If you're lucky like me, you got let out of work early and have a head start on the weekend. For the next three days, I won't be posting, but Swish Appeal has picked up the slack: Nate Parham will be filling in for the next three days, because there are a lot of games that he wishes he'd seen. But for at least today, you're stuck with my opinion, and I'll be posting again on Sunday.
#6 Stanford (5-1) defeated #16 Purdue (4-1) 76-69 in the Hardwood Tournament of Hope at Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It looks like a couple of teams are taking Thanksgiving vacation early. When a team is shooting 62 percent like the Cardinal they're going to be hard to beat and I don't think Stanford was really challenged. It looks like all of Stanford's starters finished in double figures, with senior forward Chiney Ogwumike leading all scorers with 22. This was Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer's 899th career win.
#5 Notre Dame (5-0) beats #25 DePaul (3-1) 92-76 at home. The Fighting Irish had 22 turnovers but led in every other aspect of the game. (The Blue Demons committed 30 personal fouls.) At the start of the second half, Notre Dame went on a 19-5 run that sealed DePaul's fate.
Notre Dame/DePaul is a long-standing rivalry. Not only is this the biggest score ever for Notre Dame in the series, but Notre Dame takes the lead - 20-19 overall in the series.
Grand Canyon beat North Texas 67-56 in overtime. The Antelopes are 5-0 out of the gate, even though two of those wins are against non-D1 schools and another two are against Abilene Christian (first year in D1) and Bethune-Cookman.
This article at Sports Illustrated illustrates the controversy surrounding Grand Canyon. After years of financial struggle, GGU abandoned its non-profit model and became a for-profit university, looking to sign up many of its students on-line a la the University of Phoenix. Sports - and Division I sports at that - is a strategy to increase the school's visibility. Junior Kaitlyn Petersen of the Antelopes scored 23 points, a career high. Probably no relation to Mike Petersen, the former head coach at Wake Forest and current HC at North Texas.
Saint Francis (PA) beat Howard 86-85 in overtime. This looks like a close shooting game (44 percent for Howard vs. 41 percent for the Red Flash) but Saint Francis had the 45-25 rebounding edge. Four players on both teams scored in double figures. Senior forward Alli Williams - who led 18 points and 16 rebounds for Saint Francis - hit one of two shots from the free throw line with eight seconds left to give SFU the lead, and Howard could not get off its final shot.