January 24, 2022
WATCH: Big-time games from big-time players
What to make of Ayoka Lee and Caitlin Clark's huge statlines
We can count on great matchups and great games almost every day now in college basketball. And there is no doubt that we will also get outstanding individual performances along the way. Over the past week, we’ve seen two of the brightest stars in the women’s game shine and you can bet it will not be the last time they do. But stuffing a stat sheet for a monster game needs the help of your teammates and both all-American players have help with the heavy lifting.
Sophomore sensation Caitlin Clark of Iowa has the Hawkeyes sitting at 6-1 in the Big Ten. She is coming off a week where she had two triple-doubles, putting here in rare company across the game of basketball. She can create her own offense and hustle for rebounds but to hit double-digit assists she needs teammates to do what she does – make shots. It helps when one of the most efficient players in the game right now is your post inside, 6’3 senior Monika Czinano, who is shooting 65% from the field so far this season. Clark can score at will, but when she distributes, her teammates are capitalizing.
6’6 Kansas State post Ayoka Lee set the single game NCAA scoring record on Jan. 23 with 61 points against #14 Oklahoma. She broke the record set by Rachel Banham of Minnesota who netted 60 in 2016. Banham could create her own offense with three-point shots, penetration, and easy baskets in transition. Lee is a true back-to-the-basket post who needs players to pass her the ball. The K-State backcourt this season is stepping up the challenge and delivering passes to Lee where she can operate, and it was highlighted by 28 team assists in that record-setting game.
There are plenty of teams hitting their stride right now in every league – who’s leading Holy Cross in rebounding and scoring? And who has clawed their way back into the Top 25 after 15 seasons? Hotty toddy in Oxford, MS!
Written by Missy Heidrick
I am a former shooting guard at Kansas State 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, 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!