Big Ten Women's Basketball Weekly Release - Feb. 3

Feb. 3, 2009

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Shavelle Little, Ohio State
A junior criminology major, Shavelle Little is a hoops thief on the court, but helps keep the peace on the Ohio State campus when she's off it. The 2008 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year works for campus security for the Ohio State Department of Public Safety when she isn't picking the pockets of opposing point guards. She aspires to possibly attend law school after she finishes her undergraduate coursework and ultimately seeks to become a federal investigator.

The Amazing Race
Ohio State remains atop the Big Ten standings at 9-1 holding a 1.5-game lead over second place. Indiana, Purdue and Michigan State are all tied for second with 8-3 records, while Minnesota is in fifth at 7-3, just two games off the pace. Also in close contention, Iowa is three games back at 6-4. Several of this week's games will have direct implications on the conference race, beginning on Thursday as the Boilermakers battle the Buckeyes. On Sunday, Minnesota and Iowa look to gain ground against each other, while Michigan State aims to continue its ascent at Ohio State.

One for the Books
Iowa and Penn State needed 55 minutes to decide their game on Sunday, marking the first-ever triple-overtime game during conference play since Big Ten women's basketball officially began in 1982-83. The Hawkeye win marked the first victory for the program in a multi-overtime contest. Four Iowa players saw 50 minutes or more of action during the game, while a pair of Lady Lions recorded over 50 minutes of playing time. The contest also saw a triple-double (Iowa's Kachine Alexander) and a 30-point performance (Penn State's Tyra Grant).

She's at it Again
Iowa's Kachine Alexander became the only player in program history to record two triple-doubles in the same season when she tallied her second of the year on Sunday against Penn State. The sophomore netted 26 points, grabbed 21 boards and dished out 10 assists in the effort. She was two helpers away from a triple-double through regulation before assisting on the Hawkeyes' first two overtime field goals to accomplish the impressive feat at the 3:02 mark of the first extra stanza. Alexander's performance is one of just 12 in all of Division I so far this season and she is one of just three players to have recorded multiple triple-doubles on the year. She is also one of just four underclassmen with a triple-double this year.

Big Ten Celebrates Black History Month
In a continued effort to commemorate the achievements of African-Americans on Big Ten campuses, the conference office announced the 22 student-athletes to be recognized on the Big Ten's Black History Month website. Throughout February, the website will feature stories on current and former student-athletes from each institution and can be accessed at The four women's basketball players on the list are Michigan State's Lauren Aitch, Ohio State's Tracey Hall, Illinois' Jonelle Polk and Iowa's Tia Jackson.

Commemorating National Girls and Women in Sports Day
Wednesday marks the 23rd annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Several Big Ten universities will recognize this day with events during women's basketball games, while several others have already done their part to commemorate this event. Below is a sampling of upcoming events and promotions on Big Ten campuses surrounding NGWSD. Visit each university's web site for more information.

School                  Date          Time                      Opponent
Illinos              Feb. 5      8 p.m. CT         Michigan State
Indiana            Feb. 8     12:30 p.m. ET    Illinois
Northwestern     Feb. 5      7 p.m. CT         Michigan
Ohio State        Feb. 15    11 a.m. ET        Northwestern

View from the Top
Ohio State's Jantel Lavender was named to the Women's John R. Wooden Award 2009 Midseason Top 20 candidate list, the Los Angeles Athletic Club Women's Award Committee announced on Friday. Lavender and UConn's Maya Moore are the only two sophomores on the list. The Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation's best player at an institution of higher education who has proven to her university that she is making progress toward graduation and maintaining a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Shades of Lavender
Ohio State sophomore Jantel Lavender is 52 games in to her collegiate career and has scored in double figures in every contest. Fifty-two consecutive double-digit games currently ranks fourth in the nation among active streaks. Lavender also leads the Big Ten in 20-point games (14) and double-doubles (14) this season. She remains the only player in all of Division I to rank in the NCAA's top 10 in points (21.1 ppg) and rebounds (10.9 rpg). Lavender currently owns 991 career points, needing just nine more to get to 1,000, becoming the second-fastest Buckeye in school history to reach the milestone.

On the Verge
Indiana's Whitney Thomas is just 17 rebounds away from becoming the 10th player in the Big Ten's 1,000 career rebounds club. With 1,119 career points to her name, she will become just the second Hoosier and the 10th Big Ten player to accumulate 1,000 career points and 1,000 career boards.

Join the Club
Penn State senior Brianne O'Rourke became the 32nd Lady Lion to reach the 1,000 career points plateau on Sunday. The guard dropped a season-high 20 in Penn State's heartbreaking triple-overtime loss, giving her 1,014 in her career. Earlier this year, O'Rourke became the only active Big Ten player to reach 500 career assists, making her just the sixth Lady Lion in program history to own over 1,000 career points and 500 career assists. She becomes the 11th active Big Ten player with 1,000 career points and the seventh to join the club this season.

30 is the New 20
Penn State's Tyra Grant tied her career high with 33 points against Iowa on Sunday. The performance was Grant's second 30-point display of the year, making her the only Big Ten player to have multiple 30-point games this season. Grant's 30-point game was just the sixth by a Big Ten player this year and just the third to take place during conference competition. The performance also improved her average in conference games to 20.6 ppg, making her the new conference leader and the only player in the Big Ten to average over 20 points per conference contest.

Blogging with the Big Ten
The Big Ten Women's Basketball Blog is live. The blog is a one-stop-shop for all things Big Ten women's basketball including previews, recaps, box scores and highlights. The blog can be found here: