December 18, 2021 

Daily Briefing — Dec. 18, 2021: Mercury Pokey-ing around

Incredibly, two teams blow a 99% win expectancy

Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap! Day 40 of college basketball is here, with Pokey Chatman getting a look from the Phoenix Mercury and Stanford and Tennessee renewing their annual rivalry. The game, which had run every year from 1988-89 through 2019-20, has averaged a 73-70 finish, but this one ought to be a low-scoring affair. The Vols lead the series 25-12, but the Cardinal have won the past two.

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(All times in Eastern)

W Roundup

Phoenix: The Mercury interviewed former Indiana Fever and Chicago Sky head coach Pokey Chatman for their head coaching vacancy, per The Ball Out.

Watch List, Saturday, Dec. 18


#3 Stanford @ #7 Tennessee, 5:15 p.m., ESPN2

Good games

UCF @ #14 Iowa, 7:30 p.m., BTN+

Also watchable

Troy @ Mississippi State, 3 p.m., SEC Network+

Sickos games

Saint Louis @ UIC, 2 p.m., ESPN+

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

RV* Oregon @ Kansas State, 7:30 p.m., ESPN+

Friday, Dec. 17 recap

#4 Arizona: 82-55 win over Northern Arizona. Notched 16 steals and committed 21 fouls. Starters averaged 11 minutes apiece. Center Ariyah Copeland made her second consecutive start in place of an injured Lauren Ware and led the Wildcats starters with eight points (4-5 FG) and four rebounds (three offensive); big Cate Reese matched those eight points (4-8 FG) and four rebounds (two offensive) but played with a taped right elbow after landing on it in the third quarter; center Aaronette Vonleh had a career-high 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting in 25 bench minutes and two steals against four fouls; combo guard Madison Conner scored 12 points on 4-for-6 shooting from three (0-1 from two) and four fouls in 16 minutes off the bench; bench big Koi Love notched 10 points on 4-for-7 FG, seven rebounds, two assists and four steals against three turnovers.

#16 South Florida: 62-46 win over High Point. Fell behind 8-1 to open but ended up winning the first quarter. Held High Point to 30.6% shooting from the field and 22.7% from three; won the rebounding battle by 19, allowing only two offensive boards; assisted on 17 of its 22 buckets; committed 18 turnovers and 20 fouls. Off-ball guard Sydni Harvey was out with a minor foot injury, per 247’s Will Turner. Combo forward Bethy Mununga and combo guard Elena Tsineke returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench on Wednesday for some reason — Mununga finished with 16 points (6-8 FG, 2-2 3pt.), five rebounds and three turnovers and fouls each, and Tsineke had 14 points (4-7 FG, 5-5 FT), five assists and three turnovers; center Dulcy Fankam Mendjiadeu notched 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting (5-8 FT), four rebounds and four each of turnovers and fouls.

RV Colorado: 78-55 win over SMU. Assisted on 22 of its 30 baskets; notched 13 steals. Combo forward Mya Hollingshed had a game-high 19 points on 7-for-16 shooting (3-6 3pt.), seven rebounds and two assists against two turnovers; backup center Quay Miller notched 20 points on 8-for-9 FG (2-2 3pt.), five rebounds and two steals against three turnovers; point guard Jaylyn Sherrod tallied 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the field (1-2 3pt.), three rebounds, three steals and three turnovers.

Hartford: 73-50 loss to Central Connecticut. Trailed wire-to-wire, becoming the fourth team to start 0-10 this season and the third to currently sit 0-10.

Georgia Southern: 72-71 loss to Kennesaw State. Off-ball guard Mya Burns had 31 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the field, 4-for-7 from three and 7-for-8 from the line, setting career highs in points, field goals made and makes and attempts from the line. She added five rebounds (four offensive) and two steals against two turnovers.

Morgan State: Did not play its scheduled game against #19 Kentucky “due to COVID issues within … the program,” as announced Wednesday. (The Bears added that “a rescheduled date is possible but has not been set.”)

Long Beach State: Did not play its scheduled game against Portland State “due to COVID-19 protocols within the … program” — i.e., positive COVID case(s) — as announced a few hours before tipoff.

Blown leads

North Texas: 67-64 loss to Wichita State. Had a 99.0% win expectancy with a five-point lead after blocking a Shocker jumper at 1:05 in the fourth quarter before missing two shots and committing two turnovers while allowing three straight Wichita State layups.

Fairleigh Dickinson: 92-88 double-overtime loss to Western Kentucky. Had a 99.1% win expectancy with a five-point lead and 52 seconds remaining in regulation and a near-95% expectancy at 0:19 in the first overtime with a three-point lead and a forthcoming free-throw attempt. In the final 52 seconds of regulation, Fairleigh Dickinson made a layup but allowed an and-one and two threes, and in the final 19 seconds of the first overtime, it missed a layup and a free throw while committing two unintentional shooting fouls. Hilltoppers combo guard Meral Abdelgawad tied her career high with 33 points on 11-for-21 shooting from the field, 3-for-4 from three and 8-for-10 from the line, plus six rebounds (three offensive) and three assists against a lone turnover in 41 minutes.

*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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