This Week in the Big Ten

Michigan State's Caroline Powers fired a 1-under 208 to finish second at the Tar Heel Invitational this past week.

Oct. 9, 2011

[ONE // exciting second-half comebacks headline football season]
The second week of conference play on the gridiron is complete, capped by a couple of impressive evening comebacks as Michigan and Nebraska both used 28-0 second half runs to earn victories.  The Huskers earned their first-ever conference win, a thrilling 34-27 Homecoming victory over Ohio State.  Michigan traveled to Northwestern Saturday and rallied for a wild 42-24 result over the Wildcats.  Purdue posted a win in its Big Ten opener with a 45-17 result over Minnesota, while Illinois hit the road for a 41-20 outcome over host Indiana.  Finally, Penn State held visiting Iowa to just a field goal Saturday, earning a 13-3 victory to move to 5-1 on the season and 2-0 in league play.

[TWO // mobile tour rolls into lincoln]
This past week, Nebraska's Makayla Hipke did a great job in taking over the Honoring Legends. Building Leaders. Mobile Tour blog, Twitter account and YouTube page while the tour was in Lincoln.  Hipke uploaded several posts and pictures throughout the Huskers’ Homecoming Week, highlighting the great spirit of the Big Ten’s newest member.  Not only did she follow the Big Ten bus around, but she also visited a luncheon featuring Commissioner Jim Delany and took some great video of Nebraska’s Tunnel Walk.  Check out all of Hipke’s posts and pictures by clicking here.

[THREE // big ten puts big nine on wooden watch list]
The Big Ten ranks second among all conferences with nine players named to the 2011-12 John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 List, which was released Monday. Seven different conference schools have at least one player on the list, while Ohio State is one of just three teams in the nation with three or more representatives. Big Ten players on the list include Michigan’s Tim Hardaway Jr., Michigan State’s Draymond Green, Minnesota’s Trevor Mbakwe, Northwestern’s John Shurna, Ohio State’s William Buford, Aaron Craft and Jared Sullinger, Purdue’s Robbie Hummel, and Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor.

[FOUR // spartan senior looks to lead the class]
Michigan State women’s soccer forward Laura Heyboer was selected this past week as a finalist for the Lowe's Senior Class Award.  The finalists are chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men's candidates and 30 women's candidates.  Eligibility for the award requires a student-athlete must be a senior and have notable achievements on the field of play, in the classroom and their community. Heyboer not only makes an impact in the MSU community, but is a strong leader on the soccer field. At the beginning of the season, Heyboer broke two school records and is now MSU's leading career scorer with 54 goals and also leads in all-time points with 130. So far this year, she has notched 15 goals and six assists for a total of 36 points.  

[FIVE // illini volleyball remains undefeated atop the national rankings]
Despite a valiant effort by eighth-ranked Penn State on Saturday, the No. 1 Illinois volleyball team stayed undefeated on the season with a 3-2 victory over the Nittany Lions.  It was Illinois’ first win in Happy Valley since 1995 and the result also ended Penn State's 68-match Big Ten home winning streak.  The Illini fended off No. 25 Ohio State on Friday by a 3-0 count and ended the week 17-0 on the season.  Illinois is tied with Nebraska for first place at 6-0 in the conference.  The No. 6 Huskers topped No. 11 Purdue 3-1 on Friday and then blanked Indiana 3-0 on Saturday.  In other top-25 action, No. 14 Minnesota defeated No. 18 Michigan 3-2 on Friday.  The Gophers then shut out Michigan State on Saturday while the Wolverines fell 3-1 to Wisconsin.  The Badgers fell by the same count to Michigan State on Friday.  Iowa went 1-1 on the week with a five-game victory over Indiana on Friday and a 3-0 defeat against Purdue on Saturday.  Northwestern dropped both of its games this past week, a 3-2 loss to Penn State on Friday and a 3-1 defeat to Ohio State on Saturday.

[SIX // penn state improves to 3-0 in conference play]
Conference action continued this past week in field hockey, with No. 6 Penn State maintaining its Big Ten lead at 3-0 following a 6-2 win over No. 15 Indiana on Friday.  Michigan and Ohio State sit second in the conference at 2-1.  The 13th-ranked Wolverines defeated No. 14 Northwestern 3-2 in double-overtime and then dominated Yale 7-1 in non-conference play.  Ohio State suffered its first league loss by a 3-0 count to No. 17 Iowa on Saturday.  The Hakweyes answered to top Ohio, 2-1, in non-conference action on Sunday.  Michigan State blanked Ball State 1-0 on Friday, but dropped to 0-4 in the conference following a 4-2 loss to Indiana.  In non-conference play, Northwestern fell 3-2 to Yale on Sunday.

[SEVEN // wisconsin men’s soccer wins again to stand alone in first]
First place in the Big Ten men’s soccer standings now belongs to just one team:  Wisconsin.  With a 2-1 road victory at Michigan on Sunday, the Badgers moved to 2-0 in conference play to earn sole possession of first place after Northwestern upset Ohio State, 3-2.  The Buckeyes dropped to 2-1 in league action, while Northwestern improved to 1-0-1.  Michigan State kept Penn State winless in the conference this year with a 1-0 shutout on Sunday.  In non-conference play, No. 10 Indiana fell 1-0 to fifth-ranked Creighton.

[EIGHT // penn state remains atop women’s soccer standings]
A 3-0 road win at Indiana on Sunday gave No. 18 Penn State a 4-1 record in Big Ten action, which puts the Nittany Lions a full game ahead in first place.  Wisconsin sits in second at 3-1-2 following a 2-0 shutout over Nebraska on Thursday.  Three games were contested on Friday with Illinois defeating Michigan State 1-0 in double-overtime, Minnesota topping Iowa 2-1, and Northwestern blanking Michigan 1-0.  On Sunday, Purdue gave Ohio State its first conference loss with a 2-1 victory in West Lafayette. 

[NINE // northwestern hits the links out west]
Northwestern was the lone men’s golf team competing this past week, opening The Prestige at the Greg Norman Course at PGA WEST in La Quinta, Calif., on Sunday.  Following one round of action, the Wildcats sit tied for 12th overall at 7-over-par 295.  Six other teams will be in action Monday and Tuesday, with Illinois, Ohio State and Purdue at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, while Indiana, Nebraska and Wisconsin travel to the Firestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio.

[TEN // michigan state powers forward at tar heel invitational]
The Michigan State women’s golf team was in action this past week as the Spartans placed tied for eighth at the Tar Heel Invitational.  MSU fired a 54-hole score of 877 (291-291-295) to finish eight strokes out of the top five and 21 shots from team champion, LSU.  Caroline Powers placed second overall with a 1-under-par score of 208 (69-68-71).  Nine conference teams begin action on Monday at the Lady Northern Invitational in French Lick, Ind., which will serve as the fall preview of the Big Ten Championships. 

[ELEVEN // purdue perfect, michigan state impresses at michigan intercollegiate championships]
The Purdue men's and women's cross country teams had a successful day at the IU East Invite as both teams crossed the finished line in a clean sweep victory of the meet.  On the men's side, the Boilermakers won their fourth consecutive race of the season with a perfect score of 15. Simon Rogers took the top spot on the day as he posted a time of 26:53.  For the women, Alice Feslier Holmes was the lone harrier to break the 20-minute mark as she finished in 19:40 to claim the top spot. The Boilermaker women also finished with a perfect team score of 15.  The Michigan State women placed first overall as a team with 48 points at the Michigan Intercollegiate Championships, paced by a fourth-place finish by Olivia Sydow, who clocked in at 18:29.13.  On the men’s side, the Spartans did not post a team score in the 8k, due to running only four individuals.  Shaka Dukes placed third overall, clocking in a time of 26:22.17.

[TWELVE // swimming season starts]
Finally this week, the Big Ten men’s and women’s swimming seasons got underway with the Michigan and Minnesota women competing in their conference opener. The Golden Gophers used a strong opening day and four wins on Saturday afternoon to defeat the visiting Wolverines, 200-150. On Friday night, the Gophers took a commanding, 123-63, lead over U-M after winning seven of the nine swimming events and also taking first in 1-meter diving.  The Wisconsin swimming and diving teams opened their season against Milwaukee on Friday with the Badger women topping the Panthers, 175-116, while the men posted their first loss against the in-state rival, 149-145.  The Michigan State men's and women's swimming and diving team opened its 2011 season on Saturday with a pair of victories over Cleveland State and Oakland at McCaffree Outdoor Pool, which marked the first time in 15 years the Spartans hosted an outdoor meet.  Both the MSU men and women came out on top for the afternoon with the women tallying 247 points and the men combining for 202 points on the day.