Oregon State's prolific center Marie Gulich headlines women's basketball players of the week
Every week, NCAA.com's Starting Five will bring you a look at some of the top women's basketball players in the country.
Here are the standout competitors this time around:
Marie Gulich, Oregon State
Senior Marie Gulich was the star during Oregon State’s Senior Weekend, averaging 24.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game while shooting a nice 69 percent from the floor in a pair of home wins over UCLA and USC.
She opened the week by scoring 24 points vs. No. 7 UCLA on Feb. 16, including 14 in the fourth period and overtime as Oregon State prevailed 67-64. Gulich pulled down 12 rebounds, blocked three shots and hit all eight of her free throw attempts in the game, including four to ice the game in overtime.
The senior from Cologne, Germany followed that up with another outstanding performance in Sunday's Senior Day 69-63 win over USC. Gulich went 12-for-16 from the floor to finish with 25 points, nine rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals.
Gulich is currently second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage at 64.0 percent. She is averaging 16.7 points and 9.1 rebounds per game on the season, and is tied for the conference lead with 12 double-doubles on the year. The 6-foot-5 center has her name written throughout the Oregon State record book, sitting 20th in career points, fifth in career rebounds and third in career blocks.
As a team, Oregon State moved up to No. 12 in the Associated Press Poll this week, its highest ranking of the season.
The Beavers, 21-6 and 12-4 Pac-12 Conference, will hit the road this week, as Oregon State heads down to Arizona for a matchup with the Wildcats on Friday.
Katie Lou Samuelson, UConn
UConn junior Katie Lou Samuelson averaged 26.5 points per game while shooting 68 percent from the field in leading the Huskies to two more wins last week.
In a 69-58 win over No. 4 Louisville, she scored 26 points while adding three assists and three rebounds as the Huskies won their 76th consecutive home game and ended Louisville's 13-game road winning streak. Samuelson had 19 of her points in the first half as UConn pulled out to a 42-22 lead and never looked back.
Husky fans, check out the Top 5 Plays from yesterdays win vs Temple! pic.twitter.com/XQRGNU4d0H— UConn Women's Hoops (@UConnWBB) February 19, 2018
In a 106-45 rout of Temple on Feb. 18, Samuelson scored 27 points on 9-of-11 shooting, dished out five assists and pulled down four rebounds. She hit four of her five shots from 3-point range. Samuelson had 11 points in the first 10 minutes and UConn led 32-13 after one period.
With the latest wins, UConn has never lost an American Athletic Conference (AAC) regular-season or tournament game (95-0) and holds a two-game lead over South Florida (11-2) with three games to play this season.
The Huntington Beach, Calif., native leads UConn’s top-ranked offense (90.2 points per game) with 18.4 points per game. Samuelson is one of four Huskies on both the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award late season watch lists.
No. 1 in the latest NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee top-16 reveal on Feb. 19, the Huskies, 26-0, 13-0 AAC, are back in action at Tulane on Feb. 21.
Carlie Wagner, Minnesota
Senior guard Carlie Wagner, moved up two spots on the all-time Minnesota scoring list and was the driving force behind a 2-1 week for Minnesota that included a pair of top-25 upsets.
Wagner, who moved up to third in the all-time scoring list with 2,106 points, averaged 25.6 points as the Gophers scored wins over No. 23 Michigan and No. 10 Maryland before falling at home to Indiana on Feb. 20.
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In beating No. 10 Maryland, Wagner contributed 17 points and was 3-5 from 3-point range. She had a pair of key 3-pointers in the second quarter as the Gophers turned a seven-point lead into a 13-point advantage. It was her 108th career game reaching double figures, tying Lindsay Whalen for second most in Minnesota history.
Minnesota, 21-7, 10-5 Big Ten Conference, fell to Indiana on Senior Night, 82-70, despite a season-high 34 points from Wagner. She moved up to third in the all-time scoring list, passing Carol Ann Shudick. She now sits behind only Lindsay Whalen (2,285) and Rachel Banham (3,093) all-time.
The Gophers close out the regular season with a Feb. 25 game at Illinois.
Ashley Williams, Alabama
Alabama senior Ashley Williams had a huge week for the Crimson Tide, recording double-doubles in both of Alabama's wins, averaging 16.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.5 steals in the process.
Last Thursday, Williams guided Alabama to its first victory in program history in Knoxville, as the Crimson Tide prevailed 72-63 over Tennessee. She tallied her 15th career double-double, finishing the game with 16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. The win snapped a 22-game losing streak against Associated Press top 25 teams.
Three days later, and on Senior Day, the forward backed up her performance against the Lady Vols with another double-double, recording a team-high 17 points and game-best 10 rebounds to go along with three steals and a block in a 70-60 win over rival Auburn.
The pair of double-doubles gave Williams 16 for her career, and she currently stands at No. 10 in career points (1,345) and No. 7 in career rebounds (792) at Alabama.
The Tide, 17-10 and 7-7 Southeastern Conference, will return to action for its final regular season home game on Feb. 22 against No. 20 Georgia.
Jas Adams, Coastal Carolina
The Sun Belt Conference’s leading scorer, Jas Adams averaged 29.5 points per game as Coastal Carolina scored wins over Troy and South Alabama.
In the 84-71 win over Troy, Adams became just the second Chanticleer in Coastal Carolina history to score 40 points in a game, and fell just five points short of tying Andrea Singleton (1985-86) for the program's single-game record of 45 points. Adams did, however, set the HTC Center single-game scoring record as she surpassed the previous record of 36 points scored by AJ Jordan in 2014-15. She finished the night 9-of-18 from the field with six 3-pointers, and 16-of-21 at the free-throw line. After scoring just one point in the opening period, Adams tallied 18 points in the second. She then added 11 points in the third, and 10 in the fourth. Adams also pulled in 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the season.
Adams followed with 19 points and eight rebounds in a 71-56 win over South Alabama on Feb. 17. She scored 12 of her points in the fourth period of that game, helping Coastal Carolina erase a nine-point deficit and go on a 25-0 run in the first nine minutes of the final frame.
For the week, Adams averaged 29.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. She has retaken the lead in the Sun Belt's scoring race, averaging 18.7 points per game with three games remaining in the regular season.
Coastal Carolina, 14-12 and 8-7 Sun Belt, plays all three of its remaining games on the road, beginning with a trip to Arkansas this week to take on Little Rock (Feb. 22) and Arkansas State (Feb. 24).