Big Ten Women's Basketball Weekly Central
Nov. 28, 2017

Big Ten Women's Basketball Scoreboard - Nov. 28-Dec. 4

Big Ten Women's Basketball Weekly Release - Nov. 28 Get Acrobat Reader

• All 14 Big Ten schools will participate in the 11th annual Big Ten/ACC Women’s Basketball Challenge on Wednesday and Thursday. This matchup of two of the nation’s top women’s basketball conferences will feature 19 schools that competed in postseason play last year, including eight from the Big Ten (four in the NCAA Tournament, four in the WNIT, including WNIT Champion Michigan). Fans are invited to join the social media conversation for this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge through the event’s official hashtag (#WB1GACC).

• Each of this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge games will be televised on either linear or digital networks, with BTN carrying four games (Michigan-Notre Dame and Iowa-Florida State on Wednesday; Rutgers-N.C. State and Indiana-Louisville on Thursday) and ESPN2 broadcasting Thursday’s Ohio State-Duke contest. The other three Big Ten-hosted Challenge games will be televised live on BTN Plus, while the remaining six ACC-hosted Challenge matchups will be shown on ACC Network Extra.

• Ten of the 14 games in this year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge will feature at least one school that is either ranked or receiving votes in one of the major national polls, highlighted by a pair of contests between Top 25 programs — No. 22/20 Michigan playing host to No. 3/2 Notre Dame and No. 8/8 Ohio State at No. 14/16 Duke.

• The Big Ten/ACC Challenge has ended in a tie during three of the past six seasons, finishing in a 7-7 draw in 2014 and 2015, as well as a 6-6 deadlock in 2011, with the ACC winning the other seven Challenges (9-5 last year). The Big Ten schools with the most success in the Challenge have been Maryland (9-1 all-time, including a 2-1 record as a Big Ten member), Michigan (8-2) and Indiana (6-4).

• The Big Ten has continued its strong start this season with a 70-23 (.753) composite record and all 14 conference schools at or above .500 through the Thanksgiving weekend. That includes Iowa, which is 7-0 this season and off to its best start since 2010-11, and Minnesota, which is also 7-0 and enjoying its best start since 2003-04, a season the culminated with the Golden Gophers’ first NCAA Women’s Final Four appearance.

• Seven Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Associated Press or USA Today polls, led by No. 8 (AP)/No. 8 (USA Today) Ohio State. Maryland is also ranked in both polls at No. 15/15, as is Michigan at No. 22/20. Iowa and Michigan State are receiving votes in both polls, while Minnesota earned votes in this week’s AP poll, and Indiana did likewise in the current USA Today poll.

• Four Big Ten programs earned tournament titles over the Thanksgiving weekend. In Florida, Iowa won the Puerto Rico Classic (relocated to Fort Lauderdale following damage from Hurricane Maria), while Maryland claimed the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament championship. In Las Vegas, Minnesota secured its first Thanksgiving weekend title in nine years by winning the UNLV Lady Rebel Round-Up, while across town, Ohio State earned its second win over Stanford this season to earn the Play4Kay Showcase trophy.

• Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell is the Big Ten Player of the Week (and espnW National Player of the Week) and Minnesota’s Destiny Pitts is the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after both players earned MVP honors in leading their teams to the title at Thanksgiving tournaments in Las Vegas (the Play4Kay Showcase and Lady Rebel Round-Up, respectively). Maryland’s Ieshia Small also received MVP accolades at the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament, while seven other Big Ten students garnered all-tournament team honors last weekend — Illinois’ Brandi Beasley (UNM Thanksgiving Tournament), Indiana’s Tyra Buss and Jaelynn Penn (Hilton Concord Classic), Maryland’s Kaila Charles (Miami Thanksgiving Tournament), Minnesota’s Gadiva Hubbard (Lady Rebel Round-Up), Northwestern’s Abi Scheid (Challenge in Music City) and Wisconsin’s Cayla McMorris (Paradise Jam).

• With seven three-point field goals last Friday against Florida Gulf Coast, Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell became the NCAA Division I career record holder for three-point field goals made (now with 404), surpassing the previous record set by UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis (398 from 2012-15). The NCAA all-division record is held by Laura Malemee of Division II West Liberty (441 from 2008-11).

• With 2,775 points through last Saturday’s win over Stanford, Mitchell also remains 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).

• More than two weeks into the season, Big Ten schools have recorded nine 100-point games and another 11 90-point contests. According to Tuesday’s NCAA statistical rankings, five Big Ten schools rank among the top 15 nationally in scoring offense — Ohio State (2nd - 94.0 ppg.), Michigan State (6th - 92.2 ppg.), Minnesota (11th - 88.7 ppg.), Maryland (13th - 88.6 ppg.) and Iowa (15th - 87.4 ppg.).

• The Big Ten also features the nation’s top two scorers, as of Tuesday. Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell is No. 1 in the country at 27.8 points per game, while Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty is second at 25.8 points per game.

• Six Big Ten women’s basketball programs rank among the top 25 in the nation in attendance, according to Tuesday’s NCAA statistics report. Maryland leads the way at No. 6 nationally (6,410 fans per game), joined by No. 8 Purdue (5,595), No. 10 Ohio State (5,531), No. 16 Michigan State (4,608), No. 20 Penn State (4,356) and No. 25 Nebraska (3,702). Four other conference schools are appearing in the top 50 in the national attendance rankings — Iowa (27th - 3,622), Wisconsin (34th - 3,179), Michigan (45th - 2,753) and Indiana (49th - 2,635).

• 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. 29, 2017 at North Carolina 88, #RV Minnesota 83
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Chapel Hill, NC RECAP ACC Network Extra
#3/2 Notre Dame 83, at #22/20 Michigan 63
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Wisconsin 58, at Pittsburgh 57
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Pittsburgh, PA RECAP ACC Network Extra
#15/15 Maryland 60, at Virginia 59
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Charlottesville, VA RECAP ACC Network Extra
#13/11 Florida State 94, at #RV/RV Iowa 93
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Nov. 30, 2017 at Rutgers 57, #NR/RV North Carolina State 53
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Piscataway, NJ RECAP BTN
at #14/16 Duke 69, #8/8 Ohio State 60
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
at #NR/RV Georgia Tech 68, Purdue 55
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Atlanta, GA RECAP ACC Network Extra
at #NR/RV Miami (Fla.) 67, #RV/RV Michigan State 57
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Coral Gables, FL RECAP ACC Network Extra
at Penn State 68, Wake Forest 58
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
University Park, PA RECAP BTN Plus
at #RV/25 Syracuse 81, Northwestern 74
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Syracuse, NY RECAP ACC Network Extra
Virginia Tech 96, at Illinois 49
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Champaign, IL RECAP BTN Plus
#4/5 Louisville 72, at #NR/RV Indiana 59
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Bloomington, IN RECAP BTN
Clemson 67, at Nebraska 66
(Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
Lincoln, NE RECAP BTN Plus
Dec. 2, 2017 #22/20 Michigan 86, at LIU Brooklyn 49 Brooklyn, NY RECAP NEC Front Row
at Wisconsin 71, La Salle 60 Madison, WI RECAP BTN Plus
#15/15 Maryland 75, at Akron 54 Akron, OH RECAP ESPN3
at Rutgers 59, Siena 47 Piscataway, NJ RECAP BTN Plus
at Nebraska 73, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 52 Lincoln, NE RECAP BTN Plus
Dec. 3, 2017 at #RV/RV Michigan State 65, Western Michigan 62 East Lansing, MI RECAP BTN Plus
at #8/8 Ohio State 83, Maine 70 Columbus, OH RECAP BTN Plus
Auburn 65, at #NR/RV Indiana 53 Bloomington, IN RECAP BTN Plus
at #RV Minnesota 80, Eastern Michigan 56 Minneapolis, MN RECAP BTN Plus
at Penn State 78, Manhattan 46 University Park, PA RECAP BTN Plus
at #RV/RV Iowa 80, Samford 59 Iowa City, IA RECAP BTN Plus
Illinois 63, at Memphis 47 Memphis, TN RECAP
Milwaukee 66, at Northwestern 57 Evanston, IL RECAP BTN Plus
Dec. 4, 2017 at Rutgers 52, Virginia 43 Piscataway, NJ RECAP BTN
#22/20 Michigan 86, at Detroit Mercy 50 Detroit, MI RECAP ESPN3
Ball State 66, at Purdue 60 West Lafayette, IN RECAP BTN Plus
at #23/23 Marquette 88, Wisconsin 65 Milwaukee, WI RECAP Spectrum Sports Wisconsin

NOTE: Rankings from the Nov. 27-28 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)