December 19, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Dec. 19, 2021: Hall of Fame Challenge brings two top-20 matchups

Stanford cruises to its third-straight win over Tennessee

Happy Sunday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 41 of college basketball is here, and with it, the Hall of Fame Challenge, a host of low-key watchable matchups — and a season-high nine games cancelled due to COVID. 

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(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Sunday, Dec. 19


#5 Baylor vs. #13 Michigan, 1 p.m., ESPN (Hall of Fame Challenge)

Good games

#6 Louisville @ #7 UConn, 3:30 p.m., ESPN (Hall of Fame Challenge)

Drake @ RV* Nebraska, 1 p.m., BTN

Also watchable

Wazzu @ Stony Brook, 2 p.m., ESPN+

Virginia Tech @ Florida State, 2 p.m., ACC Network

Jackson State @ Mississippi State, 5 p.m., SEC Network

Gonzaga @ UC Davis, 5 p.m., ESPN+

Sickos games


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

See Must-watch, Good Games, and Also Watchable

Saturday, Dec. 18 recap

#3 Stanford, #7 Tennessee: The Cardinal beat the Vols 74-63. Stanford led by 17 at the half on the back of a 26-13 third quarter; Tennessee had a 20-9 third quarter and still trailed entering the final frame. In another primetime sickos game, the teams combined for 32.6% from the field and 40 fouls with the Vols adding 55.2% from the line, despite a combined 39.0% from the three.

Cardinal point wing Haley Jones had an 18-point, 19-rebound double-double, struggling from the field with 3-for-18 FG (0-3 3pt.) but with a career-high 12-for-12 from the line, plus six assists and two blocks against five turnovers in 39 minutes; backup center Ashten Prechtel started 0-for-8 from the field and 0-for-6 from three with three turnovers through three quarters, but finished with 12 points after a 4-for-4 (3-3 3pt.) fourth quarter, pus six rebounds and two blocks in 15 minutes; combo guard Anna Wilson played 28 minutes off the bench — a season-high and nearly as many as her last four games combined — and tallied four points on 1-for-2 from three, six rebounds, and five assists without a turnover; wing Lexie Hull notched 11 points on 4-for-14 shooting (2-6 3pt.), six rebounds, and three steals against three turnovers and four fouls in 30 minutes; off-ball guard Hannah jump scored 11 points on 3-for-5 from three (1-4 from two), three offensive rebounds, and two assists without a turnover in 39 minutes; center Cameron Brink fouled out in just eight minutes.

Tennessee was led by point wing Jordan Horston’s double-double with 19 points on 5-for-19 from the field (2-4 3pt.) and 7-for-12 from the line and 12 rebounds, plus five assists and four steals against five turnovers; combo forward Alexus Dye had 14 points on 7-for-18 shooting, eight rebounds (three offensive), and three steals against four turnovers; center Tamari Key fouled out in 16 minutes; bench combo forward Sarah Puckett notched 10 points on 3-for-8 FG (2-5 3pt.) and two turnovers.

TDB Cameron Brink Foul Watch: Five fouls in eight minutes today; 5.1 fouls per 40 minutes (14th percentile), 6.1% foul percentage (14th percentile, per Her Hoop Stats) for the season.

#14 Iowa: 69-61 win over UCF. Lost the second quarter 11-3 — yes, I did fact-check that one — but were a +13 in the third; set season-highs in points, 2P%, rebounds, and assists against what had been a top-10 defense by Her Hoop Stats rating; assisted on 19 of its 22 buckets; committed 23 turnovers. Point guard Caitlin Clark had 21 points on 5-for-18 from the field, 3-for-12 from three, and 8-for-11 from the line with 11 rebounds for a double-double, six assists, and four turnovers; center Monika Czinano scored 19 points on 8-for-11 FG with five rebounds against four turnovers; wing McKenna Warnock notched 13 points on 5-for-11 shooting (2-4 3pt.), seven rebounds, and seven assists against three turnovers.

#20 BYU, RV Wazzu: The Cougars beat the… Cougars… hmm. On second thought: BYU beat Wazzu 71-53. Wazzu trailed by as many as 15 points in the mid-second quarter before drawing within one in the early fourth, but then allowed 10 unanswered points. BYU shot nearly 20% better from the field, while Wazzy shot 12.5% better from deep on 14 more three-point attempts; BYU had a +15 rebounding margin. Wazzu combo guard Charlisse Leger-Walker notched a game-high 21 points on 6-for-10 from three (0-3 from two, 3-6 FT), four rebounds (two offensive), four assists, and five turnovers.

#22 LSU: 77-51 win over Bradley. Shot 54.5% from the line and 1-for-14 from three, but grabbed 21 offensive rebounds; notched 14 steals as part of 27 forced turnovers. Combo guard Alexis Morris scored a game-high 17 points on 7-for-12 from the field (1-5 3pt.) with three rebounds, five assists, and two steals; center Faustine Aifuwa had a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double on 7-for-10 FG with nine offensive rebounds and two assists in 18 minutes; Baylor transfer center Hannah Gusters missed her second-straight game, apparently suspended “until [head coach Kim Mulkey] decide[s] when she will come back.”

RV Oregon: 68-56 loss to Kansas State. Trailed wire-to-wire while shooting just 33.3% from the field and 28.0% from three. Wing Maddie Scherr, playing point, led the Ducks with 16 points on 5-for-11 from the field and 4-for-8 from three, three rebounds, six assists, and two steals, and four turnovers; USC transfer point guard Endyia Rogers made her season debut after missing a month with a broken hand, finishing with 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting (2-6 3pt.), five rebounds, and five assists without a turnover in 30 minutes off the bench; big Nyara Sabally made her return from a reaggravated right knee injury and notched six points on 2-for-10 FG (0-2 3pt.) and five rebounds (three offensive) in 18 bench minutes. Center Ayoka Lee led the Wildcats with a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double on 7-for-10 shooting (5-6 FT) with four offensive fouls and four blocks.

This is Oregon’s worst start since 2014-15 and Kansas State’s first 10-2 start since 2016-17.

USC: 77-45 win over Texas Southern. Big wing Rayah Marshall had a double-double with 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting (0-1 3pt.) and 17 rebounds (10 offensive), plus five assists, four steals, and four blocks against two turnovers in 27 minutes off the bench — the first 16/17/5/4/4 game since 2012, and the first with 10 offensive boards in the Her Hoop Stats era (since 2009).

Arizona State: 79-60 win over San Diego. Boise State transfer off-ball guard Jade Loville scored a season-high 34 points on 12-for-15 from the field (4-4 3pt.) and 6-for-8 from the line with five rebounds and a lone turnover in 29 minutes.

Penn State: 68-60 win over Duquesne. Did not lead for good until midway through the fourth quarter. Point guard Makenna Marisa had 33 points on 12-for-27 from the field and 3-for-11 from three (6-7 FT), three rebounds, four assists, and two steals against four turnovers while playing the whole game.

Pacific: 80-79 loss to UNLV. Had just a 7.3% win expectancy trailing 74-68 midway through the fourth, before nabbing an 11-4 run, but did not score across the final 1:54. Off-ball guard Sam Ashby tallied career-highs with 31 points and seven turnovers, on season-highs of 10-for-13 from the field and 7-for-8 from three.

VCU: Did not play its scheduled game against Tennessee State “due to COVID-19 protocols” — i.e. positive COVID case(s) within the program, as announced Friday.

Eastern Michigan: Did not play its scheduled game against IUPUI, as announced Thursday. The Eagles elected not to specify a reason, but the Jaguars noted it was “due to COVID issues within the EMU program,” which reflects poorly upon Eastern Michigan’s communications.

Robert Morris: Did not play its scheduled game against St. Bonaventure “due to positive tests among its Tier 1 personnel,” as announced Wednesday.

Blown leads

Washington: 62-59 win over Eastern Washington. Were 94.3% pregame favorites, per ESPN’s win expectancy model, and scored the first five points of the game through the mid-first quarter, but trailed by 12 at the late-third before reeling off 18 unanswered; the Eagles responded with a 15-6 run, but couldn’t get a stop in the final minute. 

UNC-Greensboro: 56-52 loss to Davidson. Had a 93.8% win expectancy with a 12-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but shot just 2-for-15 from the field and 1-for-5 from three in the final frame.

Charleston Southern: 52-51 loss to Alabama State. Had a 93.9% win expectancy with a six-point lead and under three minutes to go, then committed four turnovers, two fouls — including one that allowed the game-winning point from the line — and missed two-three to close. Held the Jaguars to 27.9% from the field and just 1-for-24 from three, but missed seven free-throws and committed 28 turnovers.

The Buccaneers have now lost 21 games in a row, their last win coming last Jan. 15.

*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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