Jan. 2, 2007
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A Look at This Week...
The 25th season of Big Ten Conference play began last week with Michigan State and Purdue winning both of their games, while defending champion Ohio State captured a road victory at Iowa in its lone contest of the week.
This week, the Hawkeyes will host Purdue in a rare Wednesday matchup at 6:30 p.m. CT. In addition to playing the first Big Ten game of the week, the Boilermakers will play in one of the final contests of the week when they travel to Texas on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET.
Buckeyes Looking For Third-Straight Title
Two-time defending Big Ten champion Ohio State opened the 2006-07 conference season with its 18th straight victory in league play. After losing to Purdue on Jan. 1, 2006, the Buckeyes won 14 consecutive games to close the 2006 regular season and added three wins en route to the 2006 Big Ten Tournament title. Last year, the Buckeyes clinched their first outright Big Ten crown since the 1985-86 season, which marked the ninth conference championship and fourth outright title in school history. The championship also marked the first time OSU won back-to-back Big Ten regular season titles since 1985-86 and 1986-87. The conference has not had a team win three-consecutive regular season titles since Iowa accomplished the feat from 1987-88 to 1989-90. Ohio State captured five-straight conference championships from 1982-83 through 1986-87.
Big Ten Boasts Four National TV Appearances
The Big Ten will feature one league game and three non-conference matches on national television this week. CSTV will air the Minnesota at Ohio State game on Thursday (Jan. 4) at 8 p.m. ET, while the Buckeyes return on Saturday (Jan. 6) for a national doubleheader on CBS. Ohio State will host Kentucky at Noon ET, which will be followed by Michigan State at defending national champion and current No. 1 Maryland. The Spartans will take to the court at 2 p.m. ET. On Sunday (Jan. 7), Purdue will travel to Texas for a 3 p.m. ET game that will be televised on ESPN2.
Home Sweet Home
Over half the conference teams remain undefeated at home during the 2006-07 season. Wisconsin is 9-0, followed by Ohio State and Purdue at 8-0. Illinois and Indiana are each 7-0 at home, while Penn State has captured all five games it has played at the Bryce Jordan Center this year. Both Indiana and Penn State will put their undefeated home records on the line Thursday when they continue conference play.
Three Big Ten Teams Ranked in Nation's Top 25
Three conference squads are ranked in Associated Press Poll. The Big Ten is represented by No. 7 Ohio State, No. 10 Purdue and No. 19 Michigan State.
Shooting for 1,000...and 2,000
This past week, Penn State's Amanda Brown eclipsed the 1,000-point career scoring mark, making her the sixth active Big Ten standout to have accomplished the feat. Michigan State's Rene Haynes is just six points shy of becoming the seventh as she sits at 994 career points. Ohio State's Jessica Davenport leads all active Big Ten players in career scoring with 1,898 and is just 102 shy of becoming just the 11th conference star to reach 2,000 points.
Dishing it Out
In the latest NCAA rankings (Dec. 18), six conference teams rank in the nation's top 50 in assists per game. Trailing top-ranked Arizona State (21.3) is No. 5 Ohio State (20.0), No. 11 Michigan State (18.7), No. 25 Northwestern (17.3), No. 27 Wisconsin (17.1), No. 36 Iowa (16.4) and No. 39 Purdue (16.3). The next NCAA stats will be issued on Friday, Jan. 5.
Five Big Ten Teams Rated in Three NCAA Stats
In the latest NCAA rankings (Dec. 18), five Big Ten teams rank in the top 50 in scoring defense, field-goal percentage and rebound margin. Wisconsin, which is tied for 10th at 11.0, leads all conference squads on the boards, while Ohio State ranked second with a .529 field goal percentage and Purdue is 13th overall in scoring defense, allowing 52.4 points per game. A complete breakdown of NCAA stats can be found on page five of the weekly release. The next NCAA stats will be issued on Friday, Jan. 5.
Seven Squads Ranked in Attendance Figures
In the weekly unofficial attendance figures compiled by the University of Wisconsin, seven Big Ten teams rank in the nation's top 30 for average attendance. Michigan State (6,462 fans per game), Purdue (6,136) and Penn State (5,617), rank Nos. 10-12, while Wisconsin (4,829) and Minnesota (4,820) are 17th and 18th, respectively. Ohio State (3,580) is 26th and Iowa (3,509) follows in 28th. The next attendance report will be issued on Wednesday, Jan. 3.
MSU's DeHaan Leading All Big Ten Freshmen
Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan enters her first Big Ten season comfortably ahead of all her classmates within the conference. The 6-9 Spartan newcomer leads all freshmen in scoring (13.2) rebounding (9.5) and blocks (4.85). Overall, she leads the conference in blocks and is fourth in rebounding, seventh in field goal percentage (.556) and 13th in scoring. This past week against Indiana, she recorded 10 points, 10 rebounds and missed a triple-double by just one block. In the game, she broke her own school-record of eight blocks and also set the single-season school record in the game, passing Kristin Rasmussen's mark of 57 set in 1998-99. She currently has 63 blocks this season and her new school-record of nine blocked shots is tied for seventh in Big Ten history.
Big Ten Tournament Tickets on Sale
All-Session tickets for the 2007 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox Live are currently on sale for $65 and are available at the Conseco Fieldhouse box office, Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling Ticketmaster at (317) 239-5151. The 13th annual women's event will be back in Indianapolis, March 1, 2, 4 & 5, 2007, where it has been staged in 11 of the 12 previous years. Information on the event can be found by logging on to www.bigten.org.
Former Boilermaker Stars in Big Ten Campaign
Former Purdue All-American Katie Douglas is one of 11 selected student-athletes that will be the face of the Big Ten Conference this year as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary of Women's Championships. Douglas has been featured in a 30-second public service announcement "sharing her story" about overcoming family tragedy to become a Big Ten and NCAA Champion. To learn more about Douglas, as well as the conference's year-long campaign, log on to bigten.org.