Each week throughout the season the starting five will highlight the top NCAA Division I women’s basketball performances from the previous week.
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Chennedy Carter, Texas A&M
Chennedy Carter of Texas A&M announced her return to the court in a big way after missing the previous seven games with an ankle injury, averaging 27.5 points per game in a pair of wins last week for the Aggies. The Preseason Southeastern Conference Player of the Year, Carter extended her record double-digit scoring streak to 57 consecutive games and locked in the 12th 30+ point game of her career.
In a 74-53 win at home over Vanderbilt on Feb. 13, Carter recorded 18 points off the bench, leading all scorers in the blowout win. The junior did her damage against the Commodores in just 22 minutes of action.
Carter returned to the starting lineup on Sunday and responded by exploding for a season-high 37 points in a 73-71 road victory over No. 25 Tennessee. Carter sank 14 of 16 free throws and made big plays on both ends of the court to help secure the victory over the Lady Vols. The Aggies were 28-for-33 from the free throw line, recording a season high in free throws made (28). With Carter returning to the starting lineup, Texas A&M used a starting lineup of Carter, Shambria Washington, Kayla Wells, N'dea Jones and Ciera Johnson for just the 18th time this season.
No. 16 Texas A&M (20-5, 8-4 SEC) will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 20 as they travel to Georgia.
Ruthy Hebard, Oregon
Ruthy Hebard posted back-to-back double-doubles while averaging 26.0 points and 13.5 rebounds per game as Oregon stretched its winning streak to 12 games with blowout wins over No. 7 UCLA and USC.
The senior forward erupted for 30 points and 17 rebounds against the Bruins on Friday in Pauley Pavilion, as Oregon won 80-66. The win was the Ducks’ eighth win this season over a ranked team – and fifth against a top-10 opponent – during their current win streak. It was the third time this season and fifth time in her career that Hebard has topped the 30-point mark.
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Hebard recorded her 52nd career double-double and 12th of the season with 22 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday in a 93-67 win over USC. With the win, Oregon kept its hold on first place in the Pac-12 and will take a one-game lead over No. 8 Stanford into the final four games of the regular season.
Hebard’s back-to-back 20-plus point showings give her five in the last seven games and a team-best 10 this season. Hebard now owns five double-doubles in her last eight games, 13 this season and 52 in her career, tied with Sabrina Ionescu for No. 4 in Oregon history.
Hebard also made moves up the Pac-12 record book over the weekend, flying up three spots to No. 7 on the all-time rebounding list (1,232) and two spots to No. 11 on the all-time scoring list (2,446).
The Ducks (24-2 and 13-1 Pac-12) remained at No. 3 in the Associated Press top-25 poll for the fourth straight week on Monday. Oregon will face off with Stanford in a crucial matchup next Monday after playing at California on Friday.
Lauren Manis, Holy Cross
A four-time Patriot League Player of the Week this season, Holy Cross senior forward Lauren Manis recorded her 15th and 16th double-double’s of the season as the Crusaders scored wins over Lehigh and Lafayette.
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On Feb. 12, Manis helped lead Holy Cross to a 65-62 comeback victory over Lehigh, totaling 18 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Trailing by 24 points with 4:37 to go in the third quarter, the Crusaders completed the fifth-largest comeback in NCAA Division I history. Trailing 61-54 with four minutes left, Manis was clutch down the stretch, scoring six points and grabbing two rebounds while assisting on a 3-pointer as Holy Cross completed the comeback. Manis hit the game-tying shot with 1:03 left in the contest before connecting on a free throw to put Holy Cross up by one with 34 seconds left as Holy Cross held on for the three-point win.
Manis then had a career day in a 57-49 win at Lafayette on Saturday, Feb. 15, scoring 32 of her team’s 57 points. The 32 points was a career-high for Manis, besting her previous mark of 30 points. She added 16 rebounds. Manis went 11-for-13 from the free-throw line and recorded a pair of steals.
This season, Manis has a total of 16 double-doubles, ranking third in Division I and she ranks ninth nationally with an average of 11.3 rebounds per game. She has now been named the Patriot League Player of the Week nine times in her career.
The Crusaders, 12-11 and 8-5 Patriot, return to action on Feb. 19 at Patriot League-leading Bucknell.
DJ Williams, Coastal Carolina
It could be argued that DJ Williams of Coastal Carolina had one of the best weeks in NCAA history.
The 5-foot-10 senior guard scored a school-record 51 points in Thursday's win over Troy and added the third triple-double in program history in Saturday's victory over South Alabama. She needed only 48 shots to score 73 points in the Chanticleers' two pivotal wins.
In the 124-103 shootout win over Troy in a game that featured the two top offensive units in the Sun Belt Conference, Williams made 15 of 18 free throws and was 16-for-31 from the field, adding eight assists and seven rebounds without a turnover. The 51 points -- which topped the previous single-game school record (45, by Andrea Singleton in 1985-86) -- were the most in a Sun Belt Conference game and the most by any Division I player since 2018. The senior also added three blocked shots, seven rebounds and eight assists to avenge the conference season-opening loss to the Trojans.
Williams followed the career performance with the program's third triple-double to lead the Chants to a 76-73 win over South Alabama, giving Coastal Carolina its 21st win on the season. She recorded 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists while scoring five of the final six points for Coastal in the win.
The Moreno Valley, Calif. native averaged 36.5 points per contest for the week to raise her season average to 18.9 points per game overall and 22.9 points per game in conference action.
Coastal Carolina, 21-3 and 11-2 Sun Belt, will next travel to Georgia Southern for a Feb. 20 game against the Eagles.
Peyton Williams, Kansas State
Kansas State senior forward Peyton Williams set new school standards in a pair of categories and registered a new career-high for points while helping the Wildcats rally to a pair of road wins last week at West Virginia and Oklahoma.
Williams averaged 22.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals.
At West Virginia, Williams tallied 14 points which included 10 points in the fourth quarter as Kansas State rallied from an 18-point deficit in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter to win 56-55. Entering the fourth quarter, West Virginia held a 41-30 lead and used a 9-2 run to increase its lead to 50-32 with 7:03 to play. The Wildcats then put together an incredible 24-5 run, including a 19-0 burst, to score the miracle comeback. Williams started the run with a layup and would score eight points down the stretch. She also hauled in eight rebounds and dished out four assists. With her eight rebounds, Williams became the fifth player in program history with 900-or-more career rebounds.
At Oklahoma, Williams came one rebound short of the first 30-point, 20-rebound double-double in school history. Williams finished with her 12th double-double of the season on a career-high 31 points on 9-of-15 shooting and included a career-high 12-of-15 effort from the free throw line including the clinching free throws in overtime as Kansas State prevailed 87-85. She also hauled in 19 rebounds, tied her career-high with six assists and pocketed a personal season-high five steals.
With her 19 rebounds, Williams tied the school record for career games with 15-or-more rebounds with seven and tied the school record for double-doubles with 10-or-more points and 15-or-more rebounds with seven. Her 19 rebounds also moved her past Shalee Lehning for fourth in school history for career rebounds with 919.
For the season, Williams is averaging a double-double with 16.0 points and 11.8 rebounds with a .473 field goal percentage and a .755 free throw percentage. She is one of two players in league play to average a double-double with 16.9 points and 11.5 rebounds, joining freshman standout and teammate Ayoka Lee.
Kansas State, 12-11 and 6-6 Big 12, returns home to host TCU on Feb. 19.