December 15, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Dec. 15, 2021: Cross-Carolina Clash

Updates on the Liberty and Mercury coaching searches

Happy hump day! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 37 of college basketball is here, along with updates on the WNBA coaching vacancies, a wild back-and-forth result from Princeton and Buffalo, and a battle for the top dog in Carolina.

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(All times in Eastern)

W Roundup

Chicago: Big Candace Parker revealed on Instagram that she and her wife, former Russian basketball player Anna Petrakova, remarried two years ago, and that Petrakova is carrying their child. Parker wrote, “To know me or you is to know our love. This journey hasn’t been easy. I am proud of us and what we have built and who we have grown to become both individually and together… I value you and what we have. We’ve always dreamed of growing our family….it’s surreal that we now have a baby on the way! Lailaa [Parker’s daughter from her first marriage] is pumped to be a big sister!”

New York: The Liberty are considering top Sparks assistant Latricia Trammell to be their next head coach, sources tell our Howard Megdal. Our New York reporter, Jackie Powell, adds that former Mercury head coach Sandy Brondello’s interest in the Liberty is mutual, that the team is not looking at top Mystics assistant Eric Thibault, and analyzes how these names and more might fit within New York’s organization.

Phoenix: Powell also added that the Mercury are not considering Eric Thibault for their head-coaching vacancy.

Watch List, Wednesday, Dec. 15

Must-watch

#1 South Carolina @ #15 Duke, 7 p.m., ACC Network

Good games

None

Also watchable

UC Davis @ #3 Stanford, 10 p.m., Stanford Live Stream

Sickos games

None

Pac-12 or Big Ten on national television (or national streaming)

None

Tuesday, Dec. 14 recap

#7 UConn: Point guard Paige Bueckers successfully underwent surgery to repair the anterior tibial plateau fracture and lateral meniscus tear in her left knee.



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RV* DePaul: 100-72 win over Nichols, a smaller margin over the Colonels than Louisiana Tech, Grand Canyon, and Montana. Make of that what you will. Shot only 26.7% from three on 30 attempts but grabbed 27 offensive rebounds, enabling 91(!) attempts from the field; forced 35 turnovers thanks in part to 19 steals, but committed 20 turnovers. All five starters played between 21 and 23 minutes. Off-ball guard Sonya Morris had a game-high 21 points on 9-for-17 shooting (1-3 3pt.), three assists, and two steals without a turnover; big Aneesah Morrow stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points on 5-for-13 FG (0-1 3pt., 4-6 FT), nine rebounds (six offensive), four assist, and six steals against three turnovers; point guard Lexi Held tallied 14 points on 5-for-12 from the field (3-5 3pt.), five rebounds, five assists, four steals, and two blocks against two turnovers; bench off-ball guard Dee Bekelja had 16 points on 8-for-11 FG (0-2 3pt.), five rebounds (season-high four offensive), three assists, and a season-high-tying two steals; wing Darrione Rogers notched 12 points on 3-for-6 shooting (2-4 3pt.), six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks against two turnovers.

Towson: Did not play its scheduled game against Memphis due to “a positive COVID-19 test within the Towson team,” as announced Monday.

New Orleans: Did not play its scheduled game against Jacksonville State “due to health and safety protocols” — i.e. positive COVID case(s) within the program — as announced Saturday. The Privateers added yesterday that the COVID case(s) have forced the team to cancel games scheduled for this coming Saturday and Monday.

Blown leads

Drexel: 59-52 win over Yale. Had a 96.7% win expectancy with a 31-12 lead after 14 minutes, which turned into a three-point deficit by the mid-fourth quarter. Seven-straight points, as part of a 13-3 run to close, reaffirmed the Dragon victory.

Princeton: 79-77 overtime win over Buffalo. Had a 97.3% win expectancy with a 17-point lead midway through the second quarter, before getting outscored 21-3 in the last six minutes of the period; trailed by eight in the late third and four in the late fourth before coming back to a one-point lead with three seconds remaining and a trip to the free-throw line, where combo guard Kaitlyn Chen went one-for-two before wing Abby Meyers committed a shooting foul as time expired to allow the Bulls to force overtime. Shot 44.6% from the field, 40.7% from three, and 75.0% from the line with a three-point attempt rate just shy of 50%; assisted on 19 of its 25 buckets. The teams combined for 40 turnovers.

Combo guard Julia Cunningham had 21 points on 7-for-17 from the field and 4-for-10 from three, eight rebounds (three offensive) and four assists against four turnovers while fouling out in 40 minutes; wing Grace Stone notched 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting (1-4 3pt.), seven rebounds, and five assists against six turnovers without hitting the bench. The Bulls were led by point guard Dyaisha Fair’s 31 points on 11-for-30 form the field, 5-for-12 from three, and 4-for-8 from the line, seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals against three turnovers without sitting.

*Receiving Votes

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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