Thankful for basketball: Five top performances so far this season

    The 2022-23 college basketball season has already given us upsets, a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game, and highlight-reel accomplishments. But not all stat lines are created equal, and some showings deserve extra praise.

    As we reach Thanksgiving Day, Just Women’s Sports gives thanks for five of the top performances so far.

    Nika Muhl, UConn

    Heading into the season, there were countless questions swirling around UConn due to the absence of star guard Paige Bueckers. Two of the most pressing questions: Who would be tasked with running the Huskies offense? And would it suffer without her?

    Three wins and a No. 3 ranking later, we have answers: The Huskies’ offense will be just fine, and Muhl has emerged as an excellent floor general.

    The two guards couldn’t be more different. Muhl, the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year, will never be touted for her scoring – her high this season is 6 points – but she can dish it out. As UConn defeated NC State 91-69 on Sunday, Muhl set the Huskies single-game assist record with 15.

    Paige Robinson, Illinois State

    This holiday season I’m thankful for mid-majors – hello Gonzaga and South Dakota State – because of the upsets they’ve blessed us with, and because one of the best performances so far this season came from a mid-major player.

    Robinson helped her team past Wisconsin with 37 points on Nov. 20. The guard tied her career-high and helped the Redbirds defeat a Big Ten opponent for the first time since 2012, but that’s not even the most impressive part. This is: Robinson shot 100% from the 3-point line, going 7-for-7 from beyond the arc.

    Darrione Rogers and Aneesah Morrow, DePaul

    Morrow made headlines as a freshman for DePaul last season, averaging 21.9 points and 13.8 rebounds per game. This season, she’s turning heads once again, averaging 31.5 points through four games.

    But this year, she also has a scoring partner in Rogers. After putting up 9.5 points and then 9.9 during her first two seasons, the guard has made a massive leap, with that number increasing to 21.8 points through her team’s first four contests.

    The duo was unstoppable in a 98-83 win over Miami on Sunday. Rogers led the Blue Demons with 36 points, going 7-for-9 from 3-point range, while Morrow did her damage in the paint, scoring 35 points of her own.

    Maddy Siegrist, Villanova

    The Villanova forward is starting her senior season right, with four double-doubles through four games. She also helped her team break into the AP rankings, where the Wildcats currently sit at No. 23.

    Siegrist is averaging 29 points and 13.3 rebounds per game and is one of just three players in the country to have a double-double in every contest for her team so far. Her best performance came in a 74-71 win over Temple, in which the senior finished with 41 points and 16 rebounds. That’s one point shy of her career-high, a feat Siegrist accomplished in an overtime win over Marquette last season.

    The whole Utah team

    The Utes turned heads and forced their way into the top 25 when they dismantled No. 16 Oklahoma 124-78 on Nov. 16. The scoring barrage tied a school record for most points in a game and proved to the basketball world that Utah deserves recognition on the national stage. The Utes sit at No. 17 in the latest AP Poll.

    The offensive outpouring was fueled by a balanced scoring effort, with three players recording 20-plus points. Gianna Kneepkens led with 24 points, and Kennady McQueen and Alissa Pili each added 21. Isabel Palmer had 17, Dasia Young had 13, and Teya Sidberry finished with 10. Three other Utes also scored in a game that included a 41-point third quarter.

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