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Rick Nixon | | January 16, 2019

Women's basketball: Fordham's Bre Cavanaugh headlines this week's Starting Five honorees

Fordham Athletics Fordham women's basketball, Bre Cavanaugh

The Starting Five honors a starting lineup of players from around the country who enjoyed standout performances for that week.  Here’s the starters for the week of Jan. 8-15.

Bre Cavanaugh, Fordham

Fordham has won seven straight games as standout redshirt sophomore Bre Cavanaugh continues to lead the way, averaging 19.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.0 steal in two more Atlantic 10 Conference victories this past week.

The Rams improved to 12-5 overall and 3-0 in the league with wins over Richmond and Saint Louis.

The Allamuchy, N.J. native flirted with a triple-double on Wednesday against Richmond, ending with 20 points, her seventh 20-point effort of the year, matched her career-high of 12 rebounds (four offensive), and set a new personal mark with seven assists in the 60-48 win.

RELATED: Women's Basketball Hall of Fame announces 12 finalists for the Class of 2019

On Sunday, Cavanaugh fueled a Fordham rally that resulted in a 56-53 win at Saint Louis, scoring all 18 of her points after the first quarter, adding six rebounds, two assists, and a steal, while playing all 40 minutes.

Cavanaugh paces the Rams with 18.2 points per game, ranked 63rd in Division I, on 37.0% shooting, is second on the team with 7.3 rebounds, and is third with 40 assists. Her 21 steals also leads the squad. She has played the second-most minutes in the country, at 654, and is third with a 38.5 average per game.  She has started all 51 contests in her Fordham career and is up to 889 career points.

Fordham returns to action on Jan. 16, hosting VCU.

Cierra Dillard, Buffalo

Buffalo guard Cierra Dillard continues to fill up the stat sheet for the Bulls, averaging 34.5 points per game in a record-setting week as Buffalo scored road wins at Eastern Michigan and Miami (OH).

The senior set the single game school record with 43 points at Eastern Michigan on Jan. 9 as Buffalo prevailed 91-84 in overtime.  Dillard’s scoring effort bested the previous mark of set by Brittany Hedderson in 2011, while also pulling down five rebounds and dishing out five assists on the night. The 43 points were the seventh-most points scored by a Division I player this season.

At Miami (OH), Dillard led the team in scoring with 26 points, while dishing out 10 assists, grabbing five boards and adding three steals as the Bulls won 66-59.

In addition to her scoring, Dillard averaged 5.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 4.0 steals over the two wins.

Dillard is currently second in the nation in scoring at 25.9 points per game over the first 14 contests for the Bulls. The Rochester, N.Y. native gets to the free throw line better than any player in the country as she is first in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and second nationally in free throws attempted and free throws made, going 111-of-139 to date from the charity stripe.

Dillard and the Bulls, 10-4 overall and 2-1 in MAC play, will return home to face Ball State on Jan. 16. 

RELATED: Division I NCAA Women's basketball records

Tiana Mangakahia, Syracuse

As Syracuse won its eighth straight game and improved to 3-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, junior guard Tiana Mangakahia etched her name in the Syracuse record books.

With 34 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a 90-77 win over North Carolina on Jan. 13, Mangakahia recorded her first career triple-double and the first points-rebounds-assists triple-double in program history. She joins the ranks of Cornelia Fondren, Chris Palombi and Martha Mogish as one of four Orange women to record triple doubles in school history.

Mangakahia had 18 points, six rebounds and six assists in the first half against the Tar Heels. She moved to 10th all-time in career assists in just 47 games. Mangakahia was 4-for-4 from three-point range, guiding Syracuse to a program-record 12 threes in a half.

In 47 games at Syracuse,  Mangakahia has 815 points, 432 assists, 203 rebounds and averages 17.3 points per game while the Orange have a 43-11 record during that span.  The Brisbane, Australia, native surpassed the 800 career points mark and moved to 10th all-time in career assists (432) in No. 12 Syracuse's win over North Carolina.

Mangakahia is averaging 17.1 points, 5.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game this season. She ranks third in the nation in assists (128) and assists per game (8.0) and 19th in free throw percentage (.896).

 The Orange, 14-2 overall, next travel to Pittsburgh Thursday and Georgia Tech on Sunday.

Tynice Martin, West Virginia

West Virginia redshirt junior guard Tynice Martin averaged 20.5 points and 38.0 minutes per game in helping to lead the Mountaineers to a pair of Big 12 Conference wins last week.

She posted 21 points in the team's 67-58 win over Oklahoma State on Jan. 9, hitting nine shots from the field to shoot 50 percent. Martin added a trio of 3-pointers as she led the team in scoring.

On Sunday, she netted a team-best 20 points to lead West Virginia to a 66-55 triumph of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.  Martin went 7-for-14 from the field and made four 3-pointers, registering four steals in 40 minutes. Her scoring output put her at 20 career 20-point games.

The Mountaineers, 11-4 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 play, return to the court on Wednesday when they host Iowa State.

MORE: Clemson earns Team of the Week honors after winning two ranked road games

Alanna Smith, Stanford

Stanford’s winning streak reached eight straight as the Cardinal scored a road sweep of No. 19 Arizona State and Arizona last week as senior forward Alanna Smith averaged a double-double of 22.5 points and 10.0 rebounds.

She had 25 points and six rebounds in Stanford's 72-65 victory at Arizona State on Friday night and followed that up with a near triple-double of 20 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks in Sunday's 78-48 rout in Tucson.  Smith also totaled 4.0 blocks per game, shot 54.8 percent from the field and 55.6% from behind the 3-point line.

Smith is averaging 19.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.4 blocks in 15 games this season, one of two players in the country averaging 19/7/2/2 (Bella Alarie – Princeton).  The only player in the nation shooting better than 54 percent from the floor and 48 percent from deep, Smith's .488 3-point percentage (39-of-80) is fourth nationally.  Elena Delle Donne is the only player 6-foot-4 and taller over the past 20 years to shoot better than 40 percent from 3-point range when she made 41.3 percent as a freshman at Delaware in 2009-10 (NCAA minimum of two made 3-pointers per game).

Smith has double-doubles in four of her last six games and is 26th in school history in scoring (1,300) and fifth in blocks (183).

No. 6 Stanford, 14-1 overall and 4-0 in Pac-12 play, is back at home this weekend to host Washington on Friday night and Washington State on Sunday.

MORE: Notre Dame solidifies No. 1 ranking in AP women's hoops poll

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