Around the Top 25 WBB: Tennessee plummets, South Carolina continues to dominate 

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College basketball season is officially under way, and there is a lot to break down when it comes to the Top 25 teams in the NCAA women’s basketball rankings. Without any further ado, let’s jump into it!

Best Stat Lines 

Azzi Fudd (No. 5 UConn) vs. No. 3 Texas: 32 points, 1 rebound, 4 assists 

Fudd scored a total of 32 points against No. 3 Texas, with 22 in the second half. She played a significant role in UConn’s 83-76 win against Texas, an early season match against a top-ranked team. The Huskies only led by five at half time, but Fudd carried them to a double-digit lead in the second half. She was unstoppable, tying the record for most points by a Husky against a top-five opponent (According to ESPN, Diana Taurasi had 32 points against Tennessee in 2002). This is just the start for Fudd, who is building her confidence and becoming a more versatile player in her sophomore season. 

Monika Czinano (No. 4 Iowa) vs. Drake: 36 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist 

Czinano carried the Hawkeyes to their first road win of the season in a competitive matchup that went into overtime. Iowa pulled out the win 92-86, and Czinano was all over it. Against Drake, she went 14-for-21 on shooting and was a rebound machine. She was the biggest contributor in the game, followed by teammate Caitlin Clark, who scored 24 points. After recording her seventh career double-double, Czinano earned Big Ten Player of the Week.  

Maddie Siegrist (No. 24 Villanova) vs. Princeton: 32 points, 13 rebounds, 1 steal 

Siegrist dropped her 39th career double-double in a 69-59 win over previously No. 24 Princeton. She was 12-for-17 shooting and 3-for-4 beyond the arc. Her main contributions were on offense, but all around she was explosive. When Siegrist was troubled with four fouls at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Villanova’s offense was thrown out of rhythm. Ultimately, Siegrist finished the game for the Wildcats by making the final shot and free throws before the clock’s time ran out. 

Madi Williams (No. 16 Oklahoma) vs. Southern Methodist: 25 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists 

Williams led Oklahoma past SMU with a 97-74 victory. She scored a game-high 25 points and was 3-for-3 on long-distance shots. This was the first time in her career where she was perfect from three-point range with at least three attempts. As a team, the Sooners were dominant from the three-point distance, sinking 14, which made the win that much more significant. Williams was one of six Sooners with at least two made three-pointers.  

Hailey Van Lith (No. 6 Louisville) vs. Belmont: 25 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists  

In a tighter contest, Van Lith helped carry Louisville to defeat Belmont 75-70. She was the team’s top scorer in this matchup and leads the entire team in points with 65 over three games. Van Lith is an offensive weapon, but she is also supported by graduate transfer teammates Morgan Jones and Chrislyn Carr. She made some clutch buckets to keep the Cardinals surviving against Belmont and has continued to stay atop of her game.  

Best Games 

No. 14 Ohio State beats then-No. 5 Tennessee 

The Buckeyes’ full-court defense forced a whopping 29 turnovers against the Lady Volunteers, leading them to an 87-75 upset in their season opener. Tennessee started the game with a strong offense, scoring 22 points in the first quarter and with a 41-33 lead at halftime. The tides turned when Ohio State dominated the second half, taking the lead on an 18-0 run and never looking back. The Buckeyes scored 37 points off of turnovers and kept defensive pressure on the Vols through the entirety of the game. All five of Ohio State’s starters contributed in double figures, using Tennessee’s weaknesses as advantages. 

No. 20 Creighton defeats No. 22 Nebraska 

In a Top 25 ranked matchup, Creighton beat rival Nebraska 77-51. Compared to Creighton’s nine turnovers, Nebraska had 18, with 10 just in the first half. The Bluejays’ offense carried them through the match, shooting 45% from the field and 46% behind the arc for 11 three-pointers. Throughout the whole game, Nebraska struggled with offense as they went 2-for-8 from behind the arc in the first half. The third quarter was the only time where the Cornhuskers outscored the Blue Jays, but that wasn’t enough for a win. Creighton had full control of the fourth quarter, extinguishing Nebraska’s chances. The Bluejays got the win with their phenomenal ball movement and consistent offense. The star of the show was junior Molly Morgenson, who scored a career-high 22 points. 

No. 12 Indiana takes down current-No. 11 Tennessee 

Tennessee continued its disappointing start by falling to Indiana 79-76. The Vols’ offense was solid throughout the night but they failed to find a defensive solution to slow the Hoosiers’ attack. Rebounding played a large role in this game as Indiana out-rebounded Tennessee 35-33. The Hoosiers were in control for most of the game, but the Vols didn’t back down when they cut the lead to 61-57 early in the fourth quarter. In spite of foul trouble, Indiana thrived in the road environment and built its lead back up to seal the win. Five Hoosiers finished the game scoring in double figures. 

No. 1 South Carolina wins easily against No. 17 Maryland 

The reigning national champion, South Carolina, got its first ranked win over Maryland, 81-56. The Gamecocks did not play as consistently as they should’ve, but still won easily. They got the early lead when Aliyah Boston scored eight points with three rebounds in the first seven minutes. After halftime, when the Terrapins were down by just six points, they pressured their defense into the paint and tried to keep the pace slow, which limited Boston from scoring. But after this, South Carolina went on an 11-1 run to build its lead to 56-39 and ease past Maryland. This win was routine for the Gamecocks, but the stakes will rise when they travel to face No. 2 Stanford on Sunday, Nov. 20.

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