Williams Arena to Host a Pair of Barnburners This Week

Feb. 7, 2005

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Williams Arena to Host a Pair of "Barnburners" This Week
This week, Williams Arena and the University of Minnesota will host two Big Ten matchups that have the possibility of being "barnburners" in the place commonly known as "The Barn."  The Golden Gophers, ranked No. 14/16 last week, welcome in last week's No. 10/10 team in Michigan State on Thursday and will face Purdue, which just defeated League-leader Penn State, live on ESPN2 Sunday.

Big Ten Lands Five Teams in Coaches Top 25 Poll
In last week's national polls (AP / USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Coaches Poll), the Big Ten had five teams represented in the Coaches poll, while four squads were ranked by the Associated Press.  Ohio State was No. 2/3 - the highest ranking in school history.  Michigan State was No. 10/10, while Minnesota was No. 14/16 and Penn State was No. 23/23.  Iowa was ranked No. 25 by the Coaches and was receiving votes in the AP poll, while Purdue was receiving votes in both polls.

Five League Squads Rank Among Nation's Top 25 RPI
In the latest WBCA/Summerville RPI Ratings, the Big Ten ranks third in Conference RPI average (.583) and fifth in overall RPI (.582), while four League teams rank among the nation's top 25.  Ohio State holds an overall RPI rating of .652, which is fifth best in the nation, followed by No. 7 Michigan State (.647).  Minnesota (.626) is 14th, while Penn State (.617) ranks 16th.  In overall strength of schedule, Northwestern is ninth at .638, while Purdue (.628) is 13th and Penn State (.625) is 14th.

Seven League Teams Rank in Top 25 in Attendance
In the latest unofficial attendance rankings compiled by the University of Wisconsin, seven Big Ten teams average in the nation's top 25.  Purdue is fifth with an average of 8,456, while Penn State (8,137) is sixth and Minnesota (7,983) is seventh.  Wisconsin (5,858) ranks 14th, followed by No. 17 Michigan State (5,171), No. 23 Ohio State (4,124) and No. 24 Iowa (4,042).

Big Ten Tops Among Leagues With Two 20-Win Teams
With Ohio State at 22-2 and Michigan State at 20-3, the Big Ten is the only Conference in the nation to boast a pair of teams with 20 wins or more.  Currently, the Big East, Horizon League, Pac-10, SEC and West Coast Conference all have one team with 20 or more wins.  The Big Ten is also tied with the ACC and the SEC for most teams (3) with 18 or more wins.  Minnesota is currently 18-4.

Big Ten Women's Basketball Attracting More Fans in 04-05
Big Ten Women's Basketball is attracting more fans nationwide than last year.  Currently, the League boasts an all-game total of 713,907 fans through 183 games, which is over 53,000 better than last season's 183-game total.  The Conference is also ahead of its record-breaking marks for home attendance, which were set last year.

For a more in-depth look, please download the PDF of the weekly release. 

Big Ten Ranks Among NCAA Leaders
In the latest NCAA report (2/1/05), issued each week on Tuesdays, nine student-athletes and seven teams rank in the top 15 in their respective categories.  Ohio State's Caity Matter is ninth overall with a .456 three-point field goal percentage, while Michigan State's Lindsay Bowen ranks 11th at .448.  The Spartans' Kristin Haynie is 14th with 3.4 steals per game, while Ohio State's Jessica Davenport ranks 15th with 2.7 blocks per game.  Penn State's Tanisha Wright is 11th with a 20.7 scoring average.  Ohio State's Brandie Hoskins is 11th in field goal percentage at .603, followed by Iowa's Jamie Cavey in 15th at .594.  Ohio State is first in field goal percentage (.518), while Penn State ranks second in free throw percentage at .791, followed by OSU in eighth at .769.

League Scoring Title Narrowing to Three Player Race?
At the halfway point of the Conference season, three Big Ten student-athletes have begun to pull away in their chase for the League's scoring title.  Currently, Ohio State sophomore Jessica Davenport leads the Conference with 20.6 points per game, while Illinois senior Angelina Williams (20.3) and Penn State senior Tanisha Wright (19.0) follow.  The last Buckeye to lead the League in scoring was Katie Smith with 21.2 ppg during the 1994-95 season.  The following year, Ashley Berggren netted 27.5 ppg for Illinois, marking the last time an Illini player has led the Conference in scoring.  Wright is looking to return the title to State College after Kelly Mazzante won the crown in 2000-01 (19.7), 2001-02 (25.1) and 2002-03 (22.2), before being dethroned by Purdue's Shereka Wright (21.4) last year.

FSN Chicago to Televise Iowa at Northwestern on Thursday
In the lone televised FSN game this week, Iowa will face Northwestern in Evanston on Thursday at 7 p.m. CT on FSN Chicago.  The game will also be broadcast live on FSN Ohio and tape delayed at 3 a.m. on FSN Detroit and FSN North.

All-Session & Single-Session Tournament Tickets on Sale
The Big Ten Conference announced February 5 that single-session tickets, along with all-session passes, are now on sale for the 2005 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament.  The Tournament will be held from March 3-7 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.  Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster and the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.

Several Big Ten Squads to Participate in NGWSD
At this past weekend's games, several Big Ten teams were active participants in the celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWSD).  The 2005 NGWSD celebration will take place on February 9 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.  NGSWD is sponsored and supported by six national organizations, which serve girls and women, including Girl Scouts of the USA.  Log on to bigten.org this week for a school-by-school breakdown of activities surrounding the 2005 NGWSD.

A Grand Old Milestone
Thirteen Big Ten student-athletes are currently members of the 1,000-point club, while one player is just over 20 points shy of becoming the 14th to do so.  Current co-Big Ten Player of the Week Liz Shimek of Michigan State, who averaged 21.0 points in two game last week, is just 21 shy of becoming the 14th Big Ten player to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.  The following is a list of the current players who have accomplished or are close to accomplishing the feat in their career.

For a more in-depth look, please download the PDF of the weekly release. 

UW's Anderson Posting "Mazzante/Whalen" Numbers
Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson currently ranks among Big Ten greats Kelly Mazzante of Penn State and Lindsay Whalen of Minnesota.  In the past five years, the Big Ten has not had a freshman average over 17.0 points in all games since the 2000-01 season when Mazzante and Whalen began their collegiate careers.  But this year, the Badger freshman is fourth in the League at 18.0 points per game  Currently there are four freshmen ranked in the top 30 in scoring this season, which is a first since the 2000-01 campaign.  The League had three in 2001-02 and just two in each of the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.  The following is a breakdown of the League's leading freshmen scorers in the top 30 annually the past five years:

For a more in-depth look, please download the PDF of the weekly release. 

Celebrating 10 Years of the Big Ten Tournament in Indy
Celebrating its 10th year of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, the League office will highlight 10 great Tourney moments throughout the season, which began on the first day of Conference play, December 30.  Over the 10-week period, bigten.org will feature a new moment every Thursday leading up to March 3 -- the opening day of the 2005 Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.