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Autumn Johnson | November 29, 2021

Women's basketball rankings: South Carolina secures No. 1 spot in Week 3

Women's basketball rankings: NC State rises in latest Power 10

Chaos and upsets! 

Thanksgiving weekend was stuffed with intense top-25 battles while teams competed in a variety of island tournaments over the holiday. Here's how my Week 3 Power 10 rankings played out: 

1. South Carolina (1) - The Gamecocks defeated UConn, 73-57, in a huge comeback to protect the No. 1 spot in the Top 25 AP poll and become the Battle 4 Atlantis champs. Defense was the game changer for South Carolina in the second half, including Aliyah Boston stepping up with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while the backcourt duo Zia Cooke and Destanni Henderson combined 32 points together. South Carolina closed out Week 3, cruising past Elon, 79-38, to remain undefeated. 

Aliyah Boston & Zia Cooke on South Carolina's Battle 4 Atlantis win vs. UConn

2. UConn (2) - The Huskies had a tough loss against South Carolina, but I'm keeping them at my No. 2 spot, considering the rest of the upsets that happened in Week 3. The best two teams in the country battled it out, and this game solidified (as of right now) its respective spots in the national rankings. It seemed like UConn had all control in the first half, running a successful transition game, but the Gamecocks' stifling defense forced UConn into 19 turnovers and only three points in the final quarter. The Huskies also couldn't find an answer on the offensive boards, getting outscored with second chance points,17-2.

RECAP: South Carolina beats UConn in No. 1 vs No. 2 showdown behind defense, Aliyah Boston 

3. NC State (6) - The Wolfpack are on six-game winning streak, including a massive win over then-No. 2 Maryland and cruising past Washington State. Diamond Johnson and Elissa Cunane led the Wolfpack in both matchups in the Baha Mar Pink Flamingo Championship in the Bahamas. Johnson scored double-figures in both matchups and Cunane led the way with 20 points against the Terps and only one point and rebound shy from, recording a double-double against the Cougars. 

4. Stanford (4) - The Cardinal defeated Indiana in an Elite 8 rematch with Cameron Brink recording a double-double with 21 points and 22 rebounds. However, the Cardinal couldn't continue its momentum, suffering an upset from No. 18 South Florida, who knocked down a clutch three with less than four seconds left on the clock. The Cardinal avenged its loss, though, in a three-game stretch against top-25 foes, blowing past No. 2 Maryland, 86-67.

5. Indiana (5) - The Hoosiers fell to Stanford, 69-66, that came down to free throws that could've tied the game. Indiana ended the week, surviving the upset against Miami, 53-51. 

6. Maryland (3) - It's been a tough week for the Terps. Maryland suffered back-to-back blowouts against NC State and Stanford in the Baha Mar Hoops Pink Flamingo Championship. Unfortunately, Maryland has been plagued by a limited bench with only seven players. Maryland's key players Katie Benzan (illness), Diamond Miller (day-to-day injury) and Faith Masonius (illness) are all out, but expect this team to be a force when it returns to full strength. 

7. Iowa (7) - The Hawkeyes did not play this week due to COVID-19 protocols since positive tests were within the program. Iowa is currently 4-0 and will resume play on Dec. 2 when it visits Duke in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.  

RADAR: Here are 15 women's college basketball players you should watch out for this season 

8. Louisville (8) - The Cardinals breezed past Cal Poly and Colorado State to extend its winning streak to five. Louisville is currently leading the nation in scoring defense, limiting its opponents to 40.2 points per game. The Cardinals fell to Arizona on opening night but will have another top-25 test on Dec. 2, when they face Michigan in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. 

9. Baylor (9) - The Bears bounced back from a close loss against Maryland by going on a three-game winning streak in the Cancun Challenge, defeating Fordham, Arizona State and Houston. Baylor's star NaLyssa Smith recorded double-doubles in all three matchups, including an impressive 21 points and 19 rebounds against Houston. Baylor is now 6-1.

Baylor women's basketball

10. Arizona (10) - The Wildcats were victorious in the Paradise Jam, defeating Vanderbilt, DePaul and Rutgers to become the island champs. The Wildcats started with a two-point nail-bitter against Vanderbilt and closed out the tournament in a dominant fashion over Rutgers, 80-44. Cate Reese led the way with 16 points and was named the tournament MVP with Sam Thomas joining her on the All-Tournament team. 

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