Welcome to the season’s first “Around the NCAAW Weekly,” where we’ll bounce around to highlight some of top games, performances, milestones and more from Monday, Nov. 6 through Sunday, Nov. 12 before looking ahead to the coming week’s most intriguing matchups:
While No. 20 Colorado, No. 21 USC, No. 18 Florida State and No. 15 Stanford deserve shine for their respective upsets of No. 1 LSU, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 11 Tennessee and No. 9 Indiana, the Buffs, Trojans, Noles and Cardinal weren’t the only teams to slay higher-ranked teams. Shout out to these unranked teams for taking down their ranked opponents:
NC State Wolfpack 92, No. 2 UConn Huskies 81
We suggested the Wolfpack would have to be almost perfect to take down the Huskies. On Sunday afternoon, they came close enough, delighting a rocking Raleigh crowd as they delivered a 92-81 victory over the nation’s second-ranked team. The Wolfpack shot better than 52 percent from the field, over 38 percent from 3 and dominated the glass 41-29. However, it was Saniya Rivers’ sensational showcase that spurred the Wolfpack to the upset. The junior guard introduced herself to a national audience with a career-high 33 points, along with 10 boards, five assists and a trio of blocks and steals.
NC State effectively disrupted UConn on both ends, inducing mistimed cuts on offense and missed rotations on defense. A bright spot for the Huskies was Paige Bueckers’ 27-point performance. However, it is a bit concerning that a team with as much theoretical talent as UConn was so reliant on Bueckers’ brilliance to generate good offense.
Oklahoma Sooners 80, No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels 70
On Thursday, the Sooners escaped Oxford with the 80-70 victory, applying high-energy defense to hold the home team to 13 fourth-quarter points. Senior forward Skylar Vann led Sooners with a career-best 24 points, while freshman forward Sahara Williams tallied a 13-point and 10-rebound double-double in her second college game. Senior forward Snudda Collins had a team-high 15 points off the bench for the Rebels, but, down the stretch, the Ole Miss offensive devolved into stagnancy, with too many no-pass and quick-shot possessions.
Marquette Golden Eagles 71, No. 23 Illinois Fighting Illini 67
Seniors Liza Karlen and Jordan King led the Golden Eagles to the 71-67 Saturday afternoon home win. The pair’s performances were almost polar opposites. Karlen was an efficient 11-for-16, scoring all her points on 2-pointers; King was an inefficient 4-for-14 overall, but she drained a pair of 3s and converted nine of her 10 free throws, including the final two that iced the upset for Marquette.
After a spectacular 32-point performance in Illinois’ opening win, senior guard Genesis Bryant struggled to get her shots to fall, scoring 11 points. However, she swished back-to-back 3s to cut Marquette’s advantage to a single point with seven minutes remaining. However, her a potentially-tying triple in the game’s final minute was off target. Senior center Camille Hobby, in her first season with the Illini after transferring from NC State, led her team with 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
The first week of Caitlin Clark’s senior campaign included a ho-hum 44-point, eight-rebound and six-assist effort in No. 3 Iowa’s win over No. 8 Virginia Tech. She followed that up with a tidy 24-point, 10-rebound and 10-assist triple-double. These gals also turned in applause-worthy performances:
Through two games, Arkansas freshman guard Taliah Scott is averaging 27 points per game on 45% from the field.— Will Whitson (@will_whitson2) November 10, 2023
The LadyBacks have a star on their hands. https://t.co/l04FmjCG45 pic.twitter.com/1Ily7TqCW9
KATLYN GILBERT TRIPLE DOUBLE !!!!!!!— DePaul Women's Basketball (@DePaulWBBHoops) November 10, 2023
The seventh in program history. pic.twitter.com/jJeXcWvW3O
RECORDS HAVE BEEN BROKEN!!!— Central Wyoming College Women’s Basketball (@CWCWBB1) November 12, 2023
Freshman Ariana Rodriguez has broken the single game scoring record for the women's basketball program with 35 points in tonight's 99-93 victory over Dawson College pic.twitter.com/GlrXkSwb4j
Milestone-making accomplishments and accolades
Another day, another Caitlin Clark record. On Sunday, the senior became Iowa’s all-time leading scorer, passing Megan Gustafson as she sits at 2,807 points and counting. The season’s first week also delivered other milestones, from behind-the-arc and on-the-glass excellence to 100-plus point totals to more all-time scorers to coaching win milestones:
100 in Paris vs Notre Dame— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 12, 2023
114 vs No. 14 Maryland today
South Carolina scored 100 points in each of its first two games of a season for the first time in program history. pic.twitter.com/dKyL5nsLpD
2⃣5⃣1⃣— Northwestern Women’s Basketball (@nuwbball) November 10, 2023
Coach McKeown has the program record for head coaching wins! pic.twitter.com/HaZKounOL9
We’d like to take this moment to congratulate Coach Elzy on her 50th career win!!! pic.twitter.com/x5T8lTXOD2— Kentucky Women’s Basketball (@KentuckyWBB) November 9, 2023
Celebrating legacies and legends
The season’s start offered an opportunity for a number of women’s college hoops programs to celebrate memorable teams and players from the past:
Honored to have two of our game's greats in attendance tonight ✌️ pic.twitter.com/ajS69qAmHN— USC Women's Basketball (@USCWBB) November 11, 2023
Nicky Anosike ends the day with a tribute to both Nikki McCray-Penson and Tasha Butts, sharing their legacy with the next generation pic.twitter.com/H8SPQSBPcb— Cora Hall (@corahalll) November 12, 2023
Welcome home, Champs. Mackey missed you. pic.twitter.com/hD2faLeQtn— Purdue Women's Basketball (@PurdueWBB) November 11, 2023
Tonight we recognized Mary Pat Kelly ‘84, the first 1,000 point scorer in BC Women’s Basketball history.— Boston College Women’s Basketball (@BC_WBB) November 10, 2023
This year marks the 40-year anniversary of her accomplishment, which occurred in a game against Harvard.
Welcome back to The Heights, Mary Pat! pic.twitter.com/DC6iUYXMoJ
Honoring a Redbird legend— Illinois State Women’s Basketball (@RedbirdWBB) November 2, 2023
We presented hall of famer Jill Hutchison with an MVC Championship pendant. Hutchison’s teams never received championship rings in her 28 years of coaching at ISU despite 5 conference titles. pic.twitter.com/lTDGCXrpkm
A look ahead
The second week of season offers a slate of tasty offerings, including—but not limited to—the following contests:
Tuesday, Nov. 14
No. 5 Utah Utes vs. No. 19 Baylor Bears (7:30 p.m. ET, Big 12 Network)
Thursday, Nov. 16
Clemson Tigers vs. No. 6 South Carolina Gamecocks (7 p.m. ET, SEC Network)
Friday, Nov. 17
No. 18 Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators (4 p.m. ET, SEC Network+)
Saturday, Nov. 18: Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis
The second Battle 4 Atlantis Women’s Tournament begins on Saturday and extends through Monday, with the championship game set for 12 p.m. ET on Monday on ESPN 2.
No. 12 Ole Miss Rebels vs. Howard Bison (12 p.m. ET, FloHoops)
Memphis Tigers vs. Arizona Wildcats (2:30 p.m. ET, FloHoops)
Michigan Wolverines vs. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (5 p.m. ET, FloHoops)
DePaul Blue Demons vs. South Dakota Coyotes (7:30 p.m. ET, FloHoops)
Sunday, Nov. 19
No. 22 Creighton Blue Jays vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers (2 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)
Duke Blue Devils vs. No. 15 Stanford Cardinal (3 p.m. ET, ABC)
No. 25 Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Belmont Bruins (3 p.m. ET, ESPN+)