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Rick Nixon | | January 5, 2022

Iowa's Caitlin Clark leads this week's women's basketball starting five

Louisville earns No. 1 spot in latest Power 10 women's basketball rankings

Last week presented a number of standout performances in DI women's college basketball. Here were five of the top players through games played Monday, Jan. 3.

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Joseph Cress | USA TODAY Sports Images Caitlin Clark

Iowa sophomore standout Caitlin Clark registered a career-high 44 points in the Hawkeyes’ win over Evansville on Sunday, breaking the Carver-Hawkeye Arena record that had stood for nearly 22 years. Former Hawkeye Amy Harrig previously held the record, scoring 42 points against Northwestern on Feb. 14, 1999. Clark added to her stat line, dishing eight assists, pulling down five rebounds and tallying two steals on the day.

Currently the No. 4 scorer in the nation, averaging 24.2 points per game, Clark also broke the 1,000-career point barrier on Sunday, becoming the fastest Big Ten Conference player and the eighth NCAA student-athlete to meet the mile marker in 40 games or less. Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell previously held the record with 1,000 in 41 games during the 2016-17 season. Clark is only the second NCAA player in the last 25 years to tally 1,000 points in 40 games or less — Delaware’s Elena Delle Donne did it in 38 games (2011-12).

Clark and the Hawkeyes, 7-3 overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten, return to action Thursday, Jan. 6 in a home matchup against Northwestern.

LATEST RANKINGS: Louisville is new No. 1 in Power 10 rankings | AP poll | NET

Lucy Ibeh, Central Arkansas

Central Arkansas Athletics Lucy Ibeh

Central Arkansas started the new year with a win as junior forward Lucy Ibeh enjoyed a career day against Jarvis Christian on Sunday, scoring 25 points and pulling down a career-high 21 rebounds, all while adding six assists, a pair of steals and a block, in a 71-63 victory.

Jarvis Christian was the final non-conference tune-up for the Sugar Bears (5-6). UCA now turns to its first Atlantic Sun conference slate. Central Arkansas heads to Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Jan. 5.

Haley Jones, Stanford

Bryan Lynn | USA Today Sports Images Haley Jones

Defending national champion Stanford opened Pac-12 play with an 82-44 win at Washington State as junior guard Haley Jones filled the stat sheet with 24 points and 16 rebounds, while connecting on 10 of 14 shots from the floor.

For Jones, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2021 Women’s Final Four, it was her fourth double-double-double of the season. She added three assists in 34 minutes against Washington State.

Jones is now one of four players in the country this season to have a game with 24 points, 16 rebounds and three assists, but the only one to do it while shooting 70.0 percent from the floor, and the only one to do it on the road. The eighth 24-point, 16-rebound, three-assist performance by a Pac-12 player in a true road game since 1999-00 and just the second to do it while shooting at least 70.0 percent. Oregon's Jillian Alleyne had 29 points on a perfect 11-for-11 shooting, 20 rebounds and three assists in an 84-72 win at Arizona on Jan. 31, 2014.

The Cardinal, 9-3 overall and 1-0 in Pac-12 play, return to play on Jan. 7 at home against Oregon.

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech Athletics Elizabeth Kitley

Virginia Tech improved to 3-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play for the first time in program history as junior center Elizabeth Kitley scored 27 points against No. 15 Duke in a 77-55 win and then added 13 points and 18 rebounds Sunday in a 66-53 win over Wake Forest.

In 14 games this season, Kitley owns multiple blocks in 13 of those games. Kitley’s seven double-doubles is first in the conference and her seven 20-point games are a league-high. She is one of two players to post multiple 30-point games. She ranks second in the ACC in points per game, second in rebounds, second in field goal percentage and first in blocks.

Virginia Tech, 11-3 overall, owns a streak of five consecutive road victories in ACC play, which is a program record. The Hokies return to action at home on Jan. 6 against Virginia.

MIDSEASON SUPERLATIVES: Top teams and players, so far this women's basketball season

Maddy Siegrist, Villanova

Villanova Athletics Maddy Siegrist

Villanova junior forward Maddy Siegrist averaged 25.5 points per game as the Wildcats extended its winning streak to five games with victories over St. John’s and Seton Hall.

Siegrist tallied 28 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in a 70-68 win over St. John’s on Sunday, two days after registering 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 76-73 victory over Seton Hall.

In the two wins, Siegrist averaged 10 rebounds and four assists per game while shooting 47.6 percent from the field. In seven games this year, Siegrist is averaging a Big East-best 22.9 points per game and 9.4 rebounds.

Villanova, 8-5 overall and 2-2 in the Big East, will put its winning streak on the line against No. 11 UConn on Friday, Jan. 7.

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