Have you ever found yourself out for a walk in your neighborhood, minding your own business, and then a crack in the sidewalk hops up and trips you? Do you quickly look around to see if someone saw you tumble safely with or without falling to the ground? Then you and many women’s basketball teams have something in common – stumbling. It’s not fun, it can sting sometimes, it can stay with you for a few days, like a sore toe you can’t seem to shake.
This time of year we see teams stumble and reasons for their losses or poor performance are never identified. For some, it condones a lower-conference discount to ask them to hand you a disappointing loss—at home. For others, it’s a series of lackluster practices, according to the coaching staff, that are the equivalent of losing the road due to poor preparation. Then there is the snowball effect of letting a near defeat turn into another defeat and perhaps another. No matter the reason, there aren’t many weeks left in the regular season to allow yourself to stumble and stumble.
So here at Weekly Quick Break, we encourage everyone to bounce back, dust yourselves off, and if your neighbor asks if you’re okay, yell “Absolutely!” And he kept walking. No single game can determine your team or your playing time, but watch out for the cracks – your season may depend on it.
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Hot Shot Horses: It’s hard to find a team that’s playing much better right now than #4 Indiana. The Hoosiers have won eight straight games, with their only loss of the season coming December 29 at Michigan State. Head coach Terry Morin’s team is a picture of balance and consistency in every game – multiple players in double figures, winning the fight on the boards, keeping their turnover low (12.6/game for the season) and defense at a high level. Senior Mackenzie Holmes leads the Hoosiers with 22 points/game and shoots 68% from the field. Keep in mind, Indiana played without All-Big Ten quarterback Grace Berger for eight games earlier this year and hasn’t missed a beat. This past weekend, 6′ Berger became the first player in Indiana women’s or men’s basketball history to reach over 1,600 points, over 600 rebounds and over 500 assists in their career. And if you were wondering — fans in Bloomington are also taking note, 10,455 of whom attended Indiana’s victory over No. 2 Ohio State on Jan. 27.
Mackenzie Holmes was named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week and freshman guard Yarden Garzon was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on January 30.
String heel: Two important road wins over 11th-ranked ACC North Carolina over the weekend moved the Tar Heels up four spots in the AP Top 25 poll and placed them in the elite company in their program’s history. After starting conference play 0-3, UNC has won seven consecutive ACC games for the first time since 2009. In their seven straight wins, no opponent has scored more than 60 points on the Tar Heels’ defense, as they hold teams to 35% from the field and less than 30% of the three point range. Their offense was kicked off by three double-digit middle juniors – Deja Kelly, Kennedy Todd Williams, and Alisa Ostby. Courtney Bangart’s team would rematch Virginia on February 2 at home (they won in Charlottesville, 70-59) and then hit the road to Louisville on February 5, which will be the only game between the two schools this season.
Stanford franchiseThere are two things that are simply part of the history of women’s basketball at Stanford – head coach Tara Vanderveer and winning. Over this past weekend, another milestone was reached as the 2022-23 season turned 38y A career 20 winning season for a Hall of Fame coach. The last time the Cardinals had fewer than 20 wins was in the 2000-01 year. Stanford is 21-2 this season, 9-1 in Pac-12 play and continues to get better every game, another example of VanDeveer’s coaching magic. The next four conference games will be on the road, starting with a trip to Pullman, Washington to take on Washington State on February 3.
Watch the pollSome teams have stumbled, some have stumbled, and some have stood the test this week. #1 South Carolina continues to stay at the top, but two teams stand out for falling farther and rising further. #10 Ohio State is down eight places after three straight losses, and #12 Iowa State is up six places as the Hurricanes notch four straight wins, including Saturday over #20 Oklahoma. #15 NC State continues to rebound, taking a five-point lead after defeating #9 Notre Dame 69-65. South Florida enters this week’s poll at No. 25, extending its streak in the rankings by at least one week each season since 2015. Colorado and Illinois dropped out of the Top 25 and only three teams found their rankings unchanged – #5 UConn, #16 Duke and #17 Gonzaga.
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If there’s one thing you can count here at The Weekly Fast Break on, it’s that we love triple doubles. No matter how the numbers change, we’re always here to highlight the players who give their best, make an impact on the game and fill the stat sheet with big numbers. Stanford Cameron Brink Center She hit her first career triple-double on Sunday in the Cardinals’ 62-54 win over Oregon. The 6’4 junior center had 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks, becoming only the second Pac-12 player in history to record a triple-double with blocks.
The date is also set in Colombia over the weekend Senior Caitlin Davis The Lions’ 79-50 victory over Dartmouth ended the program’s first triple-double in its 39-year history. The 6′ guard from Norwalk, CT had 19 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in 28 minutes of action. Columbia coach Megan Griffiths called Davis a “unicorn” for doing things her coach had never seen before. We also see the magic in the history-making triple-double feat.
For those who don’t know, we have a fondness for three-point shooters here at The Weekly Fast Break. We have been watching intently Taylor Robertson from Oklahoma She moved closer and closer to the career three-point record in Division I women’s basketball. Saturday, on her first attempt on the road in Iowa, The Old Guard set a new mark, held by Kelsey Mitchell of Ohio State (497). Though Robertson takes advantage of her extra year of eligibility this season, she breaks Mitchell’s record for career game-less hits, 138 to 139. The McPherson, KS product hit five more from deep, but the Sooners came up short at Ames, losing 86-78. Robertson is now 503 and he’s rising – keep shooting, boy!
for the second week in a rowBig 12 Freshman of the Week was awarded to Darianna Littlepage-Buggs Baylor And it’s easy to see why. The 6’1 guard/forward posted her double-double of the season, the most among Big 12 rookie teams, with 16 points and 10 rebounds in the Bears’ 79-59 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. Her eight doubles is also tied for third in the conference overall. Littlepage-Buggs has been named Big 12 Freshman of the Week now three of the past four weeks. (R/V) Baylor and the Littlepage-Buggs are back in action on February 2 when they host Kansas.
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Instructors will tell you that the first year in charge of the program will have its ups and downs with many stumbles and falls. It’s an even bigger job when you play in the ACC, one of the top women’s basketball conferences in the country. Wake Forest Principal Megan Gebbia has a proven winning history, coming to Winston-Salem after being at AUC, where she was the all-time leader. Wake is currently 13-9 overall and 4-7 in the ACC. They’re riding the “up” slope this week after beating two conference opponents to move to 10-1 in their home court.
On January 26, Louisville hit town and the story of the game bar was 3-point shooting and 3-point defense. Wake went 9-for-18 from behind the arc as the Cardinals shot 1-for-8 from deep. The Deacons dominated the second half, 43-23, to give them their first victory over Louisville in program history.
Trying to ride the wave of success so as not to falter after three days can be difficult, but Wake did it with their defense again, defeating Miami on Sunday, 55-52. The Hurricanes shot just nine percent (1-for-11) from three-point range and turned it over 14 times against the Demon Deacons defense. Three players for Wake finished in double figures, including sophomore Elise Williams, whose 13 points were the ninth in a row with 10 or more points. Next up is a trip to #23 Florida State, but if the defense continues to thrive, Gebbia and her team will be in every game until the end.
Complete Court Press
The calendar flips to February this week which means we’re getting closer and closer to the third part of the college basketball season – the postseason. But before that, we had a lot of interesting games still to be played that would determine the conference champions and much more. Conference farewell prose goes on all the time so some days and nights may feel slower than others. Regardless, there’s no down time – preparation and effort can help ensure you don’t stumble this week (check your local listings for match times and broadcasts):
1 – #24 Texas at West Virginia
Drake in northern Iowa
DePaul in Creighton
Toledo is in central Michigan
#12 Iowa State at Kansas State
Kansas at (R/V) Baylor
February 2 – Virginia at #11 UNC
(R/V) Illinois at #Michigan
Eastern Illinois at Lindenwood
#9 Notre Dame at Boston College
#21 Middle Tennessee Avenue at UTEP
Sacramento, in eastern Washington
February 3 – Penn in Colombia
Drexel in the Northeast
Delaware in Tucson
#7 Utah in Oregon
(R/V) Colorado in (R/V) Oregon
#22 Arizona at #14 UCLA (Watch us for free on play!)
Feb. 4 – Miami (OH) at Bowling Green
Loyola Maryland at Boston University
South Dakota in North Dakota
FGCU in North Florida
West Virginia at #20 Oklahoma
Princeton in Columbia
(R/V) Baylor at #12 Iowa
Rhode Island in Davidson
Feb. 5 – #1 South Carolina at #5 UConn (Watch us for free on play!)
#16 Duke at #9 Notre Dame
#4 Indiana at (R/V) Purdue
#2 Stanford in Washington
(R/V) Colorado in Oregon
Murray State in Illinois
#10 Ohio State at #8 Maryland
Belmont in Bradley