July 26, 2005
PARK RIDGE, IL - The Big Ten Women's Basketball All-Stars completed its fifth-consecutive undefeated Foreign Tour on Monday with a 70-point victory over the Luxembourg Musel Pikes, 110-40, in Remich, Luxembourg.
Indiana senior Cyndi Valentin led five Tour players in double figures with 22 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Iowa senior Crystal Smith posted 14 points, while Illinois' Danyel Crutcher and Ohio State's Stephanie Blanton each recorded 12. Minnesota's Liz Podomonick and Penn State sophomore Adrienne Squire tallied 10 points apiece.
Despite an off-night from the floor, finishing 1-of-7 shooting, Wisconsin sophomore Janese Banks turned in an all-around performance by leading the squad with six assists, four points and four rebounds. Michigan's State's Katrina Grantham recorded six points and four rebounds, while Northwestern senior Ifeoma Okonkwo scored six points and grabbed three caroms while dishing three assists. Grantham's teammate, Victoria Lucas-Perry, notched six points, followed by Purdue's Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton with four points and five rebounds and Penn State's Kamela Gissendanner with four points and four boards.
Two days after hitting a game-winning basket with seconds remaining to oust the Belgium National Team, the Big Ten squad showed its dominance over a Musel team that was the national champions of Luxembourg last season. The Pikes were outscored by the All-Stars 38-6 in the fourth quarter and were held to just 10 or fewer points in three of the four periods.
Despite the narrow win over the Belgium squad, the All-Stars posted a margin of victory of 45 points over the five-game, 11-day trip. The Tour opened with a 119-56 rout of the Netherlands National Team, which marked the highest point total and the second largest margin of victory for the All-Stars in the Tour's 13-year history. The All-Stars ended the Tour however, besting the 63-point victory by seven. Monday's 70-point win was the most lopsided win since the 1995 Tour in Japan when the All-Stars defeated the Yokosuka Lady Hawks by 90 points, 113-23.
Indiana's Valentin, who was the lone student-athlete to score in double figures each game, led the Tour in scoring with an average of 15.0 points per game. Her 22 points Monday was the Tour's highest output, besting backcourt pal Smith of Iowa, who led the All-Stars with 20 on Saturday, including the last-second game-winner. Smith finished the Tour with a 12.8 ppg average, while Podomonick recorded a mark of 10.0 ppg.
Grantham led the All-Stars from the field with a .722 percentage on 13-of-18 shooting. The Spartans' Lucas-Perry led the Tour in rebounding with 4.8 per contest, while Wisconsin's Banks posted a team-high mark of 3.6 assists per game.
The team will spend Tuesday morning in Brussels with a chocolate factory tour on the itinerary before returning to Amsterdam for one more night. The squad returns to the United States on Wednesday.
The All-Stars, which were led by Penn State's Rene Portland this summer, have now won 19 straight contests and have gone 51-18 (.739) since the inception of the Tour in 1992, which has been held annually except for 2003.
For Tour results, stats and entertaining diaries of the student-athletes, log on to www.bigten.org.