3 games to watch in women’s college basketball for Week 5

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Week 5 of the women’s college basketball schedule is loaded with key matchups, including the battle for Iowa, between two top 10 teams.

Welcome back to FanSided’s weekly look around the world women’s basketball. Looking for some games to watch this coming week? We will highlight three of them that should be on your radar.

Whether you’re a longtime viewer just looking for a shortcut to what to watch or just new to the sport and want compelling stories, we’ve got you covered. And at the end, I’ll include a short “other games to watch” section, if you’d like to take your basketball watching further.

Here are the women’s college basketball games you won’t want to miss this week:

3. No. 8 Iowa State at No. 10 Iowa

Wednesday, December 7, 7:00 p.m. — ESPN2

It’s CyHawk week, everyone! As a new transplant to the state of Iowa, this one excites me. Iowa State has two of the best programs in the country and they will meet on the court on Wednesday night.

Let’s start with Iowa State. This has been a great offensive team for a few years thanks to the play of Ashley Joens, but the team added 6-foot-6 center Stephanie Soares this offseason and suddenly the team has something too. defense. Last year, the Cyclones had a defensive rating of 90.0, which ranks in the 56th percentile. This year, they’re at 83.8, which ranks in the 79th percentile. Soares hasn’t fully figured it all out on the offensive end yet, but his Rim protection makes it really hard to ride the Cyclones. According to CBB Analytics, opponents shot 48.5 percent at the basket this year against Iowa State. Last season, that number was 62.6 percent.

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Which makes this matchup with Iowa fascinating. The Hawkeyes are shooting 69.6 percent at the basket this season, and center Monika Czinano is one of the most efficient greats in the country. She currently ranks 33rd in the country in field goal percentage; last season, she finished ninth in that stat. So, we’ve got a really classic matchup here between an elite defensive big and an elite offensive big. Who will win it?

(Oh, and there’s Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, who just set the Big Ten record for career triple-doubles, but Iowa State’s Clark and Ashley Joens are two of the biggest names in women’s basketball this season, so There’s not much to say about Watch this game for those two stars, but pay special attention to Soares and Czinano’s battle.)

2. Toledo at #17 Michigan

Thursday, December 8, 8:00 p.m. — B1G+

Forgive me, but I have been looking for an excuse to write about Toledo.

The Rockets are 6-2 on the season after beating Missouri State 91-63 on Sunday, with the losses coming to Duke and Penn State, with Penn State losing by one point. The team has won three in a row since then. While beating a ranked team from Michigan may be asking too much, this is a chance to see some talented MAC players take on a powerful opponent. The Rockets are a very efficient team, ranking 27th in the country in points per play per His hoop stats, with Quinesha Lockett leading the way with 16.5 points per game. She’s a really solid ball handler and has been a big part of why the Rockets turn the ball over seventh per game in Division I.

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On the other side is Michigan. The Wolverines could have taken a step back with Naz Hillmon going to the WNBA, but instead the team is 9-0 and ranks 30th in the country in scoring offense. The 12th-ranked team in the country in field goal percentage, with Emily Kiser averaging 19.9 points per game on 60.6 percent shooting and Laila Phelia just behind at 17.0 points per game.

But Michigan’s schedule hasn’t been the most difficult. Their only ranked opponent was Baylor, and the Wolverines won 84-75, but the Bears are dealing with a lot of injury issues and lost several key players to it. Michigan is playing well, but the Rockets could make them sweat on Thursday.

1. No. 3 UConn @ No. 20 Maryland

Sunday, December 11, 3:00 pm — abc

UConn suffered its first loss of the season on Sunday, falling 74-60 to Notre Dame in a game that was mentioned in last week’s Watch Guide. But it’s really hard to know what that loss means for the Huskies. Azzi Fudd was limited to 13 minutes and didn’t feature at all in the second half due to a knee injury:

If Fudd loses time, it’s hard to really know what to make of UConn. She has been his best player. Through the first six games, Fudd averaged 24.0 points per game, the seventh-highest mark in Division I, and was seventh in three-pointers per game.

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Without her, UConn still has some good players. Lou Lopez-Senechal scored 21 in a loss to the Irish and Aaliyah Edwards is always a threat to make things happen when she’s on the court, but Fudd is crucial to UConn’s title hopes.

As for Maryland, the Terps sit at 7-3 on the year. They had a big win over Notre Dame, but also lost by 25 to South Carolina earlier in the season. Perhaps most troubling is that on Sunday, Maryland lost by 23 to Nebraska, which… wow! The defense is allowing 69.9 points per game.

There are some fun players on this team. Diamond Miller is averaging 18.6 points per game and has also blocked 1.9 shots per contest. This game could be a shootout, even if the math is a bit simple when it comes to who wins, as it’s hard to see UConn losing this one if Fudd is back.

other note games

  • No. 12 NC State in Georgia — Monday, December 5, 8:00 pm — SEC Network
  • No. 9 Virginia Tech at Boston College — Wednesday, December 7, 5:00 pm — ACC Network Extra
  • Drake at No. 13 Creighton — Saturday, December 10, 7:00 pm — FloSports
  • No. 16 Utah @ BYU — Saturday, December 10, 7:00 p.m. — BYUtv
  • South Florida @ No. 12 NC State — Sunday, December 11, 2:00 pm — ACC network
  • Oregon State @ No. 19 Oregon — Sunday, December 11, 7:00 pm — Pac-12 Networks