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Around the NCAAW Weekly: Naz Hillmon accomplishes rare feat, keeps Michigan undefeated

The Michigan Wolverines’ Naz Hillmon evoked the name of Jessica Shepard on Thursday with her biggest accomplishment of college thus far, while Holy Cross Crusaders coach Maureen Magarity was able to beat her dad not once but twice in historic showdowns.

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament - Semifinals
Naz Hillmon had every reason to be hyped up last week.
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

“Around the NCAAW Weekly” highlights the notable events of the week. Check out the milestones, surprises, best games and outstanding performances for games played through Sunday, Jan. 10:


Milestones/accomplishments

No. 15 Michigan Wolverines

Michigan junior forward Naz Hillmon continued her Big Ten Player of the Year bid with an incredible 35-point, 22-rebound performance on Thursday in the team’s thrilling two-point win over the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It was the second 30-point, 20-rebound game in program history. The feat was first accomplished by a Michigan women’s player when Abby Currier had 33 points and 20 rebounds on Jan. 20, 1979 and it hadn’t happened in the Big Ten on the men’s or women’s side since Jan. 24, 2016.

According to Her Hoops Stats, Jessica Shepard was the 30-20 star that day, playing for Nebraska against Michigan before she transferred to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and was drafted by the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx. She had 35 points and 20 boards as the Huskers topped the Wolverines 93-81.

Hillmon’s 30-20 game came in a much lower-scoring 64-62 Michigan win in which she accounted for 54.7 percent of her team’s points.

In addition to Hillmon’s accomplishment, Michigan is off to the best start in its program’s history (9-0).

Holy Cross Crusaders

Holy Cross head coach Maureen Magarity faced her father (Army Black Knights head coach Dave Magarity) on Saturday and Sunday and won both contests. Those were believed to be the first father-daughter head coaching matchups in NCAAW Division I history.

No. 3 UConn Huskies

UConn’s victory over the Providence Friars on Saturday gave head coach Geno Auriemma 1,098 career wins, which ties his longtime contemporary Pat Summitt for second-most wins in NCAAW Division I history. Auriemma will pass the legendary Tennessee Lady Volunteers coach if the Huskies defeat the Seton Hall Pirates on Wednesday.

No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies

Aggies senior N’dea Jones now stands alone atop the all-time double-doubles list at Texas A&M after securing her 34th such performance on Sunday. She passed former leader Anriel Howard and also moved into fifth place in program history for rebounds with 894.

No. 19 Indiana Hoosiers

Indiana junior guard Grace Berger recorded her second triple-double of the season with 15 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds on Thursday when the Hoosiers beat the Penn State Nittany Lions. It was also the second triple-double of her career and in Indiana program history. At the time, she was the only NCAAW Division I player to have two triple-doubles on the season.

No. 23 Michigan State Spartans

Spartan junior Nia Clouden reached 1,000 career points with 32 in a loss to the Maryland Terrapins on Thursday. Clouden is the 29th Michigan State player to reach 1,000 and is now 28th on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,018.

No. 12 Maryland Terrapins

Maryland put up its best field goal percentage defense performance in its time in the Big Ten by holding the Purdue Boilermakers to 24 percent shooting on Sunday.

Surprises

Tennessee Lady Volunteers

The Lady Vols upset the Arkansas Razorbacks with a comfortable 88-73 victory on Thursday.

Many Lady Vols knelt during the national anthem prior to the game as acknowledgment of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.

Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper had the following to say after the game:

It’s been hard to watch things on television, and know where things are in the world. But hopefully we can help be the change, maybe a positive light.

West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers blew out the No. 17 Texas Longhorns 92-58 on Saturday.

Other upsets:

  • Washington State Cougars over No. 7 Arizona Wildcats, 71-69 (OT), on Sunday
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers over No. 23 Michigan State Spartans, 68-64, on Sunday

ACC

The Virginia Tech Hokies (6-3, 1-3 ACC) gave the No. 2 Louisville Cardinals (9-0, 2-0 ACC) a scare, only losing by four on Thursday. The Cards had won each of their games by 10 points or more before that contest.

No. 22 Northwestern Wildcats

The Wildcats defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes 77-67 on Saturday and held star freshman Caitlin Clark to eight points. Iowa had been averaging 95.3 points per game and Clark had been averaging 27.6. Clark’s previous lowest-scoring output was 13 and her second-lowest was 21.

AP rankings (Jan. 11)

The Maryland Terrapins are the big winners in the rankings this week, moving up from No. 12 to No. 9 with ranked wins over the now-No. 18 Indiana Hoosiers and the now-unranked Michigan State Spartans.

The Terps benefited from the four-spot fall of the Arizona Wildcats (from No. 7 to No. 11), which came after the Wildcats were upset by the No. 25 Washington State Cougars, who are now ranked for the first time in program history.

The No. 17 Arkansas Razorbacks and No. 21 Texas Longhorns both fell four spots as well, while the No. 23 Tennessee Lady Volunteers moved into the rankings along with the Cougars after their win over the Razorbacks.

The previously-No. 25 Missouri State Lady Bears joined the previously-No. 23 Spartans as a team that fell out of the rankings.

COVID news

Dixie State Trailblazers

The Trailblazers announced the cancellation of their season on Tuesday because of the pandemic. They were limited to three games this season and went 1-2 in their first Division I campaign.

No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks

The Gamecocks went on pause on Thursday due to a positive test within their program. Their Thursday game against the Georgia Bulldogs was postponed, but they returned to action on Sunday, defeating the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats 75-70.

Games of the week

Wednesday: Oklahoma Sooners 75, Texas Tech Red Raiders 74

A missed jumped by Vivian Gray with two seconds left allowed Oklahoma to hold on for the win. Mandy Simpson made the game-winning free throws with eight ticks remaining. Texas Tech led 70-64 with 2:12 to go before 3-pointers from Taylor Robertson (1:54) and Gabby Gregory (1:24) tied it up. The Red Raiders led by as many as nine in the fourth. The Sooners were up by nine at halftime before losing the third 22-8. Robertson matched Gray with a game-high 24 points and her team won despite securing just 24 rebounds.

Sunday: Washington State Cougars 71, No. 7 Arizona Wildcats 69 (OT)

Charlisse Leger-Walker (17 points, five assists) made a layup at the buzzer of overtime to give the Cougars the win. She also made the game-tying layup with two seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Washington State led by as many as five in the extra frame and by four after a C. Leger-Walker basket with 48 ticks to go. Arizona’s Aari McDonald (23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists) scored the game’s next four points after that with a layup (0:42) followed by two free throws with 10 seconds remaining. The Wildcats blew the nine-point lead they had entering the fourth. C. Leger-Walker’s sister, Krystal Leger-Walker, had 14 points and nine assists for the winners.

Sunday: No. 8 Texas A&M Aggies 74, No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks 73

Jordan Nixon made a floater off the backboard with 0.4 seconds left to give the Aggies a thrilling win that kept them undefeated. Meanwhile, the Razorbacks missed out on a huge opportunity to pick up a Top 10 win and end their losing ways of late. Instead they lost their third of four. All three losses have been to good teams.

Nixon also converted on a 3-point play with 30 seconds to go to cut Arkansas’ lead to one. Aaliyah Wilson led Texas A&M with 27 points and added eight rebounds, while N’dea Jones notched 14 points and 12 boards. Chelsea Dungee was good for 21 points in defeat.

Other top performances

Caitlin Clark: 37 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Iowa Hawkeyes in a win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Wednesday.

Rhyne Howard: 32 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals for the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats in a loss to the No. 5 South Carolina Gamecocks on Sunday.

Chelsea Dungee: 30 points, seven rebounds, three assists and five steals for the No. 13 Arkansas Razorbacks in a loss to the Tennessee Lady Volunteers on Thursday.

Jordyn Dawson: 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals for the Akron Zips in a win over the Miami (OH) Redhawks on Saturday.

Dyaisha Fair: 30 points, six rebounds, four assists and four steals for the Buffalo Bulls in a loss to the Central Michigan Chippewas on Saturday.

Best upcoming matchup

No. 3 NC State Wolfpack (10-0, 5-0 ACC) vs. No. 2 Louisville Cardinals (10-0, 3-0 ACC)

When: Sunday, Jan. 17, at 3 p.m. ET

Where: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, KY

How to watch/listen: ESPN/Go Pack All-Access or TuneIn (NC State) or Radio: 790-AM WKRD (Louisville, KY)

Reason to watch: Louisville won the ACC regular season last year and NC State won the ACC Tournament. The Cardinals and Wolfpack are once again the two frontrunners in the conference and they are also the two best teams in the nation after the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal.