Women’s college basketball teams are back from the holiday break and conference play is in full swing. That led to a few upsets in top-25 matchups that had some ripple effects in my Power 10 rankings for this week.
Here are my rankings for Week 7. Last week's?rankings are in parenthesis:
1. Stanford (1) —?The Cardinal held off a determined Arizona State team, 68-60, on Sunday. Fran Belibi had 23 points and had 12 boards in 33 minutes.?
2. UConn (2) —?The?6-0 Huskies have cruised pass their opponents —?including Big East foe No. 20 DePaul —?but UConn will travel to No. 6 Baylor for its?first test of the season Thursday.
3. South Carolina (3) —?The Gamecocks are on a three-game winning streak since NC State knocked them off of their No. 1 throne. This Sunday, South Carolina will be tested again when it?faces No. 9 Kentucky.?
4. Louisville (4) —?The Cardinals have had six postponements so far, but?remains undefeated with a 7-0 record.?
5. NC State (5) —?The undefeated Wolfpack might have had their first scare against Boston College earlier this season, but NC State put the Eagles away by double-digit figures in their last match up, 76-57.?
6. Baylor (6) —?The Bears are on a six-game winning streak, and will look to keep their momentum to give UConn its?first loss of the season Jan. 7. The matchup between NaLyssa Smith and Olivia Nelson-Ododa should be interesting.?
7. Texas A&M (9) —?10-0 Texas A&M is?cruising along with a strong unit. This week will put the Aggies against a tough schedule, facing No. 10 Kentucky and No. 13 Arkansas.?
8. Arizona (8) —?Despite Arizona picking up its first?loss of the season?against No. 1 Stanford, the Wildcats bounced back in a blowout against Cal, 69-33.?
9. Kentucky (UR) —?After falling to DePaul earlier this season, Kentucky has powered its way back into the Power 10 after picking up two wins against top-12 opponents Mississippi State and Arkansas.?
10. Oregon (7) —?UCLA gave Oregon its?first loss of the season, 73-71. Even though the Bruins beat the Ducks, UCLA remains?on my bubble to break into the Power 10 with a 6-2 record.?
Here's a closer look at some of the movement this week.
Kentucky returns to the Power 10?
The Wildcats fell out of my Power 10 after then-No. 24 DePaul upset Kentucky. The Wildcats have climbed their way back in after defeating top-12 teams back-to-back this past week and earned their spot at No. 9.
Stole some gold on the road.— Kentucky WBB (@KentuckyWBB) January 3, 2021
IYKYK ?? pic.twitter.com/SmJn5UvavJ
A lot of th credit goes to Rhyne Howard — who had a double-double in both victories against No. 10 Arkansas and No. 12 Mississippi State. Last Thursday, Howard knocked down 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to help defeat?the Razorbacks, 75-64.
Howard finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds against the Bulldogs on Sunday.?Twenty-five of those points came from the fourth quarter and overtime to help her team close out the win, 92-86. These efforts earned Howard National Player of the Week honors.
But it doesn’t get easier for the Wildcats. This week,?Kentucky will face SEC foes No. 8 Texas A&A on Thursday and No. 5 South Carolina on Sunday.
Oregon drops after the upset loss against the Bruins
Oregon drops to No. 10 in my Power 10 after the Ducks were defeated by No. 11 UCLA on Sunday in a Pac-12 game.
It came down to the final seconds, but the Ducks were not able to capitalize on three opportunities to tie or close out the game against the Bruins —?who gave Oregon its first loss of the season, 73-71.
Oregon was led by freshmen Ducks TeHina Pao Pao with 19 points and Angela Dugalic,?who scored a career high 13 points while grabbing nine rebounds.?
Michaela Onyenwere stepped up big for the veteran Bruins. She?recorded?a double-double with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Charisma Osborne also knocked down 22 points for the Bruins.
Although UCLA defeated Oregon, the Bruins remain on my bubble to break into my Power 10 with a 6-2 record. The Bruins are currently No. 5 in the Pac-12 standings. Oregon is third, tied with No. 7 Arizona
Undefeated Aggies move up in my Power 10?
Oregon’s move in my Power 10 resulted in the undefeated Aggies moving up to No. 7.
The Aggies picked up wins against Northwestern State and Florida. The?Aggies are 10-0 and outscoring their opponents by a 22.6 plus-point margin while also winning on the boards by a 9.9 plus margin.
Texas A&M is led by top scorers Aaliyah Wilson and N’dea Jones. They score?13.4 points each for the Aggies.