Feb. 23, 2008
by Jeff Smith
[ONE // it's big ten championship season again]
The first Big Ten winter championship is upon us as the women's swimming and diving conference event is taking place this weekend at Ohio State. The Championships are being held in Columbus at the newly opened McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. Michigan and Minnesota appear to be in a two-team race for the title and live scoring for the event can be found by clicking here.
[TWO // eyes on another diver]
One Big Ten diver you won't find in Columbus this weekend is Indiana's Christina Loukas. The redshirt junior is currently competing at the Good Luck Beijing/FINA Diving World Cup in Beijing, China. The reigning Big Ten Diver of the Year and Championships was one of two divers to score more than 60 points on each of her five dives to place third in the women's 3-meter preliminaries on Friday.
[THREE // anderson sets all-time badger mark]
Speaking of Indiana, it wasn't the best outing for the Hoosiers this week at Wisconsin, but history was made in the game by Badger basketball great Jolene Anderson. In a 30-point win over Indiana on Wednesday, Anderson scored 18 points to go along with 10 rebounds to become the school's all-time scoring leader in both men's and women's basketball. Anderson's 2,218 career points surpassed former men's basketball player Alando Tucker, who finished his career in 2007 with 2,217 points.
[FOUR // chalk this one up for a women's hoops milestone]
On Thursday, the Michigan women's basketball team recorded one of its biggest wins in recent program history as the Wolverines doubled-up Big Ten leader Purdue, 72-36. With the victory, Michigan broke an eight-year, 18-game losing streak to the Boilermakers, dating back to the 2000 season. The win also marked two additional feats for the Wolverines. The 36-point margin of victory was the school's largest since beating Northwestern 83-41 on Jan. 18, 2001. The win was also Michigan's 10th home victory of the season. The last time the Wolverines won 10 games at home in a single season was in 1999-2000, when U-M went 11-1.
[FIVE // staying within the sport and the state]
Another significant milestone could be reached on Saturday if the Michigan State men's basketball team defeats Iowa. A win over the Hawkeyes would give head coach Tom Izzo his 300th career win. A Spartan victory would also put the Big Ten dean of coaching just 40 wins shy of tying Jud Heathcote (340) for career wins in East Lansing.
[SIX // take me out to the ballgame]
All 10 conference baseball teams opened up their respective 2008 campaigns on Friday, including defending conference champion Michigan. The Wolverines, who have been ranked as high as eighth by Baseball America, will battle Villanova in a three-game series in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Among the other notables in action are Minnesota and Purdue, who will each face top-15 opponents to open the season. Minnesota travels to Oxford, Miss., for a three-game set with No. 4 Ole Miss, while Purdue embarks on a three-game series of its own at No. 15 Baylor.
[SEVEN // staying on the diamond]
Congratulations are in order to Northwestern softball player Tammy Williams, who was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I Player of the Week on Tuesday. Williams batted .786 (11-for-14) at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz., recording a 1.071 slugging percentage and an .813 on-base percentage in the Wildcats' four games as well. A shout out is also in store for the team's effort as Northwestern went 4-0 on the weekend including wins over No. 1 Arizona and No. 3 Texas A&M. The Wildcats' perfect start boosted them from No. 5 to No. 2 in the recent USA Today/NFCA Poll.
[EIGHT // it's in the hole...]
Leave it to a pair of Big Ten women's golfers this week to accomplish one of the toughest things the game. Michigan State's Jordyn Wells and Northwestern's Rebecca Lederhausen each recorded a hole-in-one earlier this week at the Central District Invitational at the River Wilderness Golf Club in Parrish, Fla. Wells, who became the first MSU golfer to record an ace since 1998, drained the school's seventh all-time ace on Monday. Lederhausen's ace, just the third in program history, followed on Tuesday on a different hole.
[NINE // spartans off to impressive start]
Not only was the hole-in-one impressive by Wells, but congrats to the entire MSU women's golf team and senior Sara Brown for their respective titles at the Central District Invitational on Tuesday. Brown won medalist honors with a 4-under-par 212 (70-70-72) - a total that was the second best 54-hole score in school history. MSU topped the field by 10 strokes with a score of 892 (291-298-303). The Spartans bested four other Big Ten teams as well as 10 of the top 50 programs in the country.
[TEN // wisconsin's massey gets his revenge]
Wisconsin's Kyle Massey, ranked fourth in the country as a heavyweight, dropped a heartbreaking match to Northwestern's Dustin Fox last year at the Big Ten Championships. On Friday, Massey had a chance to avenge that loss as the Badger upset top-ranked and undefeated (17-0) Fox in a dual match against the Wildcats. Massey improved to 24-5 on the season and extended his winning streak to 11 matches. Most importantly, Massey helped No. 8 Wisconsin to a close 21-19 win over No. 10 Northwestern to close out the regular season.
[ELEVEN // hello newman]
And finally, we end this week's recap with a trip to victory lane. Congratulations to Purdue graduate Ryan Newman, who captured last Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500. Newman graduated from Purdue in 2001 with a bachelors in science in vehicle structure engineering. The 30-year-old native of South Bend, Ind., had been winless in 81 races over more than two years before he captured NASCAR's equivalent to the Super Bowl.