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Rick Nixon | NCAA.com | February 9, 2022

Portland's Alex Fowler shines in this week's women's basketball Starting Five

Women's basketball rankings: Michigan soars, Tennessee falls in Power 10

Last week presented a number of standout performances, here are five of the best through games played Monday, February 7.

Alex Fowler, Portland

Alex Fowler led Portland to an upset of No. 16 BYU and averaged 17.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game over three games last week as the Pilots moved to 15-5 on the season.

Highlight for Fowler and the Pilots was the 75-64 home win over BYU on Feb. 3 as she tallied 23 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. It was Portland's first win over a ranked opponent since 2020 and their first home win over the Cougars since the 1997-98 season. Fowler's eight assists were also a career-high.

The sophomore forward also made history in Portland's game on Feb. 5 against Loyola Marymount in a 61-59 loss. After scoring 21 points, Fowler moved up to ninth on the all-time scoring list for the Pilots with 1,382 career points. No player in Pilot history reached the 1,300-point threshold faster than Fowler (78 games).

RANKINGS: Check out the latest Power 10 

On Monday,  Portland, improved to 5-3 in West Conference play, bouncing back from their Saturday loss with a 64-49 road win at Loyola Marymount as Fowler had eight points and nine rebounds. The win gives Portland 15 wins, surpassing their total from last season.

The Townsville, Australia native has been one of the top players in the WCC this season. Fowler’s averaging 18.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game on 57.0% shooting. She is first in the conference in field-goal percentage, second in points per game and third in rebounding.

The Pilots will be back in action on Feb. 10 when they host Saint Mary’s. 

Azzi Fudd, UConn

Highly touted UConn freshman Azzi Fudd stood out in the top non-conference win by a Big East Conference team this season as the 10th-ranked Huskies knocked off No. 7 Tennessee on Sunday, 75-56.

The freshman guard, playing in just her eighth game, scored a career-high 25 points off 9-of-16 shooting, making 7-of-9 attempts from three, while adding four rebounds and four assists. She logged 39 minutes of turnover-free play.

Fudd also helped UConn rally from a double-digit deficit at Creighton on Wednesday, with the Huskies prevailing 76-56. She came off the bench to score 10 second-half points and spark the Huskies to the road win to remain unbeaten in Big East play.

For the week, Fudd averaged 17.5 points on .571 shooting, including a .750 clip from three.

UConn, 15-4 overall and 9-0 in Big East play, will next host Villanova (15-6, 9-3) on Wednesday in an important conference clash.

Starr Jacobs, UTA

In her last four contests combined, UTA senior Starr Jacobs is averaging 29.2 points per game and has totaled a 30-point game in each of the last two weekends.

In her lone game last week, Jacobs proved to be the difference in an important 88-79 win against Appalachian State, eclipsing numerous season-highs and career-highs, scoring a season-high 33 points to go with 10 rebounds, her first double-double this season, and added four steals, three assists, and a block as the Lady Mavs moved into first place in the Sun Belt Conference.

Jacobs is only the fifth player ever to score 30 or more points twice in a season and her 13 made field goals tied her for the sixth-most made baskets in program history. Her 25 attempts were the third most in school history. Her 33 points were the 10th most point scored in a single game.

As of Tuesday morning, Jacobs is 10th in the country in points per game (21.2) and is on pace to become the first player in school history to average 20-plus points per game in a season. She is ranked 20th nationally in field goals made (161), 20th in field goal percentage (.557), 31st in total points (403), and 27th in free throw attempts (127). She is also in the Top 100 in steals per game with 2.32.

SCOREBOARD: Follow all the action this season

Jacobs has scored 10 or more points in all 19 contests this season and has scored 20 or more points in 11 games this season, including two games with 30 or more points. Additionally, Jacobs has made five or more field goals in every single contest this season and shot above 50% in 14 of 19 games. She is averaging 23.1 points per game in conference play of 84 of 160 (.525) shooting from the field.

UTA, 14-5 overall and 8-2 in SBC play, is back in action on Feb. 10 as they host ULM.

Masseny Kaba, UCF

Masseny Kaba averaged 17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game to lead UCF to another undefeated week of league play to help the Knights (16-3 overall, 8-1 American) remain at the top of the conference standings.

The senior forward opened the week with a career performance to lift the Knights to a 64-55 win over Temple. Kaba scored a career-high 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for her first double-double of the season and the fifth of her career. She also had three steals and two assists against the Owls. Kaba also recorded her 100th career block, making her the only Knight in program history with 700-plus rebounds and 100-plus blocks.

Kaba extended her double-digit scoring streak to four games with a 13-point showing in UCF's 71-57 win over Memphis. She pulled down eight rebounds and moved closer to third all-time in career blocks as she swatted a pair against the Tigers.

The Dorchester, Massachusetts, native's current four-game double-digit scoring streak matches the longest of her career. She was one of five league players with 20-point games last week. She ranked sixth in scoring and seventh in rebounding. She posted the eighth-best field goal percentage and was tied for eighth in steals on the week.

UCF, 16-3 overall and 8-1 in American Athletic Conference play, heads out for a two-game road swing, making the trip to Houston for a Feb. 9 contest against the Cougars before heading to Tampa for the second round of the War on I-4 against South Florida on Sunday, Feb. 13.

Madi Williams, Oklahoma

Madi Williams led the way as No. 12 Oklahoma scored a pair of wins last week, including a road victory over then-No. 9 Baylor.

The Fort Worth, Texas, product led the Sooners to the key road win over 9 Baylor on Wednesday, posting a team-high 20 points while pulling down eight rebounds and dishing out five assists in the Sooners' 78-77 win against the Bears. She also assisted Liz Scott on the game-winning basket.

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On Saturday, the preseason unanimous All-Big 12 selection continued her impressive week by scoring 22 points in a double-overtime win over West Virginia in Norman. The senior forward was responsible for the go-ahead basket, scored with nine seconds left to push Oklahoma to a 101-99 victory.
 
Williams shot 51.6% from the field this week and 40% from behind the arc, including a perfect 2-of-2 clip vs. the Mountaineers.

With the two wins, the Sooners jumped a national-best six spots in the Associated Press Top 25 poll on Monday, moving from 18th to No. 12, the program's highest ranking since Nov. 28, 2016.

Oklahoma, 20-3 overall and 9-2 in Big 12 Conference play, next hits the road for its third top-25 matchup in four games this Saturday when it takes on No. 16 Texas in Austin, Texas. The Sooners will look to complete the season sweep of their rival, who they knocked off in Norman 65-63 on Jan. 29.

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