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Rick Nixon | | February 10, 2016

Starting Five: Women's basketball players of the week

Every week,'s Starting Five will bring you a look at some of the top women's basketball players in the country. Here are this week's standout competitors:

Joy Adams, Iona, Sr., Forward

The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) preseason Player of the Year, Joy Adams of Iona averaged 15.7 points, 19.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks per game over the last week in three Gael victories. Adams played an average of just under 37 minutes in the wins, shooting 34.6% from the floor, and 90.9% from the free throw line. On Monday, Feb. 1 against Canisius, Adams made history by becoming the all-time leading rebounder in Iona women’s basketball history, grabbing her 1,431st career board during the game as Iona won in overtime. She played 42 minutes, scoring 22 points on nine-for-24 (.375) shooting while pulling down a team-high 14 rebounds, seven offensive, and seven defensive. On Wednesday, Feb. 5, Iona defeated Monmouth, 68-56, with Adams scoring 13 points and pulling down 24 rebounds against the Hawks, 12 offensive, and 12 defensive. She also dished out a career-high eight assists. To close out the week in a 67-48 win over Rider on Sunday, Adams recorded her second straight 20-plus rebounding effort. In just 29 minutes, she grabbed her 20 rebounds, scored 12 points, and nabbed two steals. Iona, 16-9 overall and in first place in the MAAC with a 12-2 record, next hosts Siena on Feb. 10.

Rachel Banham, Minnesota, Sr., Guard

  Rachel Banham is one of two Big Ten players, men's or women's, to score 60 points in a game.

The number 60 has certainly been in the headlines this week. On Monday it was UConn scoring its 60th consecutive team victory. Sunday it was Minnesota’s Rachel Banham tying the NCAA single-game scoring record with 60 points as the Golden Gophers defeated Northwestern, 112-106 in double overtime. The fifth-year senior guard was 19-of-32 from the field -- with eight 3-pointers -- and 14-of-16 from the line. The 60 points tied former Long Beach State post player Cindy Brown (Feb. 16, 1987) for the NCAA single-game scoring record. Banham also shattered the Minnesota (44) and Big Ten (49) scoring records and was the first Minnesota player to score 40 or more points since Lindsay Whalen had 41 on Feb. 14, 2002. She is one of two Big Ten players, men's or women's, to score 60. (Rick Mount of Purdue scored 61.) Earlier in the week, Banham had a team-high 24 points on 10-of-19 shooting in an 85-72 victory over Rutgers, the first win ever by Minnesota over the Scarlet Knights. During the week, Banham moved into 24th place on the NCAA's all-time scoring list. On Sunday she passed Courtney Paris (Oklahoma), Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford), Becky Hammon (Colorado State) and Karen Pelphrey (Marshall) and has 2,773 career points. In addition to her scoring, Banham had a combined 14 rebounds, eight assists and five steals in the two games. Minnesota, 16-7 overall and 8-4 in Big Ten play, returns to action on Feb. 11, hosting Nebraska.

Lexi Eaton Rydalch, BYU, Sr., Guard

Lexi Eaton Rydalch averaged 29.0 points, 6.0 rebounds 3.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 1.5 blocks to lead BYU to two road wins, sweeping the series vs. Pacific and for the first time since joining the West Coast Conference, a sweep over Saint Mary’s. Against the Tigers, Rydalch had a career and game-high 38 points, which propelled her to second all-time in scoring at BYU. In the road win, she also contributed seven rebounds and had game-bests in blocks with three and in steals with four. Two days later, Rydalch’s 20 points, five rebounds, two assists and three steals were instrumental in the Cougars road win against Saint Mary’s for the important season sweep. It’s the first time since joining the West Coast Conference that BYU beat Saint Mary’s at McKeon Pavilion and swept the series over the Gaels. In the two road wins, Rydalch scored 58 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out six assists, recorded three blocks and seven steals. She shot 47.8 percent from the field, 42.1 percent from 3-point range and was perfect at the free throw line, going 6-for-6. The road victories put the Cougars all alone in first place in the latest West Coast Conference standings with a 12-1 mark, 20-4 overall. Riding a 12-game win streak, BYU is 9-0 at home and hosts two league games this Thursday (San Francisco) and Saturday (Santa Clara).

Chanise Jenkins, DePaul, Sr., Guard

Chanise Jenkins’ week included leading her team to pivotal BIG EAST Conference wins at Villanova and Georgetown while setting a new DePaul single-game record with 10 3-pointers. The Chicago native scored a career-high 30 points in the Blue Demons’ 80-66 win at Georgetown on Sunday. Jenkins went 10-of-13 (.769) from long range and tied the BIG EAST single-game mark for triples in a game. She now shares the honor with UConn’s Maya Moore. Her 10 threes are also the second most by a Division I player this season. Along with her 30 points, Jenkins added seven assists, four rebounds and a steal. She is the only DePaul player to score 30 points this season and the first since Brittany Hrynko scored 33 at Creighton on Feb. 20, 2015. In DePaul’s 75-47 win at Villanova, Jenkins paced the Blue Demons with 19 points while dishing out eight assists and did not have any turnovers. She also grabbed six rebounds and added two steals. For the week, Jenkins went 18-of-25 (.720) from the field and was 13-of-19 (.684) from 3-point range. She averaged 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists per game and boasted a 3.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. DePaul, 19-7 overall and 11-2 in BIG EAST play, returns to action on Friday when it welcomes second-place Xavier for another important BIG EAST showdown.

Jamie Weisner, Oregon State, Sr., Guard

Jamie Weisner had an outstanding week to help the Beavers go 3-0, including a pair of wins over ranked opponents. Weisner scored 25 points on 9-for-10 shooting to help Oregon State earn a win over No. 8 Arizona State on Monday, giving the Sun Devils their first Pac-12 Conference loss of the season and move the Beavers into a tie for first place. She followed that up by scoring 21 points against No. 24 Washington on Friday, becoming the 61st player in Pac-12 history with 1,500 career points. Weisner also scored nine points and matched a team-high five assists as the Beavers defeated Washington State in a defensive struggle on Sunday. She averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists over the three games, and knocked down 51.3 percent of her shots from the floor and was even better from long distance, hitting on 57.1 percent of her three-point attempts, including going a perfect 3-for-3 against Arizona State. The team’s leading scorer averaging 17.0 points per game, she also ranks 11th in the country with a 44.2 shooting percentage from the three-point line. Oregon State, 20-3 overall and in first place in the Pac-12 at 11-1, next hosts Colorado on Feb. 12.

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