December 2, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Dec. 2, 2021: Hoosiers face Wolfpack

A night of shocking results

It’s Thursday — the workweek’s almost past! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the Hoosiers in your daily Watch List and the Yesterday’s Recap! Day 24 of college basketball is here, and we’re right in the thick of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which so far has brought us nothing but chaos!

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(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Thursday, Dec. 2


#2 N.C. State @ #6 Indiana, 7 p.m., ESPN2 (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

#12 Michigan @ #10 Louisville, 7 p.m., ESPN (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

#9 Iowa @ RV* Duke, 9 p.m., ESPN (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

Good games

#24 Notre Dame @ Michigan State, 6 p.m., Big Ten Network (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

RV Arkansas @ UCF, 6 p.m., ESPN+

Stony Brook @ Fordham, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Also watchable

Delaware @ Columbia, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Iowa State @ LSU, 9 p.m., ESPN2

Sickos games

Penn State @ Boston College, 6 p.m., ACC Network (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

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

Miami @ #8 Maryland, 8 p.m., Big Ten Network (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

Northwestern @ Clemson, 8 p.m., ACC Network (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)

Wednesday, Dec. 1 recap

#2 UConn: Backup combo guard Azzi Fudd, the unanimous^ No. 1 freshman in the country, will miss at least two weeks with what head coach Geno Auriemma called “a beginning of a stress reaction” in her foot. That means Fudd will miss games against Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, RV UCLA, and possibly Louisville; the Huskies’ thin bench will be stressed even further with this news — no pun intended — a problem for a team who only has one other natural point guard on the team (Paige Bueckers). Christyn Williams, a combo guard, is likely to get the bulk of reps at lead playmaker when Bueckers briefly sits each night.

#11 Tennessee: 76-48 win over Tennessee Tech. The Vols led by just one after the first quarter, and then won by a lot, including allowing just five third-quarter points. Troy transfer combo forward Alexus Dye had a season-high 20 points on 10-15 shooting with nine rebounds (five offensive); center Tamari Key had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double on 5-8 FG with five offensive rebounds, three assists and four blocks; off-ball guard Tess Darby scored 12 points on 4-of-6 from three with two assists, blocks and turnovers; big wing Jordan Horston had nine points on 4-11 shooting, five rebounds, six assists and five turnovers.

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#15 Texas: 78-64 win over Jackson State. Were tied as late as the mid-second quarter, then the Longhorns slowly pulled away. Center Lauren Ebo scored a season-high 14 points on 6-7 from the field with seven rebounds, two steals, five blocks, and no turnovers; off-ball guard Aliyah Matharu had 13 bench points on 5-6 FG (3-4 3pt.) and four fouls in 17 minutes; wing Joanne Allen-Taylor notched 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting (1-3 3pt., 4-6 FT), four rebounds, two assists, and three turnovers; point guard Rori Harmon had nine points on 2-9 FG (1-3 3pt., 4-6 FT), four rebounds, six assists, and two turnovers while fouling out.

#16 Kentucky, RV West Virginia: The Wildcats beat the Mountaineers 83-60. Another game tied in the mid-second, with the victor simply gradually pulling away thereafter. Kentucky never seemed in danger of losing and finished having shot 50.9% from the field and 57.9% from three while assisting on 21 of its 29 buckets, despite 19 turnovers. Wing Rhyne Howard scored a game-high 27 points on 7-14 from the field and 5-7 from three and 8-10 from the line with seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals against three turnovers; big Dre’una Edwards had a 19-point, 10-rebound double-double on 8-15 shooting and a career-high 3-of-4 from three with two assists, six blocks, and four turnovers. West Virginia was led by point guard KK Deans’ 20 points on 8-13 FG (2-3 3pt.) against three turnovers while fouling out.

#17 Texas A&M: 65-50 win over Little Rock. The Aggies led by 21 at halftime but didn’t make a second-half field goal until 2:22 in the third quarter, a 13-4 Trojan run to make the final line respectable on their side. Texas A&M wing Kayla Wells had a team-high 15 points on 5-9 shooting (1-2 3pt.) and three assists; combo guard Destiny Pitts matched those 15 points in 24 bench minutes off 5-for-6 from three with four rebounds; Ohio State transfer center Aaliyah Patty had a double-double with 11 points on 5-10 FG (1-2 3pt.) and 10 rebounds — her first time in double digits in either category this year — with two assists against three turnovers; point guard Jordan Nixon notched seven points on 2-8 from the field and 1-6 from three, five rebounds, and four assists.

The Daily Briefing Texas A&M Wells/Nixon/Pitts Watch: combined share of Aggies’ scoring — 58.4%; assists — 55.8%; turnovers — 42.3%; steals — 30.2%; combined 49.1% FG%, 48.2% 3P%, 1.22 assist-to-turnover ratio.

#18 Oregon: 64-57 loss to UC Davis. The Ducks did not lead for the final 18.5 minutes of the game. I repeat: Against a team that lost to Saint Mary’s and to San Francisco by 27 points, Oregon did not hold a lead for the final 18.5 minutes. The Aggies shot just 38.5% from the field, only marginally better than the Ducks, but shot 12.1 percentage points better from three on similar volume and converted an extra six-for-six at the line compared to Oregon; the teams were even in rebounding, and the Ducks were +4 in turnover margin. Center Sedona Prince was the lone Duck to shoot better than 50% from the field, but she took just five attempts; between Prince starting at center, combo guard Maddie Scherr running point, and would-be bench point guard Ahlise Hurst having to play a high-volume catch-and-shoot role, the current rotation is entirely out of sorts. No UC Davis players shot better than 50%, and the three Aggies who had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio combined to shoot just 31% from the field.

Head coach Kelly Graves told media on Tuesday that there’s no specific timetable for the return of point guard Te-Hina Paopao and Endyia Rogers and big Nyara Sabally, but all three should hopefully be back by Christmas. That should give Oregon’s demonstrably three best players a two-week runway into the Ducks’ next high-profile game, at Stanford on Jan. 7. But losing to UC Davis along the way isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in the rest of the rotation.

#18 Ohio State: 97-91 loss to Syracuse. I tried to find the last time a team regarded as generally good as Ohio State was upset in such a high-scoring affair by a team rated as low as Syracuse. But this has not happened in at least 13 years (per Her Hoop Stats), that two teams engaged in such a shootout and a significant consensus underdog won. The Orange played only six (6!) players, including four above 35 minutes! The Buckeyes shot well — 47.1% overall, 32.3% from three — but were still out-shot by Syracuse by 4.5 percentage points from the field and 6.8 points from deep, and they missed 11 free throws. Ohio State raced out to a 15-3 lead in the first six-plus minutes and fell behind for good on a 10-2 Orange run near the end of the third quarter; the final period saw a combined 65 points.

Syracuse combo guard Teisha Hyman scored a career-high 30 points on 12-18 from the field and 4-6 from three with six assists; point guard Chrislyn Carr notched a season-high 23 points on 5-13 shooting (1-6 3pt., 13-14 FT), four rebounds, and three turnovers; off-ball guard Naje Murray had a season-high 21 points on 8-13 FG (3-6 3pt.), seven rebounds, and five assists and four turnovers; wing Christianna Carr finished with nine points on 3-13 shooting (1-5 3pt.) and seven rebounds while fouling out. Ohio State was led by combo guard Jacy Sheldon’s 23 points on 7-15 FG (2-8 3pt., 7-8 FT), three assists, and three steals; wing Taylor Mikesell scored a season-high 21 points on 8-20 from the field and 5-13 from three with five rebounds; big Rebeka Mikulášiková had 16 points on 6-13 shooting (1-2 3pt.) and seven rebounds (four offensive).

#22 FGCU: 58-55 loss to Princeton. The game was neck-and-neck the whole way, and the Eagles inbounded down two with 20 seconds on the clock, but big wing Kierstan Bell never touched the ball as Tyra Cox couldn’t make anything happen and turned it over. Both teams shot under 40% for the game. FGCU had 16 assists on 20 buckets.

Tiger wing Abby Meyers had a team-high 18 points on 7-16 from the field, seven rebounds, and two steals; wing Grace Stone had 17 points on 5-10 shooting (2-2 3pt.), five rebounds, and three steals against four fouls; big Ellie Mitchell notched eight points on 4-10 FG, nine rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Eagles big wing Kierstan Bell was held to 19 points on 8-21 shooting (0-9 3pt.), 12 rebounds, three blocks, and three turnovers; point guard Tishara Morehouse had 13 points on 5-10 from the field (3-5 3pt.), seven assists, and three turnovers.

#23 Oregon State: 76-72 win over Pacific. Had a 6.5% win expectancy with a five-point deficit, 2:42 remaining, and missed a shot. Finished on a 11-2 run to beat Pacific by four, handing the Tigers — a team that has lost to UC Riverside, San Jose State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, and Rice — their closest loss of the season. Yikes! The Beavers out-shot the Tigers, but sent them to the line an extra seven times, while committing 10 more fouls than their counterparts.

Point guard Talia von Oelhoffen led Oregon State with 18 points on 7-15 shooting (2-6 3pt.), five assists, and five turnovers; center Taylor Jones notched 15 points on 7-10 FG and five rebounds against three turnovers. Pacific freshman point guard Anaya James set a career-high with 31 points on 10-22 from the field and 5-7 from three (6-6 FT) with three rebounds and three steals.

RV Virginia Tech: 70-60 win over Wisconsin, a team that lost by 12 to NJIT and by 13 to UW-Milwaukee. The Hokies missed nine free throws, while the Badgers went 17-for-18 at the line. Big wing Azana Baines led Virginia with a career-high 19 points on 8-11 shooting (3-7 FT) and 10 rebounds for a double-double with two blocks; wing Kayana Traylor notched 10 bench points on 4-7 FG (1-2 3pt.), three rebounds, two assists, and no turnovers against four fouls.

RV Georgia Tech, RV Purdue: The Boilermakers beat the Yellow Jackets 53-52. Georgia Tech was also playing without its starting point guard — its best backcourt player by far — so take this one with a grain of salt. Purdue trailed by two with three seconds on the clock, before point guard Jeanae Terry hit a runner over Yellow Jacket big Lorela Cubaj for the game-winner — which Georgia Tech could’ve avoided, had it not missed four free throws in the prior 13 seconds. The teams combined for a revolting 14 free-throw attempts in the final two minutes; they combined for just 37 total field goals.

Boilermaker combo guard Madison Layden scored a team-high 13 points on 4-10 shooting (1-4 3pt.) against four turnovers; Terry had nine points on an identical 4-10 from the field with seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and two blocks against three turnovers. The Yellow Jackets were led by combo forward Digna Strautmane’s game-high 18 points on 7-of-12 from the field and 2-of-5 from three with two assists against three turnovers; big Lorela Cubaj had seven points on 3-8 FG (0-1 3pt.) with 20 rebounds, five assists and two turnovers.

RV North Carolina: 82-76 win over Minnesota, or only three points better than Jacksonville was. Allowed Minnesota’s second-highest scoring output this season. North Carolina took 28 free throws; the Tar Heels played a seven-player rotation, with six finishing in double digits. Big wing Alyssa Ustby led with 19 and on 9-23 shooting (1-3 3pt.) plus 11 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double; big Anya Poole had 12 points on 5-8 FG with 16 rebounds for another double-double, plus three assists and blocks against four fouls.

Mississippi State: 102-55 win over McNeese. Big wing Rickea Jackson scored a career-high 40 points on 18-26 shooting (1-3 3pt.) with nine rebounds, two assists, and two steals; combo guard Anastasia Hayes had 15 points on 6-14 from the field (1-3 3pt.), eight rebounds, and seven assists against four turnovers; point guard Myah Taylor notched six points (3-9 FG, 0-2 3pt.), 10 assists and six steals.

Tulsa: Did not play its scheduled game against Bradley “due to positive COVID-19 cases” and a full pause on team activities, as announced Tuesday.

Iona: Did not play its scheduled game against Seton Hall due to “multiple positive COVID-19 results among its Tier 1 individuals,” and a full pause on team activities, as announced Saturday. The Gaels do not play until next Wednesday, Dec. 8.

Brown: Did not play its scheduled game against New Hampshire “out of caution for COVID-19-related concerns” within its program — which is PR speak for someone(s) of a high enough tier getting contact-traced — as announced Tuesday.

UTEP: Did not play its scheduled game against New Mexico State “due to multiple positive COVID-19 cases and subsequent contact tracing” within the program, as announced Monday.

*Receiving Votes
^Consensus rankings are drawn from an aggregation of ESPN, Blue Star, Prep Girls, ASGR, and Prospects Nation

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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