January 7, 2022
Daily Briefing — January 7, 2022: Small gym, loud crowd, Hail State
Wolfpack make statement in ACC, 3 Top 25 matchups in the SEC dominate Thursday's watch
Happy Friday, y’all! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Alex Simon making a spot start here on Day 58 of college basketball to give Em a well-deserved night of rest. We had four Top 25 clashes yesterday that led to all sorts of intrigue and shade thrown back-and-forth — and we’re looking ahead at the last two remaining undefeated teams getting tested in Pac-12 play.
Atlanta: A day after Rachel Galligan reported that Jaylyn Agnew was extended a qualifying offer, Agnew accepted the offer and will be in training camp with the Dream.
Watch list, Friday, Jan. 7
(All times in Eastern)
Oregon at #2 Stanford, 10 p.m, Pac-12 Network
Washington St at #4 Arizona, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network
Southern Illinois at RV Missouri State, 8 p.m., ESPN+
Princeton at Columbia, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Elon at Towson, 7 p.m., Flo
Marquette at Creighton, 7:30 p.m., Flo
USC at Colorado, 9 p.m., Pac-12 Network streaming
Penn at Cornell, 6 p.m., ESPN+
Pac-12 on national TV or streaming
See Must-Watch, Good Games
Thursday, Jan. 6 recap
#1 South Carolina, #13 LSU: The Gamecocks beat the Tigers 66-60. LSU looked strong in the first half and carried a six-point lead into halftime, but South Carolina’s size overwhelmed the not-very-deep Tigers. The Gamecocks committed 21 turnovers on the night compared to LSU’s nine, but doubled LSU’s rebounding numbers, 48-24 — including grabbing more offensive rebounds (19) than LSU had defensive rebounds (14). South Carolina also had 32 free throw attempts (making 18) compared to seven for LSU (making three). Junior big Aliyah Boston posted a 19-point, 18-rebound double-double, including grabbing seven offensive rebounds. Junior off-ball guard Zia Cooke added 17 points while playing all 40 minutes for South Carolina. For LSU, senior point guard Khayla Pointer led the way with 22 points and six assists.
#3 Louisville: 81-39 win over Pittsburgh. An absolutely defensive masterclass from the Cardinals, who held Pittsburgh to 13 points in the first half (eight in the first quarter and five in the second). The Panthers shot 14-of-54 (25.9%) from the field for the game and committed 35 — yes, 35 — turnovers. For Louisville, senior wing Emily Engstler tallied 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals in 26 minutes of action.
#5 NC State, #19 North Carolina: The Wolfpack beat the Tar Heels 72-45. NC State controlled this one from the jump, outscoring North Carolina 24-7 in the first quarter and cruising the rest of the way. The Wolfpack held the Tar Heels to 15-of-65 (23.1%) from the field and 5-of-21 (23.8%) from 3-point range. Center Elissa Cunane was the only member of the Wolfpack in double-figures, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds for a double-double. Tar Heel sophomore combo guard Deja Kelly led all scorers with 21 points, but on 8-of-24 shooting from the field. North Carolina was facing its first ranked opponent of the season, and head coach Courtney Banghart did not shy away from stoking this rivalry with some words on Tuesday — and then doubling down postgame on top of that. NC State head coach Wes Moore fired back, too. Can it be Jan. 30 for the rematch between these two teams and coaches already?
#7 Tennessee, #25 Texas A&M: The Lady Volunteers beat the Aggies 73-45. It was 21-20 Texas A&M after a quarter, but Tennessee clamped down and held the Aggies to 24 points in the final 30 minutes, including a 24-7 second quarter and an 11-3 fourth. Texas A&M shot 17-for-66 (25.8%) from the field on the night. For Tennessee, junior combo guard Jordan Horston tallied 18 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. Rae Burrell came off the bench in her first home game after her knee injury and scored nine points in 17 minutes.
#10 Maryland: 106-78 win over Penn State. A consistent offensive onslaught from the Terps, who scored 25+ in all four quarters while making 40-of-73 (54.8%) shots from the field and 11-of-23 (47.8%) shots from 3-point range. Five players scored double-digit points led by 24 from Diamond Miller and 20 from Ashley Owusu. Shyanne Sellers tied her career high with 17 points coming off the bench, a vital contribution coming a day after it was announced that the Terrapins lost forward Faith Masonius for the season to a torn left ACL. For the Nittany Lions, junior combo guard Makenna Morris scored 29 points in the first game since Dec. 18 (a gap caused by the holidays and postponements for COVID).
#15 Georgia, #21 Kentucky: The Wildcats beat the Bulldogs 84-76. In an incredibly tight game — the final score was the largest lead of the night — Kentucky was able to hold off Georgia for the entire fourth quarter before extending the lead on free throws late to pull off the win. The Wildcats only grabbed 24 rebounds as a team, but only committing 11 turnovers and shooting 35-for-67 (52.2%) from the field was enough to win their first SEC game of the season. Senior combo guard Rhyne Howard played like the superstar she is, scoring 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting to lead Kentucky. For Georgia, senior center Jenna Staiti tallied 26 points and eight rebounds.
#22 Iowa: 77-69 loss to Northwestern. The Hawkeyes fought from behind for most of the second half and tied the game at 66 with 2:54 left, but the Wildcats pulled away with an 11-3 run to close out a road win and move to 2-0 in Big Ten play. Northwestern senior point guard Veronica Burton shone with 25 points, six rebounds, six assists and eight steals on the night. For Iowa, sophomore point guard Caitlin Clark finished with 30 points on the night, primarily because she was a perfect 13-for-13 from the free-throw line. Clark’s continued to struggle behind the 3-point line, shooting 1-for-8 tonight to drop her season percentage from deep to 24.3%. That she’s still averaging 24.7 points a game is a testament to her ability as a scorer, but the 3-point shooting has reached critical concern levels.
RV* Missouri: 73-62 overtime win over Auburn. In a tightly-contested affair between two schools with Tigers as their mascot, Missouri outscored Auburn 13-4 in overtime to remain undefeated in SEC play. Senior forward Ladazhia Williams scored 25 points to lead all players on the night, while junior combo guard Aijha Blackwell contributed a 13-point, 14-rebound double-double off the bench for Missouri.
RV Ohio State: 90-69 win over Illinois. The Buckeyes dominated the middle quarters, outscoring the Fighting Illini 27-15 in the second and 31-15 in the third. Ohio State forced Illinois into committing 28 turnovers on the night and held the Fighting Illini to 4-for-22 (18.2%) shooting from 3-point range. Buckeye senior combo guard Taylor Mikesell made 8-of-14 3-pointers in a 32-point night.
RV Ole Miss: 74-56 win at Florida. In a game where neither team made a single 3-pointer (Ole Miss 0-4, Florida 0-8), the Rebels used their defense — 18 steals and 25 forced turnovers — to defeat the Gators. Senior big Shakira Austin finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Ole Miss, who were playing their first SEC game.
Minnesota: 62-49 win over Rutgers. With head coach Lindsay Whalen not with the team after an emergency appendectomy, acting head coach Carly Thibault-Dudonis led the Gophers to their first win in the Big Ten. Her mother Nanci and her father, Washington Mystics head coach and GM Mike Thibault, were in Piscataway for the game. Whalen’s status for Sunday’s home game against #10 Maryland is still to be determined.
Denver: 74-68 loss at North Dakota State. Junior wing Uju Ezeudu scored 31 points for the Pioneers in the losing effort, making 13-of-20 shots from the field and 5-of-9 free throws. Ezeudu, who was named the Summit League’s Female Athlete of the Month for December earlier in the day, came up one point short of her career high and added eight rebounds, too.
Merrimack: 76-65 double-overtime loss over Fairleigh Dickinson. Merrimack twice had their win probability at 95% or higher in this mid-week matinee, peaking at 96.8% when a layup put them up 54-49 with 71 seconds left. But the Knights forced overtime with a 3-pointer and two free throws, kept fighting back from deficits all throughout the first overtime before storming ahead in the second overtime for the win, despite shooting 27-for-78 (34.6%) from the field and 8-for-32 (25%) from 3-point range and only having 21 points through 23 minutes.
UT Martin: 66-65 loss at Tennessee State. The Skyhawks led by 13 with two minutes left in the third and had a 96.1% win expectancy. By the end of the third, their lead had been cut to two, and the back-and-forth fourth quarter ended in a Lady Tigers win thanks to a layup from grad transfer Dominique Claytor with 20 seconds left and a steal by fellow grad transfer Alexis Pierce with six seconds left.
Rider: 63-58 loss at Manhattan. Oooooooooooooof, Broncs. With less than a minute left in the third quarter, Rider was leading 49-29 and had a win probability of 99.6%. It was still above 97% with five minutes left in the fourth and a 10-point lead, but the Jaspers outscored the Broncs 31-8 in the final quarter to complete a stunning comeback win in the MAAC. Manhattan junior guard Dee Dee Davis scored 12 points in the final frame to lead the comeback.
32 scheduled games that did not take place on this day:
- Central Connecticut State at Sacred Heart – counts as a forfeit win for Sacred Heart
- Colorado State at Fresno State
- Clemson at Florida State
- Georgia State at Appalachian State
- #16 Georgia Tech at #17 Duke
- SIU Edwardsville at Austin Peay
- UTSA at Southern Miss
- North Texas at UAB
- Detroit Mercy at Cleveland State
- Western Illinois at Kansas City
- UNC Greensboro at Furman
- Chattanooga at Samford
- ETSU at Mercer
- Siena at Iona
- Saint Peter’s at Fairfield
- Virginia at Virginia Tech
- UTEP at Louisiana Tech
- Tarleton at Sam Houston
- Abilene Christian at Stephen F. Austin
- UL Monroe at Little Rock
- St. Thomas-Minnesota at Oral Roberts
- Louisiana at Arkansas State
- South Alabama at UT Arlington
- Idaho at Montana State
- Southern Utah at Portland State
- Pepperdine at San Diego
- Wyoming at San Jose State
- Loyola Marymount at Saint Mary’s
- Boise State at Nevada
- CSU Northridge at CSU Bakersfield
- Santa Clara at Pacific
- Long Beach State at Hawai’i
Written by Alex Simon
SF Bay Area native, 2x grad (Elon, ASU), adjunct professor at ASU's Cronkite School, editor & journalist always looking to tell unique stories.
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