Adrianna Smith of the University of Maine was named American East player of the week. Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer

University of Maine forward Adrianna Smith was named the America East women’s basketball Player of the Week on Monday.

Smith, a junior, averaged a double-double over three games for the Black Bears, who went 1-2. She had 14 points and eight rebounds in a 77-43 loss to Richmond on Friday, 11 points and 13 rebounds in a 60-54 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday, and 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 72-56 loss to Drake on Sunday.

Smith now has 20 double-doubles in her career.

Teammate Anne Simon was named the conference’s player of the week the first two weeks of the season.

The Black Bears return to action Thursday when they face No. 21 Indiana, led by Gorham native Mackenzie Holmes, on Thursday at Cross Insurance Arena in Portland.

AP POLL: Stellar freshman Juju Watkins has helped Southern California climb the AP Top 25 to the team’s best ranking in 29 years.


The Trojans moved up to sixth in The Associated Press women’s basketball poll Monday, its highest mark since the 1994 season when they reached No. 4. Watkins has been a huge reason why, already with three 30-point-plus games this season to match the school record for freshmen held by Trojan greats Lisa Leslie and Paula McGee.

South Carolina remained the unanimous choice at No. 1 from the 36-member national media panel. UCLA, Stanford, Iowa and N.C. State round out the top five.

Indiana and Gorham native Mckenzie Holmes, who play the University of Main on Wednesday in Portland, are ranked 17th with a 5-1 record.


AP POLL: Purdue is back atop The Associated Press Top 25 men’s college basketball poll, right where it spent so much of last season.

The Boilermakers ascended to No. 1 on Monday after an impressive run through a loaded field at the Maui Invitational where they beat Gonzaga, Tennessee and Marquette – three of the top 11 teams in the nation – in consecutive days.


Purdue replaced preseason No. 1 Kansas, which fell to fifth after losing to Marquette in the Maui semifinals before beating Tennessee in the third-place game. Arizona moved up one spot to No. 2 with one first-place vote, Marquette climbed a spot to third and UConn was fourth with two first-place votes.

Houston remained sixth while Duke climbed to seventh, Miami to eighth and Baylor to ninth. Tennessee only fell three places to 10th after its losses to Purdue and Kansas in Maui, a reflection of the stiff competition.


TEXAS A&M: Duke Coach Mike Elko was hired on Monday to lead the Aggies, replacing Jimbo Fisher with his former defensive coordinator for four years in College Station.

Elko left the Aggies to take his first head coaching job at Duke after the 2021 season and went 16-9 in two seasons. The Blue Devils had won just 10 games combined the three previous years. Elko, who also had stints as defensive coordinator at Wake Forest and Notre Dame, led defenses that ranked in the top three of the Southeastern Conference in his final two seasons with A&M.

Texas A&M fired Fisher earlier this month, paying a record buyout of more than $75 million to move on from him with two games left in his sixth season with the Aggies.


COLORADO: Quarterback Shedeur Sanders missed the season finale at Utah on Saturday due to a fracture in his back, according to a YouTube video posted by “Well Off Media.”

The site is run by one of Coach Deion Sanders’ children and has been tracking the Buffaloes with behind-the-scenes footage throughout the season. It’s unclear when Shedeur Sanders suffered the injury. He was sacked 52 times this season behind a struggling offensive line that Deion Sanders has pledged to bolster before next season. Shedeur Sanders needed at least two pain-numbing injections this season to get through games and a few days off from practice every so often to recover from hits.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE: Coach Rick Stockstill was fired on Monday after 18 seasons, capped by a 4-8 record and an ugly road loss in the Blue Raiders’ regular-season finale.

“This is one of the most difficult days in my tenure, but one I feel is necessary in our aspiration to compete and win championships,” Athletic Director Chris Massaro said.

Stockstill was hired in December 2005. He had a 113-111 record at Middle Tennessee, with his win total ranked third all-time in program history. He had been the fourth-longest tenured coach nationally and third-longest with the Blue Raiders. He took the Blue Raiders to 10 bowls, with Middle Tennessee bowl eligible 12 times.

DELAWARE: Conference USA is finalizing a plan to add Delaware in 2025, the league’s latest expansion with a school moving up from Division I college football’s second tier to the Bowl Subdivision, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Monday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the school and conference were not making their internal plans public. The move is expected to be announced as soon as this week.

Delaware has a rich football history, having produced Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco and 2002 NFL MVP Rich Gannon. The Blue Hens currently play in the Coastal Athletic Association, the same conference as UMaine.

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