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Rick Nixon, NCAA | January 19, 2022

South Carolina's Aliyah Boston leads this week's women's basketball starting five

11 women's basketball teams that could shake up March Madness

Last week presented a number of standout performances, here are five of the best through games played Monday, January 17.

Aliyah Boston, South Carolina

South Carolina junior forward Aliyah Boston took sole ownership of and then extended the program record for consecutive double-doubles by posting her 10th and 11th in a row as the top-ranked Gamecocks rolled to Southeastern Conference wins over Texas A&M and Arkansas. Boston finished the week averaging 19.0 points and 14.0 rebounds per game.

Against the Aggies on Jan. 13, Boston needed just 13 minutes to reach the double-double before going on to finish with 19 points and 15 rebounds. Nine of those 15 boards were on the offensive end, and she turned them into 12 points as South Carolina won 65-45.

At Arkansas, Boston's 19 points and 13 rebounds included an 11-point, six-rebound second quarter that opened a nine-point halftime lead that eventually led to a 61-52 win. In the fourth quarter, her two free throws ended a 15-0 Arkansas run that cut the Gamecocks' lead to five and launched a 7-0 surge that closed the game. She also added a layup and offensive rebound to that effort.

South Carolina, 17-1 overall and 5-1 in SEC play, is back in action on Jan. 24 at home against Vanderbilt.

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

The nation’s leading scorer, Iowa sophomore Caitlin Clark was named Big Ten Conference Player of the Week for the third consecutive week as she averaged 27.5 points, 9.5 assists, nine rebounds and shot 92.9 percent from the free-throw line in the Hawkeyes’ wins over Purdue and Nebraska.

Against Nebraska on Sunday, Clark registered her third triple-double of the season and fourth career triple-double, recording 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Iowa rolled 93-83. She added four steals and two blocks and shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the free-throw line.

The week began on Jan. 13 with a 79-66 road win at Purdue as Clark registered 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.

Over the two games, the West Des Moines, Iowa, native shot 26-for-28 from the free-throw line and drew 22 fouls in the two wins. Clark currently averages 25.6 points per game, the top-scoring average in Division I.

Clark and the Hawkeyes, 10-4 overall and 4-1 in Big Ten play, next head to Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Thursday to take on the Minnesota Gophers.

LEGACY: Tennessee women's basketball coach Kellie Harper fights to restore 'awe factor,' glory days to storied program

Jennifer Coleman, Naval Academy

Jennifer Coleman of the Naval Academy continued her record-breaking senior season, averaging 27.5 points and 13.0 rebounds per game as the Midshipmen split a pair of contests against Colgate and Boston.

Coleman registered double-doubles in both games versus the Raiders and Terriers. In addition to her points and rebounds, Coleman averaged 4.5 assists, 2.0 steals, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field (48.9%) and never leaving the court with 40 minutes played in both contests.

She started the week on the road at Colgate on Wednesday, tallying 23 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists in the Mids' 65-62 victory.

The senior guard closed out her week, filling the box score with 32 points, 16 rebounds and four assists in a 74-63 loss to Boston. Led by Coleman's career-best efforts (both points and rebounds) the Mids and Terriers were locked in a two-possession game late into the fourth quarter.

The Patriot League’s top scorer, Coleman is averaging 23.5 points, 10.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists, 3.0 steals in 37.6 minutes per game this season while shooting over 40-percent in both field goal (43.1%) and three-point shooting (43.5%). Nationally, the Richmond, Virginia native ranks fifth in scoring, eighth in minutes, 15th in steals and 22nd in rebounds for her per-game averages and stands fifth overall with 11 total double-doubles over 16 contests.

Coleman and Midshipmen, 5-11 overall and 2-4 in Patriot play will be back in action on Jan. 19 at Lehigh.

🐴: 11 women's basketball dark-horse teams that could shake up March Madness

Da’Nasia Hood, Texas State

Texas State senior forward Da'Nasia Hood averaged 29.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.5 assists and 1.0 blocks on 77.4 percent shooting as the Bobcats rolled to a pair of wins over Georgia Southern and Georgia State.

Hood finished the Bobcats' two-game swing through Georgia by leading the squad in 11 different statistical categories, including but not limited to scoring average, total points, made field goals, shooting percentage, made 3-pointers, total rebounds and rebounding average.

In Texas State's 78-74 win at Georgia Southern on Jan. 13, Hood scored a career-high 32 points on 13-of-16 shooting (81.3 percent) en route to becoming the first Bobcat to score 30-or-more points in a game since Toshua Leavitt (31) at Arkansas State on Jan. 19, 2019. Hood's 32 points against the Eagles is the top output in a Sun Belt Conference game this season.

Two days later, Hood turned in a 26-point, 14-rebound performance at Georgia State for her third double-double. The 14 rebounds for the San Antonio native tied her single-game career high, while her 26 points marked the sixth time this season Hood has scored 20-or-more points in a single game.

Texas State (8-9, 3-2) will return to action on Thursday, Jan. 20, when the Bobcats play at UTA.

Te-Hina Paopao, Oregon

Oregon scored wins over two top-10 ranked programs in Arizona and UConn as sophomore guard Te-Hina Paopao led the Ducks with 46 points over the two games against a pair of teams that appeared in the 2021 Women’s Final Four.

Paopao opened the week with a career-high 24-point effort against No. 7 Arizona on Saturday as Oregon rallied from 17 points down, forced overtime and then beat the Wildcats, 68-66, on a last-second shot by Endyia Rogers. Paopao overcame an illness that bothered her throughout the game to shoot 8-of-14 from the field.

On Monday against No. 10 UConn, PaoPao again led the way with 22 points on 7-of-17 shooting with eight rebounds as the Ducks rolled the Huskies 72-59 at home. After allowing a 10-0 run by UConn to open the game, it was all Oregon. The Ducks used an 18-0 run from late in the first quarter to early into the second to go up 26-14, and they ultimately led by as much as 24, at 67-43 early in the fourth.

The wins by the Oregon women’s basketball team capped a weekend of wins over top-10 teams by both the Oregon women’s and men’s basketball programs, as the men won at UCLA and USC and the women beat Arizona and UConn.

Oregon, 10-5 overall and 2-1 in Pac-12 play, returns to play Jan. 21 at Washington.

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