January 27, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Jan. 27, 2022: Ducharme’s kind of town, Chicago is

Oklahoma bounces back

It’s 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 79 of college basketball is here, following an evening packed with Big 12 scoring… unless you were Kansas State… and a back-and-forth affair between UConn and DePaul with Caroline Ducharme’s heroics. And that’s all a prelude to what should be another great installment in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry!

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W Roundup

Free agency

Elizabeth Williams: Met with the Liberty, Storm, Mystics, and Dream, per ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. All of those teams currently lack a starting center under contract. Make of that what you will.

(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Thursday, Jan. 27

Must-watch

#7 Michigan @ #22 Ohio State, 7 p.m., BTN

Good games

#24 Ole Miss @ #1 South Carolina, 6 p.m., ESPN

#12 LSU @ Arkansas, 8:30 p.m., SEC Network

Also watchable

Northern Iowa @ Illinois State, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Sickos games

RV* North Carolina @ #21 Duke, 7 p.m., ACC Network Extra



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Wednesday, Jan. 26 recap

#8 Arizona: 74-63 win over UCLA. Lost the first quarter 19-8. Point guard Shaina Pellington led with her second-straight 20-plus-point game, scoring 20 on 7-for-14 from the field (0-2 3pt., 6-7 FT) against two turnovers and four fouls in 20 minutes; big Cate Reese notched a double-double with 12 pints on 4-for-14 shooting (1-4 3pt.) and 10 rebounds; wing Sam Thomas had 19 points on 5-for-6 from three (0-2 from two), three rebounds, and four assists without a turnover. Bruin combo guard Charisma Osborne suffered an apparent knee injury and had to be carried off the court — that’s the junior’s fourth significant in-game injury this year, after already suffering foot, ankle, and arm injuries this season; big Brynn Masikewich played her first minute in two full calendar years, and apparently that was enough — she played only that first minute.

#9 Texas, #25 Kansas State: The Longhorns beat the Wildcats 66-48, after winning the first quarter 12-4. Texas shot 48.1% from the field while holding K-State to 34.7% overall and 1-for-6 from three; the teams combined for 22 steals; the Wildcats committed 19 turnovers. Off-ball guard Aliyah Matharu led the Longhorns with 18 points on 6-for-14 from the field and 4-for-9 from three, five rebounds, and three assists against two turnovers; wing Joanne Allen-Taylor had 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting (0-3 3pt.), three rebounds, and two turnovers without sitting; starting center Aaliyah Moore played just eight minutes, for some reason; bench off-ball guard Audrey Warren notched 16 points on 8-for-9 from the field, three rebounds, and three steals against three turnovers and three fouls in 27 minutes. K-State center Ayoka Lee’s 20-point, 11-rebound double-double on 9-for-20 FG with four offensive boards and two blocks; point guard Serena Sundell tallied 13 points on 3-for-8 from the field and 7-for-8 from the line, three rebounds, four assists, four steals, and six turnovers.

For those of you scratching your head over K-State’s drop from the historic Oklahoma win to this loss: the Wildcats’ starting backcourt features three freshmen, none ranked higher than 71st^ as a recruit. Against teams with talent at center, those three are going to be the team’s x-factor(s) — and their year-to-date combined 37.8% shooting isn’t beating a good team.

#10 UConn, RV DePaul: The Huskies beat the Blue Demons 80-78. UConn led by as many as 11 in the first half, before DePaul took a nine-point lead into halftime, before UConn led by seven in the early fourth quarter, before DePaul led by four late in the period — it was a back-and-forth game is what I’m trying to say. The Huskies host 58.6% from the field and 40.0% from deep; UConn committed 20 turnovers and 19 fouls. Off-ball guard Caroline Ducharme led the Huskies with 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting (2-4 3pt.), four rebounds, and two assists against two turnovers and four fouls in 33 minutes; combo guard Azzi Fudd played her first game since suffering a foot injury over two months ago, finishing with 15 points on 6-for-10 from the field and 3-for-6 from three with three steals against three turnovers in 22 minutes — despite head coach Geno Auriemma saying Tuesday that she was “still not ready” and it’d been “a long time since she’d played basketball, and it’s gonna take a bit to get back into playing shape” — again, he said that the day before the game; combo guard Christyn Williams — who Auriemma had said he expected “at least a couple minutes out of” — played 32, and had 17 points on 7-for-12 FG (0-1 3pt.), three assists, and three steals; point guard Nika Mühl notched 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting (2-4 3pt.), five assists, and four turnovers; center Olivia Nelson-Ododa fouled-out in 26 minutes.

Blue Demon big Aneesah Morrow scored a game-high 30 points on 11-for-19 from the field (0-2 3pt.) and 8-for-9 from the line with 14 rebounds (six offensive) for a double-double, plus two assists and three steals against three turnovers; off-ball guard Sonya Morris had 19 points on 8-for-23 shooting (1-4 3pt.), five rebounds, and two assists; point guard Lexi Held played all 40, finishing with 12 points on 5-for-9 from the field (2-5 3pt.), four assists, and two steals against two turnovers; wing Darrione Rogers notched 12 points on 5-for-11 FG (2-5 3pt.), four rebounds, and five assists without a turnover.

#11 Baylor: 88-80 win over Texas Tech. Won the first quarter 29-14, but allowed the Raiders to tie it at 79 in the late fourth quarter. Shot 56.1% from the field, 50.0% from three, and 81.8% from the line on 22 attempts, but allowed 52.8% shooting and 73.3% from deep; notched only nine assists on its 32 buckets; drew 20 fouls. Big NaLyssa Smith led with 23 points on 10-for-21 shooting (0-1 3pt.) and nine rebounds (four offensive) without a turnover; combo guard Sarah Andrews had 19 points on 7-for-10 form the field (2-3 3pt.), three rebounds, and two assists; point guard Jordan Lewis was limited to 29 minutes on account of four fouls, but finished with 16 points on 5-for-9 FG (1-4 3pt., 5-6 FT) and two assists against three turnovers; combo forward Caitlin Bickle played a season-high 31 minutes and tallied 12 points on 4-for-6 from the field and seven rebounds (four offensive); center Queen Egbo committed four fouls in 19 minutes.

TDB Baylor 3-Point Shooting Watch: 6-for-12, 50.0% today; 124-for-352, 35.2% for the season (91st percentile in accuracy and 74th in attempts, per Her Hoop Stats).

#13 Iowa State: 77-62 win over Kansas. Assisted on 17 of its 25 buckets; drew 21 fouls; allowed just four free-throw attempts. Wing Ashley Joens led with 21 points on 7-for-14 from the field and 3-for-8 from three and 11 rebounds for a double-double against three turnovers without sitting; off-ball guard Aubrey Joens returned to the rotation but came off the bench, finishing with 16 points on 4-for-7 from three (1-2 from two) and six rebounds without a turnover in 28 minutes; point guard Emily Ryan had 14 points on 4-for-7 shooting (2-4 3pt.), four rebounds, nine assists, and three blocks against two turnovers while playing the whole game; combo guard Lexi Donarski notched 14 points on 5-for-14 form the field and 2-for-8 from three, four assists, and two steals against four fouls in 36 minutes.

#18 Oklahoma: 84-58 win over Oklahoma State, snapping a four-game Bedlam losing streak. Shot 49.2% from the field while holding the Cowgirls to 31.9% shooting and 16.7% from deep; notched 12 steals; the teams combined for 41 turnovers and 36 fouls. Center Liz Scott led with a career-high 22 points in 23 minutes on 6-for-10 from the field and 1-for-12 from the line, six rebounds, and a career-high-tying two blocks without a turnover; wing Madi Williams had 13 points on 5-for-9 FG (3-6 FT), seven rebounds, and four turnovers; backup combo forward/five-out center Skylar Vann had 12 points on 5-for-9 shooting (0-1 3pt.), three rebounds, and four assists against two turnovers and four fouls in 18 minutes; usual starting-point-guard Kelbie Washignton returned to the rotation after missing three games in COVID protocols, and finished with six points on 2-for-6 from the field (0-1 3pt.), six assists, four steals, and two turnovers.

#19 Oregon: 70-66 win of Utah. Shot 46.4% from the field but only 5-for-23 from three; the teams combined for 35 fouls. Big Nyara Sabally led with 15 points on 7-for-8 FG, two assists, and two blocks against four fouls in 26 minutes; point guard Te-Hina Paopao notched 13 points on 6-for-15 shooting (0-5 3pt.), five rebounds, and five assists against two turnovers; point guard Endyia Rogers had 14 points on 4-for-12 from the field (0-5 3pt.) and 6-for-8 from three and two assists; off-ball guard Sydney Parrish scored 13 points on 3-for-6 from three (1-1 from two) with four rebounds and three assists.

Cancellations

  • NJIT vs. UMBC
*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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