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NCAA women's basketball weekly recap: Baylor, Seton Hall, Oklahoma get big wins, Loyd lights up Tennessee

Another week of conference hoops and several more illustrations of the parity in women's college basketball.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Save a few minor shifts in the top ten, the apex remained the same with South Carolina undefeated at #1 and one-loss UConn at #2. There will likely be more shifting in the weeks ahead as 5 Tennessee faced 6 Notre Dame in a Big Monday matchup while 3rd-ranked Baylor hosted Karen Aston's 8th-rated Texas Longhorns. simultaneously.

Lest we ignore, a resurgent Sooner squad in Norman, Oklahoma is making its presence known. A former national contender, bolstered by the return of its All-League junior guard knocks off a couple ranked SEC foes. And a trio of guards in New Jersey combine to put 75 points on the board for a Big East up-and-comer.


Texas continued its recent struggles in the Big 12 after a sparking non-conference schedule, dropping a road contest to Kim Mulkey's fantastic Baylor squad. 75-58 was the final score and that doesn't do any justice for the job the Lady Bears did in stamping this game as their own.

Nina Davis finished with 25 points and 6 rebounds while national assist leader Niya Johnson directed traffic to the tune of 15 points and 12 assists. Imani Wright was aggressive taking 13 shots and rounded out the double figures scoring for Baylor with 11.

Freshman Brooke McCarty came off the bench to lead the Longhorns with 14 points. The outstanding post duo of Nneka Enemkpali and Kelsey Lang flipped the script in terms of performance as Lang finished 6-6 for 12 points and 6 rebounds while Nneka's double-double ended abruptly with 2 points and 6 boards. There's some concern as to her health after the senior went down in obvious pain with 5:44 left in the first half.  She returned to the bench in the second half with a sleeve and crutches.

Empress Davenport added 10 for a Texas team that could potentially see some lineup changes coming soon. There are no off nights in the Big 12 and Aston's squad could be in risk of that smacking them across the face with Iowa State and conference leader Oklahoma coming to town.


Jewell Loyd's been good for double figure scoring in 78 of her 91 games in a Notre Dame uniform. A consecutive streak of 60 games was broken as Loyd was less than 100% against North Carolina in a game Brianna Turner dominated but Loyd was back to her breath-taking self on Monday.

34 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists rounded the stat-line for Loyd in an 88-77 victory over 6th-ranked Tennessee. Loyd hit 13 of 22 shots in leading the charge for Muffett McGraw's Crew. Lindsay Allen chipped in 15 while Turner continued her stellar play with 13 points and 5 blocks. Taya Reimer had her best game back, narrowly missing a double-double with 9 points and 10 boards.

BaShaara Graves showed up in a big way with 22 points and 8 rebounds in a much needed showing from her. Cierra Burdick added 15 before fouling out. Isabelle Harrison added 12 points and 9 boards but only hit 4 of her 15 shots. Senior point guard Ariel Massengale hit three triples en route to 11 points.


A pair of graduate students and a junior guard are setting fire to the nets for Anthony Bozzella's squad. Ka-Deidre Simmons racked up 28, Daisha Simmons 22 and Tabatha Richardson-Smith 35 and 15 rebounds in scoring 75 of Seton Hall's 107 points in a 20-point win against DePaul.

Both Simmons combined to add 18 of Seton Hall's 20 assists as they were able to knock off the Blue Deacons and move into first place in the Big East. This was Seton Hall's first win as a Big East program over DePaul. Doug Bruno's team hit 14 threes and put five players in double figures but it wasn't nearly enough to overcome 55% shooting from the Pirates.


Sherri Coale talked about her young Oklahoma squad taking its bumps early in the non-conference season.
Losses to South Florida, Kentucky, Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas, and Duke all mounted up before the Christmas break arrived. But something over the holiday clicked with the Sooner squad and they've reeled off 7 straight wins, including a 6-0 start in Big 12 play.

Sophomore guard Gioya Carter has been huge for the OU squad, chalking up 17.2 points per outing in the first five Big 12 matchups. Kaylon Williams has also been a revelation, making 25 of her last 41 shots, including a career-high 25 points and season-high 12 boards in a victory over TCU.

The trend continued in the Sooners' crushing of Oklahoma State in the Bedlam rivalry. Carter chipped in 18 points while Williams added 16. Peyton Little finished with 13 and 7 rebounds and Sharane Campbell rounded out double figure scorers for OU with 11. Lashawn Jones led OSU with 15 points while freshman Kaylee Jensen added 13 and 5 off the bench. Roshunda Johnson's 12 wasn't even to make up for Liz Donohoe's inability to scratch as the final score was an ugly 73-54.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Danielle Ballard, LSU

Danielle Ballard was sidelined for the first 14 games of the year due to a suspension for unspecified violations of team rules and I must admit, LSU has been hard to watch. With 6 losses amounting to the worst non-conference performance in over two decades, the Lady Tigers have made their presence known this season, picking up back-to-back upsets of top-15 squads.

First, she rang the (cow)bell for 24 points in a comeback while also adding 10 rebounds in a road victory over Vic Shaefer's then 15th-ranked Bulldogs. Then she followed that by filling the stat sheet -- 25 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, and 5 steals-- all in 32 minutes in an 84-79 upset of Kentucky in Pete Maravich Arena.

It doesn't get much easier for Nikki Caldwell's squad as they go to Thompson-Boling Arena to matchup with a Tennessee team coming off a loss at Notre Dame.


Samantha Logic, Iowa (5'9", G)

Four triple-doubles have been registered beside the name of Sam Logic during her stellar career in Iowa City and nothing has changed in her senior year. 10.8 points and 6.8 apiece in terms of assists and boards would be a fantastic year for most but it could be considered down for Sam.

But surrounded by a team of players shooting 39% from three and 45% from the floor, Logic's individual scoring numbers were bound to come down. She continues to pass the ball and rebound at the same high rate of years past.

Athleticism will be a concern as the game is bigger, faster, and stronger for guards at the WNBA label and the name Lindsey Moore still draws cringes from some Minnesota Lynx faithful. Logic's toughness and willingness to do whatever is needed will be key to her success as a professional baller. But the former McDonald's All-American has more than left her mark on the Big Ten.