Feb. 15, 2011
Get to Know Her
Sari Noga, Minnesota
5-10, Fr., G, Parkers Prairie, Minn./Parkers Prairie
By seventh grade, Sari Noga was already playing varsity high school basketball. By graduation, her accomplishments included everything from All-Conference to Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year honors. She is the Minnesota high school all-time leading scorer with 3,507 points. Despite being only 5-10, Noga also became the state rebounding leader with 1,701. As a freshman for the Gophers, Noga has brought her valuable rebounding ability and a good shooting touch off the bench.
Two weeks remain in the Big Ten regular season and the conference race is reaching climax. Following a battle of the top two teams last week, Michigan State is the conference’s leader at 10-2. Penn State is second, one-half game back at 10-3 with Wisconsin third at 9-3. Michigan ranks fourth in the conference standings at 7-5, while Iowa and Purdue are tied for fifth at 7-6 in Big Ten play. The conference race will continue to take shape this week as eight Big Ten matchups will be nationally broadcast by ESPN2, the Big Ten Network or streamed online at www.bigtennetwork.com.
Three Big Ten teams were mentioned in the latest Associated Press poll released Monday, led by No. 11 Michigan State. Penn State appeared at No. 23 this week, while Iowa was among those receiving votes outside the top 25. In the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, Michigan State appeared at No. 10, with Penn State rounding out the rankings at No. 25. Iowa was listed as among the other teams receiving votes.
Streaking to the Record
After pouring in 29 points in Sunday’s win over Minnesota, Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender set a new NCAA record for the longest streak of double-digit scoring games at 126. The Buckeye senior has scored in double-figures in each game she has played in during her career and matched the previous record of 125 last Thursday. The NCAA record for overall games with 10 or more points is 134, set by Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris.
Up in the RPI
The Big Ten boasts several highly ranked teams according to the latest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA. Among all conferences, the Big Ten has the highest percentage of its teams ranked in the RPI top 50. Michigan State leads the conference at No. 10, followed by Iowa at No. 17 and Ohio State at No. 19. Penn State and Michigan are rated at Nos. 30 and 32, respectively, Wisconsin appears at No. 42 and Purdue is rated No. 47. With seven top-50 teams, the Big Ten boasts 63.6 percent of its teams ranked in the top 50, tops of any conference in the nation.
Defeating the Top 25
Eight Big Ten teams boast at least one victory over a top-25 team this season, including five squads with three or more such triumphs. Michigan and Michigan State lead all Big Ten teams with four wins over ranked opponents this season. Iowa, Ohio State and Penn State have each recorded three wins over top-25 teams, while Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue have each knocked off one top-25 opponent. Conference teams have combined for 20 wins against the top 25 this season.
Climbing the Charts
Now the Big Ten’s all-time leader in career rebounds, Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender takes aim at the conference’s all-time scoring record. With 2,587 career points, Lavender is one of just three Big Ten standouts to eclipse the 2,500-points mark. Currently in second place on the career scoring list, Lavender passed former Ohio State star Katie Smith as the program’s all-time scoring leader last week, and now trails former Penn State standout Kelly Mazzante, the Big Ten’s all-time leader at 2,919 career tallies.
Welcome to the Club
Michigan’s Veronica Hicks became the 10th active member of the Big Ten’s 1,000-points club in Sunday’s contest against Michigan State. Hicks joins Indiana’s Jori Davis, Iowa’s Kachine Alexander and Kamille Wahlin, Michigan State’s Kalisha Keane, Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke, Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis, Purdue’s Brittany Rayburn, and Wisconsin’s Alyssa Karel as the Big Ten’s active members to have reached the milestone.
Three conference standouts have recorded 10 or more double-doubles this season. Illinois’ Karisma Penn has 15 such games, which ranks eighth in the country, while Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender has 13 double-doubles and Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke has 12, including one triple-double. A breakdown of this season’s double-doubles can be found on Page 7 of this release.
Making an Impact
Penn State freshman Maggie Lucas has established herself as one of the most dangerous shooters in the country in her first year at the collegiate level. With 96 made three-pointers this season, Lucas is fourth on the conference’s single-season list for made treys. With a conference-leading 3.6 made three-pointers per game this season, Lucas is approaching the all-time single season mark of 106, set by Ohio State’s Caity Matter during the 2002-03 season. As it stands, her 46.4 three-point field goal percentage is tied for fourth in Big Ten single-season history.
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 sixth (46.2) and Zhaque Gray 14th (43.2) nationally from behind the arc, Penn State is No. 1 in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 44.8 percent. Ohio State’s Brittany Johnson ranks 12th in the category at 43.8 percent. Lucas is ranked second nationally in three-pointers per game (3.6), while Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender (22.6) and Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke (22.2) rank in the top eight in points per game. Buckeye Samantha Prahalis is fourth in assists per game (6.9), and Jaeschke is fifth in blocks per game (3.6). Purdue’s Brittany Rayburn ranks ninth in free throw percentage (90.1). To see where the Big Ten ranks among the national statistical leaders, turn to Page 6 of this release.
Three conference student-athletes were named to the Naismith Trophy midseason top 30 list, which was announced on Monday. Iowa senior Kachine Alexander, Northwestern senior Amy Jaeschke, and Ohio State senior Jantel Lavender are part of the 30-member watch list, with the winner to be announced at the 2011 Women’s Final Four.
Still in the Hunt
A pair of conference standouts were named to the John R. Wooden Award midseason top 20 list earlier this season. Iowa’s Kachine Alexander and Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender Alexander were both selected to the midseason class, with the Wooden Award All-America Team to be announced during the NCAA Tournament. The winner will be announced at the35th annual Wooden Award ceremony on April 8.
Nine Big Ten women's basketball student-athletes were named to the Academic All-District Teams, selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. First-team honorees will be placed on the national ballot for the Academic All-America Team, which will be announced later this month. Two conference standouts were named to the District 5 All-District first team, Purdue's Brittany Rayburn and Wisconsin's Alyssa Karel. Five were named All-District second team, including Penn State's Julia Trogele (District 2), Michigan's Veronica Hicks (District 4), Northwestern's Kendall Hackney, Purdue's Chelsea Jones and Wisconsin's Lin Zastrow (District 5). Iowa's Morgan Johnson and Kelly Krei were named District 7 All-District third-team members.
The Feb. 27 Wisconsin at Ohio State contest that was originally scheduled for 4 p.m. ET has been moved to Noon ET. The time change was made to accommodate CBS Sports’ selection of Indiana at Ohio State men’s basketball game the same day.