Jan. 22, 2012
[ONE // the passing of a penn state legend]
The Big Ten Conference, along with its member institutions, including Penn State, mourns the loss of legendary Nittany Lion head football coach Joe Paterno, who passed away Sunday morning from lung cancer. He was 85. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Sunday "We are deeply saddened by the loss of Joe Paterno. His passing marks a tremendous loss for Penn State, college football and for countless fans, coaches and student-athletes. Our condolences go out to the Paterno family and to the entire Penn State community." For more on the passing of this Penn State legend, click here.
[TWO // upset, after upset, after upset in men's hoops]
This past week in Big Ten men's basketball we saw several midweek upsets and a three-way tie for first place as Sunday came to an end. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State all sit at 5-2 in conference play, one game ahead of fourth-place Wisconsin at 5-3. The No. 20/19 Wolverines upset their in-state rival on Tuesday, topping the No. 9/9 Spartans 60-59. On Wednesday, Nebraska defended its home court and rallied to upset No. 11/13 Indiana in Lincoln. The following day, Penn State claimed the next intraconference upset with a 54-52 result over No. 22/25 Illinois. The Fighting Illini also fell at home Sunday to unranked Wisconsin, 67-63.
[THREE // four men's standouts named to the midseason wooden award list]
Indiana's Cody Zeller, Michigan State's Draymond Green and Ohio State's William Buford and Jared Sullinger were named this past Tuesday to the 25-man Wooden Award midseason list, tying the Big Ten for the lead among all conferences with four players on the list.
[FOUR // purdue women's basketball moves to 6-0 to remain in first]
In women's basketball action, Purdue improved its unbeaten mark in Big Ten play to 6-0 with an 82-60 victory over rival Indiana on Thursday. Antionette Howard helped the Boilers stay in first place with a season-high 20 points, eight rebounds and a career-high four steals. Ohio State, which holds second at 6-1, earned two wins this past week. The Buckeyes topped Nebraska 82-68 on Thursday and Illinois by a 96-84 count on Sunday. Tayler Hill combined for 47 points in the two wins. Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State closed out the week in third at 5-2 in conference play. Michigan beat Northwestern 58-48 on Thursday and Indiana 66-48 on Sunday. Penn State got past Illinois 71-65 earlier in the week and dropped Iowa 68-52 to end the week. In other action, Northwestern split its two games this past week, earning a 59-58 decision over Illinois before falling 75-55 at Wisconsin. The Badgers fell to Iowa 69-57 on Thursday, while Minnesota got past Michigan State, 71-65. On Sunday, Nebraska got back into the win column with a 64-49 result over the Golden Gophers.
[FIVE // a national sweep]
Illinois' Brandon Paul and Purdue's Brittany Rayburn were honored this past week by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association for their respective performances last week, as both were named national players of the week. Paul was selected as the Oscar Robertson Player of the Week after scoring 43 points to lead Illinois to a win over No. 5 Ohio State, while Rayburn was tabbed the Women's National Player of the Week after tying an NCAA record and setting a Big Ten mark with 12 three-pointers against Minnesota. The pair of national awards marks the first time this season that both honors have been given to players from the same conference.
[SIX // minnesota gains command of wrestling standings]
Minnesota's impressive 37-3 victory over Wisconsin Sunday, coupled with Iowa losses to No. 7 Ohio State (21-9) Friday and No. 3 Penn State (22-12) Sunday, puts the Golden Gophers atop the Big Ten wrestling standings at 5-0 - a full match ahead of second place Penn State. The Nittany Lions moved to second at 4-1 following their top-three battle against the Hawkeyes. Iowa fell to third at 4-2 in conference action and sits ahead of Michigan and Nebraska at 3-1. The Huskers squeezed out a tight match at Indiana on Friday, 23-17, and then responded with a 24-9 result at Purdue to close the week. Michigan did not host a conference matchup this week, but the 10th-ranked Wolverines topped No. 19 Central Michigan 23-14 in non-conference action. Michigan State dropped both of its contests this past week, falling 30-12 to No. 18 Northwestern on Friday and 26-13 to No. 6 Illinois on Sunday. In other action Friday, Purdue ousted Wisconsin, 41-3.
[SEVEN // michigan men's gymnastics knocks off top-ranked nittany lions]
The Michigan men's gymnastics team stole the headlines this past week as the sixth-ranked Wolverines upset No. 1 Penn State on Saturday, 340.300-338.450. Ironically, the last time Michigan defeated the No. 1 team in the country was on Jan. 23, 2004, knocking off then-No. 1 Penn State in Keen Arena. Elsewhere in the Big Ten Saturday, No. 7 Minnesota earned a 339.4-321.3 home win against No. 11 Illinois-Chicago and No. 4 Illinois bested No. 13 Iowa, 352.300-326.200. Second-ranked Ohio State dropped a close contest to No. 3 Oklahoma, 353.150-347.750. On Sunday, No. 10 Nebraska dropped No. 9 Air Force, 336.55-331.75.
[EIGHT // women's gymnastics takes to mat as well]
Big Ten women's gymnastics competed both Friday and Saturday this past week, with top-ranked Nebraska topping Iowa State on Friday, 195.775-193.925. It was a full slate on Saturday, highlighted by a four-way matchup involving Michigan State and Penn State. The ninth-ranked Nittany Lions took second place in their home opener with a score of 196.100. PSU narrowly missed first place, trailing fifth-ranked Alabama by only .075. Michigan State placed third with a 192.875, while Cornell finished fourth with a 188.850. No. 15 Illinois and Iowa battled to a tie on Saturday, 195.075-195.075. In a contest between two top-25 teams, No. 11 Michigan edged No. 24 Minnesota, 193.150-193.00. In non-conference action, No. 12 Ohio State topped George Washington, 195.900-188.900.
[NINE // indiana men's swimming tops purdue in btn's first-ever live dual meet]
Seven Big Ten men's swimming teams took to the pool this past week, highlighted by two conference duals. In the first live dual meet ever shown on BTN, Indiana earned a 166-134 victory over Purdue on Saturday, while No. 15 Iowa topped Northwestern, 178-120. In non-conference action, Ohio State bested Harvard 181-118 and Wisconsin topped Green Bay, 123-109. Michigan State dropped a 174-121 decision at Notre Dame.
[TEN // close contest between illinois and nebraska highlight women's swimming slate]
In this past week's women's swimming and diving action, Nebraska was edged by Illinois 152-148 in Big Ten competition. In a top-25 battle, No. 22 Michigan had its three-meet winning streak snapped on Saturday, falling at No. 17 Ohio State, 164.5-132.5. Iowa and Northwestern both battled Harvard Saturday in Evanston. Northwestern swept a competitive double-dual meet Saturday at the Norris Aquatics Center, taking down strong challenges from Iowa (165.5-133.5) and Harvard (172-127). In a competitive meet, the Hawkeyes defeated the Crimson, 153-146. In other action, Indiana defeated Purdue 169-130, Wisconsin topped Green Bay 124-93, and Michigan State lost at Notre Dame, 218-82.
[ELEVEN // men indoor track and field squads battle]
Several Big Ten men's indoor track and field teams were in action this past week. At the Illini Classic on Saturday, the Illinois men's track and field team won 11 event titles, led by senior Andrew Riley's two wins, which included the 60m-dash school record (6.71) in the preliminary heat. Indiana's 4x400m relay took the win at the Gladstein Invitational, clocking a time of 3:14.65, which is the third fastest time in the Big Ten this year. At Nebraska's adidas Classic, Iowa high jumper Jeffery Herron reached a height of 6-10 ¾ (2.10m) to finish first. NU's Luke Pinkelman had an NCAA-qualifying performance and a season-best throw of 63-7 1/2 (19.39m) in the shot put to take top honors. Michigan swept the sprints, including two victories from Justin Clarke, and won eight events overall to take first place at the Jack Harvey Invitational. For Michigan State, junior Kurt Schneider led the charge by placing in three events, including a victory in the long jump (24-1/7.34m) at the Notre Dame Invitational. Minnesota's Harun Abda (1:16.38) and David Pachuta (1:49.90) each set new UM Fieldhouse records at the Jack Johnson Classic in the 600m and 800m, respectively. Purdue's Jacob Engel set a PR in the weight throw with a distance of 55-09.00 (16.99m) at the Gene Edmonds Cup to finish fourth. As for Wisconsin, Japheth Cato scored a nation-leading 4,040 points to win the pentathlon Friday at the Wisconsin Elite Invitational.
[TWELVE // nine women's indoor track and field teams in action]
Nine Big Ten women's indoor track and field teams were in action this past week and several top individual performances were recorded. At Illinois, Stephanie Richartz reset the school record in the pole vault with a mark of 13-2 ¼ (4.02m) at the Illini Classic. Indiana dominated the women's 4x800m relay at the Gladstein Invitational, winning by 8.39 seconds. The time of 8:51.74, was just two seconds off the Gladstein Fieldhouse record that was set in 1988. Iowa's Majesty Tutson got the Hawkeyes off to a good start at the adidas Classic with a third-place finish (57-2 ¾, 17.44m) in the weight throw, while Nebraska's Ashley Miller etched her name into the Husker record books in the 3,000 meters with a personal-best time of 9:21.59 in the event, placing her second all-time in school history. Michigan's Emily Pendleton (weight throw, shot put), Kiley Tobel (pole vault), Alicia Patterson (mile) and Brittani Williams (800m) each claimed top honors in events at the Red Simmons Invitational, while Michigan State senior Becca Buchholtz broke her own school record in the high jump leading the way for the Spartans, earned sixteen wins in a solid showing at the Notre Dame Invitational on Saturday. Minnesota took the top three spots in the 60m dash and 800m run to cruise to a Jack Johnson Classic team title with 190 points. Purdue's Leah Eber had a monumental day for the Boilermakers at the Gene Edmonds Cup, winning all three events (long jump, triple jump, 60m) she entered. At Wisconsin, junior Ashley Beutler earned the Badgers top points with her second place performance in the 3000 meters Wisconsin Invitational.