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 week of the women's college basketball season.
Emese Hof had one of those "So can you believe that just happened?" smiles after her Miami team had just gotten one of the biggest victories in program history. That fits with her expansive, happy-go-lucky personality, but don't ever mistake that for any lack of competitiveness.
Hof and the No. 20 Hurricanes played just one game this week, but it was a massive one. They upset No. 2 Louisville 79-73 on Sunday, the first time Miami has ever defeated a team ranked in the top two in the country.
Pair that with Miami's victory on Feb. 7 against then-No. 4 Notre Dame, and the Hurricanes have two of the most impressive wins of any team this season. Hof was a key part of both of them, and her effort Sunday -- 25 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals -- earned her the honor of being our espnW national player of the week.
It was just Louisville's second loss this season, and the Cardinals' first loss at home since January 2018, to Florida State. The Cardinals are still projected as a No. 1 seed, and Miami has climbed to a No. 3, according to espnW bracketologist Charlie Crème.
Hof made 10 of 16 shots from the field and 5 of 7 from the foul line. One of her biggest makes of the game came with the score tied 68-68 with 1 minute, 24 seconds left. With the shot clock running out, Hof got a pass from the top of the key, took one dribble and then scored against two defenders.
The Hurricanes never gave up the lead after that, with Hof also adding two free throws with 15 seconds left.
The victory propelled Miami into a first-place tie in the ACC with the Cardinals and the Irish at 10-2. In their four remaining regular-season games, the Hurricanes still have to face two ranked foes in No. 21 Florida State and No. 12 N.C. State. But they're at least in position to possibly be the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament.
That would be a great accomplishment for a senior like Hof, who is having the best season of her career. The 6-foot-3 forward (whose name is pronounced Uh-MASE-Uh Hoff) is from Utrecht, Netherlands. Both of her parents played basketball, and her sister, Roos, plays professionally in Europe.
Hof is averaging 14.3 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Hurricanes (22-5). That's up from her averages of 9.0 PPG and 5.4 RPG last season. She's shooting a career-best 60.8 percent from the field. In the victory against Notre Dame, Hof had 21 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots.
"You go up against these teams that have these great, great players -- national player of the year candidates, All-American candidates -- and they better start mentioning Emese Hof," Miami coach Katie Meier said. "Because on these big platforms, the kid is one of the best, if not the best on the court."
Also considered: Bella Alarie, Princeton; Napheesa Collier, UConn; Megan Gustafson, Iowa; Braydey Hodgins, Boise State; Rhyne Howard, Kentucky; Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon; Alanna Smith, Stanford.
Previous winners: Kristine Anigwe, Cal (Nov. 12) | Kierra Anthony, Louisiana Tech (Nov. 19) | Jackie Young, Notre Dame (Nov. 26) | Christyn Williams, UConn (Dec. 3) | Jenna Allen, Michigan State (Dec. 10) | Alanna Smith, Stanford (Dec. 17) | Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon (Dec. 24) | Katie Benzan, Harvard (Dec. 31) | Kalani Brown, Baylor (Jan. 7) | Cierra Dillard, Buffalo (Jan. 14) | Teaira McCowan, Mississippi State (Jan. 21) | Paris Kea, North Carolina (Jan. 28) | Asia Durr, Louisville (Feb. 4) | Megan Gustafson, Iowa (Feb. 10)