March 1, 2011
Get to Know Her
The Big Ten Conference continued the successful Get to Know Her campaign for women’s basketball during the 2010-11 season. The campaign is a fully integrated effort that provides the opportunity for fans to see the non-basketball sides of their favorite student-athletes via multimedia tools and on-campus promotions. The Get to Know Her campaign began for the 2008-09 Big Ten women’s basketball season as part of a grant program partially funded by the NCAA that was designed to foster the growth of women’s basketball on NCAA member campuses and within NCAA member conferences. Fans can continue to Get to Know Her during this year’s women’s basketball tournament by visiting the Get to Know Her Zone located in the concourse.
Big Ten women’s basketball teams converge on Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the annual Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament and vie for the Big Ten’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship. Michigan State enters the tournament as the conference’s top seed, having won its first outright conference championship in program history, sharing the title in 1997 and 2005. Ohio State has won the past two tournament titles and enter this season’s field as the No. 5 seed. For the fourth straight year, the entire Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be nationally televised with the first nine games on the Big Ten Network and the tournament final carried by ESPN2.
Know Your Seeds
The Big Ten Conference announced on Sunday the bracket for the 2011 Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament, with conference champion Michigan State earning the No. 1 seed. The tournament is set for March 3-6 at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The top five seeds earned byes into Friday’s quarterfinals, while seeds 6-11 will play first round games on Thursday. The complete tournament bracket can be found on Page 4.
Michigan State clinched a share of the Big Ten Championship with its win over Illinois on Saturday, the third conference title in program history. The Spartans captured the crown for the first time since 2005, the same year they advanced to the national championship game. Michigan State also shared the conference title in 1997.
Seven Big Ten teams finished the conference season with a .500 or better record in Big Ten play this season. It is the first time seven or more conference teams will finish with a .500 record in a 16-game conference season since 2001-02. In 2007-08, when conference teams played an 18-game Big Ten schedule, eight teams finished at or above .500 in conference action.
Up in the RPI
The Big Ten boasts several highly ranked teams according to the latest Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released by the NCAA. In all, six conference teams appear in the top 50 of the latest RPI with Ohio State leading all Big Ten teams at No. 9. Michigan State and Iowa appear in the top 20 with the Spartans at No. 15 and the Hawkeyes at No. 19. Elsewhere, Penn State appears at No. 34, Michigan is No. 38, and Purdue is ranked 42nd.
Four Big Ten teams were mentioned in the latest Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll, with Michigan State appearing at No. 11 in both rankings. Iowa re-entered the top 25 this week, appearing at No. 24 in the AP poll and receiving votes in the coaches poll. In addition, Ohio State and Penn State were among other teams also receiving votes in both rankings.
Down to the Wire
The Big Ten Tournament has proved to be highly competitive in its history. Fourteen of the 16 title games have been decided by 10 points or less and seven of the last nine have been decided by three points or less. When Ohio State knocked off Iowa, 66-64, in last year’s tournament final, it marked the sixth time in conference history the championship was decided by two points or less.
In the 16-year history of the Big Ten Tournament, eight conference teams have advanced to the tournament championship game. In addition, the No. 9 seed is the lowest seed to advance to the championship game when Illinois accomplished the feat in 2008.
Top Two Favorites
Since the inception of the Big Ten Tournament in 1995, five No. 1 seeds have come away with the tournament championship. Penn State (1995), Purdue (199) and Ohio State (2006, 2009 and 2010) have accounted for top seed’s tournament titles. In addition, the No. 2 seed has five tournament titles, giving the top seeds of the tournament 10 of the 16 tournament victories. The No. 3 seed has won the tournament on three occasions, the fourth-seed has one title and the No. 5 seed owns two tournament triumphs.
Pulling the Double
Six times in the tournament’s history has the Big Ten Champion during the regular season gone on to win the Big Ten Tournament Championship. Penn State was the first to achieve the feat in the tournament’s inaugural year (1995), Purdue pulled the double in 1999, Michigan State won both in 2005 and Ohio State won the 2006, 2009 and 2010 tournaments after winning the regular season crown.
Back Home in Indiana
With the conference tournament once again being held in Indiana, a number of conference student-athletes will be returning to their home states, including a select few who will be returning to their hometown of Indianapolis. At least eleven Big Ten student-athletes hail from the Hoosier state, including six who play for in-state schools Purdue and Indiana. The complete list of Indiana natives includes: Andrea Newbauer, Indiana (Fort Wayne)
Aulani Sinclair, Indiana (Eminence)
Bryonna Davis, Michigan State (Merrillville)
Kristen Dockery, Minnesota (Granger)
Beth Marshall, Northwestern (Fishers)
Alex Bentley, Penn State (Indianapolis)
Alex Guyton, Purdue (Indianapolis)
Courtney Moses, Purdue (Sweetser)
Brittany Rayburn, Purdue (Attica)
Dee Dee Williams, Purdue (Indianapolis)
Jada Buggs, Wisconsin (Elkhart)
Getting the Point Across
Nine different Big Ten institutions are represented among the conference’s top 10 scoring leaders. Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender finished the regular season as the Big Ten scoring leader at 22.6 per game, followed closely by Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke at 22.3 per contest. Indiana’s Jori Davis averaged 19.4 points per contest, Illinois’ Karisma Penn was fourth at 18.0 and Iowa’s Jaime Printy rounded out the top five at 16.4. Penn State’s Maggie Lucas was the freshman scoring leader, finishing sixth in the Big Ten at 16.3 points per outing.
Crashing the Glass
In addition to finishing as the conference’s leader in scoring, Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender posted the Big Ten’s top average in rebounds per game. The senior brought in 10.7 rebounds per night on average, while Illinois’ Karisma Penn finished second in the conference at 10.2 boards per contest. Half of the conference’s top 10 hailed from Iowa and Penn State as two Hawkeyes, Kachine Alexander and Morgan Johnson, along with three Lady Lions, Nikki Greene, Mia Nickson and Julia Trogele each averaged at least 6.6 rebounds per game.
Illinois’ Karisma Penn and Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender finished the season as the only two players to average a double-double per game. Lavender, the conference’s scoring and rebounding leader at 22.6 and 10.7 respectively, finished with 15 double-doubles this season, while Penn led the Big Ten with 16 such outings, which ranks ninth in the NCAA, averaging 18.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game for the Illini.
Defeating the Top 25
Eight Big Ten teams boast at least one victory over a top-25 team this season, including three squads with four or more such triumphs. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State lead all Big Ten teams with four wins over ranked opponents this season. Iowa, and Penn State have each recorded three wins over top-25 teams, while Indiana, Northwestern and Purdue have knocked off one top-25 opponent. Conference teams have combined for 21 wins against the top 25 this season.
Streaking to the Record
Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender set a new NCAA record for the longest streak of double-digit scoring games last week and continues to build on her record, now at 130. The Buckeye senior has scored in double-figures in each game she has played in during her career. The NCAA record for overall games with 10 or more points is 134, set by Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris.
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 102 made three-pointers this season, Lucas is tied for second on the conference’s single-season list for made treys. With a conference-leading 3.4 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.
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 2,677 career points, Lavender is one of just two Big Ten standouts to eclipse the 2,600-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 earlier this season, and now trails former Penn State standout Kelly Mazzante, the Big Ten’s all-time leader at 2,919 career tallies.
Wisconsin’s Alyssa Karel earned Academic-All-America status, it was announced by CoSIDA. The Badger senior was named a third-team Academic All-American and carries a 3.88 grade-point average as a nursing major. On the court, Karel has guided the Wisconsin to third place in the conference standings this season.
Who’s in Third?
Four conference teams ended the regular season tied for third in the Big Ten standings, a first in conference history. Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin each finished with matching 10-6 records in Big Ten play with the Wolverines earning the tiebreaker and earning the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. A three-way tie among conference teams has occurred seven times, including the 2008-09 and 2009-10 campaigns.
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 10th (44.9) nationally from behind the arc, Penn State is No. 1 in the country in three-point field goal percentage at 43.0 percent. Ohio State’s Brittany Johnson ranks ninth in the category at 45.0 percent. Lucas is ranked second nationally in three-pointers per game (3.4), while Ohio State’s Jantel Lavender (22.6) and Northwestern’s Amy Jaeschke (22.3) rank in the top eight in points per game. Buckeye Samantha Prahalis is fourth in assists per game (6.8) and Jaeschke is seventh in blocks per game (3.3). Purdue’s Brittany Rayburn ranks 12th in free throw percentage (88.8). 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. 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.