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Rick Nixon, NCAA | February 22, 2023

Angel Reese leads women's basketball Starting Five after 20-rebound game

2023 March Madness women's bracket predictions after first top-16 reveal

These are five of the standout performers from the last week of DI women's basketball.


Mackenzie Holmes, Indiana

Mackenzie Holmes

Indiana continues to roll with senior forward Mackenzie Holmes leading the way.

The Gorham, Maine native averaged 26.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 3.3 blocks and shot 70.6 percent from the floor in three wins for No. 2 Indiana last week while filling the stat sheet with 1.7 steals and 1.0 assists per game. Holmes started the week off with a career-high 33 points, her third 30-point game this season, along with five rebounds while shooting 83.3 percent from the floor in a resounding 83-59 victory at No. 13 Ohio State on Feb. 13.

She added 27 points along with five rebounds, five blocks and two steals at home in a 68-52 win over No. 12 Michigan on Thursday. On Sunday, Holmes went 10-for-11 from the floor with seven boards, four blocks and three steals as Indiana beat rival Purdue, 83-60.

Indiana, 26-1 overall and 16-1 in Big Ten play, clinched a share of the Big Ten Conference regular season title with the win over Purdue. The 26 wins are a single-season program record.

Indiana will next try and set a program record for the most Big Ten wins in one season (17) when they travel to Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 26 to take on the nationally-ranked Hawkeyes.

Elizabeth Kitley, Virginia Tech

Elizabeth Kitley

Virginia Tech senior center Elizabeth Kitley led the surging Hokies to two double-digit victories this past week over Duke and NC State. Winners of six straight games, Virginia Tech has won all six by 12 or more points, the first such streak in program history in Atlantic Coast Conference play.

Kitley recorded two double-doubles, the 49th and 50th of her career as she helped the Hokies go 14-1 in the regular season at home. She averaged 22.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks over the course of the two games.

Against No. 9 Duke, Kitley scored 20 points on 8-18 shooting and protected the paint with four blocks as the Hokies prevailed 61-45. She had zero turnovers in the game and helped to hold Duke to its fewest points this season.

On Senior Night in a 75-62 win over NC State, Kitley led all scorers with 24 points on an efficient 11-16 outing from the floor. On the defensive end, she recorded seven total blocks, the most in a game this season and her second-most ever. The win signaled the program's first ever sweep of the Wolfpack in a season.

Kitley ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring (18.2), second in field goal percentage (.561), first in rebounds (10.8), first in blocks (2.4), first in double-doubles (16) and is the only player in the conference to record a 20-rebound game. Standing at 1,867 career points, Kitley is just 17 points away from overtaking Aisha Sheppard as the program's all-time scoring leader.

Virginia Tech, 22-4 overall and 12-4 in ACC play, will look to keep its winning ways going on Feb. 23 at North Carolina.

TOP 1️⃣6️⃣: A breakdown of the first top-16 women's basketball reveal for 2023

Shaina Pellington, Arizona

Shaina Pellington

Arizona senior guard Shaina Pellington averaged 27.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 67.7 percent from the field as the Wildcats scored two wins over nationally ranked teams in Utah and Colorado.

Pellington poured in a career-best 35 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five assists in the 82-72 win over No. 4 Utah on Feb. 17. She is the only player in the Pac-12 Conference and one of two in the nation with that stat line in a game this season. Her 35 points additionally tied the sixth-most in a single game in program history.

On Feb. 19 the Pickering, Ontario, native continued her hot streak in the 61-42 win over No. 21 Colorado with 19 points, three rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal. In that game she scored her 1,500th career point, becoming the second active Wildcat to cross that threshold. Her two blocks against the Buffaloes tied her career best.

Pellington ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 55.3% as well as in steals per game with 1.8.

Arizona, 21-6 overall and 11-6 in Pac-12 play, returns to action on Feb. 23 at Oregon.

📊: Indiana ends 40-year Big Ten title drought; Stanford up 1 spot in women's Power 10

Angel Reese, LSU

Angel Reese

In her first season at LSU, Angel Reese has put up impressive numbers, averaging 23.8 and 15.5 points per game. She has recorded a double-double in 25 of LSU’s 26 games and is two double-doubles shy of Sylvia Fowles’ school record of 27 double-doubles in a season.

In Southeastern Conference games last week against Ole Miss and at Florida, Reese was unstoppable with historic performances in both games. She averaged 30.5 points and 18.0 rebounds in those games. She recorded a double-double in the first half of both games, giving her nine first-half double-doubles this season.

Reese scored a career-high 36 points against Ole Miss in a 69-60 victory on Feb. 16. She also hauled in 20 rebounds, her fourth 20-plus points and 20-plus rebounds game of the season to lead the country. It marked the first time since 1978 (Maree Jackson) that an LSU player had 30-plus  points and 20-plus rebounds. It marked the 11th time in LSU history a player had 30 and 20 and it was the seventh time a player had 35 and 20. Reese’s 36 points were the most by an LSU player since Cornelia Gayden scored 49 vs. Jackson State in 1995.

In Sunday’s 90-79 win at Florida, Reese had 25 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks and 2 steals. She became the first SEC player in the past 20 seasons with at least 25 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in a conference game.

LSU, 25-1 overall and 13-1 in SEC play, will next play at Vanderbilt on Feb. 23.

Keiunna Walker, Louisiana Tech

Keiunna Walker

Louisiana Tech senior guard Keiunna Walker averaged a double-double last week, scoring 42 points and pulling down 23 rebounds in a two-game road sweep of North Texas and Charlotte.

The 2022-23 Conference USA Preseason Player of the Year, Walker had 15 points and seven rebounds in a 57-44 win at North Texas on Feb. 16. She followed that performance with her second career double-double in an 83-79 double overtime win at Charlotte on Saturday, with season-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds. Walker also dished out five assists and drew four charges in the win.

Walker recently cracked Louisiana Tech’s all-time top-ten in scoring and currently sits at No. 9 with 1,860 points, just nine back from Tori Harrison. On the season, Walker is averaging 17.6 points per game which is No. 2 in C-USA, on 42.7 percent shooting, including 33 percent from three and 79.1 percent from the free throw line. In addition, Walker has been one of the best in the country at drawing fouls this season and is No. 1 in the conference in both free throw attempts (177) and makes (140). She also ranks No. 3 all-time in program history in both categories.

Louisiana Tech, 16-10 overall and now 9-7 in C-USA play, is currently on its longest win streak of the season, having won four in a row, in which Walker has led her team in points, rebounds, and assists in the last three and led in points and rebounds in the other. Tech will return home for the final two regular season games against Western Kentucky on Thursday, Feb. 23, followed by a Feb. 23 game against Middle Tennessee.

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