December 24, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Dec. 24, 2021: We need a break

It’s not you; it’s me. And the NCAA not giving me any games to write about

Happy Friday, and merry Christmas (Eve)! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 46 of college basketball is here (or, technically, is it? I’m not quite sure). Today’s the first of a three-day break from games. Enjoy Christmas Eve, be it ‘round the tree or ‘round some Chinese food and a movie or ‘round the Zoom.

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W Roundup

Dallas: Combo guard Chelsea Dungee was released by the Sydney Uni Flames, after having been released by Turkish club Galatasaray S.K. Originally signed to replace injured combo forward Leaonna Odom, the parting came because “it became apparent very quickly she wasn’t the right fit for [Sydney Uni].” She did not look good in her three games there after having been one of the worst players in the EuroLeague. Did I mention she was drafted fifth overall last April?

Minnesota: Big wing Rennia Davis was signed to the Flames’ suddenly open roster spot. Davis, the No. 9 pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft, ought to see her first professional minutes after missing the 2021 season with a stress fracture in her left foot.

Watch List, Friday, Dec. 24

None

Thursday, Dec. 23 recap

#8 Indiana: 70-37 win over Southern Illinois. Won the first half 38-8. Shot 52.7% from the field while holding the Salukis to 27.3% from the field; drew 21 fouls. Center Mackenzie Holmes and point guard Grace Berger tied for a game-high 18 points, Holmes on 8-for-12 FG (0-1 3pt.) with seven rebounds, Berger on 7-for-12 FG with three assists; combo guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary had 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting (1-2 3pt.), four rebounds and four assists against two turnovers; big wing Chloe Moore-McNeil scored nine points on 3-for-6 FG (0-2 3pt., 3-4 FT), five rebounds, three assists and three turnovers in 25 bench minutes — all career highs except threes and rebounds.

The Hoosiers wrap up their non-conference schedule 7-2, with a big win over Kentucky, a quality win over Ohio State, a quality loss to Stanford and an expected loss to N.C. State.

Drake: 77-63 win over Minnesota. Led by two with eight minutes remaining, then ripped off a 21-4 run. Shot 48.3% from the field, 40.9% from three and 83.3% from the line; assisted on 24 of its 29 buckets; out-rebounded the Gophers by 10; committed 18 turnovers. Star center Maggie Bair left with a nose injury two minutes in and did not return, as noted by the Marshalltown Times-Republican’s Noah Rohlfing. Wing Grace Berg tied a team-high 14 points on 5-for-6 shooting (2-2 3pt.) with three rebounds and three assists against five turnovers and four fouls; point guard Katie Dinnebier tied those 14 points on 4-for-6 shooting from three (1-3 from two), plus four rebounds, four assists and two steals; combo forwards Courtney Becker and Allie Wooldridge and off-ball guard Hannah Fuller combined for 26 points on 9-for-17 FG (Fuller 2-3 3pt.), 15 rebounds, nine assists and four steals off the bench, with Wooldridge adding three blocks and four turnovers. Minnesota wing Sara Scalia scored a game-high 22 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 6-for-12 from three with five rebounds and a career-high-tying four steals against three turnovers.

Drake closes its non-conference schedule 8-3, with quality wins over Creighton and possibly Minnesota (who’d looked lively since an abysmal start) and losses to Iowa State, South Dakota and Nebraska. The Gophers finish their non-conference 7-5, with an embarrassing opening loss to Jacksonville, distressingly close early wins over Arizona State and George Washington and expected losses to UConn and Oklahoma; they’ve since seemed competitive, with quality losses to North Carolina and, arguably, Drake (plus quality in-conference losses to Nebraska and Michigan).

Wisconsin: Did not play its scheduled game against Eastern Illinois “after positive COVID-19 tests were found within the Badger program,” as announced Wednesday.

Loyola (MD): Did not play its scheduled game against St. Francis (Brooklyn) “due to COVID-19 protocols within the Greyhounds’ program” — i.e., positive case(s) — as announced Monday.

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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