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Women’s college basketball winners and losers: USC’s big upset, building generational fandom

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USC's Kayla Williams (left) and Okako Adika celebrate USC's 55–46 victory over Stanford in the Pac-12 Women's College Basketball Game on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
USC’s Kayla Williams (left) and Okako Adika celebrate USC’s 55–46 victory over Stanford on January 15, 2023 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The biggest upset of the season by far belongs to USC. The Trojans shocked the Final Four favorite and second-ranked Stanford (55-46) on Sunday at the Galen Center in Los Angeles. It was one of four games in which an unranked team beat a team in the Associated Press top 25.

The 46 points scored by Stanford is the lowest since February 2017, when the 8th-placed Cardinal lost to the then No. 1. 10 Oregon, 50-47, according to ESPN statistics and information. The yield is 55% of their average of 82.5 points per game. Their previous low this season was 60 points against Cal a week ago, which was also their lowest win margin, 60-56.

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Stanford (17-2, 5-1 Pak-12) and No. 1 South Carolina (18-0, 6-0 SEC), another team to beat the Cardinal, started the season as clear favorites. return to the Final Four. Two other videos have caused heated debate. Now Stanford looks more vulnerable to a comeback.

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Little things went well for the Cardinal. Cameron Brink was the only player in double figures to score 11 on a bad 3-for-14 day that included all five missed 3-pointers, although she added 14 rebounds and four blocks. Talana Lepolo (9) and Haley Jones (8) were the only other players to score over 5 points.

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They trailed from the start, trailing 11–4 in the second quarter and were on the field 29.2% (7 of 24), including 1 of 9 3-point attempts. By the end of the game, they had hit 17 on 55 attempts, a season low, and four 3-pointers, the fewest with Cal’s play.

In six Pac-12 competitions, Stanford is averaging 42.9%. But in the last three games, including a 60-56 win over Cal and a 72-59 win over UCLA, the Cardinal are up 35% and averaging 12 assists per game at 17.5 per season. .

Stanford will be on the lookout again on Friday when they take on Utah (15-1, 5-1), who defeated No. 14 Arizona, 80-79 on Sunday. Stanford has yet to face Oregon (January 29).

USC (13-4, 3-3) is closing in on its five-game 2021-22 Pac-12 overall win, with wins over Oregon State and Cal leading up to Sunday’s victory. Sophomore year head coach Lindsey Gottlieb used seven players, led by Destiny Littleton who scored 18 points (5 of 15) and six assists. USC also struggled offensively, hitting 27% but made up for it by hitting 8 of 19 3-point attempts and doubling Stanford at the free throw line.

Losers: Iowa State and Stephanie Soares

Iowa State, ranked 15th, was one of those top 25 teams that suffered an embarrassing 68–53 defeat against a Texas team that had already fallen out of the rankings.

The defeat was hard, but not as devastating as the news that center/forward Stephanie Soares was defeated this week. torn cruciate ligament and out for the rest of the season. It’s the same ACL she tore earlier.

Soares is a 6-foot-6 graduate from MA University, California’s NAIA School, who has made her way onto the radar of WNBA teams. She was a two-time NAIA Player of the Year and averaged 14.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and three blocks in 22.6 minutes per game. Her 25.5 points in 40 minutes ranks 33rd in the nation, and her block averages rank third.

The Cyclones (11-3, 3-1 Big 12) entered the conference schedule as favorites and partly rebuilt around Soares to take the next step off the Sweet 16 berth. ), a defensive team that had one less threat behind Ashley Joens. Joens scored 21 to become the only double-digit cyclone.

Winner: Generation

Women’s and women’s sports are so young. Not too long ago, women were actively discouraged from participating in everyday sports, let alone doing it professionally with paychecks and marketing dollars on the table.

The sport is now at a point where 22 year olds drafted into the WNBA have grown up watching their new teammates on TV. Children of professional coaches are drafted into leagues. So it was another nice moment when these photos appeared on the Twitter timeline for a week.

Simona Augusta was in town for the unveiling of her statue at LSU. photos of the ceremony and the game was goosebumps worthy of so many people who came out to see August. Also in town was Sylvia Fowles, another LSU great leaguer who retired from the WNBA in September. And another WNBA player is Angel Reese, a sophomore forward who has increased her total double-doubles to 18 in the same number of games. She averages 23.9 points and 15.4 rebounds per game.

One day, Reese, in August’s shoes, can take a picture with a young girl, hoping to one day become professionals. Although in this new world it will probably be TikTok.

Loser: Azzi Fudd and the luck of UConn

UConn’s season went down the camel hill again as National Player of the Year contender Azzie Fudd played the second half of a 65-50 victory over Georgetown.

It looks like Fudd had a right knee tweak that prevented her from making the top eight in early December. It was her second game since her injury, but she went to the dressing room with her coach just over 3 minutes before the end of the first half.

Head coach Geno Auriemma, who returned to the team last week after a break, said that a doctor examined his knee after that. He told SNY that “it didn’t sound serious at all”, although that was the case with injuries that had previously become serious.

The loss of Fudd was again a blow to the Huskies (15–2, 8–0 Big East), not only because of her scoring and playing ability. Without her, UConn was again left with seven healthy players, the bare minimum the Big East needed to play. UConn had to postpone a game against DePaul last week due to a rule.

“If Azzie is out for a while, like if she doesn’t play on Tuesday, then we’re back to square one, right?” Auriemma said.

Paige Buekers and Ice Brady are out for the season. Caroline DuCharme and Ayanna Patterson don’t walk around with concussions. UConn is set to head to Seton Hall for Tuesday’s game.

Winner: Tennessee Threads

The image of this Lady Vols is good.

More teams need to have a vintage look to break out, although perhaps few programs are as iconic as Tennessee. Legend Lady Vols Candice Parker was in the house (graduates return home there was a trend this weekend) and Summitt Blue looked so clean in court. This was especially harsh against black Georgia.

Victory, victory.

Loser: Doesn’t support hometown team

There were a lot of performances this weekend. North Carolina played in front of its first sell-out since 2015 and defeated higher-ranked North Carolina State, 56–47, at Chapel Hill. Indiana cheered to 10,422 fans, the highest regular season crowd in program history and second overall for a 93–56 rout of Wisconsin. Hawkeye Nation Continues appear in droves.

This is not the case for other programs, such as Syracuse, where 3,736 people showed up to watch the successful Orange (13-5, 4-3 ACC) take over top 10 Notre Dame (14-2, 5-1). Many of those fans were there for the Fighting Irish, filling the section behind the away bench in navy blue.

Syracuse freshman head coach Felicia Leget-Jack was asked about this after a 72–56 loss that was closer than the final score seemed.

“It’s great and easy to join a team once it’s established,” says Legett-Jack, a 1989 graduate from Syracuse. “But getting there at the grassroots level and helping them up is a special feeling. I had this feeling when I was a student-athlete here and they grew up from a place where [the men’s team] had to get out Manly Field House because there were too many fans wanting [watch]so the Dome was built. And the next thing you know, 34-35,000 people came to see zone 2-3, right? And spectacular players. Well, now we have one of the most spectacular players in our team, and she will need support.

Legett-Jack was referring to Diasha Fair, whose 19.6 points per game ranks third in the ACC behind Florida State freshman Ta’Nia Latson (24.3) and Louisville’s Haley Van Lit (20.8). This star also has local roots as she grew up 90 minutes down the highway. Two more players from Rochester and Albany.

The men’s team averages about 17,000 fans a game these days, and 20,666 people came out the night before to watch Syracuse sneak past the Notre Dame men’s team, but without an ACC win. This is largely due to the fact that watching men’s games was meant to be an event that should take place over many years of growth, which yes included winning but also included other powers.

School support, fan groups, local businesses attracting celebrities, business lobby posters that consumers need to see, small businesses promoting them while ignoring women even when women are doing better. This is not only a Syracuse problem; this was a problem almost everywhere until the ceiling broke, usually a woman would punch him until he finally shattered.

Legett-Jack, who developed the program in Buffalo, may be the woman in Syracuse. Her challenge, pitting upstate cities against each other, is a great shot. And a challenge.

“I just think that if you join us now, you will be really proud of yourself,” Legett-Jack said. “We will take you when we are better if you want to come this late. But we will see that you were not in this place when we increased this team. I am an elephant. I do not forget. So the problem is what we learned in Buffalo. We asked the community to come out, we ordered them to try and join us as we build it, and they did. And we grew, and we grew, and we got better. … And if you want Buffalo…


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