Every week throughout the 2020-21 season, the NCAA.com Starting Five will highlight the top women’s basketball players in the country. Here are the standouts from the past week:
Caitlin Clark, Iowa
Iowa freshman sensation Caitlin Clark recorded her third consecutive and seventh 30-point game of the season as the Hawkeyes rolled to an 88-81 victory at Nebraska last week. Her seven 30-point games are tied for the most in the NCAA this season.
Against the Cornhuskers, Clark’s 39 points earned her a spot in the Nebraska record books, marking the most points scored in Pinnacle Bank Arena — male or female. Clark added 10 rebounds in recording her sixth double-double of the season and was three assists shy of a triple-double.
Clark is the second freshman since the 2015-16 season to record seven 30-point games – the first was Texas A&M’s Chennedy Carter during the 2017-18 season. Carter played 19 more games than the Hawkeyes have played this season.
Clark currently ranks third on Iowa’s all-time freshman scoring list with 451 points on the season. The record holder is Jaime Printy with 501 points during the 2009-10 season. Clark is the first Iowa freshman to record 400-plus points, 100-plus rebounds, and 100-plus assists in a season.
Clark and the Hawkeyes, 11-6 overall and 7-6 in the Big Ten Conference, next host Penn State on Thursday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Gina Conti, Wake Forest
Wake Forest guard Gina Conti averaged 15.5 points, 5.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game as the Demon Deacons scored a pair of wins over Pittsburgh and Clemson to stretch its winning streak to three games, the second longest streak currently in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
On Thursday night, Conti led Wake Forest to a come-from-behind 64-61 overtime win over Pitt on Senior Night. For the third consecutive game, Conti led the way in the scoring column, finishing with a game-high 18 points including three free throws in overtime. Conti’s late 3-pointer had earlier sent the game to overtime. The senior tallied a career-high tying eight rebounds in the win over Pitt.
On Sunday, the Demon Deacons (11-8 overall; 8-7 in the ACC) went on the road and won 72-65 at Clemson as Conti scored 13 points and dished out eight assists, one shy of her season high. She now ranks fourth in program history with 456 career assists.
Conti heads into Wake Forest’s next game at home versus NC State on Thursday needing just 17 points to become the 29th member of the Wake Forest 1,000-point club.
Gabi Harrington, Idaho
Gabi Harrington recorded her second and third double-doubles of the season and averaged 23.5 points and 11 rebounds per game as Idaho split a pair of games last week with cross-state rival Idaho State.
Harrington scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds as Idaho suffered their first home loss of the season on Feb. 11 by a 61-58 count to Idaho State.
The Boise, Idaho native then scored a career-high 25 points in a 73-56 win over Idaho State on Saturday. She also recorded a double-double with 12 rebounds. Harrington shot 57 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range in the contest.
Over 67 minutes in the two games, Harrington shot 47 percent from the field and 38 percent from three-point range, averaging 4.0 made three-pointers, 1.5 steals and 1.0 assists per game.
Harrington leads the Vandals on the season scoring 16.8 points per game and is averaging 7.0 rebounds per game. Over the last six games she is averaging 20.3 points and 10.3 rebounds.
Idaho, 12-6 overall and 11-3 in the Big Sky Conference, will next take on Portland State in a home-and-home series this week, beginning at home on Thursday, Feb. 18.
Jasmine Walker, Alabama
Jasmine Walker set the Alabama school record with 41 points as the Crimson Tide rolled to a 92-78 win over Auburn on Sunday. The prior record of 38 points had stood for nearly 30 years after being set by Amy Lannom against Florida on January 4, 1992.
Walker scored 21 of her 41 points in the fourth quarter, going 7-of-9 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line over the final 10 minutes of play. She was also huge on the glass, pulling down 15 rebounds, one shy of her career high, to become the first player in the Southeastern Conference to have 40-plus points and 15 or more rebounds in a single game since 2003. Her seven three-pointers were a career best and also tied for the second-most in a single game in program history.
Earlier in the week on Feb. 11, Alabama dropped a 67-62 home decision to Ole Miss despite 14 points and eight rebounds by Walker. Alabama battled back from a 14-point, second-quarter deficit to lead at the end of the third, however Ole Miss outscored the Crimson Tide down the stretch for the win.
Walker has scored in double-figures in every game this season, 10 of which have been 20-plus point efforts and had double-doubles in 11 of the 19 games. She remains the only player to rank in the top five in the SEC in points per game (20.8) and rebounds per game (10.2).
Alabama, 13-6 overall and 6-6 in SEC play, will next play at Florida on Feb. 18.
Octavia Jett-Wilson, Charlotte
Charlotte’s Octavia Jett-Wilson led the way for the 49ers in their two-game sweep over Old Dominion, averaging 38.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, including a career-high 42 points in Wednesday’s double-overtime road thriller.
Jett-Wilson’s 42 points was the difference maker in the 102-95 double overtime victory over Old Dominion. The 42 points were three shy of the Charlotte single-game school record and just the fourth 40-point game in program history. Jett-Wilson’s first basket in the second extra period moved her past the 1,000-point mark in her career, becoming the 25th member of the elite club in school history. She set three single-game school records Wednesday, establishing new marks for free throws made (18), free throws attempted (21) and field goals attempted (32). Her 14 rebounds provided her with her second double-double in 12 days, the first two of her career. Fourteen of her 18 overtime points came in the first extra session.
Three days later, Jett-Wilson again took home game-high scoring honors with 34 points, scoring 11 of the Niners’ 14 points in overtime, including the first seven as Charlotte prevailed 87-80. She was a perfect 10-of-10 at the foul line. Her free-throw percentage is one of 10 in school history in which an individual has made double-digit free throws without a miss and the first since 2001.
Winners of three straight games, Charlotte, 8-7 overall and 7-3 in Conference USA play, will return to action on Feb. 19 at UTSA.