Nov. 21, 2005
A Look at the Week Ahead...
All 11 conference schools will take to the court this week, including 2004-05 co-regular season champion Ohio State, which will open its season Monday against Eastern Kentucky.
In fact, Big Ten women's basketball will be in action each day this week. One game is on the slate for Monday, three will be played Tuesday and two are scheduled for Wednesday. One game will be played on Thanksgiving, followed by a full plate of games Friday through Sunday.
Take Me Down to the Paradise City...
When did Thanksgiving week begin looking like Spring Break? Four Big Ten teams will be "giving thanks" to their coaching staffs for their Thanksgiving tournaments in paradise this week. Michigan State and Minnesota will travel to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to compete in the Paradise Jam, while Purdue heads to the Bahamas and Wisconsin travels to Hawaii. The Spartans will have their break highlighted by a NCAA semifinal rematch on Thanksgiving as MSU will battle Tennessee at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Four Big Ten Teams Ranked in Nation's Top 25
Four conference squads were ranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches Polls last week. Ohio State was ranked fourth in both polls, while Michigan State was rated 10th and 11th, respectively. No. 16/17 Minnesota and No. 19/24 Purdue rounded out the Big Ten contingent. Penn State also received votes in the coaches poll. This week's polls will be released on Tuesday.
Minnesota's Six Seeing Double
This past Sunday, Minnesota defeated No. 11/9 Stanford with six players finishing in double figures. Shannon Schonrock finished with a team-high 15 points, while Lauren Lacey and Liz Podomonick each had 14. Natasha Williams has 13 points, followed by Kelly Roysland's 12 and April Calhoun's 11. The last time six Gophers scored in double figures in a single game was in Dec. of 1997.
Northwestern's 93-77 season-opening win over Creighton marked the first time since 1998 that the Wildcats scored 50 points in a half and eclipsed the 90-point plateau. The last time both instances occurred was on Dec. 4, 1998 against Ohio. Last week against Creighton, NU junior A.J. Glasauer scored a career-high 26 points, while also dishing out six assists and grabbing four rebounds.
The Day for Double-Doubles
Three Big Ten student-athletes posted their first double-doubles of the season on Sunday, Nov. 20. Michigan's Kelly Helvey notched 10 points and 10 rebounds in the Wolverines' win over Miami (Ohio). Liz Shimek of Michigan State, the current Big Ten Player of the Week, tallied a career-high 28 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Western Carolina, while Wisconsin's Danielle Ward posted 14 points and 14 rebounds in the Badgers' win over Cleveland State.
Look Who Hit 40...
This past week both Illinois and Iowa earned their first victories over the year with 40-point wins. Illinois traveled to Loyola (Chicago) on Nov. 18, and walked away a 79-39 winner. Iowa, playing on its home floor, topped UW-Milwaukee on Nov. 20 with an 82-42 rout.
When Hitting 30 is Actually Great
In its 80-52 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in the opening week, Michigan connected on 30-of-35 free throws, which matched the school record. The Wolverines hit 30 free throws at Detroit on Nov. 18, 2001 and at Minnesota on March 6, 1988.
Several conference coaches either eclipsed milestone marks this past week or are on pace to this week. Penn State's Rene Portland (665-235) coached in her 900th career game on Sunday, while Wisconsin's Lisa Stone (339-151) took the sidelines in her 550th game. With a win over Cleveland State, Stone is now just one win away from No. 400 for her career. Also one game shy of 400 is Michigan State's Joanne P. McCallie (270-129), however hers will come Thursday when she coaches in her 400th career game. Indiana's Sharon Versyp (98-52) paced the sidelines in her 150th game on Saturday and is looking for her first victory as the Hoosiers' head coach this week. Minnesota's Pam Borton (78-23) coached in her 100th and 101st games as the Gophers' mentor last week. Other milestones on the horizon include Ohio State's Jim Foster (73-25), who is looking for wins No. 99 and 100 this weekend and Purdue's Kristy Curry (154-44), who is two contests shy of her 200th game both at Purdue and in her career.