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Autumn Johnson | January 3, 2022

Women's college basketball rankings: Louisville climbs and South Carolina owns the throne of Week 7's Power 10

Indiana's Ali Patberg talks big OT win over No. 6 Maryland

It was a quiet week for teams featured in my Power 10 rankings, considering the holiday break for many DI women's college basketball teams around the NCAA.

The majority of the top teams did not play in Week 7, but the few who competed won their battles before the three-day pause. For the first time this season, I only made one major move in my rankings.

Let's take a look at Week 7's Power 10 rankings: 

1. South Carolina (1) —  The Gamecocks remain unbeaten heading into the holiday break, taking down Stanford in a Final Four rematch. The game looked like it would be in Stanford's favor once again, but Destanni Henderson paced the Gamecocks with an incredible defensive takeover with seven steals in the third quarter to overcome an 18-point deficit. Henderson finished with 17 points after missing three games due to an injury prior to the top-2 thriller. The victory gave South Carolina its sixth win over a ranked opponent, which is half of its wins. South Carolina will start SEC play on Dec. 30 against Missouri. 

Destanni Henderson

2. Louisville (4) — The Cards did not play in Week 7, but earn the top 2 ranking in my Power 10 after going on a remarkable 10-game winning steak with only one mark on their record. So far, the No. 3 defense in the nation has secured impressive ranked wins over Michigan, Kentucky and UConn, while holding opponents under an average of 48.3 scoring. The team's only loss of the season comes from Arizona on opening night. Louisville will start ACC play on Dec. 30 against Boston College. 

3. Stanford (2) — The Cardinal's top-2 loss drops the Cardinal down one spot. I considered leaving Stanford at the two-spot, but Louisville’s 10-game winning streak couldn’t go unnoticed. The defending champs have an 8-3 record with ranked wins over Indiana, Maryland and Tennessee. All of its loses comes from ranked opponents — Texas, South Florida and recently South Carolina. If Stanford can clean up its third-quarter play after having back-to-back performances of cold shooting and turnovers out of the locker room, I believe the Cardinal will get back to No. 2 and remain there moving forward. The Cardinal will start Pac-12 play on Dec. 31 against Washington. 

4. Indiana (3) — The Hoosiers handled Southern Illinois with a defensive effort, 70-37, which is a season low for Indiana's opponents. Indiana's duo Mackenzie Holmes and Grace Berger put up 18 points each. The majority of Indiana's offense is coming from its paint production by feeding Holmes down low, constantly attacking the basket and scoring in mid-range. The victory allows Indiana to go onto a five-game winning streak. One of the Hoosiers' two losses comes from Stanford, which is why I did not move Indiana above Stanford at the moment. Its other loss comes from NC State. However, its two ranked wins come from Kentucky and Ohio State (both by 20-plus points). 

5. NC State (5) — The Wolfpack did not play in Week 7, but will resume action on Dec. 30 when they face Clemson to continue ACC play. Earlier this season, the Wolfpack have picked up ranked wins over Indiana and Maryland. 

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6. UConn (6) — The 6-3 Huskies did not play in Week 7. With a depleted backcourt, UConn will look to bounce back from its recent loss against Louisville in Big East play against DePaul on Dec. 31. So far, UConn has picked up notable wins over Notre Dame, UCLA and South Florida. Its other loses come from South Carolina and Georgia Tech. 

7. Maryland (7) — The Terps blew past Coppin State, 98-52 to close out their non-conference schedule. Katie Benzan led with 22 points, with six massive threes. After being considered day-to-day due to an injury, Diamond Miller also came off the bench and played a career-high 21 minutes and provided double-figure scoring for Maryland. The Terps have been plagued with injury and during the adversity they've fallen to NC State, Stanford and South Carolina. Maryland's only ranked win comes over Baylor. Despite a limited bench, this squad's offense is ranked No. 8 in the nation. Maryland will resume Big Ten play against Illinois on Dec. 30. 

8. Arizona (8) — The Wildcats did not play in Week 7, but remain unbeaten with a 10-0 record. The No. 8 defense in the nation has held its opponents to only 49.7 points a game. So far, Arizona has taken down Louisville. The Wildcats' next ranked test was supposed to come from Texas, but unfortunately the game was canceled due to COVID-19 protocols and contact tracing within Arizona's program. The Wildcats will resume action with Pac-12 play, starting on Dec. 31 against South California. 

9. Michigan (9)  — The Wolverines did not play in Week 7 due to a game cancellation against East Michigan. Previously, Michigan took down Baylor to recently break into my Power 10. Michigan is currently 11-1 with its other ranked win over Oregon State and only loss of the season coming from Louisville. This squad will suit up for Big Ten play on Dec. 31 against rival Ohio State. 

10. Baylor (10) — The Bears also did not play in Week 7. Baylor's previous game against Michigan gave the Bears their second loss of the season. The first came from Maryland by only one possession. Baylor will face North Texas in its last non-conference game on Dec. 29 and will start Big 12 play against Kansas State on Jan. 2. 

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