Around the Top 25 Women’s Basketball: Texas continues to struggle, North Carolina keeps  climbing 

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UConn women’s basketball defeats No. 3 Texas 83-76 at Gampel Pavilion on a chilly Monday night in Storrs, Conn, on Nov. 14, 2022. Preceding the matchup was the retirement of UConn women’s basketball legend Swin Cash’s number, No. 32. Cash won two national titles with the Huskies, and was also inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame a part of the 2022 class. Photo by Sofia Sawchuk / The Daily Campus.

Women’s college basketball is starting to get on a roll. Since the Thanksgiving tournaments all over the country, there has been some movement in the rankings. In the last week there have been many individual performances and thriller games, so let’s get right into it! 

Best Stat Lines 

Mackenzie Holmes (No. 6 Indiana) vs Auburn: 26 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals 

Iowa Hawkeyes guard Kate Martin (20) and Iowa Hawkeyes forward Monika Czinano (25) celebrate beside Indiana Hoosiers forward Mackenzie Holmes (54) during the second half of the Big Ten conference tournament championship game between Iowa and Indiana at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Photo by Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports.

For her performance in the Las Vegas Invitational, Holmes was awarded with Big Ten Player of the Week. She scored 18 of her 26 points in the second half. Holmes’ shooting game was on fire, and she contributed on the defensive side as well. She led Indiana to a win over Auburn, and stepped up even more after teammate Grace Berger went down with a knee injury with two minutes left in the game. The forward made all of her 10 field goal attempts and all six free throws. Holmes was one of the six Hoosiers who finished in double figures to take down Auburn 96-81. 

Gabby Gregory (No. 25 Kansas State) vs Northern Arizona: 35 points, 10 rebounds 

At the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Gregory scored her career-high points to lead Kansas State over Northern Arizona 93-80. She scored 20 of her 35 points in the second half, with 12 of them in the fourth quarter. In this game, Gregory also finished with a game-high ten rebounds and was an overall top contributor for K-State. She’s a transfer from Oklahoma who came into averaging 21.5 points and she has definitely stayed at the top of her game offensively.  

Stephanie Soares (No. 5 Iowa State) vs Michigan State: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 6 blocks 

On Thanksgiving day, Soares’ offense thrived against Michigan State, which earned her the Big 12 Player of the Week award. She matched her season-high with 23 points. She was 10-for-14 shooting and has been dominant on all parts of the court. Additionally, Soares excelled on defense with 11 rebounds and a career-high six blocks. Soares finished the game with her second double-double of the season, leading the Cyclones to defeat the Spartans 80-49. 

Haley Jones (No. 2 Stanford) vs Florida Gulf Coast: 24 points, 14 rebounds 

Stanford Cardinal guard Haley Jones (30) dribbles against South Carolina Gamecocks guard Brea Beal (12) during overtime at Maples Pavilion. Photo by Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports.

In the first round of the Rainbow Wāhine Showdown, Jones shined for Stanford and helped them towards a victory against Florida Gulf Coast. She had 14 points by halftime and finished the game 12-for-18 shooting from the field. Additionally, she had three assists and a steal, making her a contributor all over the court. With this double-double performance, Jones helped get the win for Stanford, 93-69.  

Best Games 

No. 1 South Carolina defeats No. 2 Stanford  

This matchup was one of the most anticipated of the year, as the top two teams in the nation faced off. In overtime, South Carolina survived against Stanford, 76-71. For most of the game, Stanford was in control as the Gamecocks struggled to get into an offensive groove. But two crucial mistakes by the Cardinal in the final 10 seconds changed the game and helped South Carolina seal the victory. The two stars of the shows for both teams were South Carolina’s Aliyah Boston and Stanford’s Cameron Brink, who both had the mentality of not going down without a fight. The outcome of this game surely proved the competitiveness of both teams. 

No. 6 Louisville upsets then-No. 3 Texas  

The struggling Texas Longhorns underperformed once again against Louisville, as they fell 71-63 in a top 10 matchup. The Longhorns have dropped to No. 22 in the NCAA rankings after starting the season with a 3-3 record. Louville’s Morgan Jones and Hailey Van Lith both finished the game with 18 points and played a large role when the Cardinals started pulling away in the fourth quarter; their offense thrived and overpowered Texas.  

No. 8 North Carolina downs No. 5 Iowa State 73-64 

Connecticut Huskies guard Azzi Fudd (35) shoots a shot over North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Diamond Johnson (3) and forward Jada Boyd (5) during the second half at XL Center. Photo by Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports.

Deja Kelly scored a total of 29 points to propel No. 8 North Carolina to rally past No. 5 Iowa State. Another offensive weapon for the Tar Heels was Kennedy Todd-Williams, who finished with 17 points. The biggest lead Iowa State had was 17 points, but it slowly faded away as North Carolina made a second half comeback. The Tar Heels shot 43.8% overall and were 7-for-16 from 3-point range. Iowa State controlled the glass, outrebounding UNC 46-37, but that was not enough for them to outlast the undefeated Tar Heels. 

No. 21 Baylor squeezes by No. 23 Villanova  

In the semifinal game of the Gulf Coast Showcase, No. 23 Villanova suffered its first loss of the season against No. 21 Baylor, 75-70. This was a hard-fought battle which featured several players on both sides getting in foul trouble. Baylor’s biggest lead was at the end of the third quarter when they were up 55-47, but the Wildcats did not go down without a fight, cutting their deficit to 55-54 with a 7-0 run. Maddie Siegrist and Lucy Olsen both missed game-tying shots in the fourth quarter, giving the Bears the advantage. Baylor’s Caitlin Bickle finished with 18 points with 12 rebounds, and Jaden Owens scored 17 points to maintain the Bears’ momentum and secure the victory.  

Conference games are just around the corner for some teams, and it will be interesting to see how that all plays out as we enter December. 

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