Lindsay Allen, Notre Dame, Guard, 5-foot-7, Sophomore, Notre Dame
Notre Dame scored a convincing 82-67 win at UCLA on Dec. 28 behind a career-high 22 points by Allen, who also established career-highs in field goals and 3-pointers made. Allen was 8 of 10 from the field, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
The sophomore guard Allen matched her previous career high of 17 points by halftime. Winners of four consecutive games, Notre Dame improved to 12-1 with the win against UCLA. The Fighting Irish will return to action on Jan. 2, hosting Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams.
Isabelle Harrison, Center, 6-foot-3, Senior, Tennessee
Harrison led Tennessee to back-to-back wins against a pair of top-10 teams in Stanford and Oregon State. She tied her career high with 35 minutes and finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks Sunday in leading Tennessee past No. 10 Oregon State 74-63. It was the first loss of the season for Oregon State. On Dec. 20, Tennessee beat then No. 7 Stanford 59-40 as Harrison scored 10 points, pulled down seven rebounds and had three assists. Tennessee, which improved to 10-2 in non-conference play, has now won six consecutive games. The Lady Vols will return to action on Jan. 2, opening Southeastern Conference play with a home game against Missouri.
Betnijah Laney, Forward/Guard, 6-foot, Senior, Rutgers
Laney has led a strong early season surge for Rutgers as the Scarlet Knights improved to 10-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten Conference play. Laney had 20 points and 10 rebounds and No. 17 Rutgers’ defense stymied Indiana’s offense Sunday afternoon to open its inaugural Big Ten Conference season with a 66-51 win. For Laney it was her ninth double-double of the season and 24th of her career, this one coming after she sat out Rutgers’ last game against Iona with a sprained thumb. Laney connected on 10 of 17 field goal attempts against Indiana. Rutgers at Ohio State on Jan. 1 in Columbus, Ohio.
Ally Malott, Forward, 6-foot-4, Senior, Dayton
Malott totaled 14 points, 14 rebounds, three rebounds and had zero turnovers as Dayton continued its home winning streak with a 72-66 win against No. 24 Green Bay on Sunday. The win against Green Bay extended the Flyers’ home-court winning streak to 31, the longest in the nation. Malott raised her season scoring average to 15.7 points per game, second on the Dayton team behind Andrea Hoover, who averages 19.5 points per game. Winners of seven consecutive games, Dayton (8-3) will play at Central Michigan on Dec. 31 before opening Atlantic 10 Conference play on Jan. 4 at home against George Washington.
Tabatha Richardson-Smith, Forward, 6-foot, Junior, Seton Hall
Behind Richardson-Smith, Seton Hall is in the midst of the programs longest winning streak in 34 years after Sunday’s 70-51 win against No. 14 Georgia. The win was the first against a ranked team in nearly eight years (2007) and propelled them to a top-25 national ranking (No. 23) for the first time since 1995. Seton Hall (12-1) won their 11th consecutive game with Richardson-Smith scoring 15 of her 25 points in a key second-half run versus the Bulldogs. The winning streak is the third-longest in school history, with 14 wins in a row scored on their home floor. With the outing against Georgia, Richardson-Smith upped her team-best scoring average to 17.8 points per game and is one of four Pirates currently averaging double figures. Seton Hall plays host to Butler on Dec. 30 in the opening game of Big East Conference play.