Feb. 13, 2006
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Big Ten Tournament Now Presented by Xbox Live
The Big Ten Conference announced Feb. 9 an exclusive three-year marketing agreement with Xbox Live, making it the presenting sponsor of the Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament in 2006, 2007 and 2008. The 2006 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox Live will be played at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind., from March 2-6. This annual celebration of women's basketball will be held in Indianapolis for the 11th time in 12 years and will return to Conseco Fieldhouse in 2007.
Four Big Ten Teams Ranked in Nation's Top 15
Four conference squads were ranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls this past week. Ohio State was 7th in both polls, while Purdue was ranked No. 10/9, Minnesota was No. 11/10 and Michigan State was No. 15/16.
Four League Squads Make Top 30 of NCAA RPI
In the second official RPI report released by the NCAA on Feb. 7, four Big Ten squads ranked in the top 30. Ohio State was seventh, followed by No. 17 Purdue, No. 22 Michigan State and No. 27 Minnesota. For a complete list of the NCAA RPI, check out page eight.
NCAA National Notables
Several Big Ten student-athletes and teams were nationally ranked in many categories as of Feb. 6, which are listed on page five. Among the standouts, Penn State's Adrienne Squire ranked first (.956) in free-throw percentage, followed by Indiana's Cyndi Valentin in third at .934. Ohio State's Jessica Davenport was fifth in field goal percentage at .647. OSU was also second in scoring defense (50.5) and third in fouls per game (12.5) and assists (18.9).
Handful of Big Ten Games Televised This Week
Several conference games will be televised this week, highlighted by Ohio State at Minnesota on FSN North Thursday. The Buckeyes enter the game tied with Purdue for the league lead at 11-1, while the Golden Gophers are currently third in the conference. In addition, this week's broadcast schedule includes a heated matchup as the ESPNU "Wildcard" selection and an intrastate rivalry on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. After upsetting then-No. 9/13 Michigan State, 75-64, in Iowa City earlier in the year, Iowa makes the return trip to East Lansing for a rematch on ESPNU. Indiana will travel to first-place Purdue on Sunday, which will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Earlier in the year, the Hoosiers nearly upset the Boilermakers, but fell in overtime 61-56. For a complete look at this week's televised games, check out page six of the release.
Big Ten & Comcast Announce Wildcard Games
The Big Ten and Comcast SportsNet Chicago recently announced its two "Wildcard" selections of the season. The first "Wildcard" game will feature league leaders Purdue at Ohio State on Thursday, Feb. 23, at 8 p.m. ET. Dave Loane is scheduled as the play-by-play talent, while Greg Kelser will handle analyst duties.
The second "Wildcard" will feature Indiana at Iowa on Sunday, Feb. 26 at 12 p.m. CT, which will mark the final day of the regular season. Dave Eanet is scheduled as the play-by-play talent, while June Olkowski will handle analyst duties.
Big Ten Tournament Single-Session Tickets on Sale
The chance to get in on the action for the 2006 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament presented by Xbox Live is here. Single-session tickets for the tournament went on sale Feb. 4, and range from $10-$14. In addition, all-session tickets are on sale for $55. Tickets can be purchased through any Ticketmaster outlet, Ticketmaster charge-by-phone numbers (317-239-5151 in central Indiana), www.ticketmaster.com and the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.
The Big Ten Tournament presented by Xbox Live will be held March 2-6 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. No tournament games will take place on Saturday, March 4 due to the IHSAA Girl's State Basketball Finals.
2 to 20
This past week, a pair of conference teams surpassed the 20-win mark, while another is knocking on the door. League leaders Ohio State (21-2) and Purdue (20-3) earned their 20th victories last week, while Michigan State (19-7) is just one shy. With the win against Michigan Friday, Ohio State recorded its fourth consecutive 20-win season and fourth in four years in the Jim Foster era. As a program, the Buckeyes have won 20 games in 18 seasons, including five of the last six years. The Boilermakers' win over Minnesota was good for their 20th of the season, marking the sixth 20-win season in seven years under Kristy Curry and 16th in program history. They reached the mark in 23 games, tying for the third-fastest march in school history.
Important Return to Mackey for Indiana's Versyp
Since Sunday's contest between Indiana and Purdue, which will be televised on Comcast SportsNet Chicago, will mark the return to West Lafayette for Indiana head coach Sharon Versyp. The first-year Hoosier mentor will square up against the team that made her an All-Big Ten standout. While playing at Purdue from 1985-88, Versyp became one of seven players in Boilermaker history to be a four-year starter. During her playing career, she competed in the 1985 U.S. Olympic Festival Trials, was an All-Big Ten selection in 1988 and earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors that same season. Her 1,565 career points rank ninth in the Purdue record books. She also sits at fourth in single game assists (12) and seventh in career assists (418). Purdue defeated Indiana, 54-31, in Bloomington earlier this year.
Squire Near Perfect Against Illinois
Penn State sophomore Adrienne Squire netted a career-high 28 points on a near-flawless night of shooting. The sophomore was 9-of-11 (.818) from the floor, including 7-of-9 (.778) from three-point range, in the 78-52 win over Illinois. Not only were her seven three-pointers a career high, but it also matched the Bryce Jordan Center record, set in 2003 by Penn State's Kelly Mazzante. Squire was near-perfect on Sunday, missing just two shots on the day. Her seven threes are also the most by a player in the Big Ten this year.
Pair of Spartans Closing in on School Record
In a race to the finish, two Spartan seniors are chasing the Michigan State scoring record and it appears that one of them will close out their careers as the all-time leading scorer. But who? Lindsay Bowen leads the Spartan duo with 1,652 career points, just 16 away from Kisha Kelly's school record of 1,668. Liz Shimek, however, trails Bowen by only 10 and sits third in school history with 1,642 points. Shimek is currently averaging 17.7 points per contest, while Bowen posts 12.9 per game.
Attendance Figures Continues to Increase
This past Sunday, four games had attendance that ranked well above the conference-only home game average of 4,942 fans. Purdue hosted a season-high 11,233 fans against Minnesota on Sunday, while 9,181 patrons attended Wisconsin at Michigan State, 7,975 spectators watched Illinois at Penn State, and Ohio State brought in 7,887 fans for its game against Iowa. On the nationally scene, Minnesota (8,274) and Purdue (7,821) rank sixth and seventh in attendance, followed by No. 10 Michigan State (6,836), No. 12 Penn State (6,405), No. 18 Wisconsin (5,350) and No. 19 Ohio State (4,991).
Wilburn Sets OSU Steals Mark; Big Ten's Next?
Kim Wilburn, Ohio State's school record holder in steals, tallied 12 steals over three games this past week to bring her career total to 347, which ranks her third all-time in Big Ten history. Wilburn, who is just one of 11 Big Ten players to eclipse 300 career steals, is one steal better than Michigan State's Kristin Haynie (`01-05) and trails only Wisconsin's Tamara Moore (`99-02) at 353 and Big Ten record holder Stacey Thomas (`96-00) of Michigan at 372.