Christmas is coming three days early for fans of women’s college basketball.
On Sunday, nine teams ranked in the AP Top 25 poll will play in non-conference games. Some are putting undefeated records on the line, others are searching for signature wins and resume boosters.
When you’re flipping through channels on a lazy Sunday, keep these things in mind when you’re trying to decide on which game to plug in to.
Can UConn stop the best three-point shooter in the country?
Taylor Robertson has been stellar when shooting from behind the arc this season. Through 11 games, the 5-foot-7 sophomore leads the nation in three-pointers made, flushing 56 of them. Her three-point shooting percentage of 49.1 is 12th best in the country, and her points per-game average of 19.5 is 22nd in the country. In short: if Robertson has space, she’ll make teams pay. In five of her last six games, she’s scored at least 21 points. Against Wichita State, she dropped 30 points while knocking down nine three-pointers.
This brings us to UConn. While the Huskies are undefeated, they haven’t been great at defending the three-pointer this season. In three-point percentage defense, they rank 114th. In overall scoring defense, they rank 57th, allowing 57.6 points per-game. Five times this season, the Huskies have allowed their opponent to shoot better than 30 percent from three-point range. Guarding Robertson will be a challenge for the Huskies. A few mistakes by UConn’s defense could make this game interesting.
- No. 1 Stanford at Texas - 1 p.m. ET, ESPN2
- No. 24 Michigan vs. No. 8 Florida State - 1:30 p.m. ET, ACCN
Below are results for Sunday's earlier games, which were previewed in an earlier version of this story:
Can South Dakota secure its at-large resume?
The Coyotes are off to an impressive 11-1 start this year and have established themselves as one of the best teams in the country among those who don’t come from power conferences. South Dakota has posted impressive wins over Green Bay, Utah, Missouri, Ohio State and Creighton. Still, it’s rare for a team from the Summit Conference to get into the NCAA tournament without winning its conference championship. South Dakota is the favorite to do so, but what if the Coyotes stumble in March in the Summit Tournament? Will the rest of the resume be enough?
With a good showing against the fifth-best team in the country, it could be. One big advantage South Dakota has against South Carolina is its marksmanship from behind the arc. The Coyotes are shooting 43.7 percent from three-point range, good enough for third-best in the country. The Gamecocks’ upper hand is on the boards, as they lead the country in rebounding.
Can Indiana pull off another upset?
The Hoosiers have collected two wins against ranked opponents so far this season — topping South Carolina and Miami — and could make it a third Sunday in Bloomington if they can end UCLA’s unbeaten run. The Bruins are 9-0 this season and 2-0 on the road, but Indiana has proven to be formidable too, with a 10-1 record and a 5-0 mark at home in Assembly Hall.
Indiana has the 10th best scoring defense in the country this season, allowing just 52.4 points per-game. Leading the Hoosiers on offense has been Grace Berger, who is averaging 13.9 points and 3.6 assists per-game. UCLA has been powered by Michaela Onyenwere, who is third in the Pac-12 in scoring with 19.2 points per-game this season.
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