Women’s college basketball Power Rankings

In a week when UConn coach Geno Auriemma lost his mother Marsiella at the age of 91, everything else seemed secondary in comparison.

But even at the beginning of December, the Huskys have already gone through a lot in terms of basketball. Despite a string of injuries, UConn is 7-2 and still holds a spot in the top 10 on ESPN’s Week 5 Women’s College Basketball Power rankings.

The Huskies knew in August they would not have All-American guard Paige Bueckers this season because she sustained an ACL injury. Then, in October, freshman forward Ice Brady suffered a season-ending kneecap injury.

As of Sunday in Maryland, UConn had shrunk to seven available players. Guards Azzi Fudd (knee) and Nika Mühl (concussion) are also now sidelined, along with forward Dorka Juhász (thumb), who last played on November 14. UConn was still struggling but lost to Maryland for the first time ever, 85-78.

That came a week after UConn fell at Notre Dame when Fudd sustained a knee injury and three days after a narrow 69-64 win over Princeton when Mühl was injured.

Injuries are an inevitable part of the sport, but the Huskies have seen more than their share just a month into the season. Other programs were also hit hard. Tennessee lost center Tamari Key for the season due to a blood clot in his lungs. Tennessee, however, saw the return of forward Rickea Jackson in Sunday’s win over Wright States after missing two games due to a coaching decision.

Indiana has been without guard Grace Berger since she sustained a knee injury on November 25. Baylor forward Aijha Blackwell has been out since November 15 with a knee injury, although she Tweeted on Sunday that she expects to return soon. Guard Jacy Sheldon has only played one of Ohio State’s last six games – Nov. 30 against Louisville – with what is known as a lower leg injury.

On Saturday, Iowa guard Kate Martin left a win over Minnesota with a pre-diagnosed deep bone bruise to her shin. NC State was without forward Jada Boyd and lost guard Diamond Johnson in the Wolfpack’s win over South Florida on Sunday. Both are dealing with ankle injuries that are not expected to be serious and are considered commonplace, a team spokeswoman said.

The bottom line is that players and coaches have to be prepared for everything, because injuries are inevitable. Auriemma and UConn have been through this many times in the past, but it’s always a challenge.


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A week after Iowa’s Caitlin Clark scored 45 points, Morrow did the same, setting a DePaul single-game school record in the process. Morrow, a sophomore forward, was 18 of 32 from the field and 8 of 12 from the line as DePaul defeated Northwestern 81-63 on Saturday. She added 13 rebounds and five steals. On Wednesday, she had 25 points and 14 rebounds in a 78-52 win over Loyola Chicago. It was Morrow’s second game over 40 this season; She scored 42 points on November 15 when she defeated Cleveland State.

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Kansas leads Arizona at halftime with help from downtown Mia Vuksic.

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Kansas defeated previously undefeated Arizona 77-50 in Tucson on Thursday. At home on Sunday, the Jayhawks defeated Wichita State 72-52. Kansas, the only undefeated team in the Big 12 at 9-0, has held seven of their opponents to 53 points or fewer. The Jayhawks, who returned to the NCAA tournament last season for the first time since 2013, are almost certain to break into the Associated Press’s top 25 this week. They’re not far off the power rankings either. Taiyanna Jackson Senior Center has an average of 15.4 PPG and 10.6 RPG.

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Mid-American Conference preseason favorite Toledo, who went 29-6 in aggregate and 19-1 in MAC last season, is 8-2 with his November losses to Duke and Penn State back-to-back. In Thursday’s win in Michigan, the Rockets had five players in double digits and shot 50% from the field. It wasn’t a bad loss for Michigan, but the Wolverines fell – for now – from the power rankings.

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Sammi Mikonowicz hits a clutch bucket to give Toledo the late lead and Michigan’s attempt to tie the game doesn’t seal their fate.

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It’s been hard to pin down the 9-3 Terps with some of their ups and downs already this season, but they did have two notable wins this past week. Thursday’s 77-74 win over Purdue gave Frese her 600th coaching win. On Sunday, the Terps beat visiting UConn for the first time. Frese, who coached Ball State and Minnesota before taking over in Maryland in 2002, is 601-173 in her career.


power rankings

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Bree Hall sinks a corner 3.

blank 1. South Carolina Gamecocks (9-0)
Previous placement:
1
In this week: vs. South Dakota State (Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Thursday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2), vs. Charleston Southern (Sunday)

It was a quiet week for the defending champions, with an 88-39 victory over Liberty led by Zia Cooke’s 20 points. This week, the Gamecocks face a Jackrabbits team that emerged from an upset by No.24 Kansas State.

blank 2nd Stanford Cardinal (10-1)
Previous placement:
2
In this week: vs. Tennessee (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, ABC)

It was an even quieter week for the cardinal, who was not playing. Next up is their annual matchup with Tennessee. At this point there will be 14 days between games for Stanford, so we’ll see if there’s any rust.

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New Hampshire Wildcats vs. Ohio State Buckeyes: All the highlights

blank 3. Ohio State Buckeyes (10-0)
Previous placement:
3
In this week: v Albany (Friday)

After beating New Hampshire on Thursday, the Buckeyes got their first real scare of the season against Big Ten foe Michigan State on Sunday, winning 74-68. After Sheldon was back out, Taylor Thierry, Taylor Mikesell and Madison Greene made it big, playing 40 minutes each and scoring 52 points together.

blank 4. Indiana Hoosiers (10-0)
Previous placement:
4
In this week: Morehead State (Sunday)

The Hoosiers trailed Penn State at halftime Thursday but took over in the second half and went undefeated in a 67-58 win. Forward Mackenzie Holmes continues to drive Indiana forward; She averages 20.6 points and shoots 69.3% from the field.

blank 5. Notre Dame fights the Irish (8-1)
Previous placement:
5
In this week: at Virginia Tech (Sunday)

The Irish had their game against Lafayette postponed due to health and safety protocols and then drove to a 64-point win over Merrimack. Things get more interesting this week when they meet ACC title contender Virginia Tech on the road.

blank 6. NC State Wolf Pack (9-1)
Previous placement:
7
In this week: vs. Davidson (Thursday), vs. Clemson (Sunday)

The Wolfpack’s wins in Georgia and at home against South Florida were both good challenges from physically strong teams. NC State scored 65 points in both games, which was enough with the Wolfpack’s defense.

blank 7. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-1)
Previous placement:
8th
In this week: vs. South Carolina Upstate (Friday)

The Tar Heels rebounded from their only loss of the season – in Indiana on December 1 – with victories over UNC Wilmington and Wofford. Junior guard Alyssa Ustby had double-doubles in both games.

blank 8. Virginia Tech Hokies (10-0)
Previous placement:
10
In this week: against Notre Dame (Sunday)

After comfortable victories at Boston College and at home to UNC Asheville last week, the Hokies meet their first Irish ranked opponent this season. Center Elizabeth Kitley struggled offensively in Tennessee Dec. 4 but bounced back with two double-doubles.

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Maddy Westbeld with the massive block on the edge.

blank 9. UConn Huskies (7-2)
Previous placement:
6
In this week: vs. Florida State (Uncasville, Connecticut, Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Despite all the injury woes UConn faced, junior forward Aubrey Griffin’s performance was a bright spot. She led the Huskies with 29 points — and tied a school record by going out of field 11 of 11 — and 10 rebounds against Princeton, then had 12 and 15 against Maryland.

blank 10. Iowa Hawkeyes (8-3)
Previous placement:
11
In this week: vs. Northern Iowa (Sunday)

The Hawkeyes won their big rivalry game against the state of Iowa. They then defeated Minnesota to give Lisa Bluder the most regular-season coaching wins (234) in Big Ten women’s history. Caitlin Clark had 51 points, 18 rebounds and 17 assists in the two games. But Iowa has concerns about how long Martin could be out.

blank 11. Iowa State Hurricanes (7-2)
Previous placement:
9
In this week: vs. Villanova (Uncasville, Connecticut, Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

The Cyclones aren’t used to being held below 60 like they were when they lost in Iowa. Taking on Jacksonville was a pick-me-up as Ashley Joens had a double-double in an 84-50 win. Iowa State will join Villanova, Florida State and UConn in the Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday.

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Maddie Vejsicky shows the range at 3

blank 12. LSU Tigers (9-0)
Previous placement:
13
In this week: vs. Lamar (Wednesday), vs. Montana State (Saturday), vs. Oregon State (Sunday)

The Tigers’ scheduled Sunday game against New Orleans was canceled due to health and safety protocols with the Privateers. LSU’s games this weekend will be at the Maui Classic in Hawaii, and Oregon State will be LSU’s first Power 5 enemy of the season.

blank 13. Utah Utes (8-0)
Previous placement:
14
In this week: vs. Colorado (Wednesday), vs. UC Riverside (Saturday)

Utah won their state rivalry game at BYU 76-59, led by Alissa Pili’s second straight 28-point performance. Along with the USC Trojans, the Utes are among two undefeated teams in the Pac-12.

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Londynn Jones gets the hoop and damage

blank 14. UCLA Bruins (9-1)
Previous placement:
fifteen
In this week: at USC (Thursday), vs. Cal State Bakersfield (Saturday)

The Bruins beat Cal State Fullerton behind senior-rookie guard duo Charisma Osborne and Kiki Rice, who combined for 27 points. They open the Pac-12 game this week with Round 1 of their cross-city rivalry with USC; The teams play at UCLA on January 8th.

blank 15. Creighton Blue Jays (8-1)
Previous placement:
16
In this week: vs. Arkansas (Saturday)

Creighton defeated former Missouri Valley rival Drake 75-71 last week behind winger Morgan Maly’s career-high 24 points. The Bluejays have already played three ranked opponents, and now they will have three more in a row, starting with the Razorbacks.

blank 16. Oregon Ducks (7-1)
Previous placement:
NO
In this week: vs. Eastern Washington (Thursday), vs. Charleston (Sunday)

Endyia Rogers had 34 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Ducks defeated rival Oregon State 75-67 on Sunday. The Ducks, who lost to North Carolina on Thanksgiving, make their first appearance on the Power Ladder this season.

dropped out: Michigan

https://www.espn.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/35236144/women-college-basketball-power-rankings-uconn-tumbles Women’s college basketball Power Rankings

Emma Bowman

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