Big Ten Women's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 19
Nov. 19, 2013
BIG TEN MEDAL OF HONOR 100TH ANNIVERSARY SPOTLIGHT
Tipoff: During the last week, conference programs combined for a 21-4 record, which included a 13-2 mark on their home courts. Illinois and Indiana both posted 3-0 marks to lead a group of eight teams who were unbeaten on the week. Two teams scored more than 100 points in their wins, as Illinois posted 112 points in a win over Alcorn State and Michigan State scored 102 against Canisius. Six conference team remain undefeated this season, while each squad enters the week carrying a .600 or better winning percentage. This week, 11 conference contests will be nationally distributed, including 10 that will be streamed on BTDN.
Where We Rank: Six Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls, including four teams appearing among the top 20. Nebraska is the top conference squad in both rankings, appearing at No. 10 in the coaches poll and No. 11 in the AP vote. Penn State checks in at No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the USA Today standings, Purdue is rated 18th in the writers rankings and 22nd in the coaches poll and Michigan State is ranked No. 19 in the USA Today rankings and No. 21 in the AP poll. Iowa is the first team receiving votes outside the top 25 of each poll, while Ohio State is receiving votes in the AP standings.
Staying Perfect: Six conference squads will enter the third week of the college basketball season with unblemished records, with Indiana and Iowa boasting 4-0 records. In addition, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin each have started the season with 3-0 marks. The Hoosiers are off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 2006, while the Hawkeyes opened the season with four straight wins for the first time since 2010, when they won seven consecutive. Nebraska started the season with three straight wins for the seventh straight year. Northwestern is 3-0 for the fifth straight season, Purdue began with three straight wins for the fourth year in a row and Wisconsin is 3-0 for the first time since 2009.
Winning Ways: The Big Ten enters the week with each of its teams carrying a .600 or better record, one of just two conference that can claim such a feat. In addition to the conference’s six undefeated teams, Illinois and Ohio State carry matching 3-1 records, Minnesota, Michigan State and Penn State are 2-1 and Michigan is 3-2 on the season. In addition, conference programs hold a 24-2 mark on their home courts.
Pouring it On: Through 42 games this season, Big Ten teams have combined to score 70 or more points 31 times and at least 80 points on 17 occasions. Illinois is averaging 96 points per contest, having scored at least 87 points in all four of its games this season. Michigan State, Penn State and Iowa are each averaging better than 80 points per contest, while 11 Big Ten programs are averaging better than 70 points a game. In addition, Illinois, Michigan State and Penn State have each scored more than 100 points in a game this season, giving the Big Ten more 100-point games through two weeks of play than all of last season.
Double the Effort: Big Ten standouts combined for 13 double-doubles last week, bringing this year’s total to 22 such efforts. Michigan’s Cyesha Goree and Northwestern’s Nia Coffey finished the week with a pair of double-doubles. Goree finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds against Xavier before adding 12 points and 15 boards at Western Michigan. Coffey finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Chicago State and 10 points and 10 boards against UNLV. Illinois’ Amber Moore had 27 points and 19 rebounds against Mississippi Valley State, while teammate Sarah Livingston finished with 12 tallies and 12 boards against Alcorn State. Michigan’s Nicole Elmblad (19 points, 12 rebounds) achieved the feat against Xavier, while Minnesota’s Amanda Zahui B. had 19 points and 12 rebounds against Charlotte. Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper recorded 13 points and 12 boards against Utah, Ohio State’s Darryce Moore finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds against VCU and Wisconsin’s Jacki Gulczynski (14, 13) and Taylor Wurtz (13, 10) recorded double-doubles against Milwaukee, while teammate Michala Johnson had 12 points and 10 rebounds against Northern Illinois.
Making Their Mark: In addition to the conference’s 12 double-double efforts, numerous other conference standouts flourished in their games last week. Michigan’s Shannon Smith scored 32 points and Purdue’s Courtney Moses had 30 to lead their teams to victories, Illinois’ Amber Moore finished with 19 rebounds against Mississippi Valley State, the most in the conference this season.
Milestone Tracker: Numerous Big Ten standouts have achieved career milestones last week or are nearing them in the coming games. Nebraska’s Emily Cady had nine rebounds against Utah last week, giving her 508 boards in her career, becoming the fifth active player to reach 500 in her career. Purdue’s KK Houser and Wisconsin’s Morgan Paige are approaching 1,000 career points as Houser needs 32 tallies and Paige is 99 from the landmark. Houser is four steals away from 200 and Penn State’s Maggie Lucas is 13 away from the milestone, while Iowa’s Samantha Logic needs 29 rebounds to reach 500 in her career.
Keep a Close Watch: Three Big Ten women’s basketball standouts were named to the Wade Trophy and Wooden Award Watch Lists ahead of the 2013-14 season. Minnesota’s Rachel Banham, Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper and Penn State’s Maggie Lucas were named to each list, both of which annually honor the nation’s most outstanding player. Hooper and Lucas earned the recognition for the second consecutive year, while Banham was named to the lists for the first time. All three standouts were first-team All-Big Ten selections a season ago.
Stay CLASS-y: Big Ten women’s basketball student-athletes Jordan Hooper from Nebraska and Maggie Lucas from Penn State are among 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible, student-athletes must be a senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. The initial list of 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the season and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot.
Watch Us Here: The Big Ten will continue to receive extensive national coverage this season, as nearly 70 games will be televised live nationally through the conference’s media agreements with BTN, CBS and ESPN. This season, 105 of 107 Big Ten matchups are slated to receive national coverage, providing exposure for over 98 percent of the conference’s regular season and tournament schedule. For the seventh straight season, every game of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be nationally televised.
Tourney Town: The 2014 Women’s Basketball Tournament will once again call Bankers Life Fieldhouse home. It is the 18th time in 20 years Indianapolis has played host to the annual event. This is the second year of a four-year agreement that places the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in Indianapolis in 2014 and 2016 and Chicagoland in 2013 and 2015. The 2014 women’s tournament will begin on Thursday, March 6, and culminate with the tournament championship game on Sunday, March 9.