basketball-women-d1 flag

Rick Nixon | NCAA.com | February 7, 2018

Iowa's Megan Gustafson ranks in the top-8 nationally in nine statistical categories

  Gustafason averaged 30.5 points per game this week in wins over Michigan and Minnesota.

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:

Megan Gustafson, Iowa

Iowa junior Megan Gustafson averaged 30.5 points, 16.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks in a pair of Big Ten Conference wins last week. She netted 36 points on 14-of-19 shooting from the field and pulled down 17 rebounds to lead Iowa to an 71-68 overtime win at Michigan State on Feb. 1. Gustafson recorded an offensive rebound, drew a foul, and sank two free throws with :08 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. She scored four points and pulled down three rebounds in the overtime period, including two free throws to seal the victory for the Hawkeyes.

On Feb. 4, Gustafson scored 25 points, pulled down 15 rebounds, and registered two blocks in Iowa's 92-84 win over Minnesota. She scored 20 of her 25 points in the second half, including 12 straight points in the third period.

Gustafson is the only player in the country averaging 24 or more points and 12 or more rebounds per game. She currently ranks in the top-8 nationally in nine statistical categories. Gustafson leads the nation in field goals made (228) and total points (588), ranks second in double-doubles (22), points per game (24.5), field goal percentage (65.5), and rebounds (303), fifth in defensive rebounds per game (9) and rebounds per game (12.6), and eighth in free throws made (132).

Gustafson and the Hawkeyes, 18-6 and 6-5 Big Ten, return to action on Feb. 8, hosting Penn State.

Brittany McPhee, Stanford

Brittany McPhee had two of the best games of her career as No. 24 Stanford swept a pair of ranked opponents on the road, moved into a tie for the Pac-12 Conference lead and reestablished themselves as a team to watch going down the home stretch of the regular season.

McPhee started the weekend with her second career double-double, going for 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds as Stanford defeated No. 16 Oregon State, 60-57 on Feb. 2. Ten of her 18 points came in the second half, as did eight of her 12 rebounds.

MORE: Red-hot NC State Wolfpack streaking as Team of the Week

The senior did herself one better at No. 6 Oregon on Sunday, scoring 31 of her career-high 33 in the second half to propel the Cardinal to a 78-65 win over its highest-ranked opponent on the road since it won at No. 3 Rutgers in 2007. McPhee scored Stanford's final 19 points of the game and outscored the Ducks single-handedly in the second half, 31-24. She made the Cardinal's final nine field goals over the last nine minutes and shot 13-of-18 (.722) from the floor in the second half.

McPhee averaged 25.5 points on 55 percent shooting in the two victories, which gave Stanford a leg up for the Pac-12 regular-season crown.

The Cardinal, 16-8 and 10-2 Pac-12, return to action on Feb. 9 at home versus Utah.

Khayla Livingston, Cleveland State

Cleveland State redshirt senior guard Khayla Livingston totaled 63 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and two steals as the Vikings picked up a pair of convincing road wins at Detroit Mercy (90-76) and Oakland (86-66), stretching its winning streak to four games.

Cleveland State, 16-7 overall and 8-4 in Horizon League play, enters the final three weeks of regular season play tied for third in the league standings.

Livingston led the high-powered Viking offense last week, recording a career-high 36 points against Detroit Mercy, and followed that up with 27 points at Oakland, marking her second 30-point game of the season and eighth 20-point game of the year, respectively.

Included in her 36 points against the Titans was a career-high and Cleveland State single-game program record nine three-pointers, as she shot 64-percent from behind-the-arc (9-for-14). Livingston then tallied five three-pointers at Oakland, giving her five-or-more three-pointers in five league contests this year.

For the season, Livingston ranks third among Horizon League players averaging 16.9 points per game, while she leads the league in three-point field goal percentage (.429) and three-point field goals made (3.0) per game.

With at least seven games left to play this season, Livingston ranks second in the Cleveland State history with 70 three-pointers, while her .429 clip from behind-the-arc is tied for a single-season program-best.  Livingston enters the week with 213 three-pointers, just five three-pointers shy of setting a program record in the category (current record is 217 by Cori Coleman). She also ranks fifth with 371 career assists and 11th with 1,333 total points.

Livingston and the Vikings will continue on the road this week, traveling to UIC (Thursday, Feb. 8) and IUPUI (Saturday, Feb. 10).

Yasmine Robinson-Bacote, Pepperdine

Pepperdine junior forward Yasmine Robinson-Bacote scored 31 points in back-to-back games as the Waves split a pair of games against Portland and Pacific.

Robinson-Bacote had two game-averages of 31.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assists. She shot 61.1% from the field and made both her three-point attempts.  These were the second and third 30-point games of her career, following her career high of 34 points set earlier this season.

Her 31-point, 10-rebound effort against Portland was her eighth double-double of the season. With the game tied at 77 with under a minute to play, her jumper put the Waves ahead to stay in an 83-79 victory.

RELATED: Four UConn Huskies lead Wooden Award 2017-18 Late Season Top 20 list

She followed that with 31 points and eight rebounds at Pacific on Saturday, both game highs, but the Waves fell 84-73. Pacific outscored Pepperdine 27-18 in the fourth period.

For the season, Robinson-Bacote is averaging 18.6 points and 7.9 rebounds per game.

The Waves, 8-14 and 4-8 West Coast Conference, next visit San Diego on Feb. 8, before coming home to face Loyola Marymount on Saturday (Feb. 10).

Fans’ Vote:

Rachael Childress, UAB

Sophomore forward Rachael Childress connected on eight of UAB’s school-record 17 made 3-pointers against UTEP last Friday, as the Blazers continue to rewrite the history books.  The team is off to its best start in program history and is now just one game away from their first 20-win season since the 2010-11 season and ninth all-time.

The Moulton, Alabama, native was virtually unstoppable from behind the arc on Feb. 2 in El Paso, as she was true on a career-high eight 3-pointers (8-for-13) to pace the team's school-record 17-made treys on the night. Five of her eight triples came in the fourth period of play against the Miners, including three in the span of 1:42 as UAB prevailed 84-64.  Childress finished the game with 26 points, the third time this season she has eclipsed the 25-point mark, while it was the fifth time this year she has knocked down at least five 3-pointers in a game.

She followed up that performance with an 11-point outing on the road at hostile Thomas Assembly Center on Feb. 4 as part of another Blazer road victory against Louisiana Tech, marking the 18th game that Childress has scored in double figures.  The 66-61 win gave UAB its 19th win of the season, the most under head coach Randy Norton, surpassing the team's previous best win total of 18 under the fifth-year head coach.

On the weekend, Childress averaged 18.5 points per contest and brought down five rebounds, dished out five assists and blocked one shot.

Childress and the Blazers (19-3, 8-1) return to action on Saturday, traveling to Huntington, West Virginia, to square off with Marshall.