Women's Basketball Games of the Week 1/23 - 1/27

UConn at Notre Dame Women's Basketball

Women’s Basketball Games of the Week 1/23 – 1/27


A big showdown starts the week as Tennessee and Notre Dame square off. Like with the men, however, this last full week of January brings a dearth of major-conference showdowns, enabling the smaller conferences to take their turns in the spotlight. Minor conferences like the Atlantic 10 and Colonial Athletic Association will get some love and respect.


No. 5 TENNESSEE at No. 2 NOTRE DAME (7 p.m. Monday at Joyce Center in South Bend, Indiana)

The Southeastern Conference and the Big East square off in what promises to be a big midseason matchup. Tennessee (14-4, 5-1) lost by one point to Kentucky on January 12, and that 61-60 setback is the only thing standing between the Lady Vols and a perfect SEC record. Tennessee’s losses have come against Virginia, Baylor, Stanford and Kentucky. Notre Dame (19-1, 7-0) leads the Big East thanks to Skylar Diggins and Devereaux Peters’ combined 39 points in a 76-43 rout of Villanova. The winner of this game will get a boost come tournament time, but the loser won’t be knocked down too far. These are two of the elite programs in the country.


HAMPTON at HOWARD (7 p.m. Monday at Burr Gymnasium in Washington, D.C.)

These two Mideastern Athletic Conference leaders square off in the nation’s capital in a game that could go a ways toward deciding the MEAC title or making things even worse. Hampton (14-3, 6-0) is tied with Florida A&M for the top spot in the league, and the Pirates have just three losses against Florida, UAB and Tulane. Hampton blasted Norfolk State 92-43 in its last contest. The Pirates beat Howard 63-40 in their first matchup of the year, limiting Howard to eight first-half points. Howard (13-6, 5-1) has beaten Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T and North Carolina Central since its loss to Hampton.


CHATTANOOGA at DAVIDSON (7 p.m. Monday at Belk Arena in Davidson, North Carolina)

The Southland Conference also has a strong game on tap tonight as two of the top teams meet. Chattanooga (13-5, 8-1) leads Appalachian State by a half game and Davidson by one game. Chattanooga is coming off a five-game winning streak that was just interrupted by a 62-51 loss to Appalachian State. Davidson (11-7, 7-2) is in a pattern of two wins followed by a loss. In the last six games, Davidson beat Elon and Furman, lost to Wofford, beat Western Carolina and Appalachian State and then lost to Samford. With six teams within three games of the top spot, the Southland race could go on for a while.


DePAUL at No. 11 RUTGERS (7 p.m. Tuesday at Louis Brown Athletic Center in Piscataway, New Jersey)

Two strong Big East teams meet in New Jersey, even though one of them appears to be out of the Big East race. DePaul (15-5, 3-3) has lost three of its last four games in conference play to Providence, South Florida and Connecticut, and the Blue Demons are three and a half games behind league-leading Notre Dame. Rutgers (16-3, 5-1) is two games ahead of DePaul in third place in the Big East. The Scarlet Knights lost to St. John’s but beat South Florida in Big East action behind April Sykes’ double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds. On paper it looks like a mismatch, but Big East games are nothing but mismatches.


SAINT JOSEPH’S at ST. BONAVENTURE (7 p.m. Wednesday at Reilly Center in St. Bonaventure, New York)

How tough is the race in the Atlantic 10? Nine teams are at or within three games of the top spot, that’s how tough. Saint Joseph’s (13-5, 3-1) is tied with Temple for fourth place in the A-10, with its lone league loss to Dayton. The Hawks have wins over Penn, Fordham and Xavier in their last three games, the Fordham victory coming in overtime. A win here would give Saint Joseph’s some breathing time, as the next four games are against middle of the pack teams in the conference. St. Bonaventure (18-2, 5-0) has only lost to Delaware and Villanova and carries a seven-game winning streak into this game.


HOFSTRA at No. 17 DELAWARE (7 p.m. Thursday at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Delaware)

Control of the Colonial Athletic Association is on the line Thursday when Hofstra travels to Delaware for a first-place showdown. Hofstra (14-4, 6-1) is one game behind the Blue Hens in the CAA race and has won five of six games. Its lone loss in that stretch was to James Madison, which is just behind Hofstra in the standings. Delaware (16-1, 7-0) has won six in a row since a loss against Maryland, including victories in the last week over Northeastern, Towson and Drexel. Elena Delle Donne scored 21 points in Delaware’s 60-49 win over Drexel.


No. 14 GEORGIA at VANDERBILT (9 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville, Tennessee)

This could be an interesting Southeastern Conference matchup even though Vanderbilt looks like it is way out of the SEC picture. Georgia (16-4, 5-2) stands two games behind league-leading Kentucky in third place, behind the Wildcats and Tennessee. Georgia has won eight of 10 games with losses to Tennessee and Kentucky. Anne Marie Armstrong’s double-double of 15 points and 11 boards were key in a 61-47 win over Ole Miss. Vanderbilt (14-5, 2-4) is in ninth place in the SEC, but the Commodores are in a 1-4 slump with two losses to South Carolina and one to Tennessee and Arkansas. All of these teams have five losses or less overall. Further proof the SEC has tough teams and an even tougher schedule.