We are rounding the curb of the last shopping weekend before Christmas. All of the student-athletes are now just athletes until the spring term begins and conference play picks up. This weekend becomes one of the last chances to get some licks in in non-conference play.
There were a lot of games on Friday and a lot of games I'd wish I'd seen. Unlike previous posts where I had to look hard for candidates, this time I had a multitude of choices and had to eliminate some games from the list that follows below.
(9-2) #12 Louisiana State 79
@ (11-1) North Carolina State 89
* Great shooting game - the Wolfpack shot 53 percent; the Lady Tigers 49 percent
* Unfortunately, both teams combined for 55 fouls - LSU had 30 fouls; both sides had two players each fouling out
* Best start for NCSU since 1999-2000 season (14-0 start)
* Two Wolfpack players scored 20+ points - senior center Markeisha Gatling (25 on 11-for-13 shooting), senior forward Kody Burke (25 on 9-for-15 shooting).
* Gatling - 24-for-27 shooting over last two games
(8-2) Georgia Tech 102
(9-1) Texas-El Paso 77
Puerto Rico Classic (San Juan, PR)
* Texas El-Paso also leaves the ranks of the undefeateds.
* Georgia Tech has a -9 turnover margin (11 for GT, 20 for UTEP)
* UTEP's 77 points is second-highest total against Yellow Jackets this season
* GT freshman guard Kaela Davis - 17 points in the first half, 26 for the game (Davis is the daughter of former UTEP player Antonio Davis)
* UTEP - came no closer than 15 points in the second half
(5-5) UCLA 58
@ (9-3) Minnesota 55
* UCLA only has seven players and shoots 32 percent, wins anyway.
* Key to UCLA victory? An 11-0 game-ending run to steal the win.
* UCLA : 20-4 edge in second-chance points
* Bruins senior forward Atonye Nyingifa - 14 game double-double streak comes to an end on 2-13 shooting - finishes with 9 points, 8 rebounds on 2-for-14 shooting due to flu symptoms
* Golden Gophers junior guard Rachel Banham - 24 points, 7 rebounds.
(2-7) Saint Francis (PA) 68
@ (6-4) Florida Gulf Coast 75
Florida Gulf Coast Tournament
* low shooting (SFPA 35%, FGCU 35%), high rebounding (SFU 53, FGCU 48), fast paced game
* St. Francis PA scoreless in first five minutes.
* St. Francis PA put Florida Gulf Coast on the ropes in the second half with a 16-3 run - six lead changes in the second half
* Red Flash junior guard Alexa Hayward - 20 points with 6-for-12 3-point shooting
* Eagles senior guard Sarah Hansen almost gets a triple-double - 17 points, 12 rebounds, 9 steals.
Elo Rankings at end of December 20, 2013:
1. Connecticut 11-0, 2. Tennessee 10-0, 3. Kentucky 11-0, 4. Notre Dame 9-0, 5. Duke 11-1, 6. Stanford 9-1, 7. Louisville 11-1, 8. Maryland 10-1, 9. Baylor 9-1, 10. North Carolina 10-2, 11. Oklahoma 8-3, 12. Colorado 9-0, 13. California 7-2, 14. Nebraska 8-2, 15. Purdue 8-2, 16. Iowa State 9-0, 17. Oklahoma State 9-0, 18. South Carolina 10-1, 19. Georgia 11-0, 20. Louisiana State 9-2, 21. Texas A&M 7-3, 22. Penn State 7-3, 23. Vanderbilt 9-2, 24. Gonzaga 9-2, 25. Dayton 4-4
What was your favorite game yesterday, seen or unseen? Let us know in the comments!