Editor's note: Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel each vote to determine espnW's national player of the week, which is awarded every Monday of the women's college basketball season.
The Texas Longhorns might have turned a corner on their season. If they have, sophomore Charli Collier is the one who pushed them there.
Collier played the best game of her young career on Sunday, with 20 points and 19 rebounds to lift the Longhorns to a 69-64 upset of No. 1 Stanford, to earn espnW national player of the week honors.
The win marked Texas' biggest victory since it beat then-No. 2 Baylor in Waco in February 2017, and it was the Longhorns' first win over a No. 1-ranked team since 2014, when the Longhorns beat the Cardinal.
Collier's performance needed to be that special and the win needed to be that big, given that the competition for player of the week included a player who set the NCAA single-game record for 3-pointers (Baylor's Juicy Landrum had 14 against Arkansas State) and one who tied a single-game NCAA record for blocked shots (Texas Tech's Brittany Brewer with 16 against UL Monroe).
After coming to Austin as the No. 2 recruit in the 2018 class, Collier struggled in her freshman year, averaging 5.9 points and 4.3 rebounds. At times coach Karen Aston couldn't keep her on the court; she was that ineffective. On Sunday, Aston couldn't keep her off it. Collier played 37 minutes and committed just one turnover and no fouls. The 6-foot-5 forward/center also made two key 3-pointers. Stanford had scored seven straight points to cut Texas' nine-point halftime lead to two when Collier hit those shots on consecutive possessions to restore an eight-point lead.
Those were Collier's eighth and ninth 3-pointers this season and provided another indicator that she is growing the confidence she lacked a year ago. Averaging a double-double with 14.9 points and 11.4 rebounds per games helps. She is also averaging 31.4 minutes per game, more than doubling her floor time from her freshman season.
Sunday's performance, plus the 10 points and 16 rebounds Collier had earlier in the week against Ohio, gives her eight double-doubles on the season, which is tied for third in the country. Teammate Joyner Holmes, who contributed a clutch 13 points and eight rebounds on Sunday, also has eight, and the Longhorns lead the country with 17 double-doubles.
Texas (7-4) has won three straight games and owns the biggest win of any team so far this season. A season that less than a month ago was spiraling toward being lost -- following an inexplicable loss to Hawaii -- has reversed course. By March, Texas might look back at Collier's big week and Sunday's performance against Stanford as the turning point. Collier might look back and see the game that ignited her career.
Also considered: Brittany Brewer, Texas Tech; Kiah Gillespie, Florida State; Juicy Landrum, Baylor; Olivia Nelson-Ododa, UConn; Michaela Onyenwere, UCLA
Previous winners: Ashley Joens, Iowa State (Dec. 16); Megan Walker, UConn (Dec. 9); Dana Evans, Louisville (Dec. 2); Jaelyn Brown, Cal (Nov. 25); Aari McDonald, Arizona (Nov. 18); Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (Nov. 11)