Not bad for a team that many thought could not recover from their injured beginnings!

Down in Big 12 country, there is no “newness” to success at Baylor. Mulkey’s team won their seventh conference championship since 2005 and ranked 5th and 6th in the nation in the two polls, respectively. Were it not for four days at the end of February, when Baylor suffered back-to-back road losses at Oklahoma and Iowa State, we would be discussing Baylor as a possible number one seed in the NCAA tournament.

What makes this team’s success even more impressive is the team’s youth. Only center Sune Agbuke is a senior. The top four scorers on the squad are sophomores: Wooden Award finalist and conference player of the year Nina Davis (21.1 points per game), Imani Wright (10.1), Khadijiah Cave (10.0), and Alexis Prince (8.5). Junior point guard Niyah Johnson is averaging a nation’s best 8.6 assists per game, and she is second in assists to turnover ratio at 3.63 per game.

How far Baylor will dance remains to be seen, but there is no denying that Mulkey has a talented team, with a dominating post player in Davis.

To summarize, they are two great coaches with aspirations for a long tournament run this year and high expectations for the future.

Dishin & Swishin 3/05/15 Podcast: Time for Charlie Creme’s annual Bracketology visit

The groundhog comes out once a year to look for his shadow, maybe bite the ear of a Wisconsin mayor, and to tell us how much more winter (and snow) we people in the North are going to get.

Women’s basketball has their version of the groundhog in ESPN’s bracketologist Charlie Creme, who comes out at this time each year, to predict how many more weeks of basketball some teams have, and who should be getting ready for spring break.

Creme watches hours and hours of video, reviews and analyzes teams, conferences, trends, schedules, precedents, historical placements, injuries and a myriad of other factors. He projects who will be the 64 teams selected for the women’s NCAA tournament including seedings and speculates on what goes on in those crazy selection committee members’ minds.

There is so much that goes into both the actual selection process by the committee and Creme’s process of projection. On today’s Dishin & Swishin, Creme returns for the third consecutive year to the podcast to look at the intricacies involved with this year’s bracket. While the top four seeds are probably going to be settled among five teams via conference tournaments (can Tennessee move past Maryland or South Carolina?), there is a lot of intrigue among the bubble teams.

Creme explains what happens in the case of Louisville not being able to host the first rounds, the impact of mid-majors tournaments results (who can survive an upset?), why the power conferences get as many at large bids as they do compared to second or third place mid-major conference teams, and what role RPI and conference record has in the selection process.

It is great to be able to give Creme more than two minutes at halftime of a game or 140 characters on Twitter to explain his thoughts! So before Charlie Creme returns to his summer hibernation, enjoy his annual visit to Dishin & Swishin.

Enjoy the podcast!

Texas senior forward Nneka Enemkpali tears ACL, out for rest of season

Nneka Enemkpali. Photo: Texas Athletics.

Nneka Enemkpali. Photo: Texas Athletics.

Texas senior forward Nneka Enemkpali tore her anterior cruciate ligament during Monday’s 75-58 loss at No. 3 Baylor (17-1, 6-0 Big 12), ending her season.

“My heart goes out to Nneka because she has grown so much during her career at the University of Texas — as a player, as a leader and as a person,” said head coach Karen Aston in a statement. “It is never easy to see a student-athlete’s career cut short like this. Nneka has been the heart of our program for quite some time, and as we move forward she will continue to play a vital role on this team from the sidelines.”

Before the injury, Enemkpali led the Big 12 in rebounding (10.6 rpg) and double-doubles (9). In addition, the All-American candidate has recorded a program-record seven consecutive double-doubles this season.

Under Aston, the eight-ranked Longhorns (14-3, 3-3) have climbed back into the national spotlight after years of floundering and early exits in the NCAA tournament. With Enemkpali and a host of other talented players, Texas is enjoying a 13-game win streak. They started the season with a 13-0 record, the third-best start in program history. The Longhorns return to the court on Sunday for an afternoon matchup against Iowa State in Austin.

Dishin & Swishin 12/11/14 Podcast: Looking at the first part of the college basketball season with Debbie Antonelli & Brenda VanLengen

The women’s college basketball season is in full swing, and there is a lot to talk about: Increased scoring, upsets and more upsets, outstanding performances, surprises, disappointments and one incredible game for the ages. Not bad for a month and a half of activity! Debbie Antonelli and Brenda VanLengen are two of the busiest television personalities you will find. Crossing the country and back, engaging fans on social media all the while, they are knowledgeable, accessible and enjoy discussing the game as much as anyone out there. So who better to discuss what has happened so far? It is a pleasure to have Antonelli and VanLengen back on the Dishin & Swishin podcast, and are thankful they squeezed in some time to chat around travel arrangements and watching tape. Some of the topics include:

  • Lauren Hill’s first college basketball game, an event that will not be soon forgotten
  • Scoring! It’s all about offense as Antonelli likes to say, and the increase in production and improved shooting is a big story this year
  • The rise of Dawn Staley’s South Carolina program, not just the team, but the entire program is capturing fans and excitement
  • UConn and Notre Dame, Jewell Loyd, and who is the most complete team out there right now (but maybe not in April)
  • Texas, Texas A&M, and Baylor have the state of Texas playing inspired basketball
  • Offense is on the rise, but each of the top teams have those rim protectors too
  • Teams to watch, players to watch, the return of Sylvia Hatchell, C. Vivian Stringer coaching offense, and more!

A fun, fact and opinion filled thirty minutes of women’s basketball bliss! Enjoy the podcast!

Dishin & Swishin 11/13/14 Podcast: The roundtable returns to preview the 2014-15 NCAA DI season

It starts in November and ends in April with one team cutting down nets in Tampa! Finally, the NCAA women’s basketball season begins tomorrow.

On this week’s Dishin & Swishin podcast, we welcome in the season with the annual preseason preview roundtable. The participants in this year’s discussion are:

  • LaChina Robinson, ESPN commentator
  • Doug Feinberg, Associated Press
  • Cindy Brunson, Pac-12 Networks

There is a lot to discuss, as it should be a very interesting season for many reasons!

Start at the top, can Connecticut three-peat, and keep almost everyone’s preseason Player of the Year Breanna Stewart on course to achieve her goal of four years at UConn and four national titles? This is a different group of Huskies though, with their leaders Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley gone to the WNBA. In their place are players that are unproven or inexperienced. Still, they do possess three of the top players in the country in Stewart, Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, and Moriah Jefferson so no one is shedding tears for Geno Auriemma yet.

UConn is not the only highly-rated program that lost key players, but high hopes still exist; in fact, it is a bit of a theme this season.

Notre Dame lost Kayla McBride and Natalie Achonwa to graduation. Duke lost guards Chelsea Gray and Tricia Liston to graduation, and Alexis Jones first to injury and then transfer to Baylor. Speaking of Baylor, how do the Bears replace guard Odyssey Sims? Maryland lost Alyssa Thomas, and moves to the Big Ten conference, while Louisville has to replace Shoni Schimmel while adjusting to the ACC.

Then there is that upstart SEC program that will not be under the radar any longer. Dawn Staley has changed the culture at South Carolina; the football school is now women’s basketball crazy. Like UConn, South Carolina has three of the top returning players in the country in Tiffany Mitchell, Aleighsa Welch, and Alaina Coates, plus one of the top incoming freshman in A’ja Wilson. Circle February 9, 2015 on your calendars: South Carolina at Connecticut.

Along with Wilson, there is no doubt youth will be served this year. UConn guard Kia Nurse spent her summer vacation playing with the Canadian National team and will be relied upon immediately. Notre Dame’s freshman forward Brianna Turner is another athletic puzzle piece for Muffet McGraw to insert at Notre Dame, Cal’s Gabby Green, and Texas A&M’s 6-5 Khaalia Hillsman are just a few freshmen that can impact the season.

Along with Coates, Maryland’s Lexie Brown, Baylor’s Nina Davis, Lindsay Allen at Notre Dame, and Allisha Gray at North Carolina these players are just a few of the super sophomores to watch this season. On the West Coast look out for Washington’s Kelsey Plum, while Stanford turns to Lili Thompson to ease the transition to a guard-centric offense.

South Carolina’s Mitchell, Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd, UConn’s Stewart and Jefferson, Texas A&M’s Courtney Walker, Rachel Theriot of Nebraska, and Bria Holmes of West Virginia are just a few of the top juniors.

If you’re looking for WNBA draft prospects, watch seniors Mosqueda-Lewis (UConn), Elizabeth Williams (Duke), Isabelle Harrison (Tennessee), Rachel Banham (Minnesota), Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray (both from Cal) and Nneka Enemkpali (Texas).

Across the country, there are players to see, and conference battles to watch. While at the very top it may be UConn from the American Athletic conference, a look at ESPN’s preseason Top 25 rankings has each major conference well represented: the SEC has six team, ACC five, Big Ten four, Big 12 four, and Pac-12 three teams, respectively. The Big East and Atlantic 10 each have one representative. The race will be on to see which conference gets the most teams in the tournament and can make the claim of “best conference in the country.”

Don’t sleep on those mid-majors either! Remember what Brigham Young did in the tournament last year? There always seems to be a couple of teams that crash the party from those conferences, and this year should be no exception. Dayton is already ranked. Perennially strong teams like Marist, Gonzaga, and Green Bay are always tough, while George Washington and Western Kentucky can surprise people. Look out for players like Central Michigan’s Crystal Bradford and Dayton’s Andrea Hoover, plus high scoring guards Kelsey Minato from Army and Damika Martinez of Iona.

This week the roundtable discusses all of your favorite topics, including the top teams in the country and conferences, which conferences are stronger than others, stars and upstart players to watch, the injury bug biting so many teams this year (notably Ohio State) so early, some of the new coaches and how coaches are impacting programs all over the country, the rise of South Carolina, and of course, what makes UConn the early favorite to repeat.

A fun discussion, and the roundtable is as lively as ever! Enjoy the podcast.

*Click here to subscribe to the podcast with your feed reader or podcast app

The Hoopfeed Guide to the 2014 WNBA Draft

2014 WNBA Draft: April 14, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

2014 WNBA Draft: April 14, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Tonight’s the night! At Mohegan Sun Arena, the Class of 2014 will hear their names called, and they will enter the WNBA. Their lives will change forever; no longer will they be “student-athletes,” they will be “professional basketball players.”

Here at Hoopfeed, we prefer not to do “mock drafts.” There are too many variables, too many unknowns, and, invariably reality hardly looks like the mock drafts “experts” put out there. Instead, we prefer to provide you with information to help you speculate yourself on who each team will take.

First, as a reminder, here is the draft order for the first round of the 2014 WNBA draft:

  1. Connecticut Sun
  2. Tulsa Shock
  3. San Antonio Stars
  4. New York Liberty
  5. Indiana Fever
  6. Washington Mystics
  7. Seattle Storm
  8. Atlanta Dream
  9. Indiana Fever (from Phoenix Mercury)
  10. Chicago Sky
  11. Connecticut Sun (from Los Angeles Sparks)
  12. Minnesota Lynx

On last week’s Dishin & Swishin podcast former WNBA assistant coach Jeff House shared his thoughts on draft potential and possible maneuverings.

Over the last few months, we have given you Q & A sessions with some of the top prospects, so you could read the players’ thoughts, and get a sense for what they are like as individuals, something frequently missing in the college game. Included were top of the draft favorites Chiney Ogwumike, Odyssey Sims, Alyssa Thomas, and Kayla McBride, among others. Inside each of these was a section asking “what does the WNBA think of” and an answer was provided by a highly respected person in a WNBA organization that has requested anonymity so as to not give away what the team is thinking. We also requested thoughts on several other players expected to be drafted.

Here is what the Hoopfeed WNBA insider had to say about the potential draft choices. Armed with this information, you are ready to prepare your own mock drafts, speculate who will get drafted in what spot, and which person you hope your favorite team will draft. Good luck to everyone!

Chiney Ogwumike, forward, Stanford University:

Ogwumike is easily one of the most athletic players to come into our league. She has size and great hands; and her ability to play both the 4 and the 5 is key. The development of a face up game needs to continue, but the rebound and defensive potential are fantastic. She is tough and competitive, which you would expect from someone whose sister is Nneka.

Odyssey Sims, guard, Baylor University:

Sims is a great defender, but she will face quicker guards in the WNBA. On offense she has all three levels; to the rim, mid-range, and three-point shooting. Her leadership has gotten better. She will step in and contribute right away. Sims and Ogwumike are the only players in the draft you can definitively say that about.

Alyssa Thomas, forward, University of Maryland:

Thomas is a bit of a tweener, is she big enough to play the four? Does she have a good enough handle, shot and can she defensively play the three? Good skill set, ability to rebound and bring it down court is a big plus. She also has shown durability despite a lot of contact. She appears to be a hard worker who will get better as her career progresses.

Kayla McBride, guard/forward, Notre Dame University:

McBride can create her own shot and has a great mid-range game. She has improved her shooting from the three-point line as well. McBride has a great ‘pro body,’ which she uses to defend well. She’s smart and poised, and coming from Notre Dame knows how to compete and win in big games.

Stefanie Dolson, center, University of Connecticut:

Dolson has great skills, great passing ability. She can knock down shots from the high post and inside she finishes with both hands well. She has a great basketball IQ and great size. Questions are her ability to defend in the two-man game as she hasn’t had to yet, and while she is improved, Dolson needs to prove she can rebound with pro centers, where even Griner struggled last year.

Natasha Howard, forward/center, Florida State University:

Howard has great athleticism; length and quickness a plus. Tremendous upside! She can create her own shot with that athleticism, and she’s good off the dribble from the high post. She has decent range, but will need to work on her handle and consistency from 17 feet and beyond. In addition, Howard is versatile defensively and rebounds well.

Bria Hartley, guard, University of Connecticut:

Hartley has good upside; she has great length and athleticism. She is versatile, and has the ability to play off the dribble in mid-range and shoot the three as well, which is a big time combination. This year we are seeing more of her ability to defend too, and she has been an asset on both ends. Being from a winning program and being coached at a high level always gives an advantage too. Plus, you know the work ethic is there.

Jordan Hooper, forward, University of Nebraska:

Hooper has great size, and is a strong scorer and rebounder. She has a quick release, excellent range for her size and is really good at catch-and-shoot play. She needs to improve her ball handling to be able to play off the dribble; can’t be one dimensional in the pros. Defense against other fours will be a question too.

Shoni Schimmel, guard, University of Louisville:

I love the scoring mentality that Schimmel brings to every possession. She has very good shooting ability, as well as the ability to put the ball on the floor; all positives. Her shot selection and ability to defend are question marks, as appears to be her fitness level at times (which lends to self-discipline questions).

Natalie Achonwa, forward/center, Notre Dame University:

Achonwa is a natural leader, and a strong rebounder. She has decent range, but needs to improve that and show it consistently. She has good passing ability and is a good defender. Does she have the strength down low to play center in the WNBA? Achonwa is a lot like Dolson skill-wise, but without the true center body.

Chelsea Gray, guard, Duke University:

Gray is a work in process because of all the time she has missed. She has great size and has shown outstanding instincts and passing ability. History is an issue with two knee injuries, major knee injuries, and that is concerning.

Meighan Simmons, guard, University of Tennessee:

Simmons has excellent speed and quickness on both ends. She can score in bunches, but goes through periods where it is tough to keep her on the court. She is the definition of high risk, high reward, and someone will take a chance on that.

Tricia Liston, guard/forward, Duke University:

Liston is a strong, consistent three-ball shooter, in a draft where there are not a lot of great shooters. She has improved off the dribble tremendously, and isn’t afraid to absorb contact. Her improvement shows self-discipline, and she looks to find ways to improve her game. Speed and defense are a concern; it hurts her a bit playing so much zone at Duke.

Dishin & Swishin Q&A looks at the Class of 2014: Is Odyssey Sims the best guard to enter the WNBA in years?

Athletics – Women’s Basketball (WBK) vs Nicholls State – Ferrell Center – 11/14/2013

Odyssey Sims. Photo: Baylor Athletics.

If Odyssey Sims had not played one minute this season, there still would be no denying that she had one of the greatest careers for a guard in NCAA women’s basketball history. She earned national championship honors, All-American selections and was a finalist for Wade, Naismith and Wooden awards as both a sophomore and a junior.

However, this season, Sims faced an unfamiliar situation. Not only did two-time Player of the Year Brittney Griner graduate, but also four other seniors. Combined, they accounted for 68 percent of the team’s offense. Then, returning sophomore Alexis Prince, counted on as an experienced starter, went down as well with an injury and was out for the season.

Sims’ season and the statistics she accumulated, are the things legends are made of. She scored over 1,000 points, only the second person in history to achieve that number. For perspective, the next closest competitor was over 80 points behind her.

Baylor surprised everyone, going 32-5 on the season, and Sims was the unquestioned leader of the Lady Bears. Over time, she gained confidence in a group of young players that coach Kim Mulkey inserted alongside her. Nina Davis, the freshman center, became a candidate for freshman of the year off Sims’ bullet passes, along with the space created by Sims’ ability to make three-point shots at will. She showed her maturity during the NCAA tournament, helping keep her team keep an even keel against some controversial foul calls versus Notre Dame.

What makes Sims truly special, however, may be her defensive prowess. She is widely considered the best on-ball defender to enter the WNBA since perhaps Alana Beard in 2004. She has an innate ability to know when to go for the steal, and her hands are so fast that she’s on her way for another layup before her opponent realizes it.

What Does the WNBA think of Sims? An insider says:

Sims is a great defender, but she will face quicker guards in the WNBA. On offense she has all three levels; to the rim, mid-range, and three-point shooting. Her leadership has gotten better. She will step in and contribute right away. Sims and Ogwumike are the only players in the draft you can definitively say that about.

DNS: All-American everywhere, and now, Wade Trophy winner. What the WBCA calls “the Heisman” of basketball. What does that mean to you, winning the award?

OS: Receiving the award means a lot. I am just blessed and honored to have received it.

DNS: Only the second person in history to score 1,000 points in a single season. That number is just remarkable. How does that feel?

OS: It feels great. I never knew I would score that many points in one season. I made history. I think it’s pretty cool.

DNS: Players talk about “being in the zone” when they are on a scoring roll. You were on a roll all season. Is there ever a time that you feel you can’t beat your defender?

OS: I think when I’m real tired in the course of a game, when I need a timeout but the game is too critical so you just have to play through it.

DNS: Still, when I think of Odyssey Sims, I think of the best on-ball defender I’ve seen in a long time. What do you consider the key to your success on the defensive end?

OS: I think it’s a God-given talent. That’s nothing that I had to work on. It just developed on its own.

DNS: Which do you enjoy more, draining the big shot, or making the big stop?

OS: Making the big stop!

DNS: People know BG left after last season, but you lost all four starters beside you. How difficult an adjustment was it to play with all new starters?

OS: It was very different. I had to embrace a role I didn’t think I could handle at the beginning of the season. But, as I grew, my teammates grew too, so that helped me a lot.

DNS: Over the course of the season, you clearly developed more and more trust in your teammates, especially Nina Davis. How does a teammate earn that kind of trust from you, so you will not feel the need to make every play for your team?

OS: That goes without saying, Nina grew quickly. We have a special bond from the rest of the team. But trusting my teammates made everything easier for me.

DNS: Each of the last two years the team’s season ended under shall we say “questionable circumstances” regarding the officiating. Does that make it more difficult to accept the final outcome?

OS: Not at all, it’s kind of expected somewhat. It does bother me but I just take it as is and keep moving forward.

DNS: You’ve certainly handled several different roles during your four years. What accomplishments and development in your game are you the most proud of?

OS: I would say my senior year. Taking upon a different role that nobody thought I would be able to handle. I had a different role and different team and I really enjoyed playing with this group. They helped me in so many ways to get better.

DNS: You had a great summer playing USA Basketball, outstanding player in the World University Games. How much did that impact your senior year, and are you looking forward to continuing to play USA Basketball?

OS: I learned a lot from that experience. It made me want to be a better leader to my teammates going into my senior year.

DNS: WNBA draft comes next. What do you think it’s going to be like hearing your name called? Are you ready for the next step in your career, and what would you tell a GM deciding between you, Chiney Ogwumike or Alyssa Thomas for the top spot?

OS: I will be so happy and shocked, because I will now be living my dream when they call my name. I am ready for the next step, slowly but surely, I’m just more excited than anything.

Baylor’s Odyssey Sims named the recipient of the 2014 Dawn Staley award

Photo: Phoenix Club of Philadelphia.

Photo: Phoenix Club of Philadelphia.

Baylor senior guard Odyssey Sims is the winner of the 2014 Dawn Staley Award. The accolade goes to “the most outstanding collegiate guard in the country; a player who exemplifies the skills that Dawn possessed during her career (ball handling, scoring, her ability to distribute the basketball and her will to win)” according to Michael G. Horsey, founder of the Phoenix Club of Philadelphia. The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at the Union League of Philadelphia.

The 5-8 guard averaged 28.5 ppg, which ranks No. 2 nationally, as well as 4.7 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 2.0 steals. She  shot .446 from the floor, .398 from 3-point range and .808 from the free throw line.

Sims, with 1,054 points in 2013-14, became just the second NCAA?Division I women’s player to score over 1,000 points in a season. Jackie Stiles (Missouri State) set the record in the 2000-01 season with 1,062 points.

Baylor freshmen come up big, aiding Odyssey Sims in putting away Kentucky to reach Elite Eight


Baylor (32-4, 16-2 Big 12) exacted revenge on Kentucky (26-9, 10-6 SEC) in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament beating the Wildcats 90-72 in South Bend, Ind. Unlike December’s record-breaking quadruple overtime regular season 133-130 matchup against Kentucky that ended in a Lady Bear loss, Baylor completed their mission within regulation. Baylor has reached the Elite Eight for the fourth time in five years.

Senior Odyssey Sims, the nation’s second-leading scorer, led her team with 25 points and seven assists. Freshman Nina Davis added 20 points plus eight rebounds while fellow first-year Khadijiah Cave had a career-high 18 points plus nine rebounds. Sophomore Niya Johnson tallied a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Sims reached 1,000 points on the season during the game, putting her 41 points behind Jackie Stiles’ season record of 1,062 set in 2001.

DeNesha Stallworth led Kentucky with 19 points and eight rebounds. Linnea Harper came off the bench for 14 points and Bria Goss added 13.

Baylor will face the winner of the Oklahoma State – Notre Dame matchup Monday night. The game will be televised on ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Dishin & Swishin 03/27/14: Get ready for the Sweet Sixteen with our previous podcasts and Q&A sessions

March Madness is nearing its close and the NCAA tournament is down to the Sweet Sixteen. By this time next week, there will be only the Final Four remaining, and in a couple of weeks it will be time to turn all our attention to the WNBA!

How did we get to this point? How did the Sweet Sixteen teams make it this far?

To help you understand and figure out these teams, we have assembled in one place some of the podcasts and Q&A sessions from the 2013-14 college basketball season for you to read and listen to. Enjoy!



Dishin & Swishin 3/20/14 Podcast: It’s March Madness! The Roundtable looks at the NCAA tournament

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With apologies to Christmas and when kids return to school, thisis the most wonderful time of the year! March Madness! Let the games begin as 64 teams gather in sites around the country to fight for the right to call themselves national champions. For some, just making the tournament defined their season as a success. For others, if they do not make it to Nashville for the Final Four, it will be a disappointment. Will there be a Cinderella or has the clock struck midnight already for all but undefeated Connecticut and Notre Dame? We will find out beginning Saturday, but we are ready to help you understand the stories, look at the teams, and fill out your brackets.

On today’s Dishin & Swishin podcast, we bring together some of the very best of the best experts on women’s basketball. Today’s roundtable, moderated by Dishin & Swishin host David Siegel includes:

  • Doug Feinberg, Associated Press national women’s basketball writer
  • Mechelle Voepel, ESPN women’s basketball writer
  • LaChina Robinson, women’s basketball television analyst
  • Brenda VanLangen, women’s basketball television analyst

Topics discussed by the roundtable include:

  • Each region’s favorites and upstarts, who can advance and who should advance.
  • Did the top seeds earn their rankings and does it have an impact on the tournament?
  • Players to look out for, the ones you know and a few you should know.
  • What each panel member is looking forward to in the tournament, and what they are looking forward to seeing.

Since you are getting ready to fill out your brackets, here are a few tidbits that will help you narrow your selections:

  • Since the tournament began in 1982, 13 teams have entered number one and have left the champion. Six times that team has been Connecticut.
  • Every year of the tournament, at least one number one seed has made the final four, but only twice have all four made it to the final four (1989, 2012)
  • Many know Harvard is the only sixteen seed to win a game in a tournament, but zero fourteen and fifteen seeds have won games (so you can cross 12 teams of your bracket right away).
  • Only once, Stanford in 1992, has a team won the championship in their home state (sorry Tennessee).
  • If you are hoping for a Tennessee-South Carolina final, only five times have the championship games been between teams in the same conference (SEC 189,1996; ACC 2006, Big East 2009,2013).
  • And, finally, the stat everyone knows and many are hoping to see, there has never been a matchup between two undefeated teams in the NCAA championship.

Will this be the year two undefeated teams play for the title? To many it seems a forgone conclusion we will see UConn and Notre Dame in the finals. Maybe we will.

Of curse a lot of those people thought Baylor would beat Louisville last year, didn’t they?

Enjoy the podcast, and embrace the Madness!

Dishin & Swishin 03/06/14 Podcast: ESPN’s Charlie Creme talks bracketology and conference tournaments

2014 Women's Final Four, April 6 & 8, 2014, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville.

2014 Women’s Final Four, April 6 & 8, 2014, Bridgestone Arena, Nashville.

ESPN’s Charlie Creme is the preeminent “bracketologist” for women’s basketball. Creme reviews and analyzes teams, conferences, trends, schedules, precedents, historical placements, injuries and a myriad of other factors. He projects who will be the 64 teams selected for the women’s NCAA tournament including seedings and selection committee placement.

There is so much that goes into both the actual selection process by the committee and Creme’s process of projection. On today’s Dishin & Swishin, Creme returns to the podcast to look at the intricacies involved with these year’s bracket, including who could be the four top seeds, and why they will be placed in the specific regions he projects.

Other topics include conference tournaments and their effects on bubble ins and outs, mid-majors versus BCS conference selections, RPI and success against highly ranked teams impact on seeding and more.

It is great to be able to give Creme more than two minutes at halftime of a game or 140 characters on twitter to explain his process!

Enjoy the podcast!

Dishin & Swishin 1/16/14 Podcast: The roundtable discusses the first half of the college season

The Roundtable is back!

It is a pleasure to bring back the Dishin & Swishin roundtable for your listening pleasure this week, with a look at the first half of the NCAA women’s basketball season.

The participants on this roundtable, hosted by David Siegel are:

  • ESPN columnist Mechelle Voepel
  • Pac-12 Network and Fox Sports analyst Cindy Brunson
  • ESPN and Big Ten Network analyst Stephanie White

On the heels of the No. 1 Connecticut’s victory over No. 7 Baylor, the roundtable had a lot to talk about!

Topics covered this week include:

  • What we learned from the UConn-Baylor game.
  • A look at all of the top teams.
  • Is Notre Dame, with a fairly unimpressive out of conference schedule completed, as good as their record indicates?
  • Injuries and flaws, which teams are for real and which are not.
  • A look around the country at all of the top conferences.
  • Who has been the most impressive players around the nation?

All of this and more, on this week’s Dishin & Swishin, the roundtable looks at the NCAA season.

Enjoy the podcast!

Social media recap: #1 UConn takes down #7 Baylor in Waco, 66-55

No. 1 Connecticut snaps No. 7 Baylor’s 69-game home win streak with 66-55 victory in Waco

Image: UConn Athletics.

Image: UConn Athletics.


No. 1 Connecticut (18-0) came to Waco and snapped No. 7 Baylor’s 69-game home win streak with a 66-55 victory in front of a season record crowd of 9,145. It was the first loss in the Ferrell Center for senior guards Odyssey Sims and Makenzie Robertson.

Sims carried the offensive load for Baylor (14-2) and did not get much help from the rest of her team until late in the first half. Makenzie Robertson and Nina Davis helped to keep the Lady Bears within 10 but UConn’ size and rebounding was too much for Baylor. Nevertheless, the Lady Bears kept it close and ended the half trailing the Huskies 36-27. While Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley helped UConn maintain a lead during the first stanza, they ended the period with three fouls each.

Breanna Stewart led UConn with 12 points and seven rebounds after the first half. Texas native Moriah Jefferson added 10 and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had eight. For Baylor, Sims paced the Lady Bears with 15 points and Robertson had seven.

Baylor started the second half on a 15-9 run to get within three, 45-42 at 14:28. They outscored UConn for much of that period, nipping at the heels of the Huskies, staying within striking distance, narrowing the lead to one, 50-49 at 10:54 after a three point shot by Odyssey Sims. Baylor’s young players Nina Davis, Kristina Higgins, Niya Johnson and Imani Wright helped Sims with some offensive production as well. Baylor was within three at 3:51, 56-53.

Stewart finished with a team-high 18 points plus 11 rebounds. Hartley followed with 17. Jefferson had a nice stat line with 13 points, six rebounds and five assists. Dolson was the fourth Husky in double figures with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Sims, finished below her season average of 31.1 points per game, with 20 points and four assists. Freshman Davis had 11 points plus 17 rebounds. Robertson contributed 10 points and five rebounds.

UConn returns to the East Coast to face Rutgers on the road Sunday, January 19. They return to Texas on February 4 to face American Athletic Conference member Southern Methodist.

Baylor heads to Kansas to play the Jayhawks on the same day the Huskies face the Scarlet Knights.

Box Score

UConn vs Baylor

1/13/14 6 p.m. at Ferrell Center – Waco, Texas

UConn 66

      Total 3-point   Rebounds
## Player p fgm-fga fgm-fga ftm-fta off-def tot pf tp a to blk stl min
23 Mosqueda-Lewis, K. f 3-12 2-7 0-0 2-2 4 3 8 0 2 0 0 34
30 Stewart, Breanna f 4-14 0-5 10-10 3-8 11 3 18 4 3 0 1 39
31 Dolson, Stefanie c 4-6 0-0 2-2 2-5 7 3 10 3 6 2 1 32
04 Jefferson, Moriah g 4-8 2-3 3-4 1-5 6 2 13 5 0 1 4 38
14 Hartley, Bria g 7-18 2-6 1-2 1-2 3 3 17 3 4 0 2 37
12 Chong, Saniya 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
13 Banks, Brianna 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 2
41 Stokes, Kiah 0-2 0-0 0-0 2-4 6 0 0 0 0 4 0 15
TM TEAM 2-2 4
Totals………….. 22-60 6-21 16-18 13-28 41 15 66 15 15 8 8 200
36.7% 28.6% 88.9%
Team summary: FG 3FG FT
1st Half: 11-30 4-13 10-10
36.7% 30.8% 100 %
2nd Half: 11-30 2-8 6-8
36.7% 25.0% 75.0%

Baylor 55

      Total 3-point   Rebounds
## Player p fgm-fga fgm-fga ftm-fta off-def tot pf tp a to blk stl min
13 Davis, Nina f 5-10 0-0 1-3 7-10 17 1 11 3 3 0 2 38
22 Agbuke, Sune c 2-3 0-0 2-2 1-2 3 2 6 1 2 0 1 24
00 Sims, Odyssey g 4-25 2-6 10-10 0-1 1 4 20 4 7 0 1 36
02 Johnson, Niya g 3-8 0-0 0-0 1-6 7 4 6 6 2 0 1 36
14 Robertson, Makenzie g 3-7 3-5 1-3 2-3 5 2 10 1 0 0 0 39
20 Wright, Imani 1-5 0-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 8
24 Small, Ieshia 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2
44 Higgins, Kristina 0-1 0-0 0-0 1-1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 13
55 Cave, Khadijiah 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 4
TM TEAM 1-2 3
Totals………….. 18-59 5-14 14-18 13-26 39 18 55 15 17 0 5 200
30.5% 35.7% 77.8%
Team summary: FG 3FG FT
1st Half: 6-28 3-5 12-15
21.4% 60.0% 80.0%
2nd Half: 12-31 2-9 2-3
38.7% 22.2% 66.7%
Score by Periods  1st   2nd   Total   
UConn 36 30 66 Record: (18-0 #1/1)
Baylor 27 28 55 Record: (14-2 #7/7)
Officials: Dee Kantner, Jesse Dickerson, Maj Forsberg

Technical fouls: UConn-None. Baylor-None.

Attendance: 9145