Big Ten Weekly Women's Basketball Release - Nov. 14
• The Big Ten has won 20 of its first 23 games this season, including its first 17 in a row, with all 14 conference schools earning at least one victory on the first weekend of the season. It’s the best composite start to a Big Ten women’s basketball season since 2006-07, when the conference’s member schools combined to open with a 22-1 record during the first week of the season.
• Rutgers is among the many Big Ten schools who have looked sharp during the opening week of the season. The Scarlet Knights, who won six games all of last year, are 2-0 to begin this season with double-digit wins at James Madison and Temple. The two victories are particularly noteworthy considering Rutgers’ last road win prior to JMU was on Feb. 13, 2016 (63-56 at Illinois).
• Eight Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Associated Press or USA Today polls, led by No. 9 (AP)/No. 8 (USA Today) Ohio State. Maryland is also ranked in both polls at No. 15/13, while reigning WNIT champion Michigan is No. 24/23. Indiana, Michigan State and Purdue are receiving votes in both polls, while Iowa picked up votes in this week’s AP poll and Nebraska earned votes in the preseason USA Today poll.
• The Big Ten announced its first set of weekly honors on Monday, with Iowa forward Megan Gustafson earning Player of the Week recognition, while Nebraska’s Kate Cain and Purdue’s Karissa McLaughlin shared Freshman of the Week accolades. More details on each student’s award-winning performances last week, along with the first Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll selections of the season, can be found on page four of this release.
• With its 74-50 win over Liberty on Sunday, Michigan became the second Big Ten school in three seasons (after Indiana in 2015) and 18th all-time to reach the WNIT semifinals. Four current Big Ten programs have won the Preseason WNIT championship, most recently Purdue in 2010. The Wolverines await the winner of Tuesday’s second-round game between No. 5 Louisville and Toledo in the WNIT semifinals on Thursday (the time, place and television coverage are still to be determined).
• The Big Ten has had some of the nation’s highest-scoring teams in recent seasons, and that trend looks to be continuing again this year. Through the first four days of the 2017-18 season, Big Ten schools have scored at least 80 points in 15 of the conference’s 23 outings, including three 100-point games and another four 90-point contests. According to Tuesday’s NCAA statistical rankings, four Big Ten schools rank among the top 25 nationally in scoring offense - Michigan State (11th - 97.5 ppg.), Minnesota (19th - 94.5 ppg.), Iowa (22nd - 93.5 ppg.) and Indiana (23rd - 93.0 ppg.).
• Through the first weekend of the season, several Big Ten students are leading the nation in NCAA statistical categories. Indiana’s Tyra Buss is tops in assists (11.0 apg.), while Northwestern’s Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah is No. 1 in field goal percentage (1.000) and Wisconsin’s Courtney Frederickson has the highest three-point percentage in the land (1.000). In addition, nine Big Ten students (listed on page four of this release) are among a large contingent tied for first with a 1.000 free throw percentage.
• Ohio State forward Stephanie Mavunga pulled down a school-record 26 rebounds in the Buckeyes’ 85-64 win over No. 10/9 Stanford on Nov. 10. Mavunga’s 26 rebounds are also tied for third on the Big Ten’s single-game rebounding list and are the most by a conference student since Minnesota’s Amanda Zahui B had 27 rebounds against Michigan on Feb. 21, 2015 (four days after grabbing a conference-record 29 rebounds against Iowa).
• Three Big Ten schools (Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue) are among 30 NCAA Division I members invited to take part in the NCAA’s Women’s Basketball Advancement Program, a pilot initiative that matches schools with professional marketing experts for mentorship and assistance in increasing attendance and improving the overall fan experience. Each school will work with an advisor for the upcoming season with the possibility of continuing into the following season.
• For the third year in a row, Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell was chosen as the Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year by the conference coaches and a select media panel. With 2,609 points through Sunday’s game with Louisville, Mitchell is the nation’s active career scoring leader and is in position to challenge the Big Ten record held by Minnesota’s Rachel Banham (3,093 from 2012-16) and the NCAA record held by Washington’s Kelsey Plum (3,527 from 2014-17).
• The 2018 NCAA Women’s Final Four will be played March 30 and April 1, right in the heart of Big Ten country in Columbus, Ohio, and co-hosted by Ohio State and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission at Nationwide Arena, home of the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets. This will mark the seventh time the Women’s Final Four is held within the Big Ten Conference footprint, with three visits to Indianapolis (2005, 2011, 2016), two others in the state of Ohio (Cincinnati-1997, Cleveland-2007) and the 1995 event in Minneapolis (the last time it was held in a city featuring a Big Ten institution).
• Next season, the Big Ten will return to an 18-game conference schedule, following approval by the Big Ten Administrators Council in October. Under the new format, schools will play five opponents twice and eight teams once (four home, four away) each season. The model will also emphasize in-state rivalries and competition between regional opponents. Big Ten women’s basketball programs played 18 regular-season conference games for the first 12 seasons of Big Ten play (1982-83 through 1993-94) and returned to that format from 2007-08 to 2009-10 and again in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
• Big Ten programs produced 61 Academic All-Big Ten selections in 2016-17, the 10th consecutive season at least 45 women’s basketball students received the award. That list includes returning Academic All-Americans Amanda Cahill of Indiana and Carlie Wagner of Minnesota, plus Academic All-District honoree Kristen Confroy of Maryland.
• Big Ten schools will be featured on national television at least 63 times during the 2017-18 season. BTN will televise at least 54 games and ESPN networks will carry nine contests. In addition, for the fourth consecutive year, every Big Ten women’s basketball conference game, including 112 regular-season and 13 tournament games, will be produced and distributed by BTN, BTN Plus or an ESPN network.
|Nov. 14, 2017||at #RV/RV Indiana 64, Southern 49||Bloomington, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #NR/RV Nebraska 80, UMKC 60||Lincoln, NE||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Nov. 15, 2017||Penn State 80, at Marshall 65||Huntington, WV||RECAP|
|at #9/8 Ohio State 99, Idaho 56||Columbus, OH||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #RV/RV Purdue 75, Miami (Ohio) 66||West Lafayette, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Illinois 66, Chicago State 56||Champaign, IL||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #RV Iowa 105, Northern Illinois 80||Iowa City, IA||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Green Bay 67, at Wisconsin 34||Madison, WI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Nov. 16, 2017||at #15/13 Maryland 92, Niagara 65||College Park, MD||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #5/10 Louisville 74, #24/23 Michigan 49
(Preseason WNIT - Semifinal)
|Louisville, KY||RECAP||ACC Network Extra|
|Rutgers 77, at Charlotte 54||Charlotte, NC||RECAP|
|at Minnesota 108, VCU 63||Minneapolis, MN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Northwestern 88, Oakland 70||Evanston, IL||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #NR/RV Nebraska 80, Arkansas 69||Lincoln, NE||RECAP||BTN
|Nov. 17, 2017||at #RV/RV Indiana 73, #RV Western Kentucky 71||Bloomington, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #9/8 Ohio State 95, #NR/RV Quinnipiac 63||Columbus, OH||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Nov. 18, 2017||Penn State 60, at Providence 51||Providence, RI||RECAP|
|at #RV/RV Purdue 79, Lamar 64||West Lafayette, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Illinois 74, Bradley 62||Champaign, IL||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Northwestern 71, at UT Martin 63||Martin, TN||RECAP||OVC Digital Network|
|Nov. 19, 2017||at #9/8 Ohio State 85, #NR/25 Washington 76||Columbus, OH||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #RV/RV Michigan State 107, College of Charleston 43||East Lansing, MI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #1/1 UConn 97, #15/13 Maryland 72||Storrs, CT||RECAP||ESPN
|at #RV Iowa 79, Western Michigan 56||Iowa City, IA||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Rutgers 65, Wake Forest 51||Piscataway, NJ||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Minnesota 78, Boston College 68||Minneapolis, MN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Creighton 64, at #NR/RV Nebraska 49||Lincoln, NE||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Nov. 20, 2017||at Penn State 83, Central Connecticut State 66||University Park, PA||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Chattanooga 64, at #RV/RV Indiana 61||Bloomington, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Wisconsin 77, Southern 74||Madison, WI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Utah 81, #RV/RV Purdue 68||Salt Lake City, UT||RECAP||Pac-12 Networks|
NOTE: Rankings from the Nov. 13 Associated Press/USA Today Sports polls (RV - receiving votes/NR - not ranked; when only one ranking is listed, it is from the Associated Press poll)