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Rick Nixon | NCAA.com | February 16, 2022

Baylor's NaLyssa Smith dazzles in this week's women's basketball Starting Five

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Last week presented a number of standout performances, here are five of the best through games played Monday, February 14.

Jordyn Jenkins, Southern California

USC's Jordy Jenkins

USC’s top scorer in the past six games, sophomore forward Jordyn Jenkins averaged 22.7 points and 10.7 rebounds across three games in five days, with losses to Utah (91-69) and Washington State (57-54) and a win over Washington (70-59).

Jenkins opened up with 21 points for USC in the loss at Utah. Two days later, she posted a career night with 29 points and 15 rebounds, while hitting 12 of 13 free throws to help anchor a key win at Washington. She followed that double-double outing with another one at Washington State, scoring 18 points with 12 rebounds to notch her sixth double-double of the season.

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The Trojans’ top scorer, Jenkins is averaging 15.4 points per game, ranking her sixth in the Pac-12. She's also second on the boards for USC with 7.0 rebounds per game.

USC (10-13 overall and 3-10 in the Pac-12) will play its final homestand this weekend, hosting Utah on Friday (Feb. 18) and then taking on Colorado on Sunday (Feb. 20) at Galen Center.

Juliunn Redmond, Illinois State

Illinois State's Juliunn Redmond

Illinois State fifth-year guard Juliunn Redmond averaged 26.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists as the Redbirds picked up two Missouri Valley Conference victories on the road and improved to 11-2 in league standings.

Redmond led all scorers with 16 points in Illinois State’s 57-53 win at Loyola Chicago on Feb. 10, adding six rebounds and three assists.

She then exploded for a career-high 37 points at Valparaiso, adding five rebounds and four assists in 38 minutes played as Illinois State prevailed 85-80. Redmond's 37 points was not only a career-high, but it was also the most points scored by an Illinois State player since 1992 and the most by a Valley player since Jan. 2020.

The Chicago-native celebrated joining the Redbirds' 1,000-point club on Saturday as well and now ranks 28th all-time in scoring with 1,034 career points.

Illinois State, 15-9, has its final homestand this weekend, hosting a pair of MVC opponents with Missouri State coming to town on Friday, Feb. 18, followed by Southern Illinois on Sunday, Feb. 20.

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Maddy Siegrist, Villanova

Villanova's Maddy Siegrist

Villanova junior forward Maddy Siegrist averaged 30.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest over three games last week, as the Wildcats went 2-1 for the week that included a win over UConn that snapped the Huskies’ 169 consecutive conference win streak.

Siegrist tallied 17 points and 12 rebounds in the 72-69 upset win at No. 8 UConn on Feb. 10. Siegrist’s double-double was the 31st of her career and the seventh of the season. The win snapped UConn's NCAA record of 145 straight conference games with a win (169 when counting conference tournament games). It was also Villanova's first win at UConn since a 50-44 victory on Jan. 27, 1993, and it was the first win over the Huskies since Feb. 28, 2004.

Her best effort of the week came in a 74-63 overtime win against Marquette on Feb. 11 when she scored a career-high 42 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the field, including a 2-of-6 effort from three-point range and a 12-of-12 performance from the foul line. Two of her free throws came with under a second remaining in regulation that sent the game to overtime.

Siegrist then had 31 points and 11 rebounds in Sunday's 72-60 loss at Seton Hall.

Siegrist currently ranks second in the country in scoring at 26.4 points per game.

Villanova has won 14 of its last 16 games and are 17-7 overall and 11-4 in Big East Conference play. Siegrist and the Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Feb. 20, when the DePaul Blue Demons visit Finneran Pavilion.

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NaLyssa Smith, Baylor

Baylor's NaLyssa Smith

Baylor's NaLyssa Smith averaged 26.0 points, 9.5 rebounds and shot 61.3 percent from the field last week as the Bears stretched their winning streak to four games with wins over Kansas State and West Virginia.

Smith scored 22 points in 28 minutes off 9-of-12 shooting in Baylor's 95-50 thrashing at home over Kansas State on Feb. 9. She combined with Jordan Lewis (24) and Sarah Andrews (19) for 65 points as the Bears avenged an earlier loss to Kansas State.

The 6-4 senior forward then tied her career-high with 30 points to go with 12 boards, and a pair each of assists and blocks in the 75-57 win over West Virginia on Saturday.

A native of Converse, Texas, Smith is the only player in the country to average 21-plus points (21.1) and 11-plus rebounds (11.2) this season. She has 16 double-doubles on the season which ranks seventh nationally and leads the Big 12 Conference. That mark ties her for 10th in program history for single-season double-doubles.

Baylor, 19-5 overall and 9-3 in the Big 12 will return to play on Feb. 16, hosting TCU in Waco.

Taniyah Thompson, East Carolina

East Carolina's Taniyah Thompson

East Carolina junior guard Taniyah Thompson averaged 27.5 points, 5.0 rebounds per game and added 1.5 steals as the Pirates scored wins over Wichita State and Memphis.

The Hamden, Connecticut, native did not just put up big numbers last week, she also did so at key times. Thompson was coming off a 29-point effort at Temple on Feb. 6 that saw her go 2-of-3 from the free-throw line with a second remaining in an eventual 60-59 loss. Remarkably, Thompson was put in nearly the exact same scenario against Wichita State, getting sent to the line with her team down three with five seconds remaining. Thompson buried all three this time, sending the game to overtime. Thompson had one more clutch bucket in her, scoring a putback with 24 seconds left in the extra period to clinch a 61-59 victory.

Thompson then continued with her strong play, leading the way with 26 points in a dominant 68-38 win over Memphis on Sunday.

She is currently second in the American Athletic Conference in scoring, averaging 17.8 points and ranks 36th in the country in total points, with 426.

East Carolina, 10-14 overall and 3-8 in the AAC, will next take its two-game winning streak on the road to Houston on Feb. 16.

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