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Rick Nixon | | January 23, 2019

Women's basketball: Kristine Anigwe headlines this week's Starting Five honorees

Andy Katz chats with Gonzaga's Laura Stockton

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. 16-22.

Kristine Anigwe, California

California senior Kristine Anigwe led the Golden Bears to wins last week over Washington State and Washington, filling the box score by averaging 29.5 points and 20.5 rebounds per game.

A three-time All-Pac-12 selection, Anigwe opened the weekend with a 29-point, 23-rebound effort in Friday's 77-63 win over Washington State, also chipping in two steals and two blocked shots in 33 minutes of action.  Anigwe's 23 rebounds set a new season-high and were the most by any Pac-12 player in the last two seasons. Anigwe leads the nation in rebounding this season at 15.2 rebounds per game, more than a full rebound ahead of every other player in Division I basketball this season, men's or women's. Friday also marked Anigwe's second game this season with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds and the third such outing of her Golden Bear career.

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In Sunday's game against Washington, Anigwe put together her third 30-point performance of the season, finishing with 30 points and 18 rebounds in Cal's 79-70 win over the Huskies. Anigwe shot a season-high 72.2 percent (13-18) from the floor on Sunday and went a perfect 4-4 from the foul line.

With her efforts this weekend, Anigwe also extended her double-double streak to 18 in a row dating back to last season, moving into a tie with former Pac-12 standouts Cheryl Miller and Jillian Alleyne for the seventh-longest double-double streak in Division I women's basketball history.

Anigwe is tied for first in the nation with 17 double-doubles this season and is sixth in the country in scoring, averaging 22.7 points per game on the year.

Cal will be back in action on Friday, taking on No. 21 Utah in Salt Lake City.

Raneem Elgedawy, Western Kentucky

Raneem Elgedawy was a dominant force in the post as Western Kentucky scored convincing road wins over FIU and Florida Atlantic, averaging 26.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in the two victories.

The 6-4 sophomore from Alexandria, Egypt scored a career-high 28 points in Western Kentucky’s 94-82 win at FIU on Jan. 17.She fell just shy of a double-double with nine rebounds.

Elgedawy followed that up with 25 points and 16 rebounds in helping to guide the Lady Toppers past Florida Atlantic, 81-50, as Western Kentucky won their sixth straight game. She recorded a double-double in the first half alone. It was her third career game with 15 or more rebounds and also her third double-double of the season. She became the first post player with back-to-back 25-point games for Western Kentucky since Chastity Gooch in 2014.

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In conference play, Elgedawy is the only player in the Conference USA who currently ranks in the top five in both scoring (19.8) and rebounding (8.6) per game through five matchups.

The Lady Toppers (11-8, 5-0 C-USA), will return home this week with a pair of matchups against Southern Miss on Jan. 24 and Louisiana Tech, Jan. 26

Danielle Gitzen, Missouri State

Missouri State's Danielle Gitzen led the Lady Bears to a pair of road victories to remain tied atop the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

Gitzen averaged 18.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals in wins at Bradley and Illinois State as Missouri State extended its overall winning streak to eight games and MVC regular season streak to 12 straight wins while starting 5-0 in Valley play for the first time since 2004. The senior guard from Victoria, Minn., shot 52 percent overall and 5-for-5 from beyond the arc in the two games.

On Jan. 18 at Bradley, Gitzen had 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in a 68-56 win.

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Sunday, she scored a game-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 3-for-3 from distance, adding a 4-for-4 showing at the foul line with six boards, four assists and two steals in a win at Illinois State. The Lady Bears (9-7 overall) held the Redbirds to 30 percent shooting in extending their Valley winning streak.

Missouri State returns home Friday, Jan. 25 to play Loyola. 

Kayla Goth, Kansas State

Kansas State senior guard Kayla Goth led the Wildcats to a pair of Big 12 Conference wins last week including an upset over then 11th ranked Texas and a road win at Texas Tech. Goth did not come off the floor in the two games last as she played all 80 minutes and averaged 15 points, 10.5 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

Against the Longhorns, Goth registered her third double-double of the season with 20 points, 12 assists and four rebounds as Kansas State rolled to a convincing 87-69 victory. The 12 assists were the most by a player in a Big 12 game this season. This was the second time in the career of the 2019 Nancy Lieberman Award candidate that she tallied 20 or more points and 12 or more assists in a game, as she is the only player in school history to achieve this stat line. Her 12 assists tied her career-high and ranks sixth in program history for a single game.  Goth also tied her career-high with a 7-of-7 effort from the free throw line.

At Texas Tech on Saturday, Goth registered 10 points, nine assists, five rebounds and three steals in Kansas State's fourth quarter comeback win, 66-62. Goth scored eight points in the fourth quarter on a 2-of-2 effort from the field and a 4-of-4 performance from the foul line, with all four attempts coming in the final minute of the game as the Wildcats secured its win.

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With her nine assists at Texas Tech, Goth moved into sole possession of fifth place in program history for career assists with 432 passing former teammate Shaelyn Martin (423; 2014-18).

This season, Goth leads the Big 12 in total assists (118) and assists per game (6.6) and in minutes per game (36.4). She is second on the team in scoring with 12.3 per game and leads the team in steals (31).

Kansas State, 12-6 overall and 3-3 in Big 12 play, returns to action on Jan. 23 at home versus Oklahoma State. 

Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State

When Mississippi State needed her the most, 6-7 senior center Teaira McCowan stepped up in a big way with 26 points, 24 rebounds and two blocked shots as the Bulldogs defeated South Carolina in a key Southeastern Conference game last week.

With teammate Chloe Bibby exiting the game early with a serious knee injury, McCowan dominated the paint as Mississippi State pulled away for the 89-74 home win over the Gamecocks. It was the fifth 20-20 game of her sterling career. She was 9-of-15 from the field and 8-of-9 from the foul line.

In an 85-59 victory at Auburn last Monday, McCowan had 22 points — going 9-of-10 from the field — 10 rebounds and three blocks for the Bulldogs.

For the week she averaged 20.0 points, 15.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.0 steals per game.

McCowan is averaging 17.3 points this season and is in the top 10 in the nation in rebounds (13.9, second), shooting percentage (67.0, fifth) and blocked shots (47, eighth). She has recorded 14 double-doubles in points and rebounds and now has 53 career double-doubles for the Bulldogs.

Mississippi State, 17-1 overall and 5-0 in the SEC, will next travel to Florida on Jan. 24.

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