April 11, 2010
[ONE // wolverines advance to ncaa women’s gymnastics championships]
Congratulations to the Michigan women’s gymnastics team on advancing to its 18th NCAA Championship. During regional action on Saturday, the Wolverines claimed second place at the West Virginia Regional with a team score of 195.800. The Maize and Blue were led by three events winners as Kylee Botterman won the all-around championship (39.550) and shared the floor exercise title with teammate Natalie Beilstein (9.900), while Jordan Sexton won the uneven bars crown (9.950). Additionally, six Big Ten gymnasts qualified individually for nationals, which will take place April 22-24 at the University of Florida.
[TWO // a perfect six for big ten men’s gymnastics]
Staying with gymnastics, all six of the Big Ten men’s gymnastics teams have been selected to the 2010 NCAA Men’s Gymnastics National Qualifier, it was announced by the NCAA Men’s Gymnastics Committee on Wednesday. Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State all advanced to the national qualifier, which will consist of two pre-qualifying sessions and be conducted on April 15 on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y. The finals will take place April 16-17.
[THREE // ohio state’s turner wins wooden award]
Ohio State’s Evan Turner was named Friday as the 2010 John R. Wooden Award winner as college basketball’s National Player of the Year. Turner averaged 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in 2010 as his Buckeye team reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament and won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles. A 6-7 junior from Chicago Ill., Turner was the Big Ten Player of the Year and the Most Outstanding Player in the Big Ten Tournament. He was the conference’s top scorer and rebounder and ranked No. 2 in assists (6.0, 6th in the nation) and steals (1.7). Balloting by more than 1,000 members of the media and college basketball experts was conducted through the weekend of the Elite Eight. In final voting, Turner had 3,715 points, followed by John Wall of Kentucky with 3,331 and Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson with 1,871.
[FOUR // pair of women’s hoops standouts going pro]
Two Big Ten student-athletes were selected in the 2010 WNBA Draft on Thursday. Illinois' Jenna Smith and Penn State's Tyra Grant were both selected in the draft's second round. Smith was selected with the second pick in the second round, 14th overall, by the Washington Mystics. She is the fourth Illinois player to be selected in the WNBA Draft and the program's highest-ever draft choice. Grant was drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, the 2009 WNBA Champions, with the 12th pick of the second round, the 24th overall selection. The Big Ten has seen two or more student-athletes selected in the WNBA Draft each season since 1997. Since that time, 64 women's basketball players have been selected in the annual draft.
[FIVE // hoosiers, spartans win women’s golf titles]
Two Big Ten women’s golf teams captured tournament titles this past week as Michigan State went on the road to win the Gator Invitational with a team score of 868 (294-286-288), besting second-place Florida State by three strokes, while Indiana defended its home course with a six-stroke victory over Colorado in the Indiana Invitational. Among the Big Ten notables, Minnesota placed fourth (896), Michigan was fifth (898), Illinois (913) finished 10th and Iowa (929) took home 12th. Illinois' Hailey Koschmann was the individual medalist with a score of 214 (71-74-69), while IU’s Laura Nochta finished one stroke off at 215 (75-71-69), which included a final round 69.
[SIX // penn state shines in ohio state’s kepler intercollegiate]
Staying on the golf course, four conference men’s golf teams competed this past weekend at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate on the campus of Ohio State. Penn State (863) concluded the 54-hole tournament just two shots behind event winner Eastern Michigan (861). Northwestern (865) was third, followed by the host Buckeyes (894) and Wisconsin (898) in seventh and eighth, respectively. Individually, Penn State’s Kevin Foley scorched the Scarlet Course with an 8-under-par 205 (69-68-68) to win medalist honors by four strokes. Northwestern’s David Lipsky also boasted a top-five finish, tying for fourth at 1-under 212 (71-67-74).
[SEVEN // michigan’s taylor perfect against minnesota]
When you are called to the mound, make quick work of your opponent. That advice was followed perfectly by Michigan junior pitcher Jordan Taylor on Saturday as the Wolverine hurler tossed the first perfect game of her collegiate career while guiding the No. 2-ranked U-M softball team to a dominant 9-0, five-inning decision at Minnesota. Taylor struck out 10 of the 15 batters she faced to improve to 16-2 on the season. The no-hitter was Taylor's second of the season and fifth in her career, giving her a share of the Michigan's all-time record in the category. Additionally, she became the fifth Wolverine pitcher to throw a perfect game in U-M softball history, joining Kelly Forbis (1990-93), Sara Griffin (1995-98), Marissa Young (2000-03) and senior LHP Nikki Nemitz.
[EIGHT // a preview of big ten rowing championships?]
With the 2010 Big Ten Rowing Championships just weeks away, the conference was able to get a sneak peak at some of the contenders this past Saturday at Indiana’s Big Ten Double Duals. IU played host to No. 7 Michigan State, No. 10 Michigan and No. 13 Ohio State in a competition that saw each team battle a pair of conference foes during a morning and afternoon session. On Saturday morning, Michigan State defeated Indiana 44-25, while Michigan edged out Ohio State 33-32. In the afternoon, Michigan bested Indiana 42-23 and Michigan State topped Ohio State 36-31.
[NINE // sweet home chicago]
Following a hugely-successful 2007 Labor Day Weekend contest that produced a sellout crowd of 61,500, Iowa and Northern Illinois have agreed to a rematch at Chicago's historic Soldier Field to open the 2012 football season. The agreement, which was announced this past week by both schools, will mark the third time a college football game will be played in the Chicago Bears’ venue as NIU will host Wisconsin on the Chicago lakefront on Sept. 17, 2011. As for the Hawkeyes, they will open the 2012 season looking to extend their perfect record against Northern Illinois to 8-0. Iowa was a 16-3 winner over NIU in the 2007 meeting at Soldier Field.
[TEN // a baker badger]
We close out the week with two hockey notes regarding the Wisconsin Badgers. First off, congratulations to Wisconsin senior forward Blake Geoffrion on being named the 2010 Hobey Baker Memorial Award recipient. The Hobey Baker Memorial Award Foundation announced the honor on Friday at the NCAA Frozen Four in Detroit. Geoffrion is Wisconsin's first-ever Hobey Baker Award winner, which is presented annually to college hockey's top player.
[ELEVEN // boston college bests badgers for ncaa hockey title]
Finally this week, the Wisconsin men’s hockey team dropped a heartbreaking 5-0 contest to Boston College for the 2010 NCAA Championship in front of a record-breaking 37,592 fans at Detroit's Ford Field on Saturday night. Wisconsin (28-11-4) was led by the play of junior goaltender Scott Gudmandson, who turned away 21 shots by the Eagles. Saturday’s contest marked a rematch of the 2006 national title game, which the Badgers captured with a 2-1 decision over the Eagles.