CBB Women’s Top 25 Roundup: No. 1 UConn tops No. 4 Louisville 69-58 / AP Top 25 Poll

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Katie Lou Samuelson scored 26 points and top-ranked UConn used an early run to beat No. 4 Louisville 69-58 on Monday night.

Napheesa Collier added 14 points and Gabby Williams had 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Huskies (25-0), who won their 76th consecutive home game and ended Louisville’s 13-game road winning streak.

Louisville (25-2) scored the first three points and UConn rattled of 19 straight.

Samuelson had seven points during that game-changing burst. By the time Jazmine Jones’ reverse layup went in just before the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals were down 22-6 much to the delight of the sellout crowd of just over 10,000 fans. It didn’t get much better for the Cardinals in the second quarter as they trailed 42-22 at the half. UConn’s star junior had 19 points at the break.


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Sophie Cunningham scored 18 points with four 3-pointers, Jordan Frericks had 15 points and eight rebounds. For the first time since 1984-87, Missouri (20-5, 8-4 Southeastern Conference) has three straight seasons with 20-plus victories.

Jordan Chavis added 12 points off the bench for the Tigers, who shot 51.7 percent from the floor with 11 3-pointers. Hannah Schuchts scored 10.

Jailyn Mason scored 15 points and Bailey Zimmerman added 14 for Arkansas (12-13, 3-9), which fell to the Tigers 88-54 on Jan. 21.


UCONN STILL No.1 – Belmont earns first AP Top 25 ranking in school history

NEW YORK (AP) — There’s a buzz at Belmont — the Bruins are in the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history.

“It’s a huge honor to think of all the teams and players who have come through the program, for this to be the first team that’s ranked that’s special,” first-year coach Bart Brooks said Monday. “It’s a cool thing to be a part of.”

Brooks is no stranger to the Top 25, having been an assistant coach at DePaul for many years where the Blue Demons were consistently ranked. He inherited a really good team that is 24-3 this season and has won 39 consecutive Ohio Valley Conference games — the second longest active conference streak behind only No. 1 UConn.

“Coach Cam Newbauer did a really, really good job putting the team together. Most of those guys were back,” Brooks said of his predecessor who took over at Florida. “We have some new faces and dealt with some injury stuff. It’s been an absolute pleasure to coach these guys. Most people don’t walk into a situation like this.”

The rookie coach told his team at the end of practice that they were going to be ranked and there was jubilation from the players. The Bruins host Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State this weekend in their first game as a ranked team. Brooks knows his team will be ready for the upcoming contests.

“One thing our team has done this year is stay focused on what our next task is,” he said. “Whether it’s a practice or walkthrough or video session, they stay in the moment. I hope they continue to be as tough and resilient and nearsighted as they can be.”

The Bruins have won 15 consecutive games and their only losses this season have come to Oklahoma, Stanford and Wright State.

While it’s Belmont’s first appearance in the poll, the top five remained unchanged with UConn leading the way as the unanimous choice from the 32-member national media panel. The Huskies host No. 4 Louisville on Monday night. Mississippi State, Baylor and Notre Dame round out the first five teams in the poll.

Other tidbits from the Top 25:

FLIPPING SPOTS: The only change in the Top 10 was that No. 7 UCLA changed places with No. 8 South Carolina. The Gamecocks lost last Monday to No. 2 Mississippi State.

WELCOME BACK: South Florida re-entered the poll at No. 22 after beating then-No. 13 Ohio State on Sunday. Arizona State and TCU dropped out of the rankings.


Smith, Thompson, Holdsclaw headline women’s hoops Hall of Fame class

STORRS, Conn. (AP) — Katie Smith, Tina Thompson and Chamique Holdsclaw headline the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame class for 2018 announced Monday.

The three former WNBA stars were eligible for the first time.

Joining them in the seven-member class are former Colorado coach Ceal Barry, longtime assistants Chris Dailey and Mickie DeMoss and longtime New Jersey high school and college coach Rose Marie Battaglia. Dailey and DeMoss are the first two assistant coaches to get into the Hall.

The group will be enshrined on June 9 at the Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tenn.

Smith was a three-time Olympic gold medalist, former Ohio State star, and led the Detroit Shock to two WNBA championships in 2006 and 2008. She’s fifth on the WNBA’s all-time scoring list.

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as a member of such a prestigious group of athletes who have given their all for this game we love,” Smith said. “Basketball has taken me from Logan, Ohio, to places I never would have dreamed. I am grateful to everyone who has touched my life through this sport.”

Thompson won four consecutive championships with the Houston Comets after getting drafted first in the inaugural 1997 WNBA draft. She was the league’s No. 1 all-time scorer until being passed by Diana Taurasi last year.

“I am extremely honored to be inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. It is a true privilege to have my name reside in the home where so many of the greats of our game are housed,” said Thompson, who played at Southern California. “As a young girl, little did I know how good old-fashioned hard work and passion would affect my life in such a grand way. Fabulous indeed.”

Holdsclaw was the all-time leading scorer and rebounder at Tennessee and led the Lady Vols to three straight NCAA championships from 1996-98.

Dailey has been at UConn since Geno Auriemma took over in 1985. She’s helped the team win 11 national championships and over 1,000 games. DeMoss has won over 800 games as an assistant at Tennessee and LSU.

“I think that it’s a reflection just on being able to acknowledge the contributions of everyone, whether it’s a high school coach, a player or a college coach. It’s an honor to be the first (assistant) and to go in with Mickie DeMoss, I think that’s fitting,” Dailey said. “You know we’ve battled each other for a long time and we’re good friend(s) and it just seems like it’s a fitting move.”

Barry won over 500 games at Colorado and Cincinnati and was Big Eight Coach of the Year four times.

Battaglia coached for 38 years in New Jersey and is an inductee of the state’s Hall of Fame. She won 702 games.

The Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame also will honor the Women’s Professional Basketball League, which operated from 1979-81 in the U.S., as part of the “Trailblazers of the Game” display at the Hall of Fame.


AP Women’s Basketball Poll


1 UConn 24-0 800 32 32 1
2 Mississippi State 26-0 765 0 32 2
3 Baylor 23-1 731 0 32 3
4 Louisville 25-1 702 0 32 4
5 Notre Dame 23-2 682 0 32 5
6 Texas 20-4 614 0 32 6
7 UCLA 21-4 562 0 32 8
8 South Carolina 20-5 559 0 32 7
9 Oregon 23-4 558 0 32 9
10 Maryland 22-3 537 0 32 10
11 Tennessee 21-4 493 0 32 11
12 Florida State 21-4 453 0 32 12
13 Missouri 19-5 382 0 32 15
14 Stanford 18-8 352 0 32 17
15 Oregon State 19-6 322 0 30 16
16 Ohio State 20-6 268 0 32 13
17 Texas A&M 19-7 266 0 31 14
17 Duke 20-6 266 0 31 19
19 Green Bay 22-2 241 0 31 20
20 Georgia 21-4 238 0 32 18
21 Oklahoma State 18-6 169 0 31 22
22 South Florida 20-5 144 0 30 NR
23 Michigan 20-7 62 0 17 21
24 Belmont 24-3 53 0 18 NR
25 North Carolina State 20-6 44 0 13 23

Others receiving votes:LSU 28; Nebraska 22; West Virginia 20; Dayton 11; Central Michigan 10; Mercer 7; TCU 6; Arizona State 6; DePaul 5; Miami 5; Gonzaga 3; Iowa 3; Villanova 2; Minnesota 2; California 2; UAB 2; Southern California 2; Quinnipiac 1.

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