Welcome back to another week of Stock Up, Stock Down, where we survey the women's college basketball landscape in Texas to see which teams/players are on the way up and which are struggling.
Stock Up: Laila Blair
Blair was named AAC Player of the Week this past week.
Houston's non-conference season hadn't gone exactly as planned, but Blair helped launch the team to a 2-0 start in conference play. Blair averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game to help the Cougars defeat Wichita State and Tulsa.
The Cougars now have a six-game winning streak as they prepare to play two road conference games. We'll have to see how these next few games go, but if Blair keeps it up and Houston keeps winning, then we might be able to start talking about this as a potential tournament team again.
Stock Down: Texas A&M
I wrote about the Aggies last week, so let's not linger on all of the older reasons this team is trending down and instead look at the newest reason: a double-OT loss to Florida.
The Gators are 11-5, but had lost to both ranked teams it played heading into the A&M game. This is a team that went 3-11 in conference play last season and was 0-2 going into the A&M game. The Aggies should have won that.
Instead, A&M scored just 10 points in the fourth quarter to let Florida force overtime, and while Qadashah Hoppie was a bright spot with her 25 points and Kayla Wells was too with her 23, Jordan Nixon scored just nine points in 35 minutes and the big rotation continued to be confusing. The team startd both Aaliyah Patty and Jada Malone with Destiny Pitts out, but Malone managed just seven minutes. Patty put up 10 points and 16 rebounds and continued to establish herself as a solid big for a team that lacks depth, but Syndee Roby had no points in 19 minutes off the bench. Big guard Sahara Jones was 0-for-3 in 10 minutes. This team just doesn't have the depth right now to compete with the top SEC teams, especially if they're losing to some of the not-so-good conference opponents they face.
Stock Up: Texas A&M - Corpus Christi
Only one team in the Southland has a winning streak of more than one game, only one team in the Southland has an undefeated record at home, and only two teams in the Southland are over .500 overall.
If this was Jeopardy, I'd be looking for a "What is Texas A&M Corpus" response.
It was anyone's guess what the new Southland would look like, but not a lot of those guesses picked the Islanders to emerge on top of it. The team's last two games featured wins over Houston Baptist and UIW, the two Texas Southland teams that were being picked to contend in the conference.
It's a fun surprise. Alecia Westbrook has really blossomed this season and had 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting in the win over UIW.
Stock Up: SFA
I know that we were collectively concerned about the Ladyjacks after the team lost two in a row. But conference play is here, and SFA is 3-0 so far, beating UTRGV, Tarleton, and Abilene Christian, all by double digits.
Against ACU, Aiyana Johnson went off, with 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting. The team shot 48.1 percent from 3-point range, with six players hitting two 3-pointers. Players like Angel Scott, Tasharian Robinson, and Aaliyah Johnson gave the team good minutes off the bench.
Obviously, we'll want to see this team against Cal Baptist before we can be sure they're back back, but those early-season hiccups look, for now, like a thing of the past.
Stock Up: Texas Southern
Non-conference play wasn't kind to Texas Southern, but it wasn't going to be with how tough the team's schedule was.
But the Tigers are now 2-2 in conference play, with one of the losses coming by just four points to a Zaay Green-led UAPB.
The team beat Mississippi Valley 100-66 on Monday, with three players scoring 20-plus points: Alisa Knight (26), Shalexxus Aaron (25), and Ataiya Bridges (22).
The Tigers seem to be finding something behind the strong play of those three. Knight and Aaron each had 10 rebounds in the game, while Bridges dished out 10 of the team's 22 assists.