Experience grows in women’s game, a test for young teams


              FILE - Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper yells to her players during an NCAA college basketball game against UMass, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Knoxville, Tenn. Women's college basketball has typically kept players around compared to the frequent early exits to the professional ranks that are so common on the men's side. But the women's game has gotten even older with players having extra eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think we’re in this window that it is hard to be a freshman,” Harper said. (AP Photo/Wade Payne, File)
            
              FILE - Indiana coach Teri Moren watches the action on the court during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Penn State, Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, in State College, Pa. Players having extra eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic has first-year players facing more fifth and sixth-year players, creating a bigger gap to overcome in experience and strength than before..“Spend as much time with those freshmen as you can,” Indiana coach Teri Moren said. (AP Photo/Gary M. Baranec, File)
            
              FILE - North Carolina coach Courtney Banghart talks with Deja Kelly during the first half of the team's NCAA college basketball game against Indiana, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022, in Bloomington, Ind. Women's college basketball has typically kept players around compared to the frequent early exits to the professional ranks that are so common on the men's side. But the women's game has gotten even older with players having extra eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic. That has first-year players facing more fifth- and sixth-year players, creating a bigger gap to overcome in experience and strength than before. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)
            
              FILE - UCLA head coach Cori Close speaks during Pac-12 Conference NCAA college basketball media day Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, in San Francisco. The women's game has gotten older with players having extra eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic. "I do think it just widens the gap between the newbies and the vets,” Close said. “It’s just more that they have to overcome. I’ve got the No. 1 class in the country, and I know it’s been really hard.”(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
            
              FILE - UCLA forward Gabriela Jaquez (23) shoots against South Carolina guard Brea Beal during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022. Women's college basketball has typically kept players around compared to the frequent early exits to the professional ranks that are so common on the men's side. But the women's game has gotten even older with players having extra eligibility from the COVID-19 pandemic. That has first-year players facing more fifth- and sixth-year players, creating a bigger gap to overcome in experience and strength than before. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond, File)
            
              FILE - UCLA guard Kiki Rice, rear, guards Southern California guard Kayla Williams (4) during an NCAA basketball game, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, in Los Angeles. Rice arrived at No. 10 UCLA knowing it would take time to adjust to the college level, even as a touted recruit. These days, that’s tougher than usual. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, File)
Experience grows in women’s game, a test for young teams