January 24, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Jan. 24, 2022: UNBE-LEE-VABLE

Baylor lives by the rule of three

It’s Monday, I’m sorry. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 76 of college basketball is here, following a rewriting of the record books by Ayoka Lee. The Kansas State center set a new Division I-high with 61 points on 81.4% true-shooting in 35 minutes! Dedicated readers of this newsletter(?) know I warned you she could go for 50 in this one — between her dominance against center-needy teams and Oklahoma rolling with a center rotation that consists mainly of a 6’2 combo forward and a 5’11 off-ball guard, the conditions were ripe.

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But I was off by 11 points! This is a space for accountability and fairness, and I strive to do better by you in the future.

W Roundup

Free agency

Courtney Williams: Will sign with Connecticut, per Khristina Williams of Girls Talk Sports TV, where Williams spent most of her first four years in the league. The combo guard is an ideal offensive fit for a team that has struggled with on-ball creation from its guards since her departure after 2019; defensively, she leaves much to be desired, but being surrounded by All-Defense-level talent is sure to alleviate that issue once again. Given the Sun’s cap sheet, her contract will have to approach the veteran minimum, barring a trade.

Note: TDB is compiled before the weekly AP Poll. All rankings herein are as of Jan. 16.

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Monday, Jan. 24



Good games


Also watchable


Sickos games


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

Purdue @ #8 Michigan, 6 p.m., BTN

Sunday, Jan. 23 recap

#3 Louisville: 72-60 win over Wake Forest. Won the second quarter 23-4; lost the fourth 23-9, but was mostly playing reserves for the period. Shot 51.1% from the field and 8-for-15 from three while holding Wake to 29.6% shooting; assisted on 19 of 26 buckets; the teams each committed 17 turnovers; the Cardinals had 22 fouls. Combo guard Hailey Van Lith led with 16 points on 6-for-13 from the field and 3-for-6 from three — her first game with three threes on the season — four rebounds, and six assists against a lone turnover; big wing Emily Engstler had 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting (2-2 3pt.), eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals against three fouls in 23 minutes; backup center Liz Dixon notched 12 points on 5-for-5 FG and five rebounds against three fouls in 16 minutes. The Deacons were led by combo guard Jewel Spear’s 22 points on 7-for-20 form the field and 5-for-11 from three.

#4 N.C. State, RV* Virginia Tech: The Wolfpack beat the Hokies 51-45, sweeping the season series. Virginia Tech led by six in the early second quarter, but N.C. State responded with a 20-5 run over the next 15 minutes before the Hokies again made it a game late.The teams combined to shoot 31.0% from the field and 28.9% from three; the Wolfpack were a +11 in rebounding margin. Wing Jakia Brown-Turner led N.C. State with 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting (2-4 3pt.), seven rebounds, and three steals against two turnovers; center Elissa Cunane struggled mightily, finishing with seven points on just 2-for-16 from the field (0-3 3pt.), 10 rebounds (five offensive), and three blocks against two turnovers and three fouls in 27 minutes. Virginia Tech was led by point guard Georgia Moore’s 13 points on 5-for-12 FG (3-5 3pt.), six rebounds, and four assists against three turnovers; center Elizabeth Kitley struggled too, to the tune of eight points on 3-for-13 from the field, eight rebounds, two assists, and three blocks against two turnovers and four fouls in 37 minutes.

#5 Tennessee, #13 Georgia: The Vols beat the Bulldogs 63-55, yet again coming alive in the second half. Georgia cut the lead to three with under five minutes to go, but Tennessee finished on a 6-1 run. The teams shot a combined 35.7% from the field and 27.3% from three; the Bulldogs assisted on 17 of their 22 buckets; the teams combined for 22 steals, part of 39 collective turnovers. Point wing Jordan Horston led the Vols with a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double on 8-for-19 shooting (1-1 3pt.) and 11 rebounds (four offensive), plus four assists, three steals, and five blocks against two turnovers; wing Rae Burrell re-entered the starting lineup with off-ball guard Tess Darby in COVID protocols, finishing with 13 points on 5-for-12 from the field (0-1 3pt.), five rebounds, and three turnovers; center Tamari Key was limited to 21 minutes on four fouls, tallying eight points on 2-for-3 FG, four rebounds, and five blocks. Georgia was led by center Jenna Staiti’s 16 points on 7-for-16 shooting (1-3 3pt.), six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks against two turnovers; point guard Que Morrison had 14 points on 5-for-17 from the field (1-5 3pt.), six rebounds, three assists, and two steals against four turnovers; top backup big Jillian Hollingshead was out with the normal kind of illness.

#7 Iowa State, #15 Baylor: The Bears beat the Cyclones 87-61, winning the middle half 42-30, including a 19-0 run. Baylor shot 47.8% from the field and 47.1% from three while holding Iowa State to 32.7% and 25.9%, respectively; the Bears were a +12 in rebounding; they assisted on 26 of their 32 buckets; the Cyclones committed 17 turnovers; the teams each had 18 fouls. Point guard Jordan Lewis led Baylor with 24 points on 9-for-11 form the field and 6-for-7 from three and six assists; combo guard Sarah Andrews had 18 points on 7-for-13 shooting (4-5 3pt.) and five assists against two turnovers; center Queen Egbo notched a double-double with 14 points on 4-for-13 FG (6-7 FT) and a career-high 21 rebounds (career-high-tying nine offensive), plus three assists, three steals, and three blocks against three turnovers and three fouls in 30 minutes — talk about the “rule of threes,” eh?; big NaLyssa Smith tallied 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting (0-1 3pt.), six rebounds, and three blocks against three fouls in 31 minutes. Wing Ashley Joens returned to Iowa State’s rotation, finishing with a team-high 19 points on 4-for-14 from the field, 3-for-8 from three, and 8-for-8 from the line, seven rebounds, and three assists against three turnovers; point guard Emily Ryan and combo guard Lexi Donarski combined for 13 points on 3-for-19 from the field and 1-for-11 from three, with Donarski adding three assists and Ryan four turnovers.

#9 UConn: 75-57 win over St. John’s. Out-rebounded the Red Storm by 23, including just four offensive boards allowed; the teams each committed 16 turnovers. Off-ball guard Caroline Ducharme led with a career-high 28 points on 13-for-22 from the field and 2-for-8 from three, five rebounds, and three assists against two turnovers — after taking just 17 shots in her first six games, the composite No. 10 freshman in the country^ has had double-digit attempts in seven of her last eight; big Dorka Juhász had 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting (2-5 3pt.) and nine rebounds (six offensive)l wing Evina Westbrook tallied 11 points on 3-for-11 FG (2-5 3pt.), four rebounds, and three assists; center Olivia Nelson-Ododa notched what I’m dubbing an “unholy double-double,” with just three points on 1-for-4 from the field but 18 rebounds (seven offensive) and 10 assists — career-highs in both — plus two blocks against two turnovers.

#10 Arizona, #22 Colorado: The Wildcats beat the Buffaloes 75-56. Arizona trailed by as many as 12 in the mid-second quarter, before finishing a +31 across the final 26 minutes. The Wildcats shot 53.6% from the field while holding Colorado to 34.0%; Arizona notched 10 steals; the teams combined for 33 fouls. Wildcat point guard Shaina Pellington led with an Arizona-career-high 28 points in 27 minutes on 10-for-13 from the field (2-2 3pt.) and 6-for-8 from the line, four rebounds, two assists, and three steals against three turnovers; big Cate Reese had 23 points on 10-for-17 FG (0-3 3pt.) and nine rebounds. The Buffs were led by combo forward Mya Hollingshed’s 11-point, 10-rebound double-double on 4-for-16 from the field and 2-for-8 from three with three assists and two blocks against four fouls in 31 minutes.

#11 LSU: 73-72 loss to Florida. Shot just 1-for-9 from three; the Gators notched 15 steals, part of 19 Tiger turnovers; LSU drew 19 fouls. Point guard Khayla Pointer led LSU with a career-high 35 points on 11-for-27 from the field, 1-for-6 from three, and 12-for-15 from the line and three steals against four turnovers while playing the entire game; combo guard Alexis Morris and off-ball guard Jailin Cherry combined for 10 points on 5-for-19 shooting, 13 rebounds, and eight turnovers. Florida was led by point guard Kiara Smith’s 23 points on 6-for-18 from the field (1-5 3pt.) and 10-for-13 from the line, three rebounds, eight assists, and three steals against five turnovers without sitting.

#12 Maryland: 87-59 win over Northwestern. Won the second quarter 21-9. Shot 48.4% from the field and 58.1% from three while allowing just 25.05% from deep; assisted on 24 of its 30 buckets; forced 16 turnovers; committed 16 fouls. Combo guard Katie Benzan led with 17 points on 5-for-7 from three, five rebounds, and five assists without a turnover; point guard Ashley Owusu and wing Diamond Miller each had 15 points on 5-for-10 from the field, with Owusu going 3-for-3 from three with six assists and Miller 3-for-5 from three with four rebounds, four assists, and five turnovers; backup combo guard Shyanne Sellers notched 14 points on 4-for-8 from three (1-1 from two) and three assists.

#14 Oklahoma, RV Kansas State: The Wildcats beat the Sooners 94-65. Kansas State shot 50.5% from the field and 25-for-27 from three while holding Oklahoma to 37.7% overall; the Wildcats were a +18 in rebounding, allowing just five offensive boards; they assisted on 28 of their 33 buckets; they notched 12 steals, part of 17 Sooner turnovers; Oklahoma committed 19 fouls. Kansas State was led by center Ayoka Lee’s Division-I-record-setting 61 points on 23-for-30 from the field and 15-for-17 from the line, 12 rebounds (four offensive), and three blocks without a turnover in 35 minutes; point guard Serena Sundell had 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting (1-3 3pt.), five rebounds, and eight assists without a turnover; off-ball guard Jaelyn Glenn — the composite No. 71 freshman in the country — notched eight points on 3-for-6 FG (2-3 3pt.), 11 rebounds, seven assists, and five steals — career-highs in both rebounds and steals. Combo guard Taylor Robertson led the Sooners with 19 points on 5-for-13 from the field and 3-for-7 from three (6-6 FT), four rebounds, and four assists; wing Madi Williams had 11 points on 4-for-9 shooting (1-3 3pt.) against seven turnovers and three fouls in 27 minutes; Liz Scott fouled out in nine minutes.

#18 Georgia Tech, #20 North Carolina: The Yellow Jackets beat the Tar Heels, 55-38. Georgia Tech won the first quarter 23-9. The Yellow Jackets shot only 38.9% overall, but they were still 9.7% better from the field and 12.2% better from three than North Carolina. Combo forward Digna Straumane led with 14 points on 4-for-8 from three (1-4 from two) and 11 rebounds for a double-double, plus two blocks; point guard Lotta-Maj Lahtinen had 12 points 5-for-17 shooting (1-3 3pt.), four rebounds, six assists, and four steals against four turnovers; big Lorela Cubaj left with a lower leg injury in the final minutes, finishing with nine points on 4-for-9 FG, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three blocks — but according to herself, she’s fine. Wing Kennedy Todd-Williams led the Heels with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting (2-3 3pt.), three rebounds, and two steals; every other North Carolina player combined for 28 points on 12-for-48 from the field, 1-for-11 from three, and 1-for-11 from the line with twice as many turnovers as assists.

#19 Notre Dame: 77-63 win over Pitt. Went 19-for-20 from the line while holding the Panthers to 34.7% from the field and 25.9% from three; committed 17 turnovers; drew 20 fouls. Center Maya Dodson led with a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double on 9-for-18 FG with four blocks against two turnovers; point guard Olivia Miles had 14 points on 5-for-14 shooting (0-3 3pt.), five rebounds, six assists, and two steals against four turnovers; bench wing Sonia Citron notched 12 points on 4-for-8 from the field (1-1 3pt.), seven rebounds, and three steals against three turnovers; backup combo forward Sam Brunelle had four fouls in 15 minutes, finishing with 10 points on 4-for-7 FG (1-3 3pt.) and three turnovers.

#21 Duke: 57-48 win over Virginia. The Blue Devils led by as many as 18 in the third quarter, but played around with their food and allowed the Cavaliers to draw within five with a couple minutes remaining. Duke shot 12.8% better than Virginia, but the teams combined for 19.4% from three while the Blue Devils went 10-for-18 at the line; committed 19 turnovers; forced 21 fouls. Point guard Shayeann Day-Wilson led Duke with 13 points on 6-for-12 shooting (0-2 3pt.), three assists, and three steals against three turnovers; point guard Vanessa de Jesus had 11 points on 2-for-5 from the field (0-3 3pt.) and 7-for-10 from the line, four rebounds, four assists, and two steals; combo guard Miela Goodchild was out in COVID protocols.

#23 Kentucky: 63-54 loss to Ole Miss. Shot 0-for-6 from three; committed 18 turnovers; the teams combined for 38 fouls. Wing Rhyne Howard was the team’s only player in double-figures. Finishing with 24 points on 9-for-23 shooting (0-3 3pt., 6-7 FT and 10 rebounds for a double-double, plus three blocks against three turnovers; second-leading-scorer big Dre’una Edwards’ one-game internal suspension was apparently not quite one-game-long, though head coach Kyra Elzy declined to comment. Ole Miss was led by center Shakira Austin’s 24 points on 10-for-18 FG, eight rebounds, two assists, and two blocks despite fouling out in 26 minutes.

#25 Iowa: 82-56 win over Illinois. Led 41-19 at the half, with the Illini taking 9:52 to score their second bucket. Shot 47.9% while allowing 32.8% from the field; forced 16 turnovers and drew 19 fouls. Center Monika Czinano led with 21 points on 9-for-15 FG and six rebounds against two turnovers; point guard Caitlin Clark had 18 points on 8-for-17 from the field (2-5 3pt.), eight rebounds, seven assists, and two steals against six turnovers; backup off-ball guard Tomi Taiwo notched 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting (2-3 3pt.) in 17 minutes; no starter played more than 30 minutes.

RV Ohio State: 80-71 win over Rutgers. Shot 40.7% from three; forced 19 turnovers; the teams combined for 36 fouls. Combo guard Jacy Sheldon led with 32 points on 10-for-23 from the field, 4-for-9 from three, and 8-for-9 from the line, four rebounds, three assists, and four steals against three turnovers and four fouls without sitting; wing Taylor Mikesell had 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting (3-8 3pt.) while playing the whole game.

RV DePaul: 94-74 win over Xavier. Notched 11 steals, part of 22 forced turnovers; the teams combined for 33 fouls. Big Aneesah Morrow led with 32 points on 13-for-18 FG (0-1 3pt., 6-7 FT) and 15 rebounds (10 offensive) for a double-double, plus two assists and two steals against two turnovers in 31 minutes; off-ball guard Sonya Morris had 27 points on 13-for-27 from the field and 1-for-8 from three, six rebounds, and four assists against three turnovers.

Blown Leads

Fordham: 52-48 loss to Dayton, the Rams falling in the first leg of the three-way round-robin for first place in the A-10 (the other team being Rhode Island). Fordham led by as much as 10 and had a 96.5% win expectancy with a seven-point lead with three-and-a-half minutes to go, then went scoreless; had possession with 20 seconds left while tied, but hit the side of the backboard and allowed a Flyer run-out — Dayton actually missed the transition layup, but the Rams accidentally fouled after an offensive board.


  • #2 Stanford @ Cal
  • RV Oregon @ Wazzu
  • Green Bay @ Milwaukee
  • Loyola Chicago vs. Indiana State
*Receiving Votes
^Composite 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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