Tough night for ranked women’s teams
Rough night to be a ranked team.
Six of the 11 Top 25 teams playing Thursday night lost,
including No. 9 Wisconsin-Green Bay which fell for the first time
this season. Tenth-ranked Ohio State lost to Illinois on a
last-second shot and No. 11 Tennessee was soundly beaten at
Amazingly, all of the losses came to unranked opponents, marking
the first time in 11 years that that many Top 25 teams lost on the
same night to non-ranked teams according to STATS LLC.
”It’s crazy. It makes for exciting races,” said Stanford coach
Tara VanDerveer, who avoided being one of the upsets as the No. 4
Cardinal beat Southern California 69-52. ”It is something that I
know everybody wants – I can’t say I do – but everybody else
Stanford hasn’t lost in the conference lately, winning 69
straight games against Pac-12 opponents.
Green Bay was on a similar run in the Horizon League with 36
straight regular season conference victories until Thursday night.
The Phoenix had won their conference games this season by an
average of 25 points, although Detroit did manage to only lose by
nine when the two teams met earlier this season.
Still Green Bay had only lost once to Detroit at home, 15 years
ago. Titans coach Autumn Rademacher remembers that game fondly as
she was a player for Detroit in it.
”I definitely brag a whole lot about all my accomplishments and
I just have always challenged them to shut me up, period,”
Rademacher said. ”At some point they want to show me up. They want
to do me one better and I said, `Hey, guess what, this one is very
sweet for you guys.”’
Detroit was also the last team to beat Green Bay before its
36-game conference run.
Illinois pulled off its own special victory, knocking off No. 10
Ohio State 66-65 on a layup by Alexis Burke with two seconds left.
It was the Illini’s first victory over a Top 10 team since
Green Bay wasn’t the only Top 25 team to get stunned at home.
Thirteenth-ranked Nebraska lost 63-52 to Michigan. The Cornhuskers
had a dismal first half trailing 32-12 at the break which left
Michigan coach Kevin Borseth astonished.
”If you told me we’d hold them under 20 points at halftime I
would say you’re nuts, not a chance,” he said. ”I had every
imaginable, concocted defense figured out to stop them, because I
didn’t think we’d be able to stop them.”
The Lady Vols just couldn’t contain Vanderbilt, losing 93-79.
It’s the most points that the Commodores had ever scored against
Tennessee giving coach Melanie Balcomb reason to celebrate.
She sprayed the student section with the ice water from her cup,
then slapped high fives before finally heading off the court. It
was just Balcomb’s second win in 23 games against Tennessee since
coming to Vanderbilt.
Tennessee had won 23 of the last 24 in this rivalry and seven
”It’s a rival game, it’s Vanderbilt against Tennessee,”
Balcomb said. ”And it’s about school pride, and you’re still
playing the orange. They’re 11th in the nation.”
No. 24 South Carolina, which knocked off Tennessee in its last
game, got blown out 68-47 by Arkansas.
”What happened was we had a huge letdown,” South Carolina
coach Dawn Staley said. ”It went into our preparation the last
couple of days, and when we don’t prepare well, we don’t usually
”… I thought they wanted the game more than we did, and I
never thought I would say that in coaching the South Carolina
women’s basketball team,” she added.
BYU closed out the night with a 30-point win over No. 19
Gonzaga. It was the worst loss in a decade for the Bulldogs, who
were last beaten this bad by Santa Clara in 2002.
The Lady Cougars, who fell out of the Top 25 this week after
spending two weeks in the poll, shot 65 percent from the field in
the second half and scored 20 straight points to take command.
”It was our night,” BYU coach Jeff Judkins said. ”Some nights
you have those; the ball bounces your way.”
There was almost a seventh upset with No. 5 Duke struggling to
beat Boston College 71-62. The Blue Devils were set up for their
own potential let down after blowing out rival North Carolina by 40
”I think it’s always hard when you come off a game with a lot
of emotion,” Duke coach Joanne P. McCallie said. ”You’ve got to
handle it and get back in the flow. I think it took us a while. I
don’t think we were nearly as aggressive as we should have been.
Our shot contesting was horrible in the first half and our
rebounding was passive. I think it’s a pretty important lesson of
how you have to battle and get right to the next thing.”
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AP Sports Writer Janie McCauley in Stanford, Calif. and Teresa
M. Walker in Nashville, Tenn. contributed to this report.