Sunday’s Ohio State upset of Iowa was the most-watched regular season women’s college basketball game on any network since 2010, NBC Sports announced on Monday.

In total, the game averaged 1.93 million viewers. Of those viewers, 1.86 million came on NBC stations. Viewership peaked at 3.9 million viewers in overtime as Ohio State pulled away from Iowa to win the game 100-92.

That number is the latest in what has been a number of increasing viewerships in women’s basketball. Last March’s championship game between Iowa and LSU drew an average of 9.9 million viewers, with the game airing on ABC for the first time.

Other sports, such as softball and gymnastics, have also seen increased viewership. Earlier this month, ESPN’s Sprouts Collegiate Classic drew 634,000 viewers, the most-watched regular season NCAA gymnastics meet in ESPN history.

Ohio State earned their first top-10 win of the season on Sunday, taking down No. 2 Iowa in a 100-92 overtime victory.

The 18th-ranked Buckeyes overcame a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter, with sophomore Cotie McMahon scoring a career-high 33 points alongside 12 rebounds. Iowa star Caitlin Clark had a season-high 45 points, including all nine of the Hawkeye’s points in overtime. Iowa is now 0-3 when Clark scores that many points.

Fans at the game – which totaled over 18,000 – stormed the court afterward, with Clark inadvertently colliding with Buckeye a fan as she jogged toward the tunnel.

“I could see they were storming the court, which was totally fine – good for their students, great win for them,” Clark said after the game, describing the collision as being “blindsided.”

“Kind of scary, could have caused a pretty serious injury to me, and knocked the wind out of me,” she continued. “But luckily my teammates kind of picked me up and got me off the court. … “It just comes with the territory. I’m sure they tried their best to do whatever they could. Obviously it didn’t work, and that’s disappointing. Just focused now on the game and ways we can get better.”

Clark added that Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith had apologized to her for the incident, which she “really appreciated.” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder, meanwhile, was a little more upfront about her disappointment.

“That just should not happen,” Iowa coach Lisa Bluder said. “Our players should be safe. They should be able to walk off the floor. That’s very disappointing. Ohio State, great team, great environment, but obviously very disappointed with the postgame with our players getting injured trying to walk out of the gym. That’s wrong.”

Buckeye head coach Kevin McGuff agreed that the collision “shouldn’t happen to anybody” in his postgame press conference.

“Such a spectacular performance today and she’s such a great player, and that should never happen,” McGuff said after beginning his news conference by apologizing to Clark. “I feel really badly. Hopefully, she’s OK and it doesn’t affect her moving forward. That’s extremely unfortunate.

“It shouldn’t happen to anybody, but man, such a great player like Caitlin, you really hate that. I know we had security, but a student apparently beat the security, so I really feel badly about that.”

He later applauded his team for their effort in the win.

“We beat an incredible team with one of the best players to ever play our sport, and we did it in front of 18,000 people,” McGuff said. “So hopefully the significance is we can really build on that with the momentum.”

Whether coaches like it or not, the NCAA transfer portal has become a crucial part of roster-building in the offseason. In addition to high school recruiting, programs now have to worry about losing players to the portal and filling gaps with transfers. Some teams are thriving in the new landscape, while others are struggling.

Here are the winners and losers of the hyper-active 2023 transfer portal season.



The additions of Hailey Van Lith and Aneesah Morrow elevate LSU as the clear winners of the transfer portal. The defending champions needed a point guard after Alexis Morris departed for the WNBA, and they got the best available in Van Lith. Her midrange game and playmaking ability will complement Final Four Most Outstanding Player Angel Reese, and she also gives the Tigers another scoring option. Meanwhile, Morrow adds another offensive threat to the frontcourt and brings even more rebounding to the Tigers’ lineup. Reese and Morrow each averaged a double-double last year and should clean up on the glass once more.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels have managed to stay under the radar during the chaos of the transfer portal, but Courtney Banghart is building a contender in the ACC. The Tar Heels lost Kennedy Todd-Williams to Ole Miss and Destiny Adams to Rutgers, but still came out on the winning side of transfer season after securing Lexi Donarski (Iowa State), Indiya Nivar (Stanford) and Maria Gakdeng (Boston College). With Deja Kelly and Alyssa Ustby already on the roster, the Tar Heels now have capable scorers at every position. Donarski and Gakdeng also bolster the team’s defense, with Donarski as an on-ball defender and Gakdeng as a rim protector.


While teams like LSU and North Carolina added several new players, UCLA added one and made it count. They needed a post presence and they got one in the 6-foot-7 Lauren Betts from Stanford. Not to mention they retained the rest of their talented roster, a difficult feat in today’s transfer era. Betts, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022, joins No. 2 player Kiki Rice and two other top rising sophomores in Gabriela Jaquez and Londynn Jones. Add in Charisma Osborne, who chose to skip the WNBA draft in favor of playing one more season with UCLA, and the Bruins are a team that can contend for a title.

UCLA added 2022 No. 1 recruit Lauren Betts this offseason. (John Todd/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Ohio State

The Buckeyes lost Taylor Mikesell to the WNBA but gained defensive stopper Celeste Taylor out of Duke and Taiyier Parks, who returns home to Ohio after four years at Michigan State. Taylor, in particular, is a player to get Ohio State fans excited. The Buckeyes’ identity is tied to their defensive prowess, particularly their press. Taylor, a 2023 Naismith Defensive Player of the Year finalist, fits perfectly into Ohio State’s system, joining former Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Jacy Sheldon to create a dynamic backcourt that will spearhead the press.


A big reason for Colorado winning the transfer portal is that they didn’t lose any major players. The Buffs are a Power 5 program without a storied basketball history, making them the kind of team players might transfer from after a strong season. But Colorado’s core, including four starters, is returning from last season’s Sweet 16 run. One thing that was missing for the Buffs in 2022-23? Aside from Frida Formann, Colorado didn’t have any reliable 3-point shooters. That changed thanks to the addition of Maddie Nolan in the portal. The former Michigan player also gives Colorado another ball-handler to play alongside Jaylyn Sherrod.

South Carolina

Iowa exposed a weakness in South Carolina in the Final Four, and Dawn Staley remedied it by bringing in Oregon point guard Te-Hina PaoPao. The Gamecocks lost Aliyah Boston, Brea Beal, Zia Cooke, Leticia Amihere and Victaria Saxon to graduation, but with Kamilla Cardoso, Raven Johnson and Ashlyn Watkins returning, and three top-25 recruits coming in, those players won’t be as hard to replace as you might think. The Gamecocks already had starter-caliber players coming off the bench, but they didn’t have enough shooting. PaoPao provides experience and an outside threat. She made 2.3 3-pointers a game last season on 42.4 percent shooting from deep.

Te-Hina Paopao helps South Carolina replace the talent they lost after their Final Four run. (Ben Lonergan/The Register-Guard/USA TODAY Sports)


The Horned Frogs haven’t had much success in recent years, winning just eight games last season, but first-year coach Mark Campbell is guiding the program in the right direction. TCU signed former Oregon player Sedona Prince, who stepped away last season with an injury and a plan to turn pro before returning to college, and former 4-star recruit Madison Connor out of Arizona. The Horned Frogs also added former Stanford guard Agnes Emma-Nnopu, who showed potential in limited minutes over three years, and Una Jovanovi, who averaged 14.6 points and 3.8 assists at Cal State Fullerton last season.



Two seasons ago, Kara Lawson made waves by bringing in eight transfers, including Celeste Taylor. This time around, the portal wasn’t so kind to the Blue Devils, who lost five players including Taylor to Ohio State and Shayeann Day-Wilson to Miami. With Elizabeth Balogun graduating, Duke’s top three scorers are gone. They signed All-ACC Freshman guard Taina Mair out of Boston College, but overall the Blue Devils lost more than they gained.

Iowa State

Iowa State’s last few seasons have centered on 2023 WNBA draft pick Ashley Joens, so the Cyclones were bound for a rebuild of some kind this season no matter what. Now, they also have to deal with the loss of Donarski, a solid defender who contributed 12.1 points per game last season, and four other players. They will also feel the absence of Denae Fritz, who averaged 8.8 points and 4.6 rebounds per game before transferring to Baylor.


Oregon has talented young players like Grace VanSlooten and Chance Gray to build around, but the departure of PaoPao marks the final piece of a worrying trend. Paopao was the last remaining player from Oregon’s 2020 recruiting class. The Ducks brought in five 5-star recruits that season, and all of them ended up transferring.


Losing Morrow to LSU is enough to put DePaul in the losers category, but the Blue Demons also parted with six other players. The departures of Morrow and guard Darrione Rogers — who averaged 16.8 points, 5.1 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game last season — marks the end of an era where the Blue Demons failed to capitalize on star power. In Morrow’s two seasons, they made the NCAA Tournament once and lost in the first four games.

All-American Aneesah Morrow was one of seven players DePaul lost this offseason. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)


Head coach Adia Barnes is a renowned recruiter, but the Wildcats roster took a major blow this portal season. Arizona lost Lauren Ware, a major contributor as a freshman during the team’s run to the 2021 national championship, and Paris Clark, the No. 5 guard in the Class of 2022. The Wildcats also lost three other players. Currently, there are just five players listed on Arizona’s official roster for next season.

NC State

Last year, NC State picked up former No. 3 recruit Saniya Rivers in the transfer portal. This year, things aren’t going as well for the Wolfpack, with five players on the way out. That includes three starters in Jakia Brown-Turner, Camille Hobby and leading scorer Diamond Johnson. Brown-Turner signed with Maryland, Hobby is heading to Illinois, and Johnson has yet to make a decision.


The Hawkeyes didn’t lose or gain anyone in the portal, and that’s the problem. Iowa retains Cailtin Clark, Gabbie Marshall and Kate Martin from its starting lineup, and Hannah Stuelke will be more experienced and ready to step into a major role in the paint. Outside of that, the NCAA runners-up don’t have obvious replacements for McKenna Warnock or Monika Czinano. Iowa would have benefitted from finding a post in the transfer portal who could complement Clark’s playmaking and add depth alongside the developing Stuelke.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

The transfer portal is changing the landscape of college basketball, and not just from a big-picture standpoint. Less than a month after the end of the 2022-23 season, the portal has seen talented players move from one team to another.

Several top players, like Aneesah Morrow, have yet to announce their destinations. But among those who have, here are the top five transfers based on overall talent and fit with their new squads.

1. Hailey Van Lith, G, LSU

The defending champions lost point guard Alexis Morris to the WNBA with the understanding the super senior would be difficult to replace. But Kim Mulkey once again showed her portal prowess by snagging another elite guard, with the commitment of Hailey Van Lith on Thursday. Van Lith and Morris don’t have many similarities in the way they play, but Van Lith excels in the midrange just like Morris did, adding another dimension to the LSU offense. The experienced, competitive guard makes the perfect addition to the Tigers’ roster.

Van Lith leaving Louisville surprised a lot of people, but her decision to play her final season at LSU shouldn’t. In high school, Van Lith narrowed her recruiting decision down to Louisville and Baylor, where Mulkey was the coach at the time. The two clearly have a connection. Plus, Van Lith’s intense competitiveness lends itself well to a program coming off a national championship. The guard wants to win her own title, and LSU is the place to do it.

(John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports)

2. Lauren Betts, C, UCLA

Much of UCLA’s success this past season came from a talented freshman class that included No. 2 recruit Kiki Rice, No. 19 Gabriela Jaquez and No. 22 Londynn Jones. Point guard Charisma Osborne led the team in scoring, and 6-foot-4 forward Emily Bessoir provided height. The one thing the Bruins were missing was a true post, and now they get that at an elite level in Lauren Betts. The No. 1 player in the Class of 2022 played just 9.6 minutes per game as a freshman at Stanford but averaged 5.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game. Per 40 minutes, those stats look like this: 24.4 points, 14.7 rebounds and 3.7 blocks.

With UCLA’s talented guard core, Betts will have room to operate in the paint and help create lanes and shots for players like Rice and Osborne. The addition of Betts makes the Bruins a title contender as early as next season.

(Chris Pietsch/USA TODAY Sports)

3. Te-Hina Paopao, G, South Carolina

The Gamecocks lost a lot of talent from their 2023 Final Four team, with five players getting drafted into the WNBA earlier this month. Still, the roster that remains is full of talent, including 6-7 center Kamilla Cardoso, forward Ashlyn Watkins and guard Raven Johnson. Dawn Staley was already in good shape with the roster she had, but Te-Hina Paopao fills an important role. Perhaps the lone weakness for South Carolina last season was the team’s lack of 3-point shooting, which contributed to their Final Four loss to Iowa.

Paopao brings long-range shooting and more with her to Columbia. The senior guard shot 42.4 percent from beyond the arc at Oregon last season, averaging 2.3 made 3s per game. She’s also a skilled playmaker who can run an offense. Paopao could be the piece that gets South Carolina back to the national title game.

(Matt Cashore/USA TODAY Sports)

4. Celeste Taylor, G, Ohio State

Celeste Taylor, a defensive-minded guard, and Ohio State, a defensive-minded team, are a match made in heaven. Taylor was a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year last season after averaging 2.2 steals per contest. Between her and Jacy Sheldon, the Buckeyes’ backcourt will feature two of the country’s best on-ball defenders.

Offensively, Ohio State’s attack will revolve around Cotie McMahon, who averaged 15.1 points per game as a freshman while showing off her strength and ability to get to the rim. But Taylor provides another scoring option that will help replace the point production Ohio State lost with the graduation of Taylor Mikesell. In addition to their defensive abilities, Taylor and Sheldon can both score and facilitate, making the Buckeyes’ attack even harder to defend.

(Joseph Cress/USA TODAY Sports)

5. Jakia Brown-Turner, G/F, Maryland

The Terrapins started the offseason by losing their top two scorers, Diamond Miller and Abby Meyers, to the WNBA as first-round draft picks. But it’s not a total rebuild for coach Brenda Frese, especially with the addition of Jakia Brown-Turner. The 6-foot wing is a player Maryland recruited out of high school, so the Terrapins already know she will fit into their system. Plus, the Maryland native gets to return home for her final college season.

Brown-Turner averaged 9.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game last season at NC State, and she will be a viable scoring option for the Terrapins alongside returners Shyanne Sellars, Brinae Alexander, Lavender Briggs and Faith Masonius. Brown-Turner, a four-year starter for the Wolfpack, also brings experience and poise, which should allow her to make a seamless transition to her new team.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

SEATTLE — Ohio State and UConn’s meeting in Seattle was a collision of two teams that had been battered and beaten down by the regular season. But in the postseason, they found new life.

One had history on its side. The other, a little March magic and a nightmare-inducing defense.

The Huskies had been to 16 straight Elite Eights and 14 Final Fours in a row. Ohio State has been to just one Final Four and three Elite Eights. The last came in 1993, one year after coach Kevin McGuff had graduated from college.

March Madness is chaotic, but it’s also poetic. And Ohio State’s 73-61 win over UConn had equal parts of both.

Chaotic because of the Buckeyes’ intense pressure defense. They forced 25 turnovers, snagged 13 steals and had 23 points off the UConn miscues, including 14 on the fast break.

Poetic because, despite their historical differences, UConn and Ohio State took similar paths to the Sweet 16.

The 11-time national champion Huskies always have monumental expectations. This season was no different. But before it even started, Paige Bueckers and Ice Brady were sidelined with injuries. Caroline Ducharme, Dorka Juhász and Azzi Fudd followed. Then came five losses — not exactly a collapse, but unprecedented for a team that’s lost only 26 times in the last decade.

Ohio State came into the season ranked No. 14 in the country, but after winning 19 straight, the Buckeyes jumped up to No. 2, officially raising expectations. Then Madison Greene’s season ended with a knee injury, and Jacy Sheldon was sidelined after just five games. Rebeka Mikulasikova, who was in the midst of her best season yet, also got banged up.

But when March came around, both teams found themselves in better spots. UConn relished the return of Fudd, and Ducharme and Juhász were finally healthy. Sheldon was back for Ohio State and, though limited, Mikulasikova was also available.

After going through hell and back, both teams had a chance at the Elite Eight. On Saturday in Seattle, UConn jumped out to a 17-9 lead, before Ohio State climbed back to control the pace and trajectory of the game.

Eighteen of UConn’s 25 turnovers came in the first half. The Huskies knew the press was coming, and they prepared for it in practice. But in person, it was panic-inducing, and their offense shut down.

“They were all over the floor,” Juhász said. “I think we were just — nobody wanted the ball. Nobody was trying to get open and break that press.”

The press, plus a 23-point performance from Buckeyes freshman Cotie McMahon, made the difference in the game, UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. After 16 years of appearances, the most successful team in the country would not be in the Elite Eight.

What does it mean?

It means the better team — Ohio State — won. It means an incredible streak was broken. But as far as the future of UConn’s women’s basketball is concerned, the loss means virtually nothing. Next year, the Huskies will be contenders once more.

And as Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff pointed out in the postgame press conference, Paige Bueckers, one of the top players in the country, was sitting on the bench. Next year she will be on the court.

“The problem with streaks is the longer they go, you’re closer to it ending than you are to the beginning of it,” Auriemma said. “And it’s just a matter of time. It’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of time when it’s going to happen. And it was going to happen sooner rather than later.”

Sooner came in Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena with Sue Bird, one of the greatest Huskies of all time, in attendance. Her streak of 20 seasons in the WNBA just ended, too, in retirement. And with the end of UConn’s 16 straight Elite Eight appearances came the end of Ohio State’s 30 seasons without one. One streak ended with tears, another with smiles.

Geno Auriemma had led UConn to 16 straight Elite Eights until Saturday. (Tyler Schank/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

UConn’s streak ending doesn’t mean the end of UConn basketball as we know it. The Huskies will still get top recruits, including two top-20 incoming freshmen next season and another top-5 recruit in 2024. They will still play in Final Fours, still win titles. But other teams are joining the party. UConn’s loss offers a reminder of how special the program’s run truly was — something even the coach of the team that took them down can understand.

“They certainly have had incredible success that no one will ever match again as a program,” McGuff said. “But they have a really good team this year. They just started getting healthy at the right time. So I think we beat one of the best teams in the country today.”

Chaos, poetry, joy and anguish. One team moving on, one team going home. Two streaks broken. All at the same time.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

Ohio State graduate student Sophie Jaques was named the 2023 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, which is awarded annually to the best Division I women’s college hockey player. Jaques is the first Ohio State athlete and first Black player to win the award. She is also just the second defender to receive the honor, joining Harvard’s Angela Ruggiero, who won in 2004.

“I am extremely honored and humbled to receive the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award,” Jaques said during her acceptance speech at AMSOIL Arena in Duluth, Minnesota on Saturday. “I am grateful to be a recipient of an award named after the incredible athlete, scholar and human being, Patty Kazmaier. While this is an individual award, I have been supported by a whole team of people throughout this season and my career at Ohio State, and I owe this all to my coaches and teammates over the last five years. Receiving this award is something I never even could have imagined was possible.”

Jaques is the WCHA record holder in career goals by a defenseman (61) and also owns 95 career assists. The Toronto native is the 10th Canadian winner of the Patty Kazmaier award, joining Jennifer Botterill (2001, 2003), Sara Bauer (2006), Sarah Vaillancourt (2008), Vicki Bendus (2010), Jamie Lee Rattray (2014), Ann-Renee Desbiens (2017), Daryl Watts (2018), Loren Gabel (2019), and Elizabeth Giguere (2020).

Jaques was a top-three finalist for last year’s Patty Kazmaier award and went on to help Ohio State win its first ever NCAA championship in women’s hockey. The Buckeyes will attempt to defend their national title in Sunday’s final against the Wisconsin Badgers (4 p.m. ET, ESPNU).

Last spring, Jaques graduated magna cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and she is currently pursuing her master’s degree at Ohio State in the same field. The 22-year-old is also the vice president of SHEROs, which according to an Ohio State press release, is an “organization that provides a safe space for minority female student-athletes to have open discussions and promote diversity in sport.”

The other finalists for the 2023 Patty Kazmaier award were Northeastern University forward Alina Mueller and Colgate forward Danielle Serdachny. Mueller was also a top-three finalist in 2020.