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 this week’s standout competitors:
Nia Coffey, Northwestern, Senior, Forward
Northwestern senior forward Nia Coffey broke a 31-year program record when she recorded career rebound number 952 on Sunday against Chicago State as the Wildcats prevailed, 75-42, to move to 7-1 on the season.
Coffey passed Anucha Browne (1982-85) with her ninth rebound of the game early in the third quarter. Browne, currently NCAA vice president of women’s basketball championships, had 951 rebounds for the Wildcats during her collegiate playing career from 1982-85.
Coffey finished with 14 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots, her fifth double-double of the season and 45th of her distinguished career. Her double-double totals this year have her tied for fourth-best in the country.
Coffey scored in double-digits for the 56th consecutive game, dating back to Jan. 22, 2015, to tie a school record also held by Browne. Coffey started the week with 29 points and 14 rebounds in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge win over Virginia, 69-60. Northwestern will next play at Milwaukee on Dec. 11.
Rebecca Greenwell, Duke, Junior, Guard
Duke junior Rebecca Greenwell led the Blue Devils to a pair of wins last week, including scoring 29 points in a 74-63 upset of No. 3 South Carolina on Sunday.
Named ACC Co-Player of the Week, Greenwell finished 9-of-15 from the field with four three-pointers against the Gamecocks. She also went 7-of-8 at the free throw line as Duke handed South Carolina its first loss of the season. With the victory over the Gamecocks, Duke (9-1) earned its highest win over a ranked opponent since 2009 to enter the AP Top 25 for the first time on the season Monday, coming in at No. 21.
Prior to leading the charge in the win over South Carolina, Greenwell had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists Thursday in a 68-32 Big Ten/ACC Challenge victory at Rutgers on Dec. 1.
Greenwell enters the week ranked top-12 nationally in three-point field goals per game (3.6) and has hit a team-high 36 from behind the arc this season. She is averaging 21.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 steals per contest while leading the Blue Devils in scoring, field goals made, three-point field goals made, free throw percentage and minutes. Duke will next host Elon on Dec. 8.
Fans’ Choice: Keyona Hayes, Miami (Fla.), Senior, Forward
After a season-opening loss to Kentucky, Miami has reeled off eight straight wins behind a balanced attack that features five players averaging in double figures. Second on the team in scoring at 10.6 points per game while leading the team in rebounds (7.8 per game), Keyona Hayes enjoyed a big week, leading the way with a career-high 23 points in a 94-89 road win at No. 9 Ohio State on Dec. 1.
Hayes, who shot 9-of-14 from the field and pulled down six rebounds, scored 17 of her points after halftime to help propel the Hurricanes to the win, its third straight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Hurricanes then registered a 66-56 victory over Old Dominion on Sunday as senior guard Jessica Thomas posted a season-high 21 points while Hayes added 18 points. Miami will be looking for a ninth straight victory when FIU comes to town on Dec. 16.
Lanay Montgomery, West Virginia, Senior, Center
West Virginia center Lanay Montgomery led the Mountaineers to wins over Morehead State and Ole Miss last week, averaging a 15.5 points and 11.5 rebounds double-double over the two victories. The senior blocked eight total shots and made 13-of-14 from the field to finish shooting 92.9 percent from the field. Montgomery registered 23 points, 18 rebounds and had six blocks in West Virginia’s 94-53 win against Morehead State.
The Pittsburgh native was just the second Mountaineer to score at least 20 points, grab at least 18 rebounds and block at least five shots in a game. She joined Hall of Famer Georgeann Wells (1984) as the only two players to accomplish that feat in program history. Additionally, Montgomery made 10-of-11 from the field for 90.9 percent shooting against the Eagles. In just 14 minutes of action against Ole Miss, Montgomery managed to score eight points, grab five rebounds and block two shots, shooting 3-of-3 from the field.
For the season, Montgomery is averaging 10.9 points and 10.0 rebounds, while shooting at a 68.4 percent (39-of-57) clip from the field. Up next for West Virginia is a home game against USC Upstate on Dec. 10.
Kristen Simon, Southern Cal, Junior, Forward
Kristen Simon led USC to a pair of road wins that included an upset of 19th ranked Texas A&M and a fast-paced victory over Sacramento State.
In USC’s 66-62 win over Texas A&M, Simon had 20 points and eight rebounds, helping the Trojans record a first win over a ranked team since beating UCLA in January 2016. Simon was 6-for-6 from the free-throw line — netting clutch free throws late in the game to keep the Trojans ahead of the Aggies.
On Dec. 3, USC held off Sacramento State, 111-95 as Simon again led the way with 23 points. The 111 points was the sixth-highest scoring effort by USC in program history. Simon leads the Trojans with an average of 16.3 points per game through the first eight contests. Now 7-1 on the season, USC will host Grambling State on Dec. 16.