Nov. 20, 2012
Big Ten teams have combined for 34 victories through the first two weeks of the 2012-13 season, boasting a collective winning percentage of 83 percent. In addition, every team is boasts a .500 or better record through Monday’s games. Five Big Ten teams head to holiday tournaments in the coming days, while six Big Ten teams are ranked or receiving votes in one or both national polls. This week, 12 home contests will be streamed live online at BTN.com
Through two weeks of play, five Big Ten teams enjoy unblemished records this season, which is tied for the second-most undefeated teams of any conference in the country. Minnesota has posted a 4-0 start to the season, winning a pair of home tournaments in the first two weekends of the season. Elsewhere, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State and Purdue have each recorded three consecutive victories to the start the new campaign.
Off to a Good Start
The remaining seven conference teams each have just one blemish on their records this season, as each holds at a .667 winning percentage or better through Monday’s games. Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska are all 3-1 through four games this season, while Illinois, Ohio State and Wisconsin each have won two of their first three contests. The Big Ten is the only conference in the nation with each of its teams boasting a better than .500 record through Monday’s games.
Where We Rank
Four Big Ten teams appear in both the Associated Press (AP) and USA Today Coaches polls, while two squads are among others also receiving votes in one of this week’s rankings. Penn State climbs three spots to No. 6 in the AP poll and two places to No. 7 in the coaches rankings. Purdue jumps four spots in the writers’ poll to No. 14 and is ranked 12th by the coaches. Ohio State moves up four spots in the AP and USA Today rankings to No. 16 and No. 17, respectively, while Nebraska checks in at No. 23 in the AP vote and No. 20 in the coaches poll. Iowa is receiving votes in the AP poll, and Minnesota is receiving votes in the USA Today rankings.
Five Big Ten teams will take part in various holiday tournaments surrounding the Thanksgiving weekend. Illinois heads to the Bahamas for the Junkanoo Jam, where it will open against Tulsa on Friday. Iowa travels to Miami, Fla., to take part in the FIU Thanksgiving Classic, where the Hawkeyes will face host FIU in the tournament opener on Friday. Minnesota has three games lined up at the Cancun Classic, the first of which will be against Richmond on Thursday. Penn State heads to the Cal State Northridge Tournament for two games, beginning Friday against Detroit. Finally, Purdue takes part in the Paradise Jam in the Virgin Islands, taking on Marist on Thursday in the first of three games at the event.
Big Ten players have recently surpassed career milestones or are poised to do so in the coming contests. Penn State’s Mia Nickson became the eighth active player with 500 career rebounds with 504. Wisconsin’s Taylor Wurtz is just 27 points shy of reaching 1,000 for her career, and would become the 10th active member of the club. Ohio State’s Tayler Hill is closing in on 200 career steals, needing 17 swipes to join Michigan’s Jenny Ryan and Penn State’s Alex Bentley as the only active players with 200 or more steals. Penn State’s Nikki Greene needs 21 more blocks to reach the 200 mark in her career, a feat only Illinois’ Karisma Penn and Iowa’s Morgan Johnson can tout among active players, and Bentley is 33 assists shy of joining Nebraska’s Lindsey Moore in the 500 assists club.
Coach Milestone Tracker
Several Big Ten coaches have reached or are nearing milestones in the coming games. Minnesota coach Pam Borton reached the 200-wins mark as the Gophers’ head coach following a pair of victories last weekend. Nebraska’s Connie Yori needs seven more victories to reach the 200 mark with Nebraska, while Penn State coach Coquese Washington needs five more triumphs to earn her 100th career win.
Named to Naismith
Five Big Ten student-athletes were among the 50 players selected to the 2012-13 Naismith Women’s Early Season Watch List. Nebraska’s Jordan Hooper and Lindsey Moore, Ohio State’s Tayler Hill and Penn State’s Alex Bentley and Maggie Lucas were all named to the preseason. The quintet appears on all three major preseason awards lists, as they are also in the running for the Wade Trophy and the Wooden Award. The Naismith Women’s College Player of the Year Award will be presented on April 8, 2013, during the NCAA Women’s Final Four in New Orleans, La.
Four Big Ten student-athletes were named candidates for the 2012-13 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. Iowa’s Jaime Printy, Ohio State’s Tayler Hill, Penn State’s Alex Bentley and Purdue’s Drey Mingo were chosen as candidates for the award, and the winner will be announced during the Women’s Final Four in New Orleans, La.
Watch Us Here
The Big Ten will continue to receive extensive national broadcast coverage this season, as approximately 65 games will be televised live nationally through the conference’s media agreements. BTN, ESPN and CBS Sports will televise 47 Big Ten Conference games, while nearly 97 percent of the intra-conference schedule will be available nationally through televised coverage or streamed online at BTN.com. For the sixth straight season, every game of the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be nationally televised.
For the first time, the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will be held in the Chicagoland area as this year’s event will be staged at Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill. The 19th edition of the tournament will be held March 7-10, featuring 11 games over four days. Thursday and Friday will feature four games each, with the semifinals contested on Saturday in advance of Sunday’s championship game. The Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament will return to Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis for the 2014 event.