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Michelle Smith | | November 18, 2019

Women's basketball rankings: Oregon retains top spot in Power 10 approaching Thanksgiving tournaments

Buzzer-beaters and a loose shoe highlight this week's top plays in women's basketball

Many of the nation’s top teams are in the less-challenging phases of their schedules, as they prepare for departure next week to Thanksgiving tournaments and games.

The Power 10 went 19-0 this week with only three single-digit victory margins. One game was decided by 81 points. Four games were decided by at least 54 points. And the average margin of victory among the Power 10 this week was 32.3 points a game.

Here’s the NCAA Power 10 for the week ending Nov. 17, 2019. The number next to the team's name is the ranking from the previous Power 10.

1. Oregon 3-0 (1): Coming off their historic win over the U.S. team, the Ducks officially opened the season this week with a trio of easy wins in which they averaged 99 points a game. Sabrina Ionescu added to her NCAA-record triple-double total, making it 19, in a big win over Texas Southern. While Ionescu does what she does, fellow senior Ruthy Hebard is off to an outstanding start, with three straight double-doubles to start the season, including 31 points and 13 rebounds on Saturday. She is averaging 23.7 points a game to open the season. Oregon’s strong start is all the more remarkable considering that they played all three games without forward Satou Sabally, who is overseas this week playing for the German national team in Olympic pre-qualifying.

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2. Baylor 3-0 (2): The difficult news that senior Lauren Cox is out with a stress reaction in her right foot didn’t stop the Bears from rolling to a 70-point win over Houston Baptist. Baylor played without Cox on the floor for the first time in two years and got career-best performances from grad transfer Te’a Cooper and sophomore center Queen Egbo as they scored 23 and 21 points, respectively. In fact, every available player scored for Baylor. Up next is a game against a ranked South Florida team on Tuesday.

3. Stanford 4-0 (3): A nail-biting 76-70 overtime win at home against Gonzaga tested the Cardinal Sunday night and their young lineup of freshmen and sophomores. Stanford is one of two teams in the nation ranked in the Top 15 in both scoring offense and defense and the Cardinal have proven that they can rely on a lot of players to get them through. Sunday, against the Zags, it was senior point guard Kianna Williams (22 points) and sophomore Lexie Hull with 20 points.

4. Texas A&M 3-0 (4): The Aggies, on the road for the first time this season, survived to come away with a 62-61 win over Rice on Sunday on a Ciera Johnson layup with nine seconds to go. A&M now heads west to face a dangerous USC team on Saturday. Chennedy Carter continues to be one of the most reliable scorers in the nation, putting up a season-high 29 points (including 17 in the first quarter) in a big win with backcourt mate Kayla Wells kicking in 19. It was Carter’s 40th game with at least 20 points and her 42nd consecutive game scoring in double figures.

5. Connecticut 3-0 (5): Not the best news week for the Huskies, who found out that Evina Westbrook will definitely not be joining them on the floor this season. But opening American Athletic Conference play with an 83-54 win over Temple was some consolation. The conference game was being played early because UConn has four non-conference games after January 1. Olivia Nelson Ododa, whose success on the floor is going to be a big factor in UConn’s success this season, finished the game with a career-high 15 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks. The Huskies host Virginia on Tuesday before playing the next three games on the road.

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6. South Carolina 4-0 (6): With six players in double figures, the Gamecocks continue to build confidence with a dominant win over Appalachian State. USC has two more games this week – against USC Upstate and at Clemson before heading to the Paradise Jam and a November 30 matchup against Baylor that will tell both teams a lot about themselves in the early part of the season.

7. Oregon State 3-0 (7):   The Beavers were pushed on Sunday by Missouri State (a team that reached the Sweet 16 last season) in the championship game of the WNIT, winning 80-69. Senior guard Kat Tudor returned to the floor on Thursday night after missing most of last season with a knee injury. Her return provides perimeter depth and a much needed infusion of 3-point shooting. Tudor hit four treys against Missouri State to finish with 14 points off the bench. Next up is what should be an overmatched opponent in Southern Utah on Thursday before a November 29 game against a strong Miami team on the road. OSU currently boasts three of the top 10 scorers in the Pac-12, including Mikayla Pivec, freshman Taylor Jones and point guard Destiny Slocum.

8. Mississippi State 3-0 (8): The Bulldogs remain largely unchallenged to this point, and they are setting records in the process, scoring 124 points against Murray State in a win that set the school’s single-game scoring record. Forward Jessika Carter earned her first career double-double in style with a 25-point, 18-rebound performance. MSU ends a four-game homestand Thursday night against Troy.

9. Maryland 3-1 (9): The Terrapins followed up last weekend’s loss to South Carolina with a narrow win over James Madison, but then settled into a more comfortable spot with a 44-point win over Delaware. Five players in double figures in that game, including a 23-point game from sophomore guard Taylor Mikesell put the Terps within one point of reaching 100 points for the second time this season.

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10. UCLA 3-0 (10):  Point guard Japreece Dean is back on the floor for the Bruins and a win over Long Beach State gets the Bruins three victories in their five-game homestand to open the season. Dean put up a career-high 11 assists in her season debut and junior Michaela Onyenwere finished with 27 points and six rebounds. Defensively, UCLA is holding opponents to 32.1 percent shooting from the floor and are forcing nearly 25 turnovers a game.

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