NCAAW top performances: Chelsea Dungee dazzles vs. UConn while Texas A&M defeats sixth ranked squad

Cassandra Negley
·5 min read

It was a monstrous Thursday night in women’s hoops as expected, though it’s fair to say few had the No. 2 and No. 3 teams in the country falling on the same night.

The Associated Press rankings will see a shake-up after the results. One thing we know for sure, though, is if you missed the action you’ll want to catch up.

Chelsea Dungee exploded against mighty Connecticut even as the Huskies’ sensational freshman Paige Bueckers didn’t disappoint. And Virginia Tech finally got over the hump, taking down N.C. State.

The Wolfpack are hoping to right the ship against currently top-ranked Louisville in a primetime showdown on Monday night. The evening will also feature No. 14 Ohio State (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) at No. 23 Northwestern (9-3, 7-3).

The top four performances from the week and the full schedule for the upcoming one.

Arkansas’ Chelsea Dungee topples mighty UConn

Arkansas guard Chelsea Dungee raises hands on the court.
Arkansas guard Chelsea Dungee put on a 37-point performance for the ages against powerhouse UConn. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)

In 756 games played since 2000, UConn had never allowed 37 points to a single player until Arkansas redshirt senior Chelsea Dungee went off on Thursday night. Dungee put up 37 on 61.9 percent shooting (13-of-21) and hit four of her five 3-pointers. She added three rebounds, three assists and three steals as she continuously took it to the No. 3 Huskies defense from start to finish.

Amber Ramirez added 22 points in a shootout between the two teams. Arkansas (13-6, 3-5 SEC) shot 51.6 percent and made 13 of 23 3-pointers. The No. 19 team in the country also made it to the line 20 times, though they only hit 11 of them.

UConn was 55 percent overall and made 12 of 23 3-pointers. They even won the rebounding battle, 35-29, and had more assists, 17-10.

Arkansas followed it up with a 77-67 win against Auburn on Sunday. Dungee scored 20 points. She averages 22.5 points per game, ranking 15th in Division I.

Oh, and Paige Bueckers balls out

Dungee had competition in-game for the hottest hand, though. UConn freshman Paige Bueckers set her current career-high with 27 points. She was 10-of-15 from the floor, including hitting all three 3-point attempts and all four free throws.

The Huskies bounced back from the loss with a 100-67 drubbing of No. 17 DePaul on Sunday. Bueckers nearly had her first triple-double, putting up 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Seven of her 10 assists came by the 16:36 mark of the contest.

UConn has gone 1,005 games without back-to-back losses. The streak goes back to 1993. Saylor Poffenbarger, who graduated high school early and joined the team in-season, made her collegiate debut and played two minutes in the blowout.

Virginia Tech breaks through thanks to Sheppard

It’s not easy on the heart being a Hokies fan this season.

Virginia Tech (9-7, 4-7 ACC) had spent the last few weeks coming oh-so-close to victory. That included a two-point loss to N.C. State on Jan. 24.

They turned around four days later and got it down, dropping the second-ranked N.C. State team by a 83-71 score in overtime. The Wolfpack forced the extra time with a deep 3-pointer by Camille Hobby on a broken play, but ultimately lost their first game of the season.

First, you have to see this play.

That’s a heart-wrenching end to regulation for Virginia Tech. But they didn’t flinch and senior guard Aisha Sheppard kept up her hot scoring streak. She scored 28 points, all after halftime, and had 18 of them in the Hokies’ 26-point overtime period. She was 12-for-14 from the free throw line.

The Hokies followed it up with another close game, this one a 73-69 win over North Carolina.

The Wolfpack (11-1, 6-1) were without national player of the year contender Elissa Cunane, who missed time because of COVID-19 protocol. She is expected to return for Monday night’s long anticipated showdown against No. 1 Louisville (16-0, 9-0) at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

Texas A&M moves to 6-0 vs. ranked opponents

Forgive us if we’re repeating ourselves, but watch for Texas A&M (16-1, 7-1 SEC). The Aggies collected their sixth (SIX!) win over a ranked opponent on Sunday. They took down No. 22 Georgia, 60-48.

Texas A&M forced Georgia into 18 turnovers and scored 21 points off of them. The Aggies also turned it over 18 times, but the Bulldogs couldn’t do much with it and scored only three points off of them.

N’dea Jones led the Aggies with 15 points and 12 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season. She’s tied for most in the nation with Texas’ Charlie Collier and Troy’s Alexus Dye.

Texas A&M will face LSU on Thursday and finish a homestand on Sunday with a showdown against No. 20 Tennessee. Next week it’s No. 19 Arkansas on Valentine’s Day and still to come is a season finale against No. 4 South Carolina on Feb. 28. It’s their only game of the regular season and the way it’s going, it could determine the top seed in the SEC.

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