The Weekly Roundup: An Eventful Week

Upsets heat up, a look at assist stats, and the WNBA makes a lasting impact

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It was an eventful week off the court to say the least, but I wanted to start off by showing how people in the WNBA world reacted to Reverend Raphael Warnock defeating incumbent senator and Dream co-owner Kelly Loeffler in Tuesday’s runoff election in Georgia. The WNBA began supporting Warnock in August and research shows that the league’s vocal support played a role in Warnock’s rise to the top of the polls. Senator-elect Warnock is the first Black senator in Georgia’s history. 

The Best Upsets

West Virginia upsets Texas (92-58): The West Virginia Mountaineers demand to be taken seriously, and perhaps they will now after arguably the season’s most impressive upset win thus far. The Longhorns kept the game close in the first quarter, but Charli Collier sat the entire second quarter with three fouls. The Mountaineers took advantage and out-rebounded Texas 24-14 in the first half, and 19 of West Virginia’s first-half points came on second chances. Collier returned in the third, but it wasn’t enough to overcome West Virginia’s best offensive performance of the season. By the time she fouled out in the fourth, she had only five points and three rebounds in 21 minutes of action. 

Kysre Gondrezick led West Virginia’s dominant performance with 24 points, and Esmery Martinez had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Altogether, the Mountaineers hit 56.5% of their shots and recorded 23 assists. It was the Longhorns’ worst defensive game of the season, and they totaled only 26 rebounds compared to West Virginia’s 40. 

Washington State upsets Arizona in overtime (71-69): If you haven’t been paying attention to Pac-12 hoops, it might surprise you to see Washington State, a team who was predicted to finish last in the coaches and media preseason poll, is currently the second-best team in the conference. I’ll refer anyone not familiar with the season Washington State has had (led by their star freshman Charlisse Leger-Walker) to Kim Doss’ story published Sunday morning

Arizona managed to keep Charlisse Leger-Walker at bay and led through three quarters, but the Wildcats’ defense collapsed in the fourth, which led to a 7-0 run for the Cougars that put the game in reach. Leger-Walker scored a reverse layup to send the game into overtime, and the Cougars shot 65% (5-for-8) in the extra minutes. In the final seconds, the team elected to keep the ball in Leger-Walker’s hands and it paid off. Leger-Walker ended the game with 17 points and five assists, while her older sister, redshirt senior Krystal Leger-Walker scored 14 and grabbed nine rebounds, while Bella Murekatete also had 14 points and seven rebounds. The Cougars held Arizona to just 37.7% shooting and forced 15 turnovers that led to 19 points for Washington State. 

HHS Top 25 

  1. Stanford (10-0)

  2. Louisville (10-0)

  3. UConn (7-0)

  4. NC State (10-0)

  5. South Carolina (8-1)

  6. Baylor (8-1)

  7. Texas A&M (12-0)

  8. UCLA (7-2)

  9. Kentucky (9-3)

  10. Oregon (9-2)

  11. Maryland (9-1)

  12. Arizona (8-2)

  13. Michigan (9-0)

  14. Arkansas (10-4)

  15. Mississippi State (8-2)

  16. Ohio State (6-0)

  17. South Florida (9-1)

  18. DePaul (6-3)

  19. Indiana (7-3)

  20. Northwestern (6-2)

  21. Washington State (7-1)

  22. Texas (8-2)

  23. Gonzaga (10-2)

  24. Missouri State (4-2)

  25. Tennessee (8-1)

By The Numbers

Curious who has the potential to turn into the next Courtney Vandersloot? I was, so this week I decided to take a look at players who are currently averaging the best assist-to-turnover ratio, assist rate, and assists per game. For reference, Vandersloot averaged 10.0 assists a game, a 46.4% assist rate, and an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.06 in the Wubble last year —all league highs. During her senior season at Gonzaga in 2011, she averaged 10.2 assists per game. Interestingly enough, most players on the following lists play for mid-majors like Vandersloot did. 

I considered players who have played in at least four games and average more than 10 minutes a game, which I found using Her Hoop Stats’ reSEARCH tool.

Assists per game

  1. Rachel Hakes (Fairfield): 8.8

  2. Ane Olaeta (Cal Baptist): 8.0

  3. Destiney Philoxy (Massachusetts): 8.0

  4. Aleah Nelson (Towson): 7.4

  5. Elisa Pinzan (South Florida): 7.2

Assist-to-turnover ratio

  1. Isis Lopes (UTEP): 11.00

  2. Alexandria Goodly (Louisiana): 8.00

  3. Allie Best (Marist): 7.50

  4. Sam Thomas (Arizona): 6.67

  5. Sarah Bates (Georgia Tech): 6.00

Assist rate (percentage of teammate field goals where the player recorded an assist)

  1. Rachel Hakes (Fairfield): 47.7%

  2. Ane Olaeta (Cal Baptist): 45.7%

  3. Terryn Milton (UT Arlington): 45.5%

  4. Dayshanette Harris (Pittsburgh) 44.4%

  5. Maeve Carroll (Maine): 43.8%

What We’re Working On

Jacob Mox released the 2021 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Midseason Watch List! The Becky Hammon Award was first given out in 2020, with South Dakota’s Ciara Duffy being named the inaugural winner. This year’s midseason watch list includes representation from 14 schools and 10 conferences.

Jenn Hatfield released her third annual roundup of the best player names of the 2020-2021 college season. Royal names, floral names, name twins, and so many more great names make the list in a variety of categories, including Jenn’s All-Name team honors.

Jenn Hatfield also talked to Ivy League executive director Robin Harris about the conference’s decision to forgo athletics this year, and why the decision around winter sports was particularly difficult. 

Calvin Wetzel joined Megan Gauer on the first Unplugged episode of 2021 to talk about the midseason Wooden Award watch list, the Pac-12 and SEC, and more. 

Kim Doss wrote about how Washington State lost two of its best players in program history and ended up much better than outsiders expected. 

Other Recommended Reading

For Time, Sean Gregory recaps the Atlanta Dream and WNBA’s strategy behind getting the now senator-elect Raphael Warnock into office. 

The BBC also has a great piece about Renee Montgomery’s legacy off the court and her efforts to get Kelly Loeffler out of office.

For The Undefeated, Sean Hurd has a great interview with Angel McCoughtry about her offseason and more, including her triumphant return to the WNBA, the Georgia runoff senate election, and expanding the league in Africa. 

For The Next, Spencer Nusbaum discusses Oklahoma State’s success and Natasha Mack’s evolution into a dangerous offensive weapon. 

Perhaps my favorite story of the week, Mechelle Voepel for ESPN wrote about Army head coach Dave Magarity and his daughter Maureen Magarity, head coach for Holy Cross. The two coaches faced off on Saturday in what is believed to be the first father-daughter head coaching matchup in the history of Division I women’s basketball. The Holy Cross Crusaders beat Army 80-46, picking up Maureen’s first win as Holy Cross’ head coach. 

Before You Go

More team Tik Toks, please. 

Thanks for reading the Her Hoop Stats Newsletter. If you like our work, be sure to check out our stats site, our podcast, and our social media accounts on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram. You can also buy Her Hoop Stats gear, such as laptop stickers, mugs, and shirts!

Haven’t subscribed to the Her Hoop Stats Newsletter yet?