January 20, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Jan. 20, 2022: You miss 100% of the (COVID) shots you don’t take

Kiersten Bell's graduating early

Happy Thursday — the workweek’s almost passed! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 72 of college basketball is here, following an Iowa State “upset” loss to Texas, to some indeterminable degree due to star wing Ashley Joens and starting off-ball guard Aubrey Joens missing the game due to the unvaccinated status. After coming in close contact with someone who was carrying COVID, the Joenses were unable to play, due to the greater transmissibility of unvaccinated persons. And now no Cyclones came in close contact with a ranked conference win. If you’ve gotten your shots, congratulations! You did more to help Iowa State last night than a couple players combining for 29.7 points per game.

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In more uplifting news: FGCU big wing Kierstan Bell declared for the WNBA draft yesterday, which went mostly unnoticed until The Ball Out briefed it — because it was a Facebook post. Our ACC reporter, Mitchell Northam was then able to confirm. I’ve got the junior projected as a late-lottery-to-mid-first-round pick in my forthcoming draft board, but this announcement might warrant a demerit.

W Roundup

Free agency

  • Sylvia Fowles: Will return to Minnesota for a 15th season, the center announced on Instagram.

Indiana: I still can’t get over what happened yesterday. So here’s our Fever reporter, Tony East, breaking it down in stark terms.

Las Vegas: Contrary to other prior reporting, new head coach Becky Hammon is not also the Aces general manager, as clarified today by Doug Feinberg of The AP and Chantel Jennings of The Athletic. Feinberg added that Las Vegas is instead managing by committee, with a four-person group including 2021 Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer and team president Nikki Fargas, much like the 2018 New York Mets. Any time you have the opportunity to share a management structure with the Wilpon-era Mets, you just have to take advantage.

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Thursday, Jan. 20


#3 Louisville @ #4 N.C. State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN

Good games

#12 Maryland @ RV* Ohio State, 6 p.m., BTN

Portland @ Gonzaga, 7 p.m., WCC

Ole Miss @ Texas A&M, 8 p.m., SEC Network+

Also watchable

#18 Georgia Tech @ Syracuse, 6 p.m., ACC Network

Sickos games

Clemson @ Wake Forest, 7 p.m., ACC Network Extra

Pac-12 or Big 10 on national television (or national streaming)

#25 Iowa @ Minnesota, 8 p.m., BTN

Wednesday, Jan. 19 recap

#7 Iowa State, #15 Texas: The Longhorns beat the Cyclones 66-48, Iowa State missing 37.4% of its scoring for reasons noted above. Texas won the third quarter 14-4. The Cyclones shot 27.9% overall, only making 12 buckets on the night; the Longhorns committed 22 fouls. Texas big DeYona Gaston scored a team-high 14 points on a nice 6-for-9 FG with five rebounds, three steals, and five blocks against four fouls in 32 minutes; center Aaliyah Moore fouled out in 18 minutes, finishing with eight points on 3-for-4 shooting and four rebounds; point guard Rori Harmon, off-ball guard Aliyah Matharu, and wing Joanne Allen-Taylor combined for 23 points on 10-for-33 from the field and 3-for-19 from three, 12 rebounds and eight fouls, with Harmon adding four steals, Allen-Taylor four assists, and Matharu four offensive boards, five assists, and three turnovers. Iowa State was led by point guard Emily Ryan’s game-high 19 points on 3-for-6 from the field (1-1 3pt.) and 12-for-14 from the line, four rebounds, four assists, and two blocks against seven turnovers; combo guard Lexi Donarski had 14 points on 3-for-10 from three (1-6 from two) and two turnovers.

#14 Oklahoma: 88-76 win over West Virginia, the Sooners’ eighth-percentile scoring defense allowing more than 70 points for the seventh time in their past nine games. Oklahoma shot 49.1% from the field and 45.5% from three while holding the Mountaineers to 14.3% from deep; assisted on 22 of their 28 buckets; the teams combined for 38 turnovers and 43 fouls. Wing Madi Williams led with a game-high 23 points on 8-for-15 from the field (0-3 3pt.) and 7-for-10 from the line, nine rebounds, five assists, and five steals against six turnovers; combo guard Taylor Robertson scored 22 points on 5-for-10 from three (1-2 from two) with four rebounds and two assists against four turnovers;  backup combo forward/five-out center Skylar Vann notched 15 points on 7-for-11 shooting (1-3 3pt.) against four fouls in 17 minutes. West Virginia big Esmery Martinez had a game-high 26 points on 11-for-21 FG (2-6 3pt.) and 10 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double, plus two assists, five steals, and two blocks against five turnovers in 32 minutes.

#15 Baylor: 67-49 win over Oklahoma State. Had 16 assists on 23 buckets; forced 17 turnovers; drew 23 fouls. Center Queen Egbo scored a game-high 19 points on 5-for-9 from the field and 9-for-9 from the line with eight rebounds, two assists, and two blocks; big NaLyssa Smith had a double-double with 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting (0-1 3pt., 4-6 FT) and 13 rebounds (four offensive) against four turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes; point guard Jordan Lewis notched 13 points on 5-for-8 FG (1-1 3pt.), four rebounds, and seven assists against two turnovers and four fouls in 33 minutes.

TDB Baylor 3-Point Shooting Watch: 2-for-11, 18.2% today; 106-for-319, 33.2% for the season (75th percentile, per Her Hoop Stats)

#24 FGCU: 78-41 win over Stetson. Won the fourth quarter 18-5. Teams shot a combined 37.1% overall, with the Hatters not making a three; the Eagles forced 19 turnovers. Combo guard Kerstie Phills scored an FGCU-career-high 23 points on 9-for-13 from the field and 4-for-7 from three with nine rebounds (four offensive) in 28 minutes; big win Kierstan Bell struggled to five points on 1-for-8 from three (1-2 from two), with four rebounds, three assistant and two blocks in 17 minutes.

RV South Florida: 66-63 win over Tulsa. Trailed by as much as 10 in the late-third quarter. Shot 35.8% from the field, 23.5% from three, and 58.3% from the line; had 18 assists on 24 buckets; drew 23 fouls. Combo guard Elena Tsineke scored a season-high 30 points on 10-for-24 from the field, 3-for-6 from three, and 7-for-8 from the line with a pair of offensive boards; center Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu had a 17-point, 11-rebound double-double on 8-for-16 FG with seven offensive boards and three blocks against four fouls in 34 minutes; point guard Elisa Pinzan and off-ball guard Sydni Harvey combined for six points on 1-for-9 shooting (Harvey 1-4 3pt.), 11 rebounds, and 11 assists, with Harvey adding two steals.

Seton Hall: 84-79 win over St. John’s after trailing as late as 0:41 in the fourth quarter. Point guard Lauren Park-Lane scored a season-high 21 points on 10-for-20 from the field, 3-for-7 from three, and 8-for-9 from the line with three rebounds and eight assists against four turnovers without sitting.


  • #6 Indiana vs. Michigan State
  • RV UCF @ SMU

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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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