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Around the NCAAW Weekly: Gary Blair the GOAT at Texas A&M

Texas A&M Aggies head coach Gary Blair became the winningest basketball coach, men’s or women’s, in school history last week.

Syndication: Knoxville
Gary Blair
Saul Young/News Sentinel, Knoxville via Imagn Content Services, LLC

“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, Dec. 12. All rankings are from last week.


Milestones/accomplishments

12/9/2021: Gary Blair, head coach of the No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies, won his 439th game at A&M, pushing him past former Aggies men’s coach Shelby Metcalf for most wins as a basketball coach at the school.

12/10/2021: Senior Elissa Cunane of the No. 2 NC State Wolfpack broke Miah Spencer’s program record of 428 career free throws made.

12/12/2021: In his 266th game as head coach of the NC State Wolfpack, Wes Moore won his 200th game at the school. Only four coaches in ACC women’s basketball history have gotten to 200 wins with one team quicker. Moore is 15th all-time (seventh active) in NCAAW Division I with 758 wins.

12/12/2021: Cunane reached 1,500 career points in her 100th game.

12/12/2021: Former Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach Muffet McGraw entered the Ring of Honor at Notre Dame. The Irish were No. 22 last week.

12/12/2021: Junior Mackenzie Holmes reached 1,000 career points by scoring a career-high 30 in the No. 10 Indiana Hoosiers’ 86-66 win over the No. 20 Ohio State Buckeyes. The margin now stands as Indiana’s largest-ever margin of victory over Ohio State. Holmes also reached 128 career blocks, good for seventh all time in program history.

12/12/2021: Teammates on the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks, Zia Cooke and Aliyah Boston both reached 1,000 career points. They are juniors.

12/12/2021: No. 1 South Carolina’s plus-27 rebounding edge against the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins is the program’s highest while facing a Top 10 team under head coach Dawn Staley. The team’s 61 total rebounds collected in the game ranks fourth under Staley.

12/10/2021: Tegan Graham made a BYU Cougars single-game program-record 10 threes. Erin Thorn and Kim Beeston held the previous record (nine). The Cougars were the No. 16 team in the nation last week.

12/9/2021: The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets became the first unranked team to beat the UConn Huskies (No. 3 last week) since the St. John’s Red Storm on Feb. 18, 2012. The Huskies had won 240 in a row against unranked opponents. With Georgia Tech winning 57-44, UConn scored less than 45 points for the first time since Feb. 27, 2006 when it fell to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights 48-42.

12/11/2021: No. 3 UConn maintained its run of not losing back-to-back games, which extends back to 1993, by defeating the UCLA Bruins 71-61.

12/12/2021: Bethy Mununga of the No. 17 South Florida Bulls hit 700 career rebounds. She achieved the mark in just 61 games, giving her a double-digit rebound average. She has 41 double-digit-rebound games.

12/12/2021: Tamari Key of the No. 9 Tennessee Lady Volunteers reached 194 career blocks, moving her into a sixth-place tie in program history with Michelle Snow.

12/8/2021: A triple-double of 11 points, 13 rebounds and 13 assists was posted by Olivia Miles of Notre Dame. The only other Notre Dame freshman to ever notch a triple-double is Marina Mabrey (18 points, 10 assists, 12 steals on Nov. 23, 2015). There have been nine Fighting Irish triple-doubles with seven players accomplishing the feat.

12/8/2021: Ashley Joens (1,888 career points as of Dec. 8) of the No. 15 Iowa State Cyclones climbed to No. 3 in scoring in program history.

12/6/2021: The No. 10 Indiana Hoosiers surrendered just 40 points to the Penn State Nittany Lions. That last time they gave up less in a Big Ten game was on March 4, 2004 (39 to the Wisconsin Badgers). Indiana guard Nicole Cardaño-Hillary hit her 200th career 3-pointer in the Penn State game. The Hoosiers held the Nittany Lions to zero free throw attempts.

Streak tracker

No. 5 Baylor Bears consecutive non-conference home wins - 66

No. 8 Maryland Terrapins consecutive home wins - 30 (longest streak in the country)

No. 8 Maryland Terrapins consecutive Big Ten wins - 15

Ashley Owusu of the No. 8 Maryland Terrapins consecutive games in double figures - 45

No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies consecutive wins vs. non-Power 5 opponents - 24

Surprises

Upsets

12/9/2021: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets over No. 3 UConn Huskies, 57-44

Georgia Tech was receiving votes.

12/12/2021: TCU Horned Frogs over No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies, 87-75

TCU is No. 121 in the NET rankings. It was led by Lauren Heard (33 points) and Aja Holmes (22 points).

12/12/2021: Villanova Wildcats over No. 23 Oregon State Beavers, 56-52

Villanova is No. 143 in the NET rankings. Maddy Siegrist dropped 28 points for the winners.

12/7/2021: Liberty Flames over Virginia Tech Hokies, 59-40

Liberty is No. 71 in the NET rankings, while Virginia Tech is No. 21. The Hokies were receiving votes last week.

Liberty was 7-1 entering this contest and was picked to finish third in the ASUN, but this was its first game against a Power 5 team. The Hokies have been ranked as high as 24th this season. This is Liberty’s best start since 2007-08 and the win marked their first over an ACC team since Dec. 30, 2008. That day the Flames also beat Virginia Tech. They are 2-16 all-time against the Hokies. The last time Virginia Tech scored 40 points or less in a game was on Jan. 26, 2017 when it only managed 27 against the Virginia Cavaliers.

Alyssa Iverson notched 16 points and five assists for Liberty and teammate Bridgette Rettstatt (13 points, seven boards) reached 700 career rebounds in the win.

12/9/2021: DePaul Blue Demons over No. 14 Kentucky Wildcats, 94-85

DePaul was receiving votes.

12/10/2021: Oklahoma Sooners over No. 16 BYU Cougars, 99-91 (OT)

Oklahoma was receiving votes.

Oklahoma was down one with 2:41 to play in overtime before ending the game on a 9-0 run.

Madi Williams made the three that put the Sooners ahead for good and dropped 25 points total to go along with 14 rebounds. Taylor Robertson chipped in with 23 points.

Sooner Skylar Vann made the layup that forced overtime with 49 seconds remaining in regulation.

12/11/2021: Seton Hall Pirates over Princeton Tigers, 70-60

Seton Hall is No. 135 in the NET rankings, while Princeton is No. 40.

The Pirates, who received 21 points from Andra Espinoza-Hunter and 20 points and nine assists from Lauren Park-Lane, ended the Tigers’ 21-game home win streak.

12/12/2021: Florida Gators over Florida State Seminoles, 69-55

Florida is No. 91 in the NET rankings, while Florida State is No. 62. Emanuely de Oliveira registered 16 points for the Gators.

Close calls

12/12/2021: No. 15 Iowa State Cyclones over Northern Iowa Panthers by just one

12/12/2021: West Virginia Mountaineers over James Madison Dukes by just seven in OT

The Mountaineers were receiving votes.

Games of the week

12/10/2021: Denver Pioneers over Butler Bulldogs, 100-94 (4OT)

12/11/2021: Northwestern State Lady Demons over Mississippi Valley State Devilettes, 78-71 (OT)

12/12/2021: West Virginia Mountaineers over James Madison Dukes, 75-68 (OT)

Other top performances

12/11/2021: Jhessyka Williams — 38 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs.

12/11/2021: Ayoka Lee — 38 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks for the Kansas State Wildcats.

12/9/2021: Maddy Siegrist — 36 points and 17 rebounds for the Villanova Wildcats.

12/10/2021: Celena Taborn — 33 points and 10 rebounds for the Butler Bulldogs.

12/7/2021: Kahlaijah Dean — 34 points and seven rebounds for the Oakland Golden Grizzlies.