Welcome back to Stock Up, Stock Down, our weekly look around the Texas women's college basketball landscape.
This past week, we got to experience the game I've been hyped for all season, as SFA took on Cal Baptist. And, well...SFA's the best team in the WAC, y'all!
Stock Up: SFA
The Ladyjacks' matchup with Cal Baptist lost a bit of its luster when the Lancers lost to Sam Houston — more on this later — but it was still a huge contest in determining the regular season WAC title, even if Cal Baptist is ineligible to make it to the NCAA Tournament.
It was a game I was really excited to watch, but it became clear pretty fast that the Ladyjacks were the better team. The Ladyjacks led 39-27 at the half and while CBU managed to win the third quarter, SFA put its foot down in the fourth in a way that reminded me a lot of last year's SFA squad.
Zya Nugent scored 23 points in the win, going 3-for-7 from deep. Both Aiyana Johnson and Stephanie Visscher had double-doubles.
Two things can both be true about this team: that it isn't as deep as last year's team and thus has less margin for error and also that the trio of Visscher, Nugent and Johnson is stronger than it was last season and thus the team has a higher ceiling. If those three are firing on all cylinders and you're getting some good minutes from BriAnna Mitchell and Tasharian Robinson, this team is just nearly impossible to beat.
Stock Up: Sam Houston
Sam Houston was done. Like, turn off the games, write the season off, etc. level of done. I was thinking the team might win one or two conference games at some point, but a 73-54 loss to Grand Canyon felt like a dagger.
And then they beat UTRGV.
And then they beat Cal Baptist.
And then they beat Seattle.
And...wait, the Bearkats beat Cal Baptist?
Yep. 73-65 in one of the biggest shocks of the season. Faith Cook just went wild, scoring 32 points on 7-for-16 shooting in the win. Madelyn Batista added 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Cook is one of the best players in the state, but Sam Houston just hasn't had the team around her to succeed this season. But that win over the Lancers was proof that Cook can put this team on her back and get some big wins. And now with winnable games against Dixie State and Chicago State coming up, this team could go on a little run and finish with a respectable conference record.
Stock Up: Jordan Lewis
Look who's back: it's Baylor, which has now won five in a row after starting 0-2 in Big 12 play.
This week, the team played Texas Tech surprisingly close, then crushed West Virginia 87-54. But we know Baylor is good. The story of that game is Jordan Lewis.
Lewis had a triple-double, with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. She also added two blocks, just for fun. Lewis has now scored 10 or more points in four consecutive games, including putting up 24 against Iowa State. Her assist numbers are up as well recently.
For Baylor to be great, they need outstanding guard play. Lewis is delivering that.
Stock Down: Incarnate Word
The Cardinals are 1-4 in Southland play and just lost 76-49 to Southeastern Louisiana. Has a win over Northwestern State, but that team no longer looks as good as they did in non-conference.
It just feels like a lost year for a Cardinals team that had a shot to contend in the Southland. And with UIW joining a much tougher WAC next year, this was probably the one shot that this school had to have a big season in women's basketball.
Stock Up: Houston Baptist
The Huskies were having a season that was a lot like UIW, but then a funny thing happened: the team won four of five, with the only loss in that span coming to A&M Corpus.
HBU is now right there in the thick of the battle for the Southland. My guess is this team finishes third based on both recent play and on preseason expectations.
In a 67-58 win over Nicholls, Timia Jefferson scored 24 points and added five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Kennedy Wilson scored 18.
The team won despite N'Denasija Collins playing just three minutes. Didn't get a chance to see this game to see what happened with Collins, but if it's an injury, that could slow down this team's momentum. But for now, it's trending up.