It wasn't the best Thanksgiving Day for No. 5 South Carolina, which was upset by No. 17 Indiana, and it was nearly a disaster for No. 3 Stanford, which almost suffered a far bigger upset.
The Cardinal got a major scare from Cal Baptist in the Greater Victoria Invitational in British Columbia, but pulled out an 83-78 victory. Who exactly is Cal Baptist, you ask? A school in Riverside, California, that was in the NAIA up until 2010, then went to Division II (falling in the national championship game in 2015), and now is in just its second season in Division I, playing in the Western Athletic Conference. The Lancers aren't even eligible for Division I postseason play yet.
You think Stephen F. Austin beating No. 1 Duke was a shocker on the men's side earlier this week? Had Cal Baptist's women beat perennial national and Pac-12 power Stanford, it would have been even more stunning.
But the Cardinal survived Cal Baptist's 17 3-pointers in part by winning the rebounding battle 46-32. Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer is still trying to figure out the right combinations on the court. She has a lot of options, but a lot of her players are young. One of the Cardinal's most experienced players, senior Nadia Fingall, led Stanford with 18 points. Ane Olaeta scored 18 for Cal Baptist.
The Cardinal will need better than Thursday's 17.4 percent shooting (4 of 23) from behind the arc in their next game, as they face the zone of No. 18 Syracuse on Friday. The Orange beat Houston 86-63 Thursday, and Syracuse already has faced one Pac-12 power this season. The Orange fell 81-64 to top-ranked Oregon last Sunday, but trailed by just one at halftime.
Tough day for South Carolina, great day for Indiana
The Gamecocks were frustrated by the officiating, with two players fouling out and two others finishing with four fouls. They shot 36.9 percent from the field, including just 10.5 percent from behind the arc (2 of 19). Indiana shot 50 percent from the field, including 7 of 15 from long range, and took control in the fourth quarter.
The end result was a 71-57 Hoosiers victory in the Reef Division at the Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands. It was a very big deal to Indiana, its first victory over a top-five team since 2010 (Ohio State) and the first ever against a top-five nonconference foe. And it was a big irritation for the fans who came to watch local star Aliyah Boston, a freshman for the Gamecocks, playing in her hometown of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
They didn't get to see much of her. Foul trouble limited her to 14 minutes, and she fouled out with 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. It was one of those games that almost all rookie post players have at some point, where they are trying to play aggressively on defense but keep getting called for fouls. It's tough to know how to adjust to that when you're just seven games into your college career, but Boston will figure it out. She will get two more chances in the Virgin Islands, as the Gamecocks face Washington State on Friday and No. 2 Baylor, which beat the Cougars 89-66 Thursday, on Saturday.
It's the third year in a row that South Carolina has suffered a loss during a Thanksgiving holiday tournament. Last year, the Gamecocks lost twice in Vancouver, to Oregon State and Drake. In 2017, they fell to Notre Dame at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Florida.
The Hoosiers (5-0) outscored South Carolina 24-6 in the fourth quarter. Brenna Wise and Ali Patberg led Indiana with 16 points each, and they'll get their shot at Baylor on Friday.
Hebard putting in work early
Ruthy Hebard snags two offensive boards on the same possession, then snags a layup off a slick pass from Satou Sabally.
In the Island Division of the Paradise Jam, No. 1 seed Oregon rode the Ruthy Hebard train to an 89-72 victory over Oklahoma State. Check out this line from the senior forward: 30 points on 13-of-15 shooting, 18 rebounds and two assists.
Sabrina Ionescu also hit another milestone: she became the Pac-12's all-time assists leader, passing former UCLA star Jordin Canada. Ionescu now has 836 assists; she had 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists vs. the Cowgirls.
Also, in the Island Division, No. 8 Louisville beat UT Arlington 76-67, thanks to a combined 43 points from guards Jazmine Jones and Dana Evans.
ESPN.com's Graham Hays wrote earlier this week about how the holiday tournaments are a chance for mid-major programs to pick up some key victories. We saw some of that happen already Thursday, all in the Cancun Challenge.
South Dakota State of the Summit League beat No. 21 South Florida 61-50. And even though Notre Dame is not ranked and is going through some expected struggles, it still means something to beat the Irish -- which Florida Gulf Coast did, 69-60.
And while it wasn't an upset -- New Mexico is unbeaten and Missouri, figuring things out post-Sophie Cunningham, is 2-5 -- the Lobos' 71-68 victory over the Tigers is still a Mountain West win over an SEC team.
And Creighton -- though teams in the Big East and American aren't eligible for our mid-major rankings -- knocked off No. 23 West Virginia 82-75 behind Jaylyn Agnew's career-high 34 points.