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Around the NCAAW Weekly: Freshmen Aliyah Boston and Ashley Owusu impressed

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Boston (South Carolina) and Owusu (Maryland) have quickly become two of the best freshmen in the top 10. Plus, Grace Berger (Indiana) is one of the most improved players in the nation, Stella Johnson (Rider) is a mid-major player who cannot be stopped, and more!

South Carolina v Maryland
Maryland freshman Ashley Owusu drives to the basket against South Carolina on Nov. 10, 2019, at Xfinity Center in College Park.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

This NCAAW Weekly post highlights notable events of the week in the world of college women’s basketball. Check out what surprises occurred, what milestones were reached and which players stood out.


Surprises

Freshmen lead the way for South Carolina, Maryland

The No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks won by 80 points over USC Upstate on Thursday, Nov. 21. Their 112 points marked the highest point total achieved by the Gamecocks under head coach Dawn Staley. Freshman Aliyah Boston contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds. Previously, she made her collegiate debut with a triple-double at the No. 9 Maryland Terrapins, and she hasn’t slowed down. Boston was a highly-ranked recruit coming in but it is a bit surprising to see her doing this well this early. She’s one of the best freshmen in the country thus far and, like the Terrapins’ Ashley Owusu, is arguably the best player on her team already. Owusu scored 27 points to go along with 13 rebounds and 15 assists in two games last week. She is leading the Terps in scoring (14.7 points per game) and assists (36 through six games).

South Carolina v Maryland
Aliyah Boston will attempt a free throw during a game against Maryland on Nov. 10, 2019.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Berger is on fire for Indiana

Sophomore Grace Berger (No. 34 in the video below) scored 23 points in the No. 17 Indiana Hoosiers’ win over Florida on Friday, Nov. 22. No. 44 on HoopGurlz in the high school class of 2018, Berger is now leading the Hoosiers with 17.5 points per game (she averaged just 5.5 points last season). Freshman Mackenzie Holmes has 58 points in just 71 minutes played for the Hoosiers, while sophomore Aleksa Gulbe has 40 points in 91 minutes. Those are the top three players in scoring average on the Indiana team, out-performing Indiana’s expected upper-class stars Ali Patberg and Brenna Wise. (Gulbe is tied with Patberg with 10 points per game, but has played 23 fewer minutes).

Games of the Week

Iowa over Princeton in OT last Wednesday, 77-75

The Princeton Tigers’ Julia Cunningham made a bank-shot desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to send this one to overtime. Bella Alarie finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Tigers, but the Iowa Hawkeyes pulled away with the win thanks to five points apiece from Makenzie Meyer and Kathleen Doyle in the extra period.

Miami over North Carolina A&T last Friday, 68-67

The North Carolina A&T Aggies nearly came up with a huge upset in this one, but Mykea Gray buried a 3-pointer with 18 seconds left to give the No. 19 Miami Hurricanes the win. Gray finished with a team-high 19 points and a game-high five steals. Miami had been down by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter.

Kent State over Robert Morris last Sunday, 82-81

The Kent State Golden Flashes were down 23-9 after the first quarter but gradually worked their way back into the game. They won the fourth quarter 31-22 and won the game because Megan Carter made a layup with one second left.

Milestones

Tyasha Harris

Harris, a South Carolina senior, reached 1,000 career points on Nov. 21 against. She scored18 points in the Gamecocks’ win over USC Upstate to give her 1,001 career points. She also recorded seven rebounds, six assists and two steals. The WNBA Draft prospect is now the fourth player in South Carolina history to reach over 1,000 points and over 500 assists.

Stephanie Jones

Jones, a Maryland senior, reached 1,000 career points in the Terps’ 107-52 win over the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Sunday. She is also a member of the 500-rebound club at Maryland, a milestone she reached earlier this season.

Hannah Whitish

Whitish, a Nebraska Cornhusker senior, reached 1,000 career points in a win over the Southern Lady Jaguars on Nov. 20. The Cornhuskers improved to 5-0 for the first time under head coach Amy Williams, who is in her fourth season at the helm.

Blue Demons of DePaul

The DePaul Blue Demons scored 45 points in the first quarter of their 109-64 win over the Arkansas State Red Wolves on Friday, Nov. 22, setting a program record for points in a quarter.

Other top performances

Ashley Joens: 30 points and 20 rebounds for the Iowa State Cyclones in a win over the Texas Southern Lady Tigers. Joens also added another double-double to her stats, with 26 points and 14 rebounds in a win over the North Dakota State Bison.

Lauren Dickerson: 37 points and eight assists for the Miami (OH) Redhawks in a win over the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.

Stella Johnson: 41 points and eight rebounds for the Rider Broncs in a win over the the Lipscomb Lady Bisons. She also scored 39 points on Saturday to go along with five steals in a loss to the North Florida Lady Ospreys. Johnson leads the nation in scoring with 30.8 points per game.

Here are some of her highlights from last year:

Beatrice Mompremier: 31 points and 18 rebounds for the Miami Hurricanes in a loss to DePaul.

Nicole Cardano-Hillary: 41 points and seven rebounds for the George Mason Patriots in a win over the Penn State Nittany Lions.

Must-watch upcoming contests

No. 1 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 8 Louisville Cardinals

When: Saturday, Nov. 30, at 12:15 p.m ET

Where: Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Oregon Sports Network

No. 5 South Carolina vs. the No. 2 Baylor Bears

When: Saturday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m ET

Where: Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands

How to watch/listen: Live-streaming on FloHoops (paid subscription)/Baylor All-Access