January 12, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Jan. 12, 2022: Iowa State thrills, Kansas State collapses, Georgia Tech cruises

Another ranked Big 12 matchup in what’s been a resurgent year for the conference

Happy hump day, and welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 63 of college basketball is here, following an absolute thriller of a game in Manhattan, Kan. Iowa State now has quite a resume to open the Big 12 conference slate, which continues today with another ranked affair.

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W Roundup

New York: Extended qualifying offers to Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Paris Kea, per Rachel Galligan. It would be pretty surprising for Kea to actually make the Liberty’s 2022 roster, but our Liberty reporter, Jackie Powell, offered analysis on why Raincock-Ekunwe might be a name to watch.

Phoenix: Analyst and former Vanderbilt and Fever head coach Stephanie White is another finalist for the Mercury head coach job, per Galligan. The coach was fairly successful and well-regarded in her Indiana tenure, and fairly, uh, not in her Commodore days — though there’s more than a couple extenuating circumstances there.

In other Phoenix news, the team extended a qualifying offer to backup combo guard Shey Peddy, per Galligan. Peddy, obviously, ought to make the roster. 

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Wednesday, Jan. 12


#14 Baylor @ #23 Oklahoma, 7 p.m., Bally Sports

Good games

UMass @ VCU, 6 p.m., ESPN+

#24 South Florida @ Tulane, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Also watchable

Kent State @ Ohio, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Sickos games

Navy @ Colgate, 11 a.m., ESPN+

Davidson @ St. Bonaventure, 6 p.m., ESPN+

Tuesday, Jan. 11 recap

#9 Iowa State, #25 Kansas State: The Cyclones beat the Wildcats 73-70. Kansas State had a 98.1% win expectancy with an 11-point lead and six minutes remaining, before allowing Iowa State to close 7-for-8 from the field and 5-for-5 from three while the Wildcats shot 3-for-6 with five turnovers. The teams combined to shoot 46.5% overall, the Cyclones 52.2% from three; Kansas State assisted on 27 of its 31 buckets — most of those being Ayoka Lee post-ups. Iowa State wing Ashley Joens had a team-high 27 points on 9-for-18 from the field and 6-for-9 from three (3-6 FT), eight rebounds, three assists, and two blocks against two turnovers; combo guard Lexi Donarski notched 13 points on 5-for-14 shooting (3-8 3pt.) with three turnovers; off-ball guard Maggie Espenmiller-McGraw scored a season-high 12 points — including the go-ahead three with under five seconds left. The Wildcats were led by center Ayoka Lee’s 38 points — including 24 first-half points, which took literally fewer than a half-dozen dribbles — on 18-for-29 FG — career-highs in both makes and takes — and 11 rebounds for a double-double, plus two assists, two steals, and three blocks against four unintentional fouls in 35 minutes; point guard Serena Sundell had four points in 40 minutes on 2-for-4 shooting, 11 assists, and three blocks against five turnovers while struggling defensively in the paint.

#15 Georgia Tech: 63-52 win over Pitt. Led 57-28 entering the fourth quarter, a period their three best players mostly didn’t play. Shot 42.9% from three — second-highest of the season against a Power 5 opponent; forced 17 turnovers and drew 17 fouls. Point guard Lotta-Maj Lahtinen tied a season-high with 17 points on 6-for-11 from the field and 4-for-8 from three with two assists and two steals against two turnovers and three fouls; combo forward Digna Strautmane scored 16 points on 4-for-6 from three (0-2 from two) with three assists; big Lorela Cubaj had 12 points on 6-for-12 FG (0-1 3pt.), seven rebounds (three offensive), two blocks, and six turnovers.

Blown leads

UCF: 62-59 win over Houston. Peaked at a 98.9% win expectancy with a 15-point lead at the onset of the fourth quarter, then lost the period 31-19, while trailing by three towards the end of the quarter. Yikes. They still won, though! The teams combined for 46 turnovers.


  • Penn @ Temple
  • High Point @ Winthrop
  • N.C. A&T vs. Radford
  • USC Upstate vs. Hampton
  • Gardner-Webb vs. UNC-Asheville

Only 5% of tomorrow’s games are cancelled. Woo!

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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