Jan. 8, 2007
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A Look at This Week...
This week's schedule features a five-game Big Ten slate on Thursday, followed by five games and one non-conference contest on Sunday. Highlighting Thursday's matches will be a top-20 battle as No. 13 Purdue travels to No. 20 Michigan State. Purdue returns home on Sunday to face in-state rival Indiana at 3 p.m. ET., which will mark the first time Boilermaker head coach Sharon Versyp will face her former team. Last season, Versyp led the Hoosiers to an upset overtime win at No. 10 Purdue.
Three Teams Remain Unbeaten in Big Ten Play
Through the first two weeks of conference play, three teams remain unbeaten with Michigan State and Purdue atop the league standings at 3-0. Ohio State sits one game back at 2-0, while four squads -- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota -- are currently tied for fourth at 2-2.
Big Ten Ranked First in Multiple RPI Reports
Off to one of its most successful seasons in a decade, the Big Ten has captured nearly 100 non-conference wins with the nation's toughest schedule. According to collegerpi.com and rpiratings.com, the Big Ten ranks first in RPI as well as strength of schedule. On both sites, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue are rated in the top 10, while Indiana and Minnesota are found among the top 35. In fact, collegerpi.com has placed the Big Ten no better than third in the final RPI rankings dating back to the 1999-2000 season. The conference was third in 2002 and 2005, fourth in 2001, 2003 and 2004, fifth in 2000, and seventh last year.
Three Big Ten Teams Ranked in Nation's Top 25
Three conference squads are ranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Big Ten is represented by No. 6 Ohio State, No. 13 Purdue and No. 20 Michigan State in the AP poll, while Indiana is receiving votes. The coaches poll will be released on Tuesday.
Comcast to Air Two Big Ten Games This Week
Comcast SportsNet Chicago will broadcast two Big Ten contests this week, beginning with Ohio State at Penn State on Thursday. The game, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET, will pit two-time defending conference champion Ohio State (13-1, 2-0) against the Lady Lions (8-9, 1-3), who have won all six of their home games this season. Dave Loane will handle play-by-play duties with Suzie McConnell Serio providing analysis. On Sunday, CSN Chicago will broadcast Indiana (13-4, 2-2) at Purdue (14-3, 3-0), just as they did last year when the Hoosiers upset No. 10 Purdue in overtime. Dave Eanet will call the action with McConnell Serio offering analysis.
Indiana's Roberson Nets 28 in Win at Illinois
Indiana's Kim Roberson netted a season-best 28 points in conference games this year and helped the Hoosiers to a 71-64 victory at Illinois Sunday. The IU sophomore hit 11-of-17 (.647) shots from the field and was 4-of-7 (.571) from the perimeter. Her efforts on Sunday helped even Indiana's conference mark to 2-2 under first-year head coach Felisha Legette-Jack.
Looking for 2,000
Ohio State's Jessica Davenport leads all active Big Ten players in career scoring with 1,944 and is just 56 points shy of becoming the 11th conference star to eclipse the 2,000 mark. Davenport, who has captured the last two Big Ten Player of the Week awards, is currently averaging a conference-best 20.0 points per game. Penn State's Kelly Mazzante (2001-04) eads all Big Ten career scorers with 2,919 points.
Iowa's Solverson to Apply for Sixth Year
Iowa senior Johanna Solverson announced last week that she will sit out the remainder of this season and apply for a sixth year of eligibility. Solverson started her first three years for the Hawkeyes before suffering back-to-back ACL injuries to her right knee in 2005 and 2006
Six Squads Ranked in Attendance Figures
In the weekly unofficial attendance figures compiled by the University of Wisconsin, six Big Ten teams rank in the nation's top 30 for average attendance. Purdue (6,695 fans per game) and Michigan State (6,580) are Nos. 8-9, while Minnesota (5,634) and Penn State (5,537) are 12th and 14th, respectively. Wisconsin (5,006) is 18th overall and Ohio State (3,837) is 28th.
Minnesota Welcomes Over 11,000
This past Sunday, Minnesota defeated Wisconsin, 71-53, in front of 11,121 fans at Williams Arena. The total was the 16th highest in school history and it was the 24th-best figure in the nation this season. The attendance mark was also the highest single-game output for the Big Ten this year, although Michigan State was credited with 14,759 against South Florida during a men's doubleheader earlier this year.
Dishes and Defense
In the latest NCAA rankings (Jan. 7), six conference teams rank in the nation's top 50 in assists per game and scoring defense. In assists, Ohio State (17.9 apg) is 12th, followed by Northwestern (17.4, 18th), Wisconsin (16.7, 28th), Michigan State (16.4, 35th), Iowa (16.2, 43rd) and Purdue (16.2, 44th). In scoring defense, Purdue leads all conference clubs in ninth at 52.4, while Michigan State (54.5, 17th), Wisconsin (55.8, 26th), Ohio State (57.0, T-36th), Illinois (57.4, 40th) and Michigan State (57.4, T-41st) all follow behind the Boilermakers. A complete breakdown of NCAA stats can be found on page five of the weekly release.
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.