Dec. 1, 2009
GET TO KNOW HER
Dayeesha Hollins, Michigan
Michigan freshman Dayeesha Hollins has hit the collegiate women's basketball scene running. She has been in U-M's starting lineup each game this season and already has five games in double figures, including a career-high 18 points against Southern Mississippi. A basketball player through and through, Hollins also used her speed on the track in high school and was a three-time state finalist in the 400m and still holds the Cincinnati record in that event.
Up to the Challenge
The third annual Big Ten/ACC Women's Basketball Challenge opens this week with three games on Wednesday, followed by eight on Thursday. Big Ten teams will host five Challenge games this year, each of which will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network or www.BigTenNetwork.com. The Big Ten and ACC are in the third of an initial four-year Challenge agreement, which has been extended for an additional two years beyond the original four. For more information, follow the event on Twitter by using the tag, #BTACCW.
An Early Start
Big Ten teams will get an early start on conference play this year, with 10 squads playing their first Big Ten contests on Sunday. The Big Ten Network will air a quadruple-header of Big Ten women's basketball action beginning at 1 p.m. CT, with an additional game broadcast at 4 p.m. CT on www.BigTenNetwork.com. Following a break for more non-conference play, conference action will resume on Dec. 28.
Ohio State remains the only undefeated Big Ten team, sitting with an 8-0 record. The start is the Buckeyes' best under head coach Jim Foster, and no other team ranked in the AP poll has as many wins as Ohio State entering this week.
`Cats Gone Wild
Northwestern recorded the Big Ten's first win over a ranked opponent this season with a thrilling 59-55 upset over then-No. 15/21 DePaul last Tuesday. The win was the Wildcats' first over a ranked opponent since Jan. 23, 2005 and the team's second in the last decade. In addition, the win gave Northwestern its first 4-0 start since the 1995-96 campaign.
Illinois boasts the conference's second-longest streak of the season, behind Ohio State's eight-gamer. The Fighting Illini have won their last six, marking the program's first six-game winning streak since the 1997-98 season. Michigan State extended a winning streak of a different nature, winning its 12th consecutive overtime game with a 93-90 thriller against Oklahoma State on Saturday. On the other side of the table, Michigan snapped its 13-game road losing streak with an 85-61 victory against Stephen F. Austin on Friday.
They Keep Going and Going and...
Illinois' Jenna Smith and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender continued to extend their impressive double-digit scoring streaks last week. With game-by-game totals of 27, 12 and 33, Lavender's streak now stands at 74 games, which spans the entire length of her career and is the longest such streak in the nation. Smith posted single-game totals of 19, 14 and 28, putting her streak at 46 games, which is the third-longest active streak in the country.
30 is the New 20
Indiana's Jori Davis and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender tied the Big Ten's season high with 33-point performances last week, both putting up high numbers against nationally ranked opposition. Davis put a career-high 33 against No. 15/18 Virginia on Thursday, nearly leading the Hoosiers to an upset win. Lavender's performance came on Sunday against No. 22/15 Califorinia, when she put up her sixth career 30-point game and her second this season. So far this year, Big Ten players have combined for five games of 30 points or more, whereas the conference produced seven 30-point games a season ago.
Iowa tied a Big Ten and school record on Saturday, going 16-for-16 at the free-throw line against Columbia. With a minimum of 15 attempts, a 1.000 team free-throw percentage has only been accomplished five other times in Big Ten history. Most recently, Wisconsin went 20-for-20 from the line against Western Kentucky on March 28, 2007.
Neighborhood Watch Program
Six Big Ten players have been added to the Big Ten's expanding list of student-athletes placed on preseason awards watch lists. Illinois' Jenna Smith, Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan, Northwestern's Amy Jaeschke, Ohio State's Samantha Prahalis and Jantel Lavender and Penn State's Tyra Grant were all honored with spots on the Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List. The Naismith Trophy is presented annually to college basketball's Player of the Year.
Wooden is Watching
The Big Ten placed five players on the 2009-10 John R. Wooden Award Women's Preseason Top 30 List announced in late August, leading all conferences. Candidates from the Big Ten are Illinois senior Jenna Smith, Michigan State senior Allyssa DeHaan, Ohio State junior Jantel Lavender and sophomore Samantha Prahalis and Penn State senior Tyra Grant. OSU is one of just four schools with multiple players on the list, and Prahalis is the only sophomore to make the cut.
Wade For Me
Illinois' Jenna Smith, Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan and Ohio State's Jantel Lavender and Samantha Prahalis were also named to the 25-player 2009-10 preseason "Wade Watch" list for the State Farm Wade Trophy Division I Player of the Year. With four selections, the Big Ten is tied with the ACC, Big East and Pac-10 for tops among all conferences. The Buckeyes are one of three schools with multiple players on the list, and Prahalis is one of just two sophomores to be named.
Illinois' Jenna Smith, Michigan State's Allyssa DeHaan and Penn State's Tyra Grant have all been named candidates for the 2009-10 Lowes Senior CLASS Award. Student-athletes eligible for the award must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition.
Set Your TiVo
Big Ten women's basketball will once again experience vast national television coverage, with nearly 90 percent of home games set to be broadcast on the Big Ten Network, www.BigTenNetwork.com, ESPN2 or CBS Sports this season. In addition to its linear network package, www.BigTenNetwork.com will stream additional games that will be produced in HD-quality.
Back Home Again...
Big Ten women's basketball will once again return to the city of Indianapolis and Conseco Fieldhouse for the 2010 Big Ten Women's Basketball Tournament. The 2010 event marks the third of a five-year agreement that places both the men's and women's tournaments in the Circle City. This year's tournament will be the ninth consecutive and 15th overall in Indianapolis and will be held on four consecutive days beginning Thursday, March 4. The championship game will be played Sunday, March 7.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
Big Ten women's basketball will have its sights set on San Antonio, Texas, during the 2009-10 season as the 2010 NCAA Women's Final Four will be held April 4 and 6 at the Alamodome. The conference has sent five teams to the past 11 Final Fours, including two in the last six seasons. The 2010 championship event will be hosted by the University of Texas at San Antonio.