Women's Basketball Games of the Weekend 1/28 - 1/29

Louisiana Monroe at Miami Women's Basketball

Women’s Basketball Games of the Weekend 1/28 -1/29


Spotlighted this weekend are games involving schools whose conference seasons could be just about over if certain things work out. The Pac-12, SEC and Big-12 could be over this weekend if the leaders win, as the nearest teams would be three games away with about 10 to play. It’s not a runaway, but three games may be too tough to make up for some teams.


ALCORN STATE at SOUTHERN (3 p.m. Saturday at F.G. Clark Activity Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

These two teams are not the best when it comes to overall records as both are under .500. However, when it comes to the Southwestern Athletic Conference these teams are the top two schools. Alcorn State (8-12, 6-2) lost to Grambling and Mississippi Valley State before rallying for three wins in a row, including a 49-45 win over Alabama A&M. Southern (7-8, 6-2) hasn’t fared much better outside the league but has back-to-back wins against Alabama A&M and Alabama State.


EASTERN WASHINGTON at MONTANA STATE (4:05 p.m. Saturday at Brick Breeden Fieldhouse in Bozeman, Montana)

Idaho State isn’t running away with the Big Sky Conference yet, but it is undefeated. The two teams tied for second face off on Saturday. Eastern Washington (12-9, 6-2) has won five of its last six with a loss against Northern Colorado, and the Eagles topped Montana 67-57 in their last game. Eastern Washington did beat Montana State 79-73 in the teams’ last go-round. Montana State (14-6, 6-2) lost to Idaho State by a point before rattling off five wins in a row, the last game a 70-50 victory over Portland State. If Idaho State wins again before too long, this race could be over.


CALIFORNIA at No. 3 STANFORD (5 p.m. Saturday at Maples Pavilion in Stanford, California)

It’s hard to believe the Pac-12 Conference race may be over with a month remaining, but the scenario is clear. If Stanford can knock off California, it would be three games ahead of the competition with 10 games remaining. It’s not impossible to make up that ground, but it is a bit hard. California (15-5, 6-2) is two games behind the Cardinal in the Pac-12, the only team in second place at the moment. Since back-to-back losses to UCLA and USC, California has six wins in a row. The Golden Bears have a 60-55 win over Washington State in their last contest. Stanford (17-1, 8-0) just came off a 65-47 win over Washington as Nnemkadi and Cheney Ogwumike combined for 32 points. It was the 65th win in a row for Stanford against a league opponent. See what we mean by this race nearly being over?


No. 22 GONZAGA at SAINT MARY’S (5 p.m. Saturday at McKeon Pavilion in Moraga, California)

Gonzaga is one of the leaders of the West Coast Conference, with 13 victories in the last 14 games. Who was the team to topple Gonzaga? Meet the Gaels of Saint Mary’s, who stand a half-game behind conference co-leaders Brigham Young and Gonzaga in an exciting WCC race. Gonzaga (18-3, 7-1) had better luck with Loyola Marymount, beating its opponent 79-61 as Stephanie Golden came off the bench with 15 points. Saint Mary’s (16-6, 7-2) already has a win over Brigham Young to its credit. The Gaels’ losses were against San Diego and San Francisco, and that last loss could hurt because Frisco is 4-18 overall. The Gaels beat Santa Clara 72-52 in their last game.


DENVER at ARKANSAS-LITTLE ROCK (5:30 p.m. Saturday at Jack Stephens Center in Little Rock, Arkansas)

While Middle Tennessee has a decent lead atop the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division, there is a tie for the top in the West. That tie gets broken Saturday when Denver makes the trip to Arkansas. Neither team is lighting the basketball world on fire. Denver (14-8, 6-2) lost to Little Rock 53-51 earlier this season, so the potential is there for a really good game. The Pioneers have won four straight since a loss to South Alabama at the start of January, including a 73-61 win over Arkansas State. Little Rock (11-10, 6-2) has won four in a row and seven of its last eight since starting the year 4-9. Its last loss was 58-54 against Louisiana Monroe on January 12. Seven games remain for Little Rock after this, so if it loses there may be time to catch up.


No. 21 KANSAS at No. 1 BAYLOR (8 p.m. Saturday at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas)

If Kansas can’t catch Baylor in this game, then the Big 12 Conference race may also be over with one month remaining. It’s safe to assume Kansas (16-3, 5-2) is the only team that can catch Baylor because it is just two games behind the Bears. The Jayhawks have won four of six, only losing to Iowa State and Texas A&M in that stretch. In a 62-43 victory over Texas Tech, Carolyn Davis dropped 34 points to account for over half her team’s scoring. Baylor (20-0, 7-0) once again saw Brittney Griner lead the way with 18 points and seven blocks in an 89-58 win over Oklahoma. Since December only two teams have come within 10 points of Baylor, and Baylor beat both Connecticut and Texas Tech.


No. 11 RUTGERS at No. 19 GEORGETOWN (1:30 p.m. Sunday at McDonough Arena in Washington, D.C.)

It may be a bit too late for Georgetown to make a run at a Big East Conference title, but it’s not too late to adjust their standing come tournament time. Rutgers (17-3, 6-1), on the other hand, has a chance to catch Notre Dame and Connecticut, albeit a slim one, so this game has some meaning. Rutgers is one game behind Notre Dame and a half-game behind Connecticut in the Big East, and it faces both of these teams in the coming week. Miami, Tennessee and St. John’s have beaten the Scarlet Knights this year. Khadijah RUshdan’s layup with 1.5 seconds remaining cemented a 65-64 victory over DePaul in Rutgers’ last game. Georgetown (16-5, 5-3) has lost to DePaul, Notre Dame and Louisville inside the conference, and it was Sugar Rodgers and Tia Magee’s performances that helped Georgetown to a 64-54 win over West Virginia in its last game.


CHARLOTTE at TEMPLE (2 p.m. Sunday at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

With eight games remaining in the season, four teams are at or within two games of first place in the Atlantic-10. Charlotte (13-7, 5-1) is tied with Dayton for second place in the league, one game behind St. Bonaventure. The 49ers lost to St. Bonaventure 68-63 on January 21, but they recovered to top Fordham 61-41 in the next game. Charlotte is a better team than some people think. The 49ers went 1-6 between November 25 and December 29, largely accounting for a slightly worse record. Temple (11-8, 4-1) is in fourth in the A-10, a half-game behind Charlotte and Dayton, so a win here would help the Owls vault up in the standings. Temple’s lone loss also came against St. Bonaventure, but the Owls have won four in a row since then. That includes a 64-38 win over Xavier in Temple’s last game.


No. 5 TENNESSEE at No. 14 GEORGIA (5 p.m. Sunday at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Georgia)

The weekend concludes with a fairly strong Southeastern Conference contest between these two rivals. If Kentucky wins and Georgia tops Tennessee, the Lady Vols would have two losses and it would be that much harder for anybody to catch the Wildcats in the SEC. For now Tennessee (15-5, 6-1) licked its wounds following a solid 72-44 loss to Notre Dame, came back and thumped Alabama 86-56 as Shekinna Stricklen scored 14 points. Georgia (16-5, 5-3) has a slightly better record than Tennessee overall but Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt have dealt losses to the Bulldogs in league play. By the way, the score of the Tennessee-Georgia game in the first half of conference play was 80-51, Lady Vols. This could go two ways. It might not be pretty for Tennessee, or the Vols will prove their mettle.