December 13, 2022 

The Weekly Fast Break: Brenda Frese milestone edition

Hawkeyes own Iowa; Jackrabbits racing

If the blustery winds of winter pushed you right through the arena doors to watch your favorite team this week, then it truly is basketball season. We are not ones to take any play off even if it’s snowing outside, so welcome to week three of The Weekly Fast Break, featuring numerous Brenda Frese numbers and much more.

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This has been one full of numbers – milestone victories, insane stat lines, record-breaking performances, and resounding wins. The polls are moving, teams are finding their stride and it is only the middle of December. The holiday break is just around the corner but there is no time to let up. We will hold true to our motto, playing time is earned, so use your time wisely to study for finals, finish that group project and be on time for practice. The holiday cookies at grandma’s house can wait.


Marking Milestones & Setting Records: For most head coaches, their individual career records are normally a combination of multiple jobs and the dozens and dozens of players that have been a part of their success. Brenda Frese, the winningest coach in Maryland women’s basketball history, earned her 600th career win on Dec. 8 when the Terrapins beat Purdue 77-74 behind the last-second heroics of sophomore Shyanne Sellers. Not to be outdone, Maryland gave Frese win No. 601 with an 85-78 victory over #9 UConn on Sunday. It was Maryland’s first win over the Huskies in school history.

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Head coach Lisa Bluder became the winningest Big Ten Conference women’s basketball coach when her Iowa Hawkeyes beat Minnesota, 87-64 on Dec. 10. This was Bluder’s 234th Big Ten regular-season victory which surpassed former Iowa and Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer for No. 1 on the all-time list.

Setting attendance records in women’s basketball is something we will always celebrate here at The Weekly Fastbreak. Illinois State women’s basketball broke a 12-year-old attendance record on Dec. 6 with their Education Day promotion on campus. 6,363 fans, students, faculty, and administrators watched the Redbirds get a much-needed victory over UMSL 66-51, led by guard Paige Robinson and her 21 points on the day.

Offense came easy to #22 Kansas in their 77-50 win at #20 Arizona. (Photo credit: Damon Young/Kansas Athletics)

Jumping Jayhawks: Sometimes it takes just one decisive win to peak everyone’s attention and on Dec. 8, #22 Kansas did just that and more. The Jayhawks went on the road to #20 Arizona and pounded the Wildcats, 77-50. Seniors Taiyanna Jackson and Zakiyah Franklin notched double-doubles while the Jayhawk defense completely shut Arizona down. Kansas came back with a 72-52 win over Wichita State on Sunday to move to 9-0 on the year. The surging Jayhawks are back in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2013.

Cy-Hawk Rivalry: The annual matchup of Iowa State and Iowa is one that the entire state circles on their calendars. It is a rivalry rich in women’s basketball history with some of the best talent in the game on display each year. This season’s tussle brought two Top-15 teams to Iowa City and the much-anticipated showdown of guards Ashley Joens (Iowa State) and Caitlin Clark (Iowa). The Hawkeyes used their home-court advantage to fluster the Cyclones and outscored them 47-29 in the second half to win 70-57. Joens, an Iowa City native herself, finished the game with 15 points and 7 rebounds while Clark registered another near triple-double with 19 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. And to tell you just how much the rivalry means – both all-American guards played 38+ minutes. 

Not Jacking Around: South Dakota State started the year ranked in many pre-season polls and has already played seven Power 5 opponents with #1 South Carolina looming on Dec. 15. The Jackrabbits have held their own so far and sit at 6-4 after an 82-78 win over then #24 Kansas State on Dec. 10 in Kansas City, MO. SDSU had four players in double-figures, led by veteran forward Mya Selland who finished with 20 points. They dominated K-State on the boards, 45-30 and held the Wildcats to just 8-37 from three-point range (21% on the day.) If the Jackrabbits can duplicate this effort going forward, they should be on track for yet another Summit League title in 2023.

South Dakota State held on for a big win over then #24 Kansas State on Dec. 11 in Kansas City, MO by getting stops when they needed them the most. (Photo credit: K-State Athletics)

Poll Watch: This week, the top 5 spots remain the same with South Carolina holding down the #1 spot. Virginia Tech moves up 1 spot to #6 and UCLA climbs 3 spots to #10. Pac-12 teams continue to surge in the polls with #13 Utah up 2 spots, the school’s best ranking since 2008. Coming off their big win over UCONN, Maryland moves up 5 spots to #15. The Big 12 Conference keeps four teams in the Top 25 with #22 Kansas jumping in to join #14 Iowa State, #18 Baylor and #24 Oklahoma. Michigan fell 5 spots to #19 in this week’s poll after a loss to unranked Toledo 71-68. Columbia received two votes in this week’s poll, their first votes ever in the AP poll in the history of the program.


We said last week that in the world of basketball, numbers and video do not lie, so a triple-double stat line will always land a player in our star watch. This week we get not just one, but two! Sophomore Olivia Miles of #5 Notre Dame becomes the first player in Fighting Irish history to register three career triple-doubles with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists in their 108-44 win over Merrimack on Dec. 11. (R/V) DePaul hosted Howard for a mid-day game at home on Monday, Dec. 12 for Field Trip Day and 5’11 guard Darrione Rogers did not disappoint the crowd. Rogers finished with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists while playing all 40 minutes and leading her team to an 81-56 win.

It has been a big week for (R/V) DePaul with two wins and a record-setting performance by sophomore Aneesah Morrow, the Big East Player of the Week. Morrow averaged 35 points and 13.5 rebounds in the Blue Demons two wins over Loyola and Northwestern. Her 45-point performance against the Wildcats on Dec. 10 broke a 31-year-old scoring record set by Beth (Hasenmiller) Sauser.  In the process, Morrow eclipsed 1,000 career points in the 43rd game of her career – a feat only 12 women in NCAA Division I history have accomplished in fewer games.

5’10 guard Izabela Nicoletti-Leite of Fairfield averaged 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals while shooting 50% from the floor on her way to being named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Week. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil shot 60% from three-point range, knocking down four of six from behind the arc in Fairfield’s 90-83 on the road at Dayton.

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It was a clean sweep of the Atlantic 10’s Player and Rookie of the Week awards for the Richmond Spiders after their 119-55 win over Longwood on Dec. 11.  Junior Addie Budnik was named the league’s Player of the Week after she registered her first double-double of the season with a 15-point, 13-rebound performance. 6’1 freshman guard Rachel Ullstrom earned her first Rookie of the Week award after she led all scorers with a career high 26 points, 7 rebounds and 4 steals. Ullstrom was lights out from the field, going 11 of 16 from the floor and knocking down 3 of 7 from behind the arc.

In-state rivalry games bring out the best in players and #16 Oregon got a career day from senior guard Endyia Rogers to secure a 75-67 win over Oregon State. Rogers was named Pac-12 Player of the Week after she dropped 34 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists on the Beavers and had zero turnovers in 36 minutes on the floor. Rogers hit a career high six three-point shots and went 8-for-8 from the free throw line, knocking down all her free-throws in the last 5-plus minutes of the game. 


We value possessions here at The Weekly Fastbreak and so when we see glaring turnovers on the stat sheet, we want to be sure to point it out. Last Monday, Dec. 5 a fight broke out in the second quarter of George Washington at TCU in Fort Worth. After tempers flared on the floor, punches had been thrown and the dust settled, eight players were ejected from the game. Regardless of how it started and the unfortunate result, the consequences are difficult to manage. Of the five GW players that were ejected, four were suspended by the Atlantic 10 Conference for the next game. Even though an official statement was not made by TCU, their three ejected players did not participate in their next game per the box score. 

No matter how some may want to position what happened or give a pass because of a handshake, there is no place for this on or off the court. We hope we do not see this kind of turnover again this season in women’s college basketball.


The second half of December is always a strange time for teams as players as they scramble to finish finals and watch all the other students on campus head home before they do for a short holiday break. But the college basketball schedule does not disappoint for the upcoming week with conference games on tap, inter-state and cross-town rivalries and games that help set the stage for what will be a race to March in 2023. Here are some games of interest (check your local listings for game times and broadcasts):

Dec. 14 – Colorado at #13 Utah

                 Central Florida at Tennessee

                Northwestern at U of Illinois-Chicago

Dec. 15 – #1 South Carolina at South Dakota St. (neutral court in Sioux Falls, SD)

                 Princeton at Rutgers

                 #10 UCLA at USC (Watch with us on Playback!!!)

Dec. 16 – Murray State at Kentucky

                 Tulsa at #22 Kansas

Dec. 17 – #21 Arkansas at #16 Creighton

                 Belmont at Georgia

                 BYU at #23 Gonzaga

                 San Diego at Portland

Dec. 18 – Florida State at #9 UCONN

                 #20 Arizona at #18 Baylor (neutral court in Dallas, TX)

                 (R/V) Louisville at Pittsburgh

                 Tennessee at #2 Stanford

                 #14 Iowa State vs. #25 Villanova (Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase in Connecticut)

                Oregon State vs. #11 LSU (Maui Jim Maui Classic in Hawaii)

Written by Missy Heidrick

I am a retired Kansas State shooting guard and spent almost 20 years working in Higher Education and Division 1 athletics. I am currently a basketball analyst for television and radio, contributing correspondent at The Next, Locked on Women's Basketball podcast host, WBB Naismith Award board of selectors member and run my own consulting business. I am a proud mother of two and wife to a patient husband who is almost as big of a sports junkie as I am!

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