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Rick Nixon, | February 8, 2023

Caitlin Clark headlines this week's women's basketball Starting Five after another triple-double

South Carolina stays at No. 1 as LSU and Indiana loom in Power 10 women's college basketball rankings

Five women's basketball players used big performances to make their way onto the Starting Five. Here they are:


Madison Bartley, Belmont

Belmont's Madison Bartley

Madison Bartley of Belmont averaged 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game as the Bruins scored victories over Murray State and Bradley last week. The junior forward shot 51.4 percent (18-of-35) from the field across the two outings.

In Belmont's 64-54 home triumph over the Murray State last Thursday, Bartley scored 19 points on 8-for-15 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. Of Bartley's 19 points, 11 came in the third quarter as she distributed three assists and came up with a pair of blocks and a steal.

On Sunday afternoon in the Bruins' convincing 68-54 road win over Bradley, Bartley recorded her second double-double of the season and third of her career with 22 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Going 10-for-20 from the floor, Bartley scored 13 of her 22 points in the first half and added a block and an assist.

Reaching double figures in seven-straight games, Bartley has led Belmont in scoring for six consecutive contests. Sunday's 22-point performance at Bradley was Bartley's sixth 20-point showing of the season, four of which have taken place over the last six games. Of Bartley's 17 rebounds on the week, 10 were earned on the offensive glass.

Belmont, 13-10 overall and 9-3 in Missouri Valley Conference play, will next host Evansville (Feb. 10) and Indiana State (Feb. 12) this weekend.

Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Iowa's Caitlin Clark

Iowa National Player of the Year candidate, Caitlin Clark, continues to pile up Big Ten Conference Player of the Week honors this season as the Hawkeyes rolled to wins last week over Maryland and Penn State.

Big Ten Player of the Week five times this season, Clark led the Hawkeyes to their third Associated Press top 10 win of the season, 96-82 over No. 8 Maryland on Feb. 2. She registered 42 points, shooting 13-of-19 from the floor, adding eight assists, and seven rebounds. It was her fourth career 40-point performance against an AP-ranked opponent which ties for the most by any player over the last 20 seasons. It was Clark’s 13th game this season with 25-plus points, five-plus rebounds and five-plus assists which is an NCAA Division I best.

Against Penn State, Clark recorded her ninth career triple-double which ties for second all-time in women’s college basketball. Clark put on a show with 23 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds as Iowa won 95-51. It was the third triple-double she has notched this season. She has had seven games this year with more than 10 assists which is second-best nationally.

Clark is top five in country in 10 statistical categories and for the season is averaging 27.6 points, 8.2 assists, and 8.0 rebounds per game.

The No. 5 Hawkeyes, 19-4 overall and 11-1 in Big Ten play, next head to No. 2 Indiana on Thursday night for an important clash of two of the top teams in the country.

Aneesah Morrow, DePaul

DePaul's Aneesah Morrow

DePaul split a pair of Big East Conference games last week as sophomore forward Aneesah Morrow filled the stat sheet in both games, averaging 32.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game.

At Creighton on Feb. 1, Morrow went for a game-high 34 points while draining a career-best six 3-pointers and grabbing six boards in a 83-74 loss.

In Saturday's 93-48 home win over Xavier, Morrow had game highs of 30 points and 11 rebounds for her 18th double-double of the season — fourth most in Division I — and registered a career-high seven steals. 

DePaul, 12-11 overall and 5-7 in Big East play, will return to action on Feb. 8, hosting Butler.

Alissa Pili, Utah

Utah's Alissa Pili

Utah junior forward Alissa Pili led seventh-ranked Utah to two road wins last week over Oregon State and Oregon, averaging 26.5 points per game.

In Utah's 100-92 win over Oregon on Feb. 5, Pili put up 30 points going 12-18 from the field and 3-4 from beyond the arc. This was Pili's first time this season hitting 30 or more points and her seventh consecutive time scoring 20 or more points including the 23 she put up against Oregon State in a 75-73 win on Friday. 

Over the two games Pili shot 20-38 from the field for a .526 percentage. She also went 4-7 on 3-pointers and 9-12 from the free throw line.

Pili is currently No. 15 in the country and leads the Pac-12 in points per game averaging 20.9. She is ranked 11th in the nation in field goal percentage and No. 1 in the Pac-12 with her 60.7 percentage. 

Utah, 20-2 overall and 10-2 in Pac-12 Conference play, is ranked a season-best seventh in the latest Associated Press Top-25 Poll. The Utes return to action on Friday, February 10 at home against Washington. 

Tai’Sheka Porchia, Troy

Troy's Tai’Sheka Porchia

With the outright lead in the Sun Belt Conference standings on the line, Troy’s Tai’Sheka Porchia helped lift her squad to a pair of important road wins against Texas State and Louisiana last week, giving the Trojans a two-game advantage in the standings.

Porchia played a pivotal role in Troy’s contests against two teams that sat just behind them in the standings. The forward hit the game-winner with 1.8 seconds left in overtime to propel Troy past Louisiana, 81-80, on Saturday. On Thursday at Texas State, she scored 28 points and pulled down 15 rebounds as the Trojans rallied from down nine in the fourth quarter for the 84-78 victory.

The junior forward finished the week averaging 20.0 points and a league-best 13.5 rebounds per game, with 11 of her overall rebounds coming off the offensive glass. In addition to her back-to-back double-doubles, Porchia registered three blocks and four steals in the two games last week.

The Trojans, 15-8 overall, sit atop the Sun Belt standings with a 10-2 league mark and are now riding on a four-game winning streak. Troy will next host Arkansas State on Feb. 9.


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