Jan. 18, 2011
Get to Know Her
Sarah Schulze, Ohio State
6-1, Sr., F, Anna, Ohio/Anna
Senior forward Sarah Schulze aspires to be a missionary after her playing days at Ohio State and maybe receive her teaching certificate. With her strong Catholic faith, the comparative religious studies major from Anna, Ohio, never misses a Sunday church service -- even when the Buckeyes happen to be on the road. The Academic All-Big Ten honoree says a Rosary prayer before every game and would like to do missionary work in Africa or Haiti after graduation.
Heading into the middle portion of the Big Ten schedule, Michigan State and Penn State share the top spot in the conference standings with 4-1 records as seven conference teams are at or above .500 in conference play. Wisconsin is third in the Big Ten at 4-2, followed by Michigan at 3-2. Iowa, Northwestern and Purdue are tied for fifth with 3-3 conference marks. Each of the 10 conference games on this week’s schedule will be nationally broadcast by ESPN2, the Big Ten Network, or streamed online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Where We Rank
Five Big Ten teams were mentioned in the latest Associated Press poll, led by No. 12 Michigan State. Iowa appeared at No. 18 this week, while Ohio State rounded out the ranked teams at No. 25. Northwestern and Penn State also received votes in the AP poll. In the most recent ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, Michigan State appeared at No. 12, followed by Iowa at No. 21. Ohio State is receiving votes outside of the coaches top 25.
In the latest RPI released by the NCAA, six Big Ten teams (55 percent) appear in the rankings’ top 31, the highest percentage of any conference in the nation. Iowa leads the conference at No. 12, immediately followed by Ohio State at No. 13, with Michigan State appearing at No. 17. Michigan ranks 27th in the latest RPI, with Northwestern and Penn State not far behind at Nos. 29 and 31, respectively.
Nothing New Here
Two conference standouts are in the midst of impressive offensive streaks. Ohio State senior Jantel Lavender has scored 10 or more points in each game she has played in during her career, scoring in double digits in 119 straight contests, the longest active streak in the nation. In addition, Northwestern senior Amy Jaeschke has posted 10 or more points in 35 straight games for the Wildcats.
Home Court Advantage
It was best to stay home last week in the Big Ten as conference teams combined for a 9-1 home record, including a perfect 5-0 home mark on Sunday. Nine conference teams boast winning records on their homecourt, with Michigan State owning an unblemished home record of 11-0. Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio State and Penn State each have lost just once on their courts, while Purdue has suffered just two home defeats this year.
The Big Ten boasts some of the most dangerous three-point shooters in the country, and last week proved just that. Seven conference standouts shot 50 percent or better (min. 2 attempts/game) from long range last week, with Iowa’s Jaime Printy converting on 70 percent (7-of-10) of her attempts. Penn State’s Maggie Lucas was 11-for-18 (.611) from three-point land, Indiana’s Alisha Goodwin converted on 3-of-5 (.600) from distance, while four others, Illinois’ Alexis Burke, Michigan’s Carmen Reynolds, Minnesota’s Sari Noga and Purdue’s Drey Mingo each shot 50 percent from behind the arc.
Climbing the Charts
With 2,444 career points, Ohio State senior Jantel Lavender is one of just three Big Ten standouts to eclipse the 2,400-point mark in conference history. Currently in third place on the career scoring list. Lavender trails former Ohio State star Katie Smith, who is second with 2,578 career points, and former Penn State standout Kelly Mazzante, the Big Ten’s all-time leader at 2,919 career tallies. With 1,245 career rebounds, Lavender is approaching the all-time mark of 1,273, held by former Indiana star Denise Jackson.
The Big Ten’s active career leaders in other categories also find themselves among the conference’s all-time statistical elite. Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke boasts 327 career blocks, which ranks fourth on the all-time list, and Ohio State’s Samantha Prahalis’ 582 career assists is seventh on the career chart.
Shooting Down Records
Penn State’s Maggie Lucas etched her name into the Lady Lion record books last week. The Big Ten’s leader in three-point field goals per game drained six shots from behind the arc to give her 66 on the season, breaking former Penn State star Kelly Mazzante’s freshman season three-pointers mark of 65. Lucas is averaging 3.5 three-pointers per game and leads the Lady Lions in scoring in her debut season.
Penn State’s Maggie Lucas and Purdue’s Courtney Moses have provided immediate support to their teams as freshmen this season. Lucas, who has won six Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors this season, ranks fourth in the Big Ten in scoring at 16.8 points per game and is first in the Big Ten in three-pointers made per game (3.5) and third in three-point percentage at nearly 46 percent. Moses, winner of five weekly freshman honors, is 15th in the Big Ten in scoring 12.8 ppg and is second in the conference in three-point shooting percentage (.471).
Ranking fourth in the nation in scoring and 10th in rebounding, Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender is one of three NCAA student-athletes to rank among the top 10 nationally in points and rebounds. Averaging 23.5 points and 11.4 rebounds per contest, Lavender joins VCU’s Courtney Hart and Buffalo’s Kourtney Brown as the only standouts to rank in the top 10 in both categories.
Take Care Now
Conference teams have been among the nation’s best in protecting the ball this season. Three Big Ten teams rank in the top 20 nationally, led by Michigan, which is eighth at 13.8 turnovers per game. Ohio State and Iowa rank 10th and 19th, respectively at 13.9 and 14.8 per contest. Additionally, those three are among four conference teams that rank in the top 40 nationally in assist-turnover ratio. Ohio State is 13th at 1.12, Michigan is 15th at 1.07, and Iowa is 37th at 0.96.
Ranking Among the National Leaders
Big Ten student-athletes rank at or near the top of the national statistics leaders in numerous categories. With Maggie Lucas ranking ninth (45.8) and Zhaque Gray 10th (45.7) nationally from behind the arc, Penn State is No. 1 in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 45.3 percent. Lucas is ranked third nationally in three-pointers per game (3.5), while Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender and Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke continue to rank in the top six in points per game. Buckeye teammate Samantha Prahalis is seventh in assists per game, and Jaeschke is fifth in blocks per game. To see where the Big Ten ranks among the national statistical leaders, please turn to Page 5 of this release.
Still in the Hunt
Iowa’s Kachine Alexander and Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender were named to the John R. Wooden Award midseason top 20 list, which was announced on Tuesday morning. Alexander and Lavender have guided their teams to top 25-status this season, as Alexander is averaging 14.0 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, while Lavender leads the Big Ten in scoring (23.8) and rebounding (11.7). The finalists will be announced in March, with the winner being honored on April 8.
Marching Toward March
The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament returns to Indianapolis March 3-6, 2011 for the fourth of a five-year agreement that puts both the men’s and women’s events in the Circle City. All-session tickets for the 2011 Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments are on sale now. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.