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Rick Nixon | NCAA | January 11, 2023

Maine's Adrianna Smith leads this week's women's basketball Starting Five

UCLA and Maryland enter this week's Power 10 rankings

Last week presented a number of standout performances in women's college basketball. Here are five of the best through games played through Sunday, Jan. 8.

BRACKET PREDICTIONS: Women's basketball bracket projections as of January 6, 2023

Lauren Gustin, BYU

Brigham Young forward Lauren Gustin led the Cougars to a fourth consecutive win with her second 20-20 performance of the year, scoring 21 points and pulling down a career-high 24 rebounds as BYU rolled to a 63-49 win over San Diego on Jan. 7.
The 24 rebounds by Gustin tied the Marriott Center record for most rebounds in a single game, accomplished twice before by BYU Hall of Famer Tina Gunn Robison in 1978.
Gustin, a two-time West Coast Conference all-conference selection, leads the league in every rebounding category and her 247 total rebounds are 97 more than the player in second place. She is sixth in points per game at 15.9. She has 15 double-doubles in 16 games this year, including two 20-20 games. Her double-doubles rank No. 2 nationally while her 15.4 rebounds per game also ranks No. 2. She leads the country in defensive boards with 11.2 and is three off of the NCAA lead in total rebounds.
Winners of four straight games, BYU, 8-8 overall and 3-2 in WCC play, returns to action on Jan. 12 at Loyola Marymount.

POWER 10: UCLA, Maryland enter this week's women's basketball rankings

Dazia Lawrence, Charlotte

Charlotte's Dazia Lawrence averaged 29 points in a pair of games, including a career-high 31 in a 77-67 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
The week started with a 71-63 home loss to Florida International on Jan. 5, despite Lawrence scoring 27 points, which was only two points shy of her previous career-high of 29. Lawrence added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Against Florida Atlantic on Saturday, Lawrence scored a new career-best 31 points on 46% shooting from the floor with five steals, three boards and crucial free throws down the stretch to rally the Niners back with 51 second-half points in a 10-point victory.
For the week, Lawrence shot 50% (20-of-40) from the field and 84% (16-19) from the line. In addition to her 29-point average, she also averaged 5.5 rebounds, four steals and three assists per game. 
Lawrence and the Niners, 7-7 overall and 3-2 in Conference USA play, next travel to Texas to take on UTSA (Jan. 14) and UTEP (Jan. 16) this weekend in conference play.

Taylor Mikesell, Ohio State

Ohio State senior guard Taylor Mikesell has been the driving force for a Buckeyes team that extended the best start in school history to 17 straight wins with two more wins last week.
Mikesell averaged 26.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals last week while shooting 48.8 percent from the floor and 40.9 percent from long range as Ohio State scored wins over Minnesota and Illinois.
At Minnesota on Jan. 5, Mikesell had her fifth 20-point game of the season, totaling 22 points, seven rebounds and a season-high seven assists in an 83-71 win.
On Jan. 8 against Illinois, Mikesell recorded her second 30-point game of the season with a season-high 31 points (just two shy of her career-high) and shot 7-of-14 (one three-pointer shy of her career-high) from behind the arc as the Buckeyes prevailed 87-81. She had eight points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth quarter as the Buckeyes erased a 17-point third-quarter deficit for the largest second-half comeback in program history.
This season, Mikesell leads the Buckeyes with 18.8 points per game and is averaging 3.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. She’s improved those numbers to 21.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game during conference play. Mikesell is approaching 2,000 career points (has 1,954) and 1,000 as a Buckeye (has 916) despite playing in only 49 games at Ohio State.
Ohio State, 6-0 in Big Ten play, returns to action on Jan. 14 at Nebraska.

UNDEFEATED TEAMS: All the women's basketball teams yet to lose a game this season

Adrianna Smith, Maine

Maine forward Adrianna Smith, who has registered a double-double in each of her last four outings and has produced double-digit scoring efforts in each of her last six games, averaged 32.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists as the Black Bears won a pair of games last week.
Smith began her stellar week with a career-high 30 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists with a season-high 64.7 percent shooting performance as Maine defeated UMass Lowell, 70-63 in overtime.
She broke her career-high with a 34 point effort, 10 more rebounds, and four assists in Maine's 69-63 victory over NJIT on Saturday.
The sophomore becomes the first Black Bear to score 34 points since Blanca Millan did so in December of 2020 and also the first America East Conference player to post back-to-back 30 point outings since Millan did so, also in December of 2020. She is also the first player to tally back-to-back 30-point games against conference competition since Shereesha Richards (UAlbany) did so in 2016.
Smith and the Black Bears, 7-8 overall and 3-0 in AEC play, return to action on Jan. 14 when they host UMBC.

Dontavia Waggoner, Boston College

Boston College junior guard Dontavia Waggoner averaged 22 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and 2.5 steals and shot 45 percent from the field for the week as the Eagles posted an upset win over No. 9 NC State on the road and handed Florida State its first Atlantic Coast Conference loss of the season.
In the 79-71 win at NC State, Waggoner led four players in double figures by turning in her second 20-10 game of the season with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting with 10 boards. She scored nine of her 13 second-half points in the fourth quarter in the Eagles' first win over a top-10 team since 2010.
She followed with 21 points and a personal-high 14 rebounds in the win over Florida State on Sunday, handing the Seminoles their first ACC loss of the season. She also played a significant part in holding Ta'Niya Latson, the ACC's leading scorer at over 20 points per game, to a season-low 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
Waggoner leads the ACC and is third in the country with 58 steals, while her 11-point improvement from last season is the largest in the league. She is also one of two players, Elizabeth Kitley of Virginia Tech the other, with three games of a least 20 points and 10 boards. Waggoner is also on her way to setting the school single-season steals record of 89 held by Ann Odoy.
Waggoner will look to lead the Eagles, 13-5 overall and 3-2 in the ACC, to a third straight win on Jan. 12 when they host Syracuse.

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