Nina Davis, Forward, 5-foot-11, Sophomore, Baylor
Named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week for the third consecutive week after earning seven freshman of the week awards last season, Davis led No. 6 Baylor to victories against No. 22 Syracuse and No. 20 Michigan State to claim the championship trophy in the Florida Sunshine Classic.
The sophomore forward Davis averaged 20.5 points and 13.0 rebounds en route to earning tournament MVP honors. Against Syracuse, she scored 26 points and pulled down a career-high-tying 17 rebounds while dishing out two assists. Davis narrowly missed another double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds in the victory against Michigan State. She is averaging a team-high 22.8 points while hauling down a team-leading 8.5 rebounds on the season. Davis ranks second in the Big 12 in scoring and third in rebounding. Baylor plays host to Prairie View A&M on Dec. 29 before starting conference play on Oct. 3 versus Oklahoma State.
Melissa Dixon, Guard, 5-8, Senior, Iowa
Dixon turned in a performance for the Iowa record books as the Hawkeyes defeated Drake 100-98 on Dec. 21. She connected on 10 of 14 3-point field goals and finished with a team-high 31 points in the close win. The previous Iowa record for 3-pointers in a game was seven by Dixon, Jaime Printy (2012), Kamille Wahlin (2009) and Lindsey Meder (2000). Thirty of Dixon’s points came from beyond the 3-point arc as she was 1-for-2 from the free throw line. Iowa (9-2) finished its nonconference portion of the schedule with three consecutive wins and will open Big Ten play against Penn State (3-8) on Sunday at home.
Breanna Stewart, Forward, 6-4, Junior, Connecticut
Stewart earned her second American Athletic Conference Player of the Week honor this week. Stewart, the 2013-14 Associated Press National Player of the Year, matched her season-high with 25 points on 10 of 17 shooting against DePaul on Dec. 19. She followed up the performance with a 22-point, five-block showing against UCLA on Sunday. Stewart leads the Huskies with 18.0 points per game and is one of six UConn players shooting over 50 percent from the field (52.6) this season. She has posted four games with at least 20 points and now has registered at least 20 points in 33 of 85 career games. Stewart — a junior — has moved up to No. 23 on UConn’s all-time scoring list, (1,436), moving past Tamika Williams (1999-02), Chris Gedney (1978-81) and Peggy Walsh (1983-86) during the past week. Next up on the list is Kalana Green (2006-10) with 1,444 points. Stewart and the Huskies return to action on Friday, hosting SMU.
Courtney Williams, Guard, 5-8, Junior, South Florida
Averaging 26.5 points in two wins, Williams led South Florida to wins against Northern Colorado (84-43) on Dec. 17 and Penn State (90-87 in overtime) on Dec. 21 as the Bulls improved to 9-3 on the season. Williams scored 34 points on 11 of 29 shooting, pulled down 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals in the win at Penn State. Earlier in the week she had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists in the easy win against Northern Colorado. South Florida will play host East Carolina on Saturday.
Elizabeth Williams, Center/Forward, 6-3, Senior, Duke
Helping Duke (8-3) get back on track, Williams delivered in three wins during the past week. Her 26-point, 20-rebound effort led the Blue Devils to a 92-72 victory against Oklahoma. The 20-20 game was just the third in Duke history, with Williams joining Chris Moreland and Barbara Krause in the exclusive club. Williams’ 14 first-half boards were more than the entire Sooners’ team. After a 12-point, seven-rebound performance in a win against Massachusetts-Lowell, Williams led Duke to an 89-68 home win versus Kentucky, recording the 21st double-double of her career (13 points, 10 rebounds). Williams also blocked 10 shots during the week, with her 3.4 blocks per game average this season now No. 8 in the country. Next up for Duke is a Dec. 29 showdown at UConn.