December 21, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Dec. 21, 2021: A Clouden on the horizon

Another #1 vs. #2 tonight

It’s Tuesday, welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 44 of college basketball is here with our second No. 1-vs.-No. 2 matchup of the season. But first, we’ve got a significant development in the Liberty’s coaching search and Michigan State‘s Nia Clouden with the 12th-highest scoring output of the Her Hoop Stats era.

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W Roundup

New York: Sparks assistant Latricia Trammell is a finalist for the Liberty head coaching gig, having finished the last round of in-person interviews with the team, per Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV.

Washington: Our Mystics reporter, Jenn Hatfield, looked at how yesterday’s lottery win affects their bigger offseason plans.

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Tuesday, Dec. 21

Must-watch

#2 Stanford @ #1 South Carolina, 7 p.m., ESPN2

Good games

#18 South Florida vs. Ole Miss, 1:15 p.m., FloHoops (West Palm Beach Invitational)

Utah @ RV* Oklahoma, 7 p.m., Bally Sports

Also watchable

West Virginia vs. Michigan State, 11 a.m., FloHoops (West Palm Beach Invitational)

IUPUI @ #15 Iowa, 3 p.m., BTN+

Sickos games

None

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

Oregon @ Northwestern, 9 p.m., BTN

See Must-watch and Good games

Monday, Dec. 20 recap

#7 Tennessee: 112-58 win over East Tennessee State. Shot 53.0% from the field while missing 10 free-throws; had 61 rebounds, including a 66.7% offensive rebounding rate. Six players set season-highs in points, six set season-highs in buckets, four in rebounds, and five in assists; the Vols’ starting backcourt, combo guard Jordan Walker and off-ball guard Tess Darby, were the team’s only healthy players not to score at least six points. Combo forward Sarah Puckett had 19 points in 18 bench minutes on 7-for-9 from the field (3-4 3pt.), three rebounds, and three assists; center Tamari Key notched 16 point on 7-for-10 shooting, seven rebounds (six offensive), and three blocks without a turnover in 17 minutes; off-ball guard Kaiya Wynn — consensus^ No. 70 freshman in the country — had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double on 5-for-12 FG (1-3 3pt., 1-6 FT) with six offensive rebounds, six assists, two steals, and no turnovers off the bench; combo forward Alexus Dye tallied 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting and 11 rebounds (four offensive) for a double-double with two assists and two blocks against two turnovers; backup center Karoline Striplin — the consensus^ No. 49 freshman in the country — notched 10 points on 1-for-4 from the field and 8-for-8 from the line, four rebounds, and three fouls.



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#18 South Florida: 77-55 win over West Virginia. Shot 58.3% from the field and 8-for-13 from three; held the Mountaineers to 38.0% from the field and 31.3% from three; committed 18 turnovers and 21 fouls. Combo guard Elena Tsineke scored a team-high 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting with three assists against a lone turnover; center Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu had a 14-point, 12-rebound double-double on 5-for-8 FG with four offensive boards against four fouls in 19 minutes; combo forward Bethy Mununga added a double-double of her own with 10 points (4-7 FG, 0-2 3pt.), 11 rebounds, a career-high six assists, and two steals with just one turnover; combo guard Maria Alvarez tallied 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting (4-4 3pt.), two assists, and four turnovers — all season-highs — off the bench.

#21 LSU: 70-56 win over Clemson. Shot just 16.7% from three and 57.6% from the line, but held the Tigers to 38.9% from the field, with only four assists on 21 buckets; notched 12 steals, forcing 21 turnovers and 29 fouls. Point guard Khayla Pointer had 2- points on 6-for-15 from the field (0-4 3pt.) and 8-for-15 from the line, six rebounds, and eight assists against six turnovers; center Faustine Aifuwa fouled out in 27 minutes, but finished with a double-double with 13 points on 4-for-8 FG (5-10 FT) and 11 rebounds (three offensive), plus two blocks; combo guard Alexis Morris notched 12 points on 4-for-11 FG (1-5 3pt.), six rebounds, five assists, and three steals against three fouls.

#23 Texas A&M: 77-51 win over UTSA, without its leading scorers, wing Kayla Wells and point guard Jordan Nixon, despite no reported injuries or disciplinary actions. Won the opening and closing quarters by a combined 41-15. Center Aaliyah Patty had 20 points on 9-for-19 shooting (2-5 3pt.), 18 rebounds (five offensive), and five blocks with a lone turnover — just the 16th 20/19 game with five blocks and one or fewer turnovers in the Her Hoop Stats era (since 2009); combo guard Destiny Pitts scored 14 points on 6-for-10 from the field (2-4 3pt.) with two assists and two blocks against two turnovers; off-ball guard Qadashah Hoppie notched 13 points on 5-for-11 FG (0-2 3pt.), three rebounds, and one turnover.

RV Colorado: 80-56 win over San Francisco, the same margin over the Dons as Drake and smaller than Cal’s. Make of that what you will. Combo forward Mya Hollingshead scored a game-high 23 points on 8-for-11 from the field (4-5 3pt.) with nine rebounds (three offensive), two assists, two turnovers, and three fouls in 23 minutes; backup center Quay Miller notched 19 points off the bench on 8-for-11 shooting (1-3 3pt.), eight rebounds (three offensive), three assists, and three steals against a lone turnover.

RV FGCU: 85-84 double-overtime win over Michigan State. Just 11 total points were scored in the final five-plus minutes of regulation. The teams shot a combined 25.5% from the three and the Eagles missed 11 free-throws. Were out-rebounded by 22; committed 18 turnovers and 24 fouls, but forced 27 and 22, respectively. Big wing Kierstan Bell had 28 points on 12-for-28 from the field and 3-for-13 from three, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals against four turnovers and four fouls; point guard Tishara Morehouse notched 20 points on 8-for-17 shooting (2-8 3pt.), seven rebounds, and two assists against three turnovers and fouls each; off-ball guard Kendall Spray scored 12 points on 4-for-12 from three (0-1 from two) with three rebounds, three assists, and three turnovers off the bench; LSU transfer combo guard Karli Seay tallied 13 bench points on 5-for-7 FG (2-3 3pt., 1-8 FT) against four fouls in 24 minutes. Spartan point guard Nia Clouden scored a program-record 50 points on 17-for-28 from the field (1-4 3pt.) and 15-for-17 from the line with six rebounds, five turnovers, and four fouls in 46 minutes.

Marshall: 79-58 win over Oakland. Combo guard Savannah Wheeler set a Her-Hoop-Stats-era program record with 40 points on 14-for-18 from the field (2-4 3pt.) and 10-for-12 from the line — that’s 85.9% true-shooting — with four rebounds, five assists, and four steals against a turnover in 35 minutes. That’s the first 40/4/5/4 game with just one turnover in the Her Hoop Stats era.

South Dakota State: 85-78 win over Kansas City to open conference play. Reigning Summit League Player of the Year big wing Myah Selland returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Nov. 27, finishing with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting (1-2 3pt., 4-5 FT), six rebounds, three turnovers and three fouls in 26 minutes.

Montana: 103-80 win over Utah Valley. Shot 58.5% from the field, 63.6% from three, and 86.7% from the line against what I promise you is a DI-caliber team.

South Carolina State: 85-47 loss to Mississippi State. Lost the third quarter 23-3. Are a NCAA-worst 0-13 on the season.

Illinois State: 77-66 win over Saint Louis. It’s without a doubt a scorekeeping error, but how funny would it be if this were accurate?

Talk about “feast or famine” (Source: ESPN)

FIU: Did not play its scheduled game against Binghamton “due to Covid-19, and out of an abundance of caution,” as announced Sunday. With the rest of the FIU Holiday Hoops Showdown proceeding as scheduled, the outbreak appears to be within the Panthers’ program.

Presbyterian: Did not play its scheduled game against DIII Agnes Scott “due to COVID-19 concerns within the Blue Hose program” — i.e. positive case(s) or contact tracing — as announced yesterday morning.

Tulane: Did not play its scheduled game against Texas Southern “due to multiple positive cases of COVID-19 within the program,” as announced last Tuesday. The team has temporarily shut down all operations.

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

Alabama: Did not play its scheduled game against Winthrop “due to COVID-19 protocol [sic] within the Crimson Tide program” — i.e. positive case(s) — as announced Saturday.

Akron: Did not play its scheduled game against UT-Martin “due to COVID-19 protocols within the Zips’ program” — i.e. positive case(s) — as announced Sunday.

Robert Morris: Did not play its scheduled game against DIII Waynesburg “due to positive tests among [Colonial] Tier 1 personnel,” as announced Wednesday.

New Orleans: Did not play its scheduled game against Alcorn State “as the team continues to follow health and safety protocols,” with the team deciding “to cancel the[se] last four women’s basketball games in total.” If you can figure out the exact impetus of that decision, let me know, because I can’t.

Blown leads

Jackson State: 99-82 loss to Troy. Had a 96.5% win expectancy with a 26-point lead in the early second quarter, before allowing a 25-10 Trojan run through the early third quarter, and later in the second half a 30-10 Troy run. Trojan center Felmas Koranga had 22 points on 9-for-19 shooting, 17 rebounds, three assists, seven steals, and three blocks against three turnovers — the first 22/17/3/7/3 game in the Her Hoop Stat era.

*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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