The women’s college basketball season continues to chug along, filled with noteworthy games and superb performances. On Thursday, Iowa’s Caitlin Clark achieved the signature milestone of the season, surpassing 3,000 points as the No. 4 Hawkeyes defeated Iowa State. Our Zachary Draves has the details from the history-making evening.
Here’s what else happened from Monday, Dec. 4 through Sunday, Dec. 10:
No. 1 South Carolina, No. 2 UCLA preserve perfect records
The Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Showcase was the highlight of the past of week of hoops action, as six ranked teams took the court for the triple header at Mohegan Sun Arena.
In the first contest, No. 2 UCLA held off No. 20 Florida State 95-78 behind a 22-point and 18-rebound double-double from sophomore center Lauren Betts. As our Edwin Garcia surmised, FSU lacked the size necessary to contain the 6-foot-7 Betts. However, the guard tandem of senior Sara Bejedi and sophomore Ta’Niya Latson did all they could to keep the Seminoles in striking distance of the upset; Bejedi finished with 19 points and Latson had a game-high 26. UCLA now is an undefeated 9-0, while FSU drops to 7-3.
In the afternoon’s second contest, Alissa Pili nearly powered No. 11 Utah to the upset, with the senior forward scoring a career-high 37 points in just 28 minutes. However, the 3-ball, a key weapon for the Utes, was not falling in Mohegan Sun, with a 5-for-20 performance from behind the arc preventing Utah from taking down No. 1 South Carolina. Senior guard Te-Hina Paopao also guaranteed that the Gamecocks would leave Uncasville still unscathed at 9-0 with the 78-69 win. Once again, Paopao was composed and clutch, hitting three 3s, scoring 15 points and playing a team-high 35 minutes.
The third game of the triple header saw the local favorites earn a needed victory, with No. 17 UConn defeating No. 24 North Carolina, 76-64. The third quarter proved pivotal, with the 6-3 Huskies outscoring the 6-4 Tarheels 29-13. However, UConn once again was highly dependent on the individual brilliance of redshirt junior guard Paige Bueckers, who led all players with 26 points on 11-for-14 shooting. Considering Bueckers has the talent required to consistently captain her team to victory, it’s not a bad thing. But, should a program ostensibly overflowing with highly-ranked recruits be so reliant on a singular star?
Crucial losses for teams on the fringes of the top 25
Several teams hovering on the fringes of the…