No. 15/14 Women’s Basketball Preview: at No. 7/7 Iowa State


Game 16: #15/14 Texas (12-3, 2-2 Big 12) vs #7/7 Iowa State (16-0, 5-0 Big 12)

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 – 6:30 p.m. Central

Hilton Coliseum (14,356) – Ames, Iowa

GameDay Quick Facts:

• TELEVISION: The game will be televised nationally on ESPN+. BJ Schaben (pxp) and Molly Parrott (analyst) will call the action.

• RADIO: 105.3 The Bat broadcasts every UT game on the statewide network. David Garrett (pxp) and Kathy Harston (analyst) will call the action. Check TexasSports.com for a listing of affiliates carrying the game.

• SERIES: Texas leads, 21-20. Last meeting: Texas 84-82 OT (March 12, 2021; Kansas City, Mo.).


Notables:

SETTING THE STAGE: The No. 15/14 Texas Women’s Basketball team will gear up for its biggest test of Big 12 Conference season thus far Wednesday evening as they travel to Ames to square off with first-place and No. 7/7-ranked Iowa State inside the Cyclones’ Hilton Coliseum. ISU (16-1, 5-0 Big 12) is off to their best start in program history and their No. 7 Associated Press ranking is their highest mark since January of 2002.  


THE SERIES: The Longhorns own a slim 21-20 advantage in the all-time series with the Cyclones. Texas went 3-0 over ISU during the 2020-21 season. UT is 7-3 over their last 10 meeting with the Cyclones.


BACK ON TRACK: After dropping consecutive conference games to Texas Tech and Kansas, the Longhorns regained their footing with an emphatic 73-57 victory over West Virginia on Saturday inside the Frank Erwin Center.

 

THE SCHAEFER FORMULA: Longhorn head coach Vic Schaefer makes no secret in the way his teams have found success over the years. Relentless full court defensive pressure, attention to detail, and limiting turnovers and mistakes have been built in to the identity of his programs. The 2021-22 Longhorns are no different ranking among the best in the country in several defensive categories.  UT currently ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 39 in the NCAA holding opponents to just 56.2 points per game. They also lead the league and rank No. 6 nationally in turnovers forced at 24.1 per contest.

 


SCOUTING THE CYCLONES:  Iowa State presents one of the most dangerous offenses in the country as they rank No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 12 in the NCAA averaging 81.2 points per contest. They rank No.2 in the country in three-point field goals per game averaging 10.9 per game.

Big 12 Player of the Year candidate Ashely Joens leads the team offensively and ranks No. 16 in the NCAA averaging 20.3 points per contest. Lexi Donarski is averaging 15.6 points per game and ranks No. 19 in the country in three-pointers per game at 2.9. Joens also leads the team on the glass bringing down 9.5 rebounds per game. Emily Ryan paces the conference and ranks No. 2 in the NCAA in assists with 120 on the season.


NEXT: Following Wednesday’s tilt in Ames, the Longhorns will head to Forth Worth on Saturday to battel in-state rival TCU. Tip is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. CT and will air nationally on ESPN+.





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PREVIEW: Cougars Travel to Austin Peay Monday


SIUE Cougars (6-8, 2-1 OVC)
vs. Austin Peay Governors (10-5, 3-2 OVC)
Mon., Jan. 17, 6 p.m. CT
Clarksville, Tenn. (Winfield Dunn Center)

Video: ESPN+

Radio: None

Audio: SIUECougarNetwork.com

Live Stats: SIUEStats.com

All-Time Series: SIUE leads 14-9

First Meeting: Dec. 13, 2008

Result: L, 74-52 at Clarksville, Tenn.

Last Meeting: Feb. 27, 2021

Result: L, 66-40 at Clarksville, Tenn.

Current Series Streak: APSU W5

OPENING TIP

• After joining Gabby Nikitinaite pregame as 1,000 point career scorers, Allie Troeckler tied her career high with 20 points against Southeast Missouri.

• Freshman Sofie Lowis more than tripled her previous best in scoring with a game-high 21 points against Southeast Missouri. She connected on a career-best five three-pointers.

• With Lowis and Troeckler scoring 20+ points, it was the first time that has happened since 2017 when Doshel Beck (23) and Lauren White (20) did it against Saint Louis.

Mikia Keith boasted a game-high and season-high five assists against Southeast Missouri.

Kelsie Williams shined Saturday in SIUE’s win over Southeast Missouri. She recorded a season-high eight rebounds and added career highs of two steals and three blocks.

Mikala Hall recorded a career-best four assists vs. Southeast Missouri.

Prima Chellis was named the OVC Co-Player of the Week (12/28) after her 17-point, eight-rebound performance off the bench against Arkansas State in the final nonconference game of the season.

• Nikitinaite was named the OVC Player and Newcomer of the Week (12/14) after a 27-point performance against Illinois State. That matched her career high in scoring. Nikitinaite has been named the Newcomer of the Week twice. SIUE’s Jaida Hampton was named OVC Newcomer of the Week (11/30).

• After missing three games, the Cougars are now second in the OVC in free throws made (209) and attempted (296) and still are 38th and 41st, respectively on the national list.

 



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Duke fencing season preview – The Chronicle


Overview

Nearly eight months have passed since Duke fans last saw the Blue Devils compete, but not much has changed with this squad, and they’re coming back even better. Last year’s Blue Devils did not disappoint on the strip, taking the ACC Championship by storm and collecting the titles in both the men’s and women’s divisions while garnering 11 individual medals at the tournament—a program record. One month later, the group headed to State College, Pa., prepared for the final bouts needed to take the national title. Though they didn’t finish with the victory, the group fared well. In the women’s division, Alexandra Gorman grasped sixth and Anneke Zegers took 10th in saber; Christina Ferrari finished fifth and Louise Tang clutched 10th in foil; and Sarah Lurye seized 12th in epée. In the men’s division, Stephen Kim clinched fifth and Ping Ping Kitsiriboon took 18th in saber; Finn Hossfeld tied for third and Brycen Rushing finished 12th in foil; and Jason Post took sixth in epée. 

All of the placers except Kitsiriboon and Rushing are returning to competition this season. Along with this group, head coach Alex Beguinet also brings a group of promising freshmen who may be critical to a team that could lead the collegiate fencing world. 

The coaches preseason poll ranks this Duke squad 10th in the men’s division and 12th in the women’s—a low standing for the team in comparison to previous years. However, Beguinet wants the Blue Devil faithful to know that if anything, “these placements will spur our fencers to show they belong higher.” And if Beguinet’s statement rings true, then Duke fencing is the squad to pay attention to.

New fencers to watch

Men’s: Cam Evans, foil

With a background at the Fencing Academy of Westchester, this Greenwich, Conn., native made the trek to Durham following years of racking up high-level accolades at the high school level. The freshman foil clinched a third-place ranking at the Cadet Junior Olympics and went on several North American Cup podiums. His resume includes a sixth-place finish at the 2019 World Championship Torun and a ninth at the European Championship. But his most eye-catching win came as no surprise—Evans took first at the Junior World Cup in 2019. With accomplishments of these feats, Evans will be an asset to Duke fencing and fill in the hole left behind by several high-scoring seniors who helped lead the team last season.

Women’s: Rachel Kowalsky, epée

The Oyster Bay, N.Y., native, comes to Duke with a depth of experience in her hands. She competed for the New York Fencing Academy under head coach Sergey Danilov, a former Junior National Champion and a National Travel Team member for Team Russia. Having titles such as second-team All-American and first-team All-Academic, Kowalsky is the real deal. She’s competed at the Junior Olympics on several occasions and has two gold medals from the Maccabi games in individual epée and team competition. With Kowalsky in tow, it’s no question why Duke is even furthermore in the conversation for a national title.

Returning fencers to watch

Men’s: Finn Hossfield, foil

With several prestigious accomplishments under his belt, Hossfield is the headliner of this Duke squad. The Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., native, finished third at the national level for the foil, the highest-ranking of any fencer on the team. His expertise on the piste was one of the main factors in how Duke took its second ACC title in program history. Accolades such as All-American, ACC Fencer of the Year and ACC Gold Medalist adorn his sports resume—but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this foil superstar. With Hossfield returning this year, fans should and can expect another great outcome from Duke come tournament time.

Women’s: Zoe Superville, foil

The Woodmere, N.Y. native was one of the pioneers of last year’s squad—helping lead the team to its first ACC title and finishing as the ACC Fencer of the Year. Despite finishing the ACC tournament as the conference’s top foil, Superville missed last year’s NCAA Championship due to COVID-19 protocol. In 2020, Superville was named an All-America honoree. With an opportunity to compete in the tournament she planned to take by storm this season, Beguinet expects that Superville will “start the season on fire.” 

Most anticipated tournament: NCAA Championship, March 24 – 27

After finishing the ACC with a clean sweep in the tournament last season, the Blue Devils headed to nationals prepared and ready to win. However, some of collegiate fencing’s top placers competed and overpowered Duke’s roster. With fencers out due to COVID-19 health and safety protocol, the Blue Devils just didn’t have all the power it needed to take the title.

“We always think they have what it takes to be national champions,” Beguinet said. “Sometimes life gets in the way.”

This year is different as some of the nation’s top first-year fencers are now in competition on Duke’s roster. Along with that, three of the fencers who finished before Gorman, who placed sixth in saber, have graduated—leaving room for a higher placement. 

“Having as deep a squad as possible in each of the disciplines has helped us still feel strong in who we are traveling this season,” Beguinet said.”

Best-case scenario 

Just as their greatest hope is to win at nationals, the best possible outcome for the Blue Devils is that the hard work they have put in this season gives them their first program national title. Duke has all the workings to have a squad that can potentially take home the championship, but it depends on whether there is enough improvement on the piste that the roster features some more All-Americans. Time will tell what the team can do, but with two top-15 rankings, this squad is well on its way to national success.

Worst-case scenario

If competition doesn’t pan out as expected and the Blue Devils as a whole cannot finish tournaments with high rankings, there is a potential that the group doesn’t win again at the ACC tournament. However, even if the team this year is not as good as last year, it is doubtful it will finish last in the conference, as current Duke fencers have solid resumes that will likely set them up for success on the strip. 

Prediction

Men’s: 1st in the ACC, 3rd at NCAA Championships

Women’s: 1st in the ACC, 4th at NCAA Championships


Ana Young

Ana Young is a Trinity first-year and a staff reporter for the news and sports departments.





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Preview: Michigan State women’s basketball faces Marshall looking to build off weekend win


The Michigan State women’s basketball team (5-2) is gearing up to face the Marshall Thundering Herd (3-1) for the first time in program history.

Last time for MSU women’s basketball

The last seven days were pretty rough for the Spartans.

Their first two losses of the season came back-to-back in New York, 71-68 against the Fordham Rams (4-3) and 66-63 against the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (2-3).

However, they were able to bounce back with an 84-71 victory against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (2-4) during their Black Friday special. Freshman guard/forward Matilda Ekh and junior forward Taiyier Parks set career-highs in scoring with 17 and 16 points respectively. Senior guard Nia Clouden and graduate forward Alisia Smith set season-highs in scoring with 23 and 13 points respectively. Freshman guard DeeDee Hagemann also set a career-high of 10 assists.

Clouden now has 1,413 career points. She broke 100 points on the season versus Oakland (132) and has passed Eileen Shea (1987-91) for No. 11 on the all-time MSU scoring list. She’s now 81 points away from breaking the top 10 and passing Kristen Rasmussen, who scored 1,493 points between 1996 and 2000. Clouden also has 360 career assists and remains 12 away from passing Spartan All-American Lindsey Bowen (1998-2002), who still holds the No. 10 spot.

The Spartans are set to roll into this weekend 5-2 overall. They are slowly figuring out what does and doesn’t work in order to succeed.

Big Ten campaigns are on the clock

The start of conference play is only one week away, with doubleheaders between eight of the 14 Big Ten teams scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 5.

Last on the day’s docket, the Spartans are scheduled to meet with No. 8 Iowa (4-0) in the Hawkeyes’ nest. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.

Beforehand, at 2 p.m., No. 21 Ohio State (4-0) will travel to Purdue (5-2) and No. 2 Maryland (6-2) will travel to Rutgers (4-4). At 3 p.m., Wisconsin (1-4) will travel to Northwestern (4-2).

On Monday, Dec. 6, four more of the 14 teams will square off. Penn State (4-1) will first travel to No. 4 Indiana (4-1) at 6 p.m. and then Nebraska (6-0) will travel to Minnesota (5-3) at 8 p.m.

No. 12 Michigan (6-0) and Illinois (3-2) do not open conference play until Thursday, Dec. 9, with the Wolverines at Wisconsin and the Fighting Illini at Michigan State.

The Spartan’s upcoming opponent: Who is Marshall?

This will be the second consecutive Big Ten opponent for the Thundering Herd, who collected their first loss of the season against Purdue, 70-60, on Nov. 22. The Herd managed to stay close with the Boilermakers through the first half, only trailing by six at halftime. However, the Boilermakers pulled ahead midway through the third quarter and made 5-of-6 at the line to secure it in the final 52 seconds.

The Spartans and the Herd have a common opponent in Morehead State — both teams collected victories over the Eagles, MSU 93-31 on Nov. 9 and Marshall 65-58 on Nov. 19.

Marshall is averaging 75.3 points per game, shooting 41.9% from the field, 21.9% from beyond the arc and 79.8% from the line.

The Herd has three girls averaging points in double figures. Sophomore guard Savannah Wheeler at 14.8, graduate forward Kennedi Colclough at 14.3 and freshman guard CC Mays at 12 per game. Mays also adds a team leading six rebounds per game.

They also have a defensive threat in senior guard Aaliyah Dunham, who has 18 steals on the season to lead the team.

Thundering Herd sophomore forward Alexis Johnson is a native of Southfield, Michigan. She’s the only player on Marshall’s end with ties to the Mitten State. The Spartans do not have anyone with ties to West Virginia.

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Preview: MSU men’s hoops to tip off Battle 4 Atlantis


After winning three straight, Michigan State men’s basketball is set to take on Loyola Chicago in the first game of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. 

The Battle 4 Atlantis, an early-season staple since it’s inception in 2011, boasts another loaded field this year: reigning national champion Baylor, Arizona State, Syracuse, Auburn, VCU, Loyola Chicago and Michigan State. Making his first appearance in Atlantis, Head Coach Tom Izzo lauded the strength of his competitors and said he’s excited for this opportunity with his team.

“Anytime you can travel together and spend time together and do some things together…it’s always a positive,” he said. 

Now, after weathering what Izzo called a “brutal” start to the season, Michigan State is now in for their most demanding test so far. Izzo said the challenge of a condensed schedule with little turnaround time provides nearly invaluable preparation for further conference play and the NCAA Tournament. 

“Three games in three days is very difficult on a coaching staff but it’s even more difficult for the players,” Izzo said on Tuesday. “What we can pick up for this…you won’t be able to measure it. It’s really going to help you later on, win, lose or draw.” 

Scouting Loyola 

Michigan State tips off on Wednesday against Loyola Chicago (4-0), one of the established top mid-major programs in the country. There’s a noteworthy connection at hand here, too: the Ramblers are coached by first-year Head Coach Drew Valentine, a Lansing native and former Michigan State graduate manager who worked under Izzo from 2013 to 2015. 

Izzo said he doesn’t like to play former assistants but is proud of Valentine for reaching this stage of his career as the youngest head coach in Division I college basketball. Regardless, he indicated that their relationship won’t detract from the competition at hand. 

“I just pull for these guys to win every game except the one I’m playing in,” he said.

As for Valentine’s squad, Izzo called them the “oldest team in captivity” and cited experience as their greatest asset. Loyola returns four starters from a 2020-21 campaign that saw them post a 26-5 record and advance to the Sweet Sixteen, with graduate student guard Lucas Williamson (10.8 points per game) and graduate student forward Aher Uguak (13.5 points per game) leading the way in their final seasons in Rogers Park. 

For as much as they return, Loyola added one crucial piece that’s played a big role thus far. Princeton transfer and senior forward Ryan Schweiger joined the Ramblers this offseason and leads the team in scoring (14.8 points per game) while only averaging 18 minutes per game. 

Valentine has also instituted some changes among the Ramblers, namely a higher emphasis on shooting from the arc. Loyola has the fourth best three point shooting percentage (45.2%) in all of college basketball with Schweiger (50%) and Williamson (38.1%) leading the way (minimum ten attempts on the season). 

For the most part, Michigan State’s defense has been strong this season but if they have one weakness, it’s giving up a disproportionate amount of threes. Izzo said it’s crucial they defend the shot better than they did in their most recent outing against Eastern Michigan to have success against a Ramblers team that packs a balanced punch.

On the rest of the field 

Baylor (4-0) lost two key contributors in Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler to the NBA Draft but returned more than enough talent to still be true contenders in a strong Big 12. Senior guard Matthew Mayer and junior guard Adam Flagler are back as the stalwarts of a team that won it all with ferocious defense and a lightning rod offense that thrived on the perimeter but sophomore guard L.J. Cryer (18.5 points per game) and freshman guard Kendall Brown have more than come into their own in the early going. The Bears aren’t just leaning on a championship pedigree to be considered consummate favorites in the Battle 4 Atlantis; they’ve got the talent, coach and scheme to make a serious run at it. 

Arizona State (2-2) is one of the more puzzling teams in this year’s field. Senior forward Kimani Lawrence (16 points per game, 10 rebounds per game) is thriving once again but narrow losses to San Diego State and UC Riverside are cause for some valid concerns in Tempe. Expect the Sun Devils to lean on their seasoned frontcourt of Lawrence and junior forward Jalen Graham this week as they continue to piece together a cohesive backcourt with only Ohio State transfer and redshirt junior guard Luther Muhammed firmly in the mix. 

UConn (4-0) is one of the trendier picks to finish second to Villanova in a red-hot Big East and this tournament will provide them with their first taste of high major competition. However unproven they might be, it’s a near certainty that sophomore forward Adama Sanogo (15.8 points per game) will draw much of the opposition’s attention with his dangerous combination of size and strength after taking a big step forward this offseason. The Huskies also boast four other double digit scorers in graduate student guard R.J. Cole, senior guard Tyrese Martin, graduate student forward Tyler Polley and junior guard Jalen Gaffney all while playing tenacious defense and rebounding extremely well; if they can rectify their recent problems with slow starts, UConn could be in it for the long haul on Paradise Island. 

After last year’s disappointing season, Auburn (3-0) wisely bolstered their frontcourt with freshman forward Jabari Smith and North Carolina transfer and sophomore center Walker Kessler. Kessler’s offensive output hasn’t been outstanding so far but Smith (13.3 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game) has shined as a key contributor early in his college career and is well on his way to earning further NBA buzz. Sophomore guards K.D. Johnson and Wendell Green Jr. also chip in a combined 26.3 points per game as just the tip of the iceberg on a Tigers team that will look to lean on their considerable depth this week. 

Syracuse (2-1) recently suffered one of the worst losses of any team this season with a shocking 100-85 loss to Colgate, a team they haven’t lost to since 1962. Anomaly? The Orange will find out this week as they ride some veteran scoring talent with headlining senior guard Buddy Boeheim (20 points per game), junior guard Joseph Girard III, graduate student forward Jimmy Boeheim and senior forward Cole Swider. And while they’ve been markedly better on offense than defense to start the year, nobody knows not to count out their vaunted 2-3 zone better than Izzo. 

“Anytime Syracuse is here with (Head Coach Jim Boeheim) with that zone, there’s going to be problems there,” Izzo said. 

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On the surface, VCU (2-2) might be the clear-cut weakest team of the bunch after posting some putrid results, particularly a 48-37 win over Vanderbilt and 58-44 loss to Wagner. There’s not as much to like here when compared to the other teams in Atlantis but this defense is no joke and senior forward Vince Williams Jr. (12.3 points per game) looks to be more than up for the challenge provided on Paradise Island. 

Michigan State tips off against Loyola Chicago at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. 

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Preview: MSU men’s hoops to tip off Battle 4 Atlantis


After winning three straight, Michigan State men’s basketball is set to take on Loyola Chicago in the first game of the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas. 

The Battle 4 Atlantis, an early-season staple since it’s inception in 2011, boasts another loaded field this year: reigning national champion Baylor, Arizona State, Syracuse, Auburn, VCU, Loyola Chicago and Michigan State. Making his first appearance in Atlantis, Head Coach Tom Izzo lauded the strength of his competitors and said he’s excited for this opportunity with his team.

“Anytime you can travel together and spend time together and do some things together…it’s always a positive,” he said. 

Now, after weathering what Izzo called a “brutal” start to the season, Michigan State is now in for their most demanding test so far. Izzo said the challenge of a condensed schedule with little turnaround time provides nearly invaluable preparation for further conference play and the NCAA Tournament. 

“Three games in three days is very difficult on a coaching staff but it’s even more difficult for the players,” Izzo said on Tuesday. “What we can pick up for this…you won’t be able to measure it. It’s really going to help you later on, win, lose or draw.” 

Scouting Loyola 

Michigan State tips off on Wednesday against Loyola Chicago (4-0), one of the established top mid-major programs in the country. There’s a noteworthy connection at hand here, too: the Ramblers are coached by first-year Head Coach Drew Valentine, a Lansing native and former Michigan State graduate manager who worked under Izzo from 2013 to 2015. 

Izzo said he doesn’t like to play former assistants but is proud of Valentine for reaching this stage of his career as the youngest head coach in Division I college basketball. Regardless, he indicated that their relationship won’t detract from the competition at hand. 

“I just pull for these guys to win every game except the one I’m playing in,” he said.

As for Valentine’s squad, Izzo called them the “oldest team in captivity” and cited experience as their greatest asset. Loyola returns four starters from a 2020-21 campaign that saw them post a 26-5 record and advance to the Sweet Sixteen, with graduate student guard Lucas Williamson (10.8 points per game) and graduate student forward Aher Uguak (13.5 points per game) leading the way in their final seasons in Rogers Park. 

For as much as they return, Loyola added one crucial piece that’s played a big role thus far. Princeton transfer and senior forward Ryan Schweiger joined the Ramblers this offseason and leads the team in scoring (14.8 points per game) while only averaging 18 minutes per game. 

Valentine has also instituted some changes among the Ramblers, namely a higher emphasis on shooting from the arc. Loyola has the fourth best three point shooting percentage (45.2%) in all of college basketball with Schweiger (50%) and Williamson (38.1%) leading the way (minimum ten attempts on the season). 

For the most part, Michigan State’s defense has been strong this season but if they have one weakness, it’s giving up a disproportionate amount of threes. Izzo said it’s crucial they defend the shot better than they did in their most recent outing against Eastern Michigan to have success against a Ramblers team that packs a balanced punch.

On the rest of the field 

Baylor (4-0) lost two key contributors in Davion Mitchell and Jared Butler to the NBA Draft but returned more than enough talent to still be true contenders in a strong Big 12. Senior guard Matthew Mayer and junior guard Adam Flagler are back as the stalwarts of a team that won it all with ferocious defense and a lightning rod offense that thrived on the perimeter but sophomore guard L.J. Cryer (18.5 points per game) and freshman guard Kendall Brown have more than come into their own in the early going. The Bears aren’t just leaning on a championship pedigree to be considered consummate favorites in the Battle 4 Atlantis; they’ve got the talent, coach and scheme to make a serious run at it. 

Arizona State (2-2) is one of the more puzzling teams in this year’s field. Senior forward Kimani Lawrence (16 points per game, 10 rebounds per game) is thriving once again but narrow losses to San Diego State and UC Riverside are cause for some valid concerns in Tempe. Expect the Sun Devils to lean on their seasoned frontcourt of Lawrence and junior forward Jalen Graham this week as they continue to piece together a cohesive backcourt with only Ohio State transfer and redshirt junior guard Luther Muhammed firmly in the mix. 

UConn (4-0) is one of the trendier picks to finish second to Villanova in a red-hot Big East and this tournament will provide them with their first taste of high major competition. However unproven they might be, it’s a near certainty that sophomore forward Adama Sanogo (15.8 points per game) will draw much of the opposition’s attention with his dangerous combination of size and strength after taking a big step forward this offseason. The Huskies also boast four other double digit scorers in graduate student guard R.J. Cole, senior guard Tyrese Martin, graduate student forward Tyler Polley and junior guard Jalen Gaffney all while playing tenacious defense and rebounding extremely well; if they can rectify their recent problems with slow starts, UConn could be in it for the long haul on Paradise Island. 

After last year’s disappointing season, Auburn (3-0) wisely bolstered their frontcourt with freshman forward Jabari Smith and North Carolina transfer and sophomore center Walker Kessler. Kessler’s offensive output hasn’t been outstanding so far but Smith (13.3 points per game, 8.7 rebounds per game) has shined as a key contributor early in his college career and is well on his way to earning further NBA buzz. Sophomore guards K.D. Johnson and Wendell Green Jr. also chip in a combined 26.3 points per game as just the tip of the iceberg on a Tigers team that will look to lean on their considerable depth this week. 

Syracuse (2-1) recently suffered one of the worst losses of any team this season with a shocking 100-85 loss to Colgate, a team they haven’t lost to since 1962. Anomaly? The Orange will find out this week as they ride some veteran scoring talent with headlining senior guard Buddy Boeheim (20 points per game), junior guard Joseph Girard III, graduate student forward Jimmy Boeheim and senior forward Cole Swider. And while they’ve been markedly better on offense than defense to start the year, nobody knows not to count out their vaunted 2-3 zone better than Izzo. 

“Anytime Syracuse is here with (Head Coach Jim Boeheim) with that zone, there’s going to be problems there,” Izzo said. 

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On the surface, VCU (2-2) might be the clear-cut weakest team of the bunch after posting some putrid results, particularly a 48-37 win over Vanderbilt and 58-44 loss to Wagner. There’s not as much to like here when compared to the other teams in Atlantis but this defense is no joke and senior forward Vince Williams Jr. (12.3 points per game) looks to be more than up for the challenge provided on Paradise Island. 

Michigan State tips off against Loyola Chicago at 12 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN. 

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Southwest cancellations could preview a messy holiday season


“I’m concerned that it’s going to be a very stressful holiday season when it come to air travel,” said travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt, president of Atmosphere Research Group. “It’s already stressed with the potential for bad weather and of course, especially at Thanksgiving, very crowded flights.”



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Notre Dame Women’s Basketball: 2021-22 Season Preview


They’re Back, Like They Never Left

We are just days away from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish Women’s Basketball team beginning their regular season schedule. As another season is upon us, I wanted to make sure we could recap some things that have happened since the offseason. I am hoping and looking to provide you all with much more NDWBB content throughout the season. That can start with you all knowing exactly what is going on with the team as we head into their November 9th opening game.

The Team

UND.com

The roster for the 2021-22 Irish is as shown above. Most of the players who were on the team last season have come back. That includes, most notably, Dara Mabrey who transferred from Virginia Tech, Maya Dodson, a grad transfer from Stanford, and Abby Prohaska, who was sidelined for the 2019-20 season with a pulmonary embolism. Junior Sam Brunelle is looking to be a major player again as well, causing havoc in the paint and also from beyond the arc.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Schedule of Games

The Irish played an exhibition game already against Emporia State last week. Now, though, begins the actual regular season on Tuesday evening. You can view the full schedule here. Some notable games to keep track of:

  1. On November 26 and 27 of Thanksgiving Weekend, the Irish travel to play in the Daytona Beach Invitational to take on Georgia and Oregon State.
  2. On December 2, the Irish will travel to East Lansing to play Michigan State for the ACC/BIG Challenge
  3. Immediately after that on December 5, the team will head to Connecticut to play UConn in that yearly rivalry game.
  4. On December 12 against Purdue-Fort Wayne, the program will honor Muffet McGraw and put her into the Ring of Honor in Purcell Pavilion.

Niele Ivey in Her 2nd Season

NCAA Basketball: ACC Tip Off

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Head Coach Niele Ivey is beginning her second season as head coach of the Fighting Irish. This will look to be her first normal season, as starting with a rebuilding lineup in the middle of a pandemic could not have been the easiest first year as coach of a renowned program. But, with all of the talent coming back and new talent added to the roster, we believe in Ivey bringing the team back to establish dominance in the ACC and in the nation. She still is the best person to take over for Muffet McGraw, and I’m excited to see how she does when she can run with a normal practice routine and full season schedule.

Newcomers and Other News from the Offseason

There are two freshmen on the team for this coming season. Olivia Miles is a freshman that has actually already played. She was an early enrollee last season, and she was actually the first ever NDWBB early enrollee. She was granted the ability to play starting in 2021. But, with the Covid year rules allowing anyone to take that as a redshirt year, Olivia will retain her freshman eligibility status with the team. Additionally, Sonia Citron will join the team as a true freshman for the 2021-22 season. She comes into the program as a guard from New York who was named a McDonald’s All-American. We’re excited to get her into the mix.

Both freshmen named above were named to the 2021 Jordan Brand Classic. Maddy Westbeld was named to the preseason All-ACC list after being named the ACC Rookie of the Year last season. Also, Sam Brunelle was named to the Katrina McLain Award watchlist. That award is given to the top power forward in the nation.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Notre Dame at Syracuse

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Up Next

With that, we have come to the beginning of the season! The Irish were picked to finish 6th in the ACC this season. I am sure that Niele Ivey, her staff, and the players have their hearts set on being better than that. Nationally, the Irish were in the “Others Receiving Votes” list in the preseason AP Poll, getting 8 votes to be ranked.

The first game is Tuesday evening, November 9 at home in Purcell Pavilion against Ohio University. Tip off is at 7 PM on ACC Network Extra and on the Notre Dame Radio Network.



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2021-22 Women’s Basketball Season Preview


The New Orleans Privateers women’s basketball team heads into the season with a bevy of newcomers and renewed optimism as they tip off the season by starting a Homecoming doubleheader against the West Alabama Tigers on Saturday at 1 p.m.
 
NEW FACES ON THE LAKEFRONT
Coach Keeshawn Davenport and her staff hit the transfer portal hard with seven of the eight newcomers coming from previous colleges. Of those seven student-athletes, four were most recently at Division I programs.
 
DeArica Pryor competed for two seasons at Creighton and appeared in 22 total games last season (five postseason). Pryor is one of two Iowa natives new to the roster and was just the second student-athlete in her high school’s history to reach 1,000 career points.
 
Jomyra Mathis has the most Division I experience coming in after playing the previous four seasons at Louisiana. Mathis suited up in 93 games and started 47. She averaged 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in her last season in Lafayette.
 
Justice Ross was one of the top 40 wing players coming out of high school at Des Moines East when she originally signed with Minnesota. Jayla Kimbrough came from Austin Peay where she redshirted last season due to injury. Kimbrough averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists at Southwest DeKalb HS.
 
Majegane Barry, Dyana Offutt and Nahja Scott all come from the junior college ranks. Scott finished top ten in her conference in field goal percentage. Barry averaged 8.0 rebounds per game at Bossier Parish. Offutt started 11 games last season at South Plains College.
 
WELCOME BACK
Brianna Ellis is the leading returning scorer for the Privateers after finishing with 5.4 points per game in her debut season on the Lakefront. The Privateers also return their leader in total rebounds (Erin Randle) and offensive rebounds (Zoe Cooper).
 
Randle picked up her first career double-double last season in a win for New Orleans against South Alabama. Ellis had double-digit scoring outputs against Missouri and UIW in her first season with the Privateers.
 
Kyla Davis set a new career-high against Northwestern State. That night, the true freshman went for 18 points and hit five triples. Zanaa Cordis played in 20 games with seven starts last season and averaged nearly a block per game.
 
Also returning to the team this season are Tiana Gipson, Jacqueline Dianis and Caleigh-Rose West. Gipson and West redshirted in the 2020-21 season.
 
THE ROAD AHEAD
A challenging non-conference schedule sees the Privateers travel to three SEC schools: LSU, Ole Miss and Auburn. The trip to Ole Miss will be the first since the Privateers defeated the Rebels in November 2019.
 
New Orleans will also face two Big 12 schools when they take on perennial national power, Baylor and Texas. The matchup against Baylor will be the first for the Privateers since 1994.
 
The Privateers will also have games against South Alabama, Louisiana, Alcorn State and Grambling in non-conference before heading to Southland play.
 
The Southland slate begins with the Southland Tip-Off in Katy when they take on Northwestern State on Jan.3. The conference tournament will take place starting Mar. 10 at the Merrell Center.
 
FROM COACH DAVENPORT
-I’m excited about our newcomers and that’s inclusive of our lone freshman and New Orleans’ own Tomyree Thompson. I don’t care what level you played on, to score 2,000 points in your career is special.
 
-Our JUCO transfers that I brought in they meet immediate needs especially in the post with Nahja and Maj who will bring a level of intensity and rebounding. When you hit the transfer portal and we talk They have brought that competitiveness to our practices and that has raised our level of play.
 
-What Jomyra brings to the team is not just what she does on the court but she’s a great student off the court. She sets the example for our team and she’s bringing a championship mentality fresh off a Sun Belt title. She’s bringing a championship mentality in the classroom as well and she has challenged our girls on what it looks like to work hard on the court and in the classroom.
 
-It’s always great to see the transition from freshman to sophomore year especially for these freshmen considering they played a lot of minutes. Zanaa, Erin and Zoe came in and they didn’t have any post players with experience in front of them. They got a lot of playing time and to see their growth is really encouraging.
 
-Brianna always works extremely hard and she competed last year in that position and now she’s taken the bull by the horns. And she’s still competing every day. Kyla, everybody knows her to be a very good shooter but she’s been intentional on bettering her defense.
 
-We still have to work the old with the new and our team chemistry but when we really get it I think we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with.
 
-What this type of schedule does is it’s the hardest non-conference schedule in my 11 years of coaching but I also don’t believe in having a fluff schedule. They’re going to be challenged earlier which will help us later in the season in understanding how to overcome tough moments.
 
-The focus is always on us and what we need to do to get better every day. I’ve asked them this whole preseason to get one percent better each day. It’s about us understanding the philosophy of our program and how to execute on both ends of the floor.
 
SOCIAL MEDIA
Fans are encouraged to follow @PrivateersWBB on Twitter, @PrivateersWBB on Instagram, and like /PrivateersWBB on Facebook.
 
 

 





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Ichabods travel to ‘The Jungle’ for potential postseason preview


PITTSBURG (KSNT) – Washburn football’s Saturday match-up will be like none other this season.

The Ichabods and Pittsburg State are both 7-2, and this game is one of the final two this season. Washburn won the past three games against Pittsburg State, but that cannot diminish this Gorillas team. They have a lot of good players, including Dallis Flowers. Flowers is averaging 30.7 yards per kickoff return and has three interceptions.

“That’ll be a true battle,” head coach Craig Schurig said. “Usually, when teams play man, you’re completion percentage is going to be a little lower but you hope to have some big plays. So, you break the tackle, you slip the receiver. Hopefully, we get some big plays. We’ll need those to win.”

Pittsburg State packs 10,000 fans at games, but wide receiver Peter Afful said the goal is to have the 300 Washburn fans left by the end of the game.

“It’s great having Mitch back,” Afful said. “We have a lot of trust in Mitch, a lot of good connections with Mitch, so we’re hopefully going to pull out the dub by a big margin.”

The Ichabods fell to No. 10 in the NCAA regional rankings. A win against the Gorillas will help them climb back up.

“We have a chip on our shoulder, seeing that we slid down in the regional rankings, which doesn’t make sense to some of us,” Afful said. “We’re going to make a statement come Saturday.”

Kickoff in Pittsburg is set for 1 p.m.



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