Every week, NCAA.com's Starting Five will bring you a look at some of the top women's basketball players in the country. Here are the standout competitors through games played Nov. 21:
Randi Brown, New Orleans
It was quite the week for New Orleans’ Randi Brown. A 5-7 senior guard who leads the Southland Conference in scoring with an average of 23.3 points per contest, Brown poured in 38 points to lead the Privateers to a 76-73 victory over CSUN on Nov. 17. She followed that effort with 19 points as New Orleans lost to Houston, 78-66 on Nov. 18.
The reigning Southland Conference Player of the Week was outstanding in her latest effort on Nov. 21, scoring 26 points in a 76-46 loss at No. 24 Miami (FL). Brown went 9-of-18 from the field and 5-of-12 from three-point range.
The Privateers (1-3) will next travel to Mobile, Alabama, for a game against South Alabama on Friday.
Jordin Canada, UCLA
In UCLA’s only game of the week, guard Jordin Canada recorded her second double-double of the year in leading UCLA to an 82-68 win over No. 3 Baylor in what was the Bruins’ first win over the Lady Bears since 1996. Canada scored 20 points and added 13 assists while shooting 50 percent from three-point range (3-for-6) against the Bears. The 13 assists were tied for the 8th-most in UCLA history.
Canada and teammate Monique Billings have proven to be a lethal one-two senior punch for the Bruins. Canada averages 17.3 points and 8.0 assists per game, while Billings averages 17.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game.
The win over Baylor was UCLA's 32nd-straight home victory (second longest in the country to UConn) and the 10th-straight home win over a ranked team. It also marked UCLA's first win over a top-three opponent since beating No. 2 Stanford on Jan. 4, 2008.
Canada added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists to her totals in a loss to No. 1 UConn Tuesday night.
Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State
Mississippi State’s Teaira McCowan was solid in the middle as the Bulldogs defeated Georgia State and in-state foe Southern Miss to move to 3-0 on the season. McCowan averaged 18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in the Bulldogs' victories, knocking down shots at a 78.9 percent rate.
McCowan hit 9 of 10 shots in a 106-50 win over Georgia State on Nov. 16, her highest percentage since shooting a school-record 92.3 percent on 12 of 13 from the field against Florida last season. In Sunday's 91-56 win over Southern Miss, McCowan recorded her 11th-career double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds), four more than her next closest teammate. Her three blocked shots against the Lady Eagles moved her into fourth place in Mississippi State history with 110-career blocks.
The preseason second team All-SEC selection is currently scoring a team second-best 14.3 points per game, behind a 62.1 percent effort from the field. The 6-7 junior center now ranks second all-time in the Mississippi State records book with a career field goal percentage of 54.2 percent.
Ranked No. 7 in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll, the Bulldogs will next head to Mexico for the Cancun Challenge this week, where they will compete against Arizona State, Columbia and Green Bay beginning on Thursday.
Vionise Pierre-Louis, Oklahoma
Oklahoma center Vionise Pierre-Louis averaged 19.5 points on .722 percent shooting, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in the Sooners’ two games last week. The senior scored 25 points and tied her career high with 16 rebounds at DePaul last Monday in a thrilling 111-108 overtime loss to the Blue Demons. Pierre-Louis then recorded 14 points and pulled down six rebounds in just 17 minutes as Oklahoma defeated SMU, 87-72 on Nov. 17.
The Lake Worth, Florida, native ranks third in Division I with a .793 field goal percentage through three games. Pierre-Louis is also 38th nationally in rebounds per game and 44th in scoring average. Pierre-Louis is averaging a team-high 21.0 points and 11.3 rebounds per contest, recording two double-doubles through Oklahoma’s first three games.
Oklahoma faces Colorado State on Tuesday night in Fort Collins, Colorado.
FANS’ VOTE: Tyra Buss, Indiana
Through the first four games of the season, Indiana senior guard Tyra Buss has proven to be a constant on the court for the Hoosiers, averaging 37.5 minutes of playing time a game while leading the Hoosiers to a 3-1 record. Buss scored 22 points and delivered in the clutch for Indiana this past week, scoring a tying 3-pointer with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter and converting a layup with three seconds remaining as the Hoosiers defeated Western Kentucky, 73-71 on Nov. 17 in Bloomington, Ind. For Buss it was her third 20-point game this season.
In her latest outing, Buss scored 17 points and added 10 assists for her second double-double of the season and the ninth of her career as Indiana dropped its first game of the season, 64-61 to Chattanooga on Nov. 20. Buss now has 1,691 career points.
Indiana will spend Thanksgiving in California when it takes part in the Hilton Concord Classic hosted by Saint Mary's on Friday and Saturday. They will face UAB on Friday and the host Gaels on Saturday.