• All 14 Big Ten women’s basketball programs remain at or above .500, with eight conference schools owning a .700 winning percentage or better more than a month into the 2017-18 season. What’s more, Nebraska and Rutgers have already tied or surpassed their win totals from all of last year (when Nebraska had seven wins and Rutgers had six), while Illinois is one victory away and Wisconsin is two wins shy of tying its victory count from last season.
• Big Ten women’s basketball continues to be front and center on the Big Ten Network this week, with the third of four games in four days on BTN at 7 p.m. (ET) Tuesday as No. 23/21 Michigan welcomes North Florida to Crisler Center. This week’s slate of Big Ten women’s basketball games on BTN, which features four different Big Ten schools, concludes Wednesday as Rutgers hosts in-state rival Princeton.
• Maryland won its eighth straight game on Monday, setting a Big Ten and program record with 37 assists in its 114-45 win over Loyola (Md.). The Terrapins topped the previous Big Ten mark of 35 assists set on four occasions, most recently on Nov. 17, 2001, by Minnesota in a win over Butler.
• Five Big Ten schools are ranked or receiving votes in the latest Associated Press or USA Today polls, led by No. 13 (AP)/No. 13 (USA Today) Ohio State. Maryland is also ranked in both polls at No. 15/15, as are Michigan at No. 23/21 (the Wolverines have been ranked all six weeks this season, the second-longest run in school history behind a nine-week stretch in 2001-02) and Iowa at No. 25/25 (its first appearance in the AP poll since Dec. 7, 2015), while Rutgers is earning votes in the AP poll. Ten of the 14 Big Ten schools have been ranked or receiving votes in the polls for at least one week this year.
• Eight Big Ten schools are among the top 64 in the latest NCAA RPI rankings issued Tuesday. Ohio State leads the group at No. 10, followed by No. 14 Rutgers, No. 22 Iowa and No. 25 Michigan. Purdue is next at No. 42, with Maryland at No. 45, Minnesota at No. 56, and Michigan State at No. 64.
• Nebraska swept this week’s Big Ten honors, with sophomore guard Hannah Whitish earning Player of the Week accolades, while center Kate Cain was named Freshman of the Week for the third time this season, and second time in as many weeks. More information on the accomplishments of this Husker duo, as well as the full Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll, can be found on page four of the PDF version of this release.
• Rutgers reached several milestones in its 101-35 win over Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday. It was the Scarlet Knights’ third 100-point game in head coach C. Vivian Stringer’s 23 seasons at RU, as well as the program’s first since Nov. 30, 2014 (100-44 vs. Davidson). The Scarlet Knights also tied a school and Rutgers Athletic Center record with 23 steals, a mark last set on Jan. 27, 1987, against Temple.
• Wisconsin set two school defensive records (topping one that had stood nearly 43 years) on Sunday with its 82-24 win over visiting Savannah State. The Badgers not only held the Tigers to the fewest opponent points in school history (previous was 27 by Northern Illinois on Jan. 23, 1975), but they also limited SSU to an opponent-record .123 field-goal percentage (previous was .208 at Saint Louis on Nov. 12, 2010). The latter total was highlighted by a stretch of 13:43 crossing between the second and third quarters in which Wisconsin did not allow a single Savannah State basket.
• Iowa became the first Big Ten school to reach the 10-win mark this season, improving to 10-1 with an 85-45 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Saturday. The Hawkeyes are off to their best start since a similar 10-1 debut in 2013-14, and this is the fourth time in head coach Lisa Bluder’s 18-year tenure at Iowa that the Hawkeyes have opened a season with a record of 10-1 or better.
• Nebraska earned its second consecutive road win on Saturday with an 89-84 double-overtime victory at Drake. Big Ten schools are 4-1 this season in overtime games, with Saturday’s win by the Huskers the first multiple-overtime contest by a conference program since Michigan’s 89-79 triple-overtime victory over Georgia Tech in last spring’s WNIT Championship Game (April 1, 2017).
• Three Big Ten schools have been led in scoring by freshmen through the first month of the season. Michigan State’s top scorer is Sidney Cooks (10.8 ppg.), while Nebraska is paced by guard Taylor Kissinger (14.0 ppg.), and Northwestern is led by Lindsey Pulliam (15.5 ppg.).
• Eight Big Ten students from six conference schools have scored 30 points in a game this season. The Big Ten’s 30-point scorers include: Iowa’s Megan Gustafson (twice), Maryland’s Kaila Charles, Michigan’s Katelynn Flaherty, Minnesota’s Kenisha Bell and Carlie Wagner, Ohio State’s Stephanie Mavunga and Kelsey Mitchell (five times) and Penn State’s Jaida Travascio-Green.
• In Tuesday’s NCAA statistical rankings, four Big Ten schools rank among the top 20 nationally in scoring offense — Ohio State (5th - 90.7 ppg.), Maryland (11th - 87.2 ppg.), Iowa (18th - 84.6 ppg.) and Minnesota (19th - 84.2 ppg.).
• Among Tuesday’s other NCAA statistical reports, Iowa leads the nation in assists (24.0 apg.) and fewest fouls (11.7 per game), while Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell is the country’s top scorer (26.1 ppg.).
• Seven Big Ten programs rank among the top 25 in the nation in attendance, according to Tuesday’s NCAA statistics report. Purdue leads the way at No. 8 nationally (5,689 fans per game), joined by No. 9 Ohio State (5,589), No. 13 Maryland (5,249), No. 14 Michigan State (5,176), No. 21 Iowa (3,755), No. 22 Nebraska (3,695) and No. 25 Penn State (3,468). Two other Big Ten schools are in the top 50 nationally in attendance — Wisconsin (32nd - 3,244) and Indiana (47th - 2,666).
• 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.
|Dec. 12, 2017||at #23/21 Michigan 79, North Florida 34||Ann Arbor, MI||RECAP||BTN
|Dec. 13, 2017||at Minnesota 112, Cal Poly 68||Minneapolis, MN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at #RV Rutgers 70, Princeton 50||Piscataway, NJ||RECAP||BTN
|#NR/RV DePaul 92, at Northwestern 63||Evanston, IL||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Dec. 14, 2017||Milwaukee 67, at Wisconsin 64||Madison, WI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Dec. 15, 2017||at #13/13 Ohio State 103, Dartmouth 70||Columbus, OH||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Dec. 16, 2017||at #23/21 Michigan 77, Fort Wayne 45||Ann Arbor, MI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Illinois 59, Austin Peay 47||Champaign, IL||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Missouri State 90, Northwestern 59||Springfield, MO||RECAP|
|at #RV Rutgers 75, Houston 57||Piscataway, NJ||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|Michigan State 83, at East Tennessee State 74 (OT)||Johnson City, TN||RECAP||ESPN3|
|Dec. 17, 2017||at Purdue 65, Eastern Washington 40
(Basketball Travelers, Inc., Invitational)
|West Lafayette, IN||RECAP||BTN
|#16/16 Missouri 75, Indiana 55
(West Palm Invitational)
|West Palm Beach, FL||RECAP|
|Penn State 59, at Pittsburgh 48||Pittsburgh, PA||RECAP||ACC Network Extra|
|#25/25 Iowa 71, at Northern Iowa 47||Cedar Falls, IA||RECAP||ESPN3|
|Nebraska 81, at San Jose State 55||San Jose, CA||RECAP||Mountain West Network|
|#13/13 Ohio State 87, at Cincinnati 76||Cincinnati, OH||RECAP||ESPN2
|Dec. 18, 2017||Virginia 82, Indiana 72 (OT)
(West Palm Invitational)
|West Palm Beach, FL||RECAP|
|at Purdue 60, UT Martin 58
(Basketball Travelers, Inc., Invitational)
|West Lafayette, IN||RECAP||BTN Plus|
|at Michigan State 74, Quinnipiac 55||East Lansing, MI||RECAP||BTN Plus|
NOTE: Rankings from the Dec. 11-12 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)