February 11, 2022 

Daily Briefing – Feb. 11, 2022: Grab your W and Geaux (Tigers)

A Super Bowl preview in Baton Rouge

Good morning! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing (editor’s note: from Missy Heidrick!), featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap of so many great games – and we also have a repeat performance as the lead in this crazy show! Day 94 of college basketball has arrived with a Thursday night of upsets, must-win tight games and a bunch of crucial double-double performances. We even got our very own preview of the all-SEC quarterback battle coming in Super Bowl XVI. #17 Georgia traveled to #14 LSU so the question is – who were you betting on? Matthew Stafford (Bulldogs) on the road or Joe Burrow (Tigers) on his home turf?

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Friday will be a busy day in college basketball, with intriguing matchups from coast-to-coast and many leagues gearing up for a big weekend. The Pac-12 slate is hot and heavy, including double doses of interstate rival games, like #6 Arizona and Arizona State and #24 Oregon and Oregon State. #8 UConn is set to host DePaul and welcomes Annesah Morrow to Storrs for the first time. The freshman sensation dropped a double-double on the Huskies on Jan. 26 (30 points and 14 rebounds) – can she and the Blue Devils pull off another upset in the Big East?

 TGIF my friends and remember – you have less than 72 hours to get your Super Bowl snacks ready!


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W Roundup

Free agency

  • Rebekah Gardner: Singed a training camp contract with Chicago, per Rachel Galligan.

Visit our offseason trackers page to see all the other free agent moves, how they affect team’s caps, and more — in neat, colorful fashion!

(all times in Eastern)

Watch List – Friday, Feb. 11

Must-watch

RV DePaul at #8 UConn, 7 p.m., SNY ~ DePaul’s freshman superstar Annesah Morrow makes her first road trip to UConn

Good games

UNI @ Southern Illinois, 7 p.m., ESPN+ ~ Two of the top teams in the MVC

Drake at Missouri State, 8 p.m., ESPN+

#6 Arizona at Arizona State, 9 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Utah at #2 Stanford, 10 p.m., Pac-12 Mountain

#24 Oregon at Oregon State, 11 p.m., Pac-12 Network

Sicko games

RV Drexel at Hofstra, 7 p.m., FloHoops

USC at Washington, 10 p.m., Pac-12 Washington (Pac-12 Networks)

Thursday, Feb. 10 recap

Big Ten games

#4 Michigan at Michigan State: It’s never easy to win on the road but when you go to your in-state rival without your second-leading scorer, the job gets that much tougher. Michigan was upset by Michigan State 63-57 Thursday night behind 20 points and 4 assists from senior Nia Clouden and 11 points from fellow senior Tamara Farquhar. The Spartans jumped on Michigan in the third quarter, outscoring them 23-11. The Wolverines were just 3-for-12 from the three-point line and missed the services of forward Leigha Brown who was out with a lower leg injury. All-American Naz Hillmon had 27 points and 9 rebounds but battled a tough Michigan State frontcourt all night long who was physical and active on defense, making points hard to come by in the paint. A key win over a ranked team moves Michigan State to 7-5 in the Big Ten and gives this team a big confidence boost in February.

RV Nebraska at #21 Ohio State: Nebraska did so many things well on the road Thursday night but just could not match the firepower of Ohio State at home. The Buckeyes (10-3 in the Big Ten) were outrebounded 48-34, but smothered Nebraska’s perimeter game, which was 6-23 from behind the arc and scored just 9 points in the second quarter. Sharpshooting senior Taylor Mikesell led Ohio State with 21 points, going 5-for-8 from the three-point line on the night. One of the best newcomers in the Big Ten answered the call again for Nebraska – freshman Alexis Markowski had a double-double with 23 points and 15 boards, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lack of production on the perimeter, dropping the Cornhuskers to 6-6 in conference play.

ACC games

#5 NC State at Boston College: Boston College caught the #5 team in the nation on their heels to start Thursday night, jumping out to a 23-12 lead in the first quarter. The Wolfpack woke up and were able to recover but it took extra time to get the conference road win, 85-78 in overtime. Sophomore guard Diamond Johnson, known to be a volume shooter, went 8-for-19 in 35 minutes for 22 points to lead NC State, who had four other hit double figures. Boston College shot 47% from the field for the game behind big nights from guard Cameron Swartz (24 points) and a double-double from forward Taylor Soule (16 points and 10 rebounds.) But it was clutch shots and made free throws down the stretch in overtime that sealed the win for head coach Wes Moore’s team, who move to 22-3 overall and 13-1 in the ACC.

#11 Georgia Tech at RV Virginia Tech: Some ranked teams in the ACC avoided the upset on Thursday night, but Georgia Tech was not that lucky. Virginia Tech sprinted to an 18-point lead after the first 20 minutes and held on for a 73-63 win at home. The Hokies, now 10-3 in ACC play and riding a three-game winning streak, turned it over just eight times against Georgia Tech’s defense and had four players in double figures. Sophomore Georgia Amoore knocked in 21 points (5-6 from three-point range) and All-ACC center Elizabeth Kitley added 18 points and 5 boards. Senior Lotta-Maj Lahtinen led four Yellow Jackets in double figures with 21 points, but the hole that Georgia Tech put themselves in was too much to overcome. They now sit at 9-4 in the ACC and losers of two straight, both on the road. Sunday, Feb. 13 is their chance to turn things back around when they get Clemson at home. 

Miami at #18 Notre Dame: Notre Dame stayed perfect at home this season (12-0) with a 69-53 win over Miami. The wins keep racking up for the Fighting Irish behind tough defense and balanced scoring. They caused 24 Miami turnovers and held the Hurricanes to just 33% from the field on the night. Sophomore Maddy Westbeld, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday, led Notre Dame with 21 points and 8 rebounds. Senior Maya Dodson posted her sixth double-double of the season (12 points and 10 rebounds) and freshman Sonia Citron chipped in 15 on the night. Senior guard Kelsey Marshall was the only Miami player to hit double figures with 18 points, all of them from behind the three-point line (6-for-11.) There is no let up for Notre Dame though, who heads out on the road to square off with a very well-rested #3 Louisville on Feb. 13.

Pitt at #24 North Carolina: Defense set the tone for North Carolina again Thursday night, holding ACC foe Pitt to just 18 points in the first half and coming away with a 64-54 win. The Panthers tried to turn the tables on UNC and muscle them with physical play, but Pitt committed 24 fouls on the night and the Tar Heels made them pay, hitting 20 of 26 free throws. Sophomore Deja Kelly led UNC with 17 points and fellow sophomore Alyssa Ustby registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Pitt had three players in double figures, including senior Jayla Everett with 18 points (4-for-5 from three-point range) but it was the 22 turnovers that did the Panthers in. It’s hard to win on the road in the ACC if you don’t value possessions.  

Florida State at RV Duke: Florida State got themselves back to .500 in ACC play (6-6) with a big road win at Duke, 59-56. The Blue Devils cut it to one (57-56) with just over a minute to play but solid defense and 2 key free throws by Florida State sealed the win. The Seminoles got the job done with balanced scoring, led by senior Morgan Jones with 13 points and as a team shot over 47% on the night. Duke on the other hand, struggled to finish on the offensive end, shooting 32% from the field and was just 7-24 from the three-point line. 5’10 guard Miela Goodchild led Duke with 13 points, but the Blue Devils are going to need to regroup and find some answers quickly because NC State comes to Cameron Indoor on Feb. 13.

SEC games

#1 South Carolina at Kentucky: There is an old saying that ‘it doesn’t have to be pretty, just get the W’. South Carolina did just enough to sprint out of Lexington, KY Thursday night with a 59-50 win. Kentucky did not score more than 10 points in any of the first three quarters but made the #1 team in the nation work, outscoring them 24-17 in the fourth. 6’5 all-American Aliyah Boston poured in a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds and 5’9 junior Zia Cooke added 10 points for the Gamecocks. They won the all-important rebounding war 46-35, including 11 from senior Victaria Saxton. Senior all-American Rhyne Howard was the only Kentucky player in double figures with 21 points, as the Wildcats shot just 36% on the night from the field. Their lack of production in the first three quarters, along with 18 turnovers, made for an ugly night of basketball. It may not have been a thing of beauty, but it was South Carolina’s tenth SEC victory in a row.

Missouri at #13 Tennessee: Sometimes keeping it simple is what a team needs to get back on track and Tennessee did that in a 76-62 win at home. The Lady Vols snapped a two-game losing streak, including a bad loss at UConn last weekend, by doing what they do well – rebounding and cranking up the defensive intensity. They won the rebounding battle 46-31 and held Missouri to under 40% from the field on the night. Four Tennessee players hit double figures, including a double-double performance of 21 points and 13 rebounds by junior Jordan Horston. Missouri junior Aijha Blackwell continued her string of double-doubles with 12 points and 10 boards and guard Lauren Hansen went 4-6 from behind the arc and scored 22 points. Their performances were the only real bright spots for the Tiger offense.

#17 Georgia at #14 LSU: A knock-down, drag-out fight between Bulldogs and Tigers was exactly what this SEC battle was Thursday night. #14 LSU sprinted to a 16-point lead at halftime and even with a great effort by #17 Georgia in the second half, LSU moves to 8-3 in conference play with a 73-67 win. The Tigers turned the ball over 19 times against Georgia’s pressure, but dominated the Bulldogs on the boards, 47-29. Senior Alexis Morris led LSU with 26 points, and fellow senior guard Khayla Pointer had 21. As a team LSU was 27-for-34 from the free-throw line. Georgia’s consistent offense was stymied, and the lone bright spot was reserve guard Reigan Richardson pouring in 17 points. No starter for Georgia hit double-figures. Winning in the SEC is hard enough but when your veteran starters do not produce, it makes for a very long night in Joe Burrow’s beloved Baton Rouge.

#19 Florida at Mississippi State: The Gators are ranked in the national polls for the first time since 2016 and the #19 team in the nation did not let their guard down on the road, beating Mississippi State 73-64. Florida is now 8-1 over their last nine games and shows no sign of letting up now. Senior guard Zippy Broughton led them with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while two other Gators hit double-figures. They dominated The Bulldogs on the glass, 45-29 and went 18-23 from the line on the night. Mississippi State just did not have enough to match Florida, even behind 22 points from guard Anastasia Hayes and a double-double performance from guard Jerkaila Jordan (20 points and 10 rebounds.) Florida is 8-3 in SEC play and off until they hit the road again to Auburn on Feb. 14.

Other games of interest

Illinois State at Loyola-Chicago: Illinois State won their fourth MVC game in a row with a 57-53 victory on the road, keeping the Redbirds atop the MVC standings at 10-2. Loyola-Chicago led after three quarters, 41-35, but they were outscored 22-12 in the fourth by Illinois State. Senior guard Juliunn Redmond led the way for head coach Kristen Gillespie’s squad with 16 points and 6 rebounds on the night. 

Chicago State at Stephen F. Austin: Stephen F. Austin jumped on Chicago State early and often Thursday night and never let up, winning 84-55. SFA is now 20-3 overall and 11-0 in the WAC. As a team, the Ladyjacks shot 54% from the field and were powered by two veterans and their 20+ point performances – guard Stephanie Visscher with 22 and forward Aiyana Johnson with 20. Next up for SFA are two road games – at New Mexico State and at Chicago State – to keep their undefeated WAC season alive.

Cancellations

  • Portland State vs. Montana State
* Receiving votes

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!

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