We’re a little less than halfway through the 2019-20 women’s college basketball season, and a lot has happened.
Before the season began for the Oregon Ducks, they pulled off an upset over Team USA in an exhibition game. With a 12-1 record, Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Co. seem to be primed for another trip to the Final Four.
Oregon is also one of three teams to be ranked as the AP No. 1 this season. The Ducks fell from the top spot after losing to Louisville, and then Stanford relinquished the top ranking after falling to Texas. UConn has been the No. 1 since Week 8.
Much more has happened too. To relive it all, let’s run through 11 numbers we’ll remember from the first half of the season.
That was the final score of the first big upset of the year, when No. 8 Louisville beat No. 1 Oregon in the Virgin Islands at the Paradise Slam on Nov. 30. It remains Oregon’s only loss and showed us that — even without Asia Durr and a few other key contributors from a season ago — Louisville is a contender again this season. Kylee Shook notched 18 points and 15 rebounds in the game, while Dana Evans had 17 points and six assists. Louisville’s defense held Sabrina Ionescu to just 13 points and limited the Ducks to just a 17.1 percent mark from 3-point range. A rematch between these two teams in the NCAA tournament would be a lot of fun.
Dating back to last season — when Arizona won the WNIT — that’s how many straight games the Wildcats had won. Arizona was off to a 13-0 start this season before falling to then-No. 10 UCLA by 22 points on Jan. 5. The schedule doesn’t get any easier for Arizona, as it faces No. 3 Oregon State and No. 2 Oregon next.
That’s how many 3-pointers Baylor’s Juicy Landrum sank in a win over Arkansas State on Dec. 18. And yes, it’s an NCAA record. It was a career day for Landrum as she scored 42 points, dished out seven assists and grabbed eight rebounds. All of her points came from 3-point shots. It was a surprise to see that type of scoring from Landrum from behind the arc, considering her season-high in 3-point attempts this season outside of that game is just five. For Baylor though, a team that typically relies on defense and scoring in the paint, it’s good to know that Landrum has that type of game in her.
Indiana was ranked in the Associated Press preseason Top 25 poll for just the second time in school history to start this season and the Hoosiers have not disappointed. With a 13-2 mark, they’re off to one of their best starts in program history. Ranked No. 12 on Jan. 7, they are the highest-ranked Big Ten team. The Hoosiers impressed outside of conference play too though and showed they are legit by posting wins over then-ranked No. 5 South Carolina and then-ranked No. 21 Miami. The Hoosiers’ only two losses came to formidable opponents in UCLA and Baylor. We’ll be hearing from Indiana in March, perhaps after they capture their first conference championship since 2002.
As of Jan. 5, that’s the number of assists Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu has in her career. She became just the 12th women’s basketball player to ever record 900 assists in a career, and she is now just 22 dimes away from passing Oregon State’s Gary Payton for the all-time men and women’s record for assists in the Pac-12.
Ionescu has also extended her NCAA record for career triple-doubles, tallying three so far this season to bring the total to 21. She also passed the 2,000-point mark for her career this season. If she can tally 93 more assists and a 127 more rebounds this season, she’ll be the first player in the history of women’s college basketball to have at least 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists for a career.
As a freshman, Aliyah Boston has been a rockstar for the South Carolina Gamecocks and she’s played at her best in big games. Her season-high in points and rebounds — 20 and 13 — came in South Carolina’s upset win over then-No. 2 Baylor on Nov. 30.
Boston burst onto the scene this season by dropping a triple-double in her collegiate debut, posting 12 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocks in just 21 minutes of play against Alabama State. She showed up in the Gamecocks’ win over then-ranked No. 4 Maryland too, tallying 14 points, seven rebounds and five blocks. We’ll be hearing more from the 6-5 native of St. Thomas.
Brittany Brewer might be the best shot-blocker in college basketball. That’s how many shots she swatted away for the Texas Tech Red Raiders in a victory against Louisiana Monroe on Dec. 22. Brewer, a 6-5 senior, dropped a triple-double in that game, also tallying 14 rebounds and 12 points. She leads the nation in blocks with 69 through 12 games.
That’s the number of 3-pointers that Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson has connected on through 13 games so far this season, a mark that leads the nation. Robertson has attempted 140 3s this year, bringing her shooting percentage from behind the arc to 47.8 percent, which is among the best in the country. A 5-7 sophomore, Robertson hit nine 3s against Wichita State and also flushed seven in a loss to UConn. She is established herself as one of the game’s top shooters.
Stella Johnson leads the nation in scoring this season with 28 points per game, and her performance on Nov. 22 against Lipscomb certainly boosted her average. That’s how many points Johnson, a 5-foot-10 guard from Rider, scored in the victory. Her play this season has powered the Broncs to a 9-2 start.
That is the year that Wake Forest last won a game in Cameron Indoor Stadium — or it was until last week, anyways. The Demon Deacons beat the Duke Blue Devils in Durham on Jan. 2, ending a streak that had lasted nearly three decades. Wake Forest is playing some of its best basketball right now, sporting a 9-5 record and a 2-1 mark in conference play. They’ve already doubled their ACC win total from last season and are just one win away from tying their total wins from last year.
This is the number of undefeated teams remaining as of Jan. 7. They are UConn, Oregon State, UCLA and N.C. State. It’s possible — though unlikely — that the Huskies and Wolfpack could finish out the regular season unscathed, but Oregon State and UCLA will face off on Feb. 17. Either side could lose well before then too, as the Pac-12 is a loaded conference this season.
Some folks wanted to write UConn off this season after the Huskies graduated a few starters, but Crystal Dangerfield, Olivia Nelson-Ododa and Megan Walker have proven to be formidable. UConn still has to pass tough tests in Baylor, Tennessee, Oregon and South Carolina.
Led by Elissa Cunane, the Wolfpack look like a team that can make the Final Four. With an emphasis on defense, rebounding and taking care of the ball, they rolled through their non-conference slate and are off to a 3-0 start in ACC play. Their games against Louisville and Florida State won’t be easy, but with Aislinn Konig, Kai Crutchfield, Kayla Jones and Cunane — who is averaging 17.5 points and 10.4 rebounds per-game this season — the Wolfpack will be in a position to win.