November 20, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Nov. 20, 2021: Kierstan Bell continues excellence, Harvard blows leads

And a remarkable late comeback by Rutgers

Happy Saturday, and welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap, including COVID cases with Iowa, Kierstan Bell dominance, and some truly soul-crushing blown leads. Day 12 of college basketball is here, and the women’s inaugural Battle 4 Atlantis kicks off!

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(All times in Eastern)

Watch List, Saturday, Nov. 20


RV* Oklahoma v. #9 Oregon, 5 p.m., FloHoops (Battle 4 Atlantis)

Good games

#10 Louisville @ Washington, 5 p.m., Pac-12 Washington Live Stream

Also watchable

Minnesota @ #2 UConn, Noon, SNY

Syracuse @ #23 USF, 2:30 p.m., ESPN+

Buffalo v. #1 South Carolina, 7:30 p.m., FloHoops (Battle 4 Atlantis)

Sickos games


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

#13 Michigan @ CMU, 1 p.m., ESPN+

Cal @ UC-San Diego, 7 p.m., ESPN+

Friday, Nov. 19 recap: Bell done

#5 N.C. State: 90-69 win over Kansas State. The Wildcats were within one score midway through the second quarter, before an 11-3 Wolfpack run ended the half. The teams combined to shoot 51.7% from the field and 45.5% from three; N.C. State committed just nine turnovers and nine fouls. Center Elissa Cunane led the Wolfpack with 18 points on 6-11 shooting (5-7 FT), six rebounds, and two steals; point guard Raina Perez scored 12 points on 5-8 from the field (2-4 3pt.) and made four assists without a turnover or a foul; big wing Kayla Jones matched Perez at 12 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3pt.), adding six rebounds and two steals; point guard Diamond Johnson notched 13 points off the bench on 6-11 shooting with seven rebounds, four assists, and three turnovers — she’s averaging almost 10 rebounds per 40 minutes despite standing 5’5. Kansas State point guard Serena Sundell became the first Wildcat not named “Ayoka Lee” to lead the team in scoring this season, with a game-high 21 points on 6-14 FG (5-11 3pt.), plus six assists against three turnovers; speaking of Lee, the center had a double-double with 19 points on 9-18 from the field and 11 rebounds, along with five blocks against three turnovers and four fouls — she sat just five minutes in spite of the fouls.

#8 Iowa: Cancelled three games — Nov. 21 v. Drake, and Nov. 25 v. Seton Hall and Nov. 26 v. USC in the Cancun Challenge — due to “a number of individuals experienc[ing] symptoms and test[ing] positive.” The Hawkeyes next play at Duke Dec. 2.

#11 Arizona: 78-36 win over Marist. Entered the second quarter trailing, then a +44 in the next 30 minutes. Pretty good. Shot 45.8% on 24 threes, which is important for a team not expected to be particularly efficient or voluminous in three-point shooting; rebounded almost two-thirds of its own misses. Wing Sam Thomas had a game-high 14 points on 5-8 shooting (2-4 3pt.) to lead the Wildcats, plus two steals and two blocks; combo guard Bendu Yeaney scored 11 points on 4-6 from the field and 3-3 from three with three assists; center Lauren Ware recorded nine points on 3-4 FG with career-highs in both makes and attempts from three (2-3 3pt.), five rebounds (three offensive), and a career-high four blocks; Vanderbilt transfer big Koi Love notched nine points off the bench on 4-9 FG and nine rebounds, tied a career-high with four steals, and committed three turnovers in 13 minutes.

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#22 West Virginia: 78-58 win over Kennesaw State. Did not lead until 6:55 in the second quarter, when a 12-2 run put them ahead for good. Assisted on 21 of its 27 baskets. Big Esmery Martinez had a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double on 5-7 shooting (1-2 3pt.); point guard Kirsten Deans scored 12 points on 3-10 from the field (1-4 3pt.) with seven assists against two turnovers and four fouls; combo guard Jasmine Carson notched 14 points on 5-6 FG (4-5 3pt.) off the bench without a turnover. Point guard Amani Johnson led the Owls with a game-high 14 points on 5-11 shooting (2-2 3pt.), four assists, and three steals against four turnovers.

RV FGCU: 88-57 win over Manhattan. You know the drill: big wing Kierstan Bell scored 31 points on 12-21 shooting (5-11 3pt.) with nine rebounds, two steals, and three blocks against three turnovers — fun stuff!; off-ball guard Kendall Spray had 19 points on 6-8 from three off the bench with four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and no turnovers or fouls — only the second such performance in the Her Hoop Stats era (since 2009); point guard Tishara Morehouse came off the bench for some reason and notched 11 points on 4-8 FG (2-4 3pt.).

The Daily Briefing Kierstan Bell Watch: 29.7 points — 100th percentile; 11.7 field goals — 100th; 18.7 attempts — 100th; 62.5% FG% — 95th; 79.3% 2P% — 98th; 4.0 threes — 100th; 9.0 three-point attempts — 100th; 44.4% 3P% — 82nd; 3.7 free-throw attempts — 86th; 9.3 rebounds — 97th; 2.3 assists — 81st; 2.0 steals — 92nd; 1.7 blocks — 96th; 35.3% usage — 99th

RV Michigan State: 100-60 win over Bryant, in spite of not leading for good until 3:51 in the first quarter. Point guard Nia Clouden scored a game-high 21 points on 6-13 from the field (3-8 3pt., 6-7 FT) with eight assists, two steals, and four turnovers; off-ball guard Alyza Winston had 16 points on 6-12 shooting (1-6 3pt.), three assists, and two steals; wings Tamara Farquhar and Matilda Ekh combined for 24 points on 8-13 FG (3-4 3pt. by Ekh), with Farquhar adding eight rebounds; bench point guard DeeDee Hagemann returned after missing the Spartans’ Tuesday win, scoring nine points on 4-8 from the field (0-3 3pt.) with four assists and three steals.

RV Arkansas: 94-71 win over Arkansas State. Point guard Makayla Daniels had a game-high 22 points on 8-13 FG (2-5 3pt.), eight rebounds (four offensive), and five assists against four turnovers; point guard Samara Spencer had 16 points on 6-11 shooting (2-5 3pt.) off the bench and six rebounds; combo guard Amber Ramirez notched 13 points on 5-11 from the field (2-6 3pt.).

RV Colorado: 69-53 win over Marquette. The Eagles led over 15 minutes in, but the Buffaloes went on a 9-0 run to close the half and never looked back. Colorado big Mya Hollinshed broke through her early season struggles for a double-double on a game-high 22 points (10-20 FG, 2-5 3pt.) and 10 rebounds, plus four steals, two blocks, and just one turnover in 38 minutes; point guard Jaylyn Sherrod scored 17 points on 6-8 from the field (5-10 FT) with six steals.

Lehigh: 91-72 win over Mount St. Mary’s. Center Emma Grothaus scored a career-high 31 points on 13-18 shooting (0-2 3pt.) with 12 rebounds (five offensive) for a double-double, plus three assists and three blocks against one turnover and no fouls; off-ball guard Frannie Hottinger came one point shy of tying a career-high, with 26 points on 10-14 from the field (3-4 3pt.), and eight rebounds, two steals, and five turnovers.

Hawai’i: 91-77 loss to Portland. Big wing Amy Atwell scored a career-high 30 points on 12-22 shooting (4-8 3pt.) with five rebounds and just one turnover.

Blown Leads

Lamar: 72-68 overtime loss to Texas Tech. Had a 98.4% win expectancy with a one-score lead and four seconds on the clock — and, dear reader, they did not manage to turn that into a win. This, after the Raiders had peaked at a 97.1% win expectancy with an 18-point lead in the mid-second quarter. Point wing Vivian Gray made her season debut for Texas Tech, and finished with a team-high 16 points on 6-16 shooting (4-6 FT) and five rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench. Cardinal combo guard Malay McQueen scored a game-high 18 points on 5-13 from the field (5-10 3pt.) with four rebounds and four assists without a turnover.

Harvard: 68-65 overtime loss to Rutgers. Peaked at 99.5% win expectancy with an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter, before allowing 15 unanswered to the Scarlet Knights. The Crimson responded by extending the lead slightly over the next four-plus minutes, and had a 97.7% win expectancy up five with less than a minute left in regulation. Harvard then allowed a jump-shot, missed a layup, allowed a three, and missed a three to go to overtime. Off-ball guard Lasha Petree scored a game-high 17 points on 6-13 FG (3-6 3pt.) for Rutgers with four steals and two blocks against one turnover; center Oshlynn Brown had nine points on 4-8 from the field, 19 rebounds (seven offensive), three assists, and six turnovers. Four Crimson starters scored in double-digits — pyrrhic victories, if you think about it.

*Receiving Votes

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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