Feb. 11, 2008
Iowa holds a half-game lead over Purdue, but the Boilermakers could climb back into a tie for the top spot with a win over Michigan State on Monday night. Five games will hit the national airwaves this week, including three contests on Sunday to be showcased live on the Big Ten Network.
Big Ten on TV
Five Big Ten women's basketball games will reach a national television audience on the Big Ten Network this week. Coverage tips off on Monday night when Michigan State welcomes Purdue for a 7 p.m. ET start. Action continues Thursday as Penn State hosts Minnesota at 8 p.m. ET. The Big Ten Network will broadcast all three games on Sunday, beginning at Noon ET when Indiana hosts Michigan, continuing at 2 p.m. ET as the Lady Lions welcome the Spartans, and concluding at 3:30 p.m. CT as the Golden Gophers travel south to Iowa.
Bluder Captures Win No. 500
Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder earned the 500th win of her career on Sunday as the Hawkeyes defeated Penn State, 73-65, on the road. Bluder joins Michigan's Kevin Borseth and Ohio State's Jim Foster as the three active Big Ten coaches with 500 or more career wins. The Hawkeye win at the Bryce Jordan Center snapped a four-game Iowa losing streak in the arena with the Hawkeyes' last win in Happy Valley coming exactly six years earlier on Feb. 10, 2002. The win extended the Hawkeyes' winning streak to eight, which is the school's longest since the 1995-96 campaign, and gave Iowa sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings.
Big Ten Celebrates Black History Month
The Big Ten Conference continues to commemorate the achievements of African-American student-athletes as it launched its Black History Month website on Feb. 1. The site features stories on male and female student-athletes from each conference institution and can be found at www.bigten.org. Seven former Big Ten women's basketball players will be highlighted throughout the month. A list of former women's basketball players and the dates on which they will be featured can be found below. Players highlighted this week are in bold.
- Linda Roberts, Minnesota (Feb. 4)
- Michelle Edwards, Iowa (Feb. 8)
- Jessica Davenport, Ohio State (Feb. 12)
- Stacey Thomas, Michigan (Feb. 14)
- Ukari Figgs, Purdue (Feb. 16-17)
- Michele Savage, Northwestern (Feb. 21)
- Kahadeejah Herbert, Penn State (Feb. 28)
Big Ten to Honor OSU's Davenport
On Tuesday, the Big Ten will honor former Ohio State women's basketball standout Jessica Davenport, highlighting her with a feature story on the conference's Black History Month website. Davenport is the only three-time Big Ten Women's Basketball Player of the Year and was the recipient of last year's Suzy Favor Athlete of the Year award.
Bjork and Solverson Net 1,000
Iowa senior Johanna Solverson recorded the 1,000th point of her career in Iowa's win over Michigan State on Thursday, becoming the 23rd player in program history to reach the milestone. On Sunday, Illinois junior Lori Bjork became the 21st player in Illini history to reach the 1,000-career-points marker, scoring 19 in a win over Indiana.
Anderson Grabs Another School Record
Wisconsin senior Jolene Anderson became the Badgers' all-time leader in field goals made with five baskets from the floor against Ohio State on Sunday. Anderson's total sits at 827, which is eighth all-time in the Big Ten records book. The Port Wing, Wis., native became the school's all-time leading scorer on Jan. 13, and her total of 2,165 is ninth on the conference charts.
Big Ten Thinks Pink
Several Big Ten teams will "Think Pink" this season as part of the initiative sponsored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association in an effort to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. Purdue was the first conference squad to participate in the campaign when the Boilermakers hosted Illinois on Jan. 27. Several other "Think Pink" events will take place on Big Ten campuses within the next week, including at Indiana (Feb. 17), Iowa (Feb. 17) and Northwestern (Feb. 18). Several other schools participated last week, including Illinois, Michigan State, Minnesota, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Illinois junior Lori Bjork and Ohio State senior Marscilla Packer each sit in second in their schools' respective record books for career three-point field goals. Bjork is just two away from breaking the Illini record of 194, while Packer's total of 221 sits only behind Caity Matter's 270 in Buckeye history.
Big Ten Draws Big Crowds
According to a weekly unofficial attendance report issued by the University of Wisconsin Athletic Communications office, Big Ten teams rank among the nation's best in average attendance. The Big Ten and the Big 12 are the only two conferences in the nation with four teams ranked in the top 15 and five squads placed in the top 20 in average attendance. Purdue leads the conference at No. 4, averaging, 9,426 fans per contest, while Michigan State is 10th (7,041), Minnesota is 13th (6,371), Wisconsin is 14th (6,001) and Penn State is 18th (5,167). Illinois and Wisconsin each hit season-high attendance marks on Sunday as each squad, as well as several others around the conference, took part in the WBCA's "Think Pink" promotion.
Leader of the Pack
Ohio State's Jantel Lavender leads all NCAA Division I freshmen with 17.6 points per game. The Buckeye is also third among all freshmen in rebounding, averaging 9.7 boards per contest. Lavender has recorded 10 double-doubles this season, which places her in a tie for third among all freshmen in that category. Lavender scored a career-high 30 points against Purdue on Thursday and followed the performance with a 22-point effort against Wisconsin on Sunday.
Big Ten Hot from the Line
The Big Ten continues to rank among the nation's best in free-throw shooting with four teams and five individuals among the NCAA's top 50 in that category. Wisconsin's Jolene Anderson is tied for 28th in the nation with an .857 average from the stripe, while Illinois is seventh as a team with a combined .784 percentage.