Women’s college basketball power rankings: South Carolina on top; Iowa drops to No. 3

Women’s college basketball power rankings: South Carolina on top; Iowa drops to No. 3

South Carolina further established its place as the No. 1 team in the country over the weekend with a convincing 83-65 win over No. 11 UConn on Super Bowl Sunday at a sold-out Colonial Life Arena. The Gamecocks didn’t have their best player in Kamilla Cardoso, but it didn’t matter.

Te-Hina Paopao, a transfer from Oregon, led all scorers with 21 points, while Ashlyn Watkins and Chloe Kitts combined for 29. Huskies stars Paige Bueckers and Aaliyah Edwards had 20 points apiece, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the undefeated Gamecocks and their dominant defense.

In other action, Caitlin Clark came oh so close to becoming the new NCAA’s all-time leading scorer, but she is still eight points shy of Kelsey Plum’s record following an 82-79 loss to Nebraska on the road. No. 2 Iowa led by as many as 14 points late in the third quarter, but the unranked Huskers came back in the fourth after shifting to a box-and-one defense on Clark. It worked, as Clark went 0-for-6 in the fourth quarter, the first time she had played a full fourth quarter without scoring.

Clark, who had 31 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, will surely make history on Thursday at home when Iowa hosts Michigan

Elsewhere, Angel Reese had 27 points and 19 rebounds and Flau’jae Johnson scored 16 points as No. 13 LSU  crushed Alabama, 85-66. Stanford, UCLA and Ohio State also ran away with commanding victories, while No. 4 Colorado lost to No. 17 Oregon State, 65-59. In another close game, No. 12 Notre Dame edged Florida State, 98-94, in double overtime.

Here are this week’s women’s college basketball power rankings:

1. South Carolina
Record: 23-0, 10-0
Weekly results: Defeated Missouri, 83-45; defeated UConn, 83-65

2. Ohio State
Record: 21-3, 12-1
Weekly results: Defeated Minnesota, 71-47; defeated Michigan State, 86-71

3. Iowa
Record: 22-3, 11-2
Weekly results: Defeated Penn State, 111-93; lost to Nebraska, 82-79

4. Stanford
Record: 22-3, 11-2
Weekly results: Defeated Washington, 63-59; defeated Washington State, 73-58

5. Texas
Record: 22-3, 9-3
Weekly results: Defeated TCU, 65-43

6. Colorado
Record: 20-4, 10-3
Weekly results: Defeated Oregon, 90-57; lost to No. 17 Oregon State, 65-59

7. North Carolina State
Record: 21-3, 9-3
Weekly results: Defeated No. 15 Louisville, 77-67; lost to No. 16 Virginia Tech, 72-61; defeated Pittsburgh, 83-47

8. Kansas State
Record: 21-3, 10-2
Weekly results: Defeated Oklahoma State, 69-68

Record: 19-4, 8-4
Weekly results: Defeated Arizona, 66-58; defeated Arizona State, 78-45

10. LSU
Record: 21-4, 8-3
Weekly results: Defeated Vanderbilt, 85-62; defeated Alabama, 85-66

Laken Litman covers college football, college basketball and soccer for FOX Sports. She previously wrote for Sports Illustrated, USA Today and The Indianapolis Star. She is the author of “Strong Like a Woman,” published in spring 2022 to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX. Follow her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

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