Around the Top 25 Women’s Basketball: Caitlin Clark keeps Iowa on top, Arizona completes a sweep of California road trip 

The UConn Women’s basketball team takes on South Carolina at the Hartford XL Center on Sunday, Feb. 5. Despite leading in the first quarter and tying in the second, UConn was defeated 81-77 by South Carolina. This is the first time the two teams have played against each other since the final game of March Madness in 2022, when South Carolina beat UConn. Photo by Erin Knapp/Daily Campus.

This week, in the world of women’s college basketball, many players went off with impressive stat lines and there were several nail-biting games. As March is slowly approaching, each team is giving all they got to earn one of the top spots for the big tournament. Without further ado, let’s get into it! 

Best Stat Lines  

Caitlin Clark (No. 6 Iowa) against No. 8 Maryland – 42 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists  

Starting off for the third week in a row with Caitlin Clark, she has yet again been at the top of the best stat lines as she dropped a whopping 42 points against No. 8 Maryland. This performance made Clark the only player in Division I men’s and women’s college basketball to have two 40-plus games against a ranked opponent. Overall, it was the sixth time that she has scored 40-plus points in a single game for Iowa, having the most in Big Ten history. The junior guard has been consistent every game as she’s averaging 27.6 points per game which is second in the nation. She is extremely valuable to Iowa as she also adds rebounds, assists, and not just an offensive machine. Clark is undeniably one of the best in the league and is in the conversation for national player of the year.  

Cate Reese (No. 22 Arizona) against USC – 33 points, 7 rebounds 

As Arizona topped USC, Cate Reese led the way scoring 33 points and having seven rebounds. Not only did Reese put up huge offensive numbers, her final four made free throws in the last seconds of overtime is what cliched the game for the Wildcats. She only had eight points at the halftime mark but exploded in the second half with 25 points to get her career-high. The senior forward was the star of the show and helped Arizona complete the sweep of their trip through California.  

Alissa Pili (No. 7 Utah) against Oregon – 30 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists  

No. 7 Utah got the win against Oregon, all behind Alissa Pili who dropped 30 points, having seven rebounds and six assists. Pili scored her season high 30 points and helped Utah to move into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 Conference. The junior forward scored the first seven points of the game and was a consistent problem for Oregon to guard throughout the rest of the game. From her recent performances, Pili was awarded Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season and it looks nothing is stopping her anytime soon.  

Uconn beats Providence 98 to 53 making their record 6-0. They now prepare for their next home game on December 8th at 7pm at Gampel. Photo by Erin Knapp/Daily Campus.

Leigha Brown (No. 18 Michigan) against Michigan State – 29 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists 

In the rivalry matchup between No. 18 Michigan and Michigan State, Leigha Brown took the Wolverines to the top with her double-double performance. In the meaningful contest, Brown brought her all to the big stage and dropped 29 points with 12 rebounds. In their previous game against Illinois, she scored 27 points. Although she had a slow first half, The senior guard has been an offensive weapon for Michigan. Against Michigan State, Brown made 12-for-13 free throws and was near a triple-double. Her efficiency has made a positive impact for the Wolverines as her abilities to shoot has propelled Michigan to many wins.  

Diamond Miller (No. 8 Maryland) against No. 10 Ohio State – 29 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals 

As No. 8 Maryland soared past No. 10 Ohio State, Diamond Miller had a double-double performance with 29 points, 10 rebounds and an added three assists. Miller has proven multiple times that she is able to led her team to victory against highly-ranked opponents. She did just that against the Buckeyes, dominating on all ends with the Terps getting the 36-point win. The senior guard’s 18-point third quarter allowed Maryland to run away with the game, earning a win that broke a record for the biggest blowout victory against a Top 10 team ever. 

Best Games 

No. 16 Duke downs No. 9 Notre Dame  

In an ACC showdown, No. 16 Duke pulled off the 57-52 win against No. 9 Notre Dame. The Blue Devils trailed for the first 28 minutes of the game after Notre Dame opened the game on a 13-4 run. Duke was able to flip the switch in the third quarter. In front of a sellout crowd, senior guard Celeste Taylor scored 14 points, leading Duke’s offense and was a key part in the second half comeback when she dropped ten points. Going into the fourth quarter, the Blue Devils had the 48-46 lead and were able to hold off the Irish to seal the win. With the victory, Duke moved to first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

No. 22 Arizona defeats No. 14 UCLA  

On their California road trip, No. 22 Arizona was able to complete a sweep of both USC and No. 14 UCLA but it did not come easy. In an overtime battle, Arizona knocked off UCLA 71-66. In the first half, the Wildcats trailed the Bruins by 12 but UCLA struggled from the field for the whole game, hitting just 22 of 72 shots. Late in the game, Shaina Pellington went on an 11-0 run for Arizona to tie the game, then scored six of her team’s 10 points in overtime to lift them to victory. The senior guard finished with 21 points and hit clutch foul shots for Arizona to seal the 71-66 win over Pac-12 rival UCLA.  

No. 11 Virginia Tech beats No. 22 NC State  

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/Daily Campus.

No. 11 Virginia Tech’s huge offense game boosted them to a 73-61 victory against No. 22 NC State. Georgia Amoore scored a career-high 27 points with five 3-pointers and Elizabeth Kitley scored 25 points with 14 rebounds. This was Kitley’s 48th career double-double and it came at a perfect time. Virginia Tech jumped out scoring the first eight points of the game and was 15-4 over NC State midway through the first quarter. They lead 39-28 at halftime and never looked back. The Hokies had even more control the second half going on multiple offensive runs to keep them above the Wolfpack. NC State was outrebounded 21-11 and never really had a change to make a comeback. Virginia Tech defeated NC State for the first time in 13 meetings, winning their first ever game in Raleigh.  

Game Watch 

Upcoming – No. 1 South Carolina vs. No. 3 LSU  

We are all aware that this weekend is Super Bowl Sunday, but it’s also the day of one of the biggest games in college basketball this year. Both the undefeated No. 1 South Carolina and No. 3 LSU will face off this Sunday in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season. Both teams have been dominant behind two iconic coaches in Dawn Stanley and Kim Mulkey. Additionally, two of the game’s best forwards and NPOTY candidates, Aliyah Boston and Angel Reese will go head-to-head. One of the teams will be handed their first loss of the season, and it should be a potential game of the year for women’s basketball. South Carolina is coming off their headlined win against UConn, where the broadcast on FOX drew 1.087 million viewers. That is the most-watched women’s college basketball game ever on FOX network and the most watched regular season game on any network since 2017. This upcoming matchup is definitely not one to miss; tipoff is Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. on ESPN. 

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