Every week throughout the 2020-21 season, the NCAA.com Starting Five will highlight the top women's basketball players in the country. Here are the standouts from the past week:
Mackenzie DeWees, Quinnipiac
Quinnipiac’s Mackenzie DeWees averaged 17 points, seven rebounds and shot 59 percent (22-37) from the field as the Bobcats won three times last week.
DeWees began the week with a career offensive performance as she scored a career-high 20 points in the Bobcats 59-55 win over Marist on Monday. She added nine rebounds, three assists and two steals in the victory.
In the opener of a two-game weekend series with Saint Peter's, the junior guard scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds. She also added four assists and three steals in Quinnipiac's 55-40 win. DeWees then led the Bobcats in the series finale as she tallied 18 points, three rebounds and three assists as the Bobcats posted a third consecutive victory on Sunday over St. Peter’s, 68-56.
Quinnipiac, 6-4 overall and 4-2 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, will next welcome Siena for a weekend series on Jan. 15-16.
Krystal Freeman, Tulane
Senior forward Krystal Freeman of the Tulane led the Green Wave to pair of victories last week, averaging 19.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game while shooting 64 percent from the field.
Freeman opened the week on Jan. 6, going 10-14 from the floor for 20 points at Houston as Tulane prevailed 76-62. She added seven rebounds, five steals and one assist in the win over the Cougars. She also helped the Green Wave go on a 19-0 run and kept Houston from making a field goal for more than 10 minutes of game time.
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The Pineville, La., native followed that performance with 18 points on 6-11 from the field in a 68-49 win at Cincinnati on Saturday. She added six rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal against the Bearcats. Freeman helped the Green Wave make separate 18-6 and 10-0 runs in the second half to ice the game against Cincinnati.
Freeman is currently fourth in the conference in rebounding (8.8) and field goal percentage (.476) while ranking sixth in scoring (14.7).
The Green Wave will return to play on Wednesday, Jan. 13, as they host No. 16/19 South Florida.
Naz Hillmon, Michigan
Junior Naz Hillmon recorded a pair of double-doubles as Michigan moved to a program-best 9-0 last week.
In Michigan's two-point win over Nebraska (Jan. 7), Hillmon recorded the second 30-20 game in program history with a career-best 35 points and 22 rebounds. It was the second such game nationally this season and the first by a Big Ten student-athlete since Jan. 24, 2016. Hillmon joined Abby Currier, who scored 33 points and had 20 rebounds against Notre Dame on Jan. 20, 1979, in the Michigan 30-20 club. Hillmon is just the sixth Wolverine to grab at least 20 rebounds in a single game, with her 22 boards ranking second in school history.
Hillmon followed that up with a 24-point, 13-rebound performance in Michigan’s 20-point win over Illinois (Jan. 10).
For the week, she averaged 29.5 points and 17.5 rebounds per game. Hillmon leads the Big Ten in double-doubles with seven on the season.
Michigan, 4-0 in Big Ten play, will next play at Wisconsin on Jan. 14.
Ivana Raca, Wake Forest
Wake Forest senior forward Ivana Raca recorded a double-double in both games while averaging 19.0 points and 12.5 rebounds per game as Wake Forest rolled to a 63-60 win against Miami on Thursday and a 68-48 victory against Boston College on Sunday.
Raca scored a game-high 22 points with a career-best 14 rebounds in the win over the Hurricanes. Sixteen of her points came in the second half to lift the Demon Deacons to the win.
On Sunday, the Belgrade, Serbia, native helped Wake Forest log its largest margin of victory against a conference opponent since Feb. 28, 2018, in the 20-point win against the Eagles. Raca led the Deacons with 16 points and 11 rebounds, moving into the top 15 of the program’s all-time scoring list.
For the week, Raca was 16-of-38 from the floor with 25 rebounds, including six offensive boards. She is tied for the most double-doubles in Atlantic Coast Conference play with three.
Wake Forest, 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the ACC, will return to action on Jan. 14 at Notre Dame.
Aaliyah Wilson, Texas A&M
Logging 40 minutes a game, Aaliyah Wilson led Texas A&M to a pair of top-15 wins as the Aggies improved to 12-0 on the season and moved within one win of the best start in program history.
On Sunday, Wilson scored a career-high 27 points on the road against her former team as Texas A&M defeated No. 13 Arkansas, 74-73. The graduate went 10-of-19 from the field, including three 3-pointers, while pulling down eight rebounds. The game was decided when her teammate Jordan Nixon hit a running shot with under a second left to seal the win for the Aggies.
Against No. 10 Kentucky on Jan. 7, Wilson scored 18 points and led a defensive effort that held the reigning SEC Player of the Year Rhyne Howard to just three points in the fourth quarter as the Aggies prevailed 77-60.
Wilson leads the team in scoring (15.0) and steals (2.1) per game.
The Aggies, 3-0 in SEC play, will next travel to LSU on Jan. 14.