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Big Ten Women’s Basketball News and Notes 12.2.2020

by | Dec 2, 2020 | Basketball Blogs, Headlines | 0 comments


  • The Big Ten went 14-1 (.933) through the first week of the 2020-21 season, with 11 of the 14 schools having seen action to date. Minnesota and Nebraska will open their seasons later this week, with No. 15/16 Northwestern slated to tip off Dec. 10 against Eastern Illinois.
  • The Big Ten continues to share top honors among all conferences with five Top 25 teams in both the Associated Press and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today polls, plus two others receiving votes.
  • Big Ten women’s basketball will make its season debut on BTN at 6 p.m. (ET) Thursday when No. 14/11 Maryland opens its home schedule against Towson at the XFINITY Center. All BTN games this season can also be seen on the FOX Sports app.
  • No. 19/22 Ohio State had a recent addition to its schedule and will play host to Kent State at noon (ET) Wednesday at the Covelli Center in Columbus. The game will be streamed live on Big Ten Network+.
  • The conference portion of the Big Ten season gets underway Saturday when Wisconsin travels to Iowa for a 3 p.m. (ET) game that will also be streamed live on Big Ten Network+.
  • Offense has been the story in the Big Ten through the opening week of the 2020-21 season. Conference teams have scored at least 80 points in 11 of 15 games thus far (and Michigan State scored 77 points in its season-opening win over Saint Francis-Pa. on Nov. 27), highlighted by six 90-point games and two 100-point outings.
  • Maryland recorded the Big Ten’s first win over a ranked opponent this season on Sunday night with a 115-96 victory over No. 14 Arkansas on the final day of the #BeachBubble at the Gulf Coast Showcase in Fort Myers, Fla. The Terrapins set Big Ten records for points against a ranked team and points in a single quarter (41 in the third), while their 16 three-pointers tied for sixth in Big Ten history and were the most since Dec. 3, 2017, when Minnesota also had 16 treys in a win over Cal Poly.
  • Penn State has won its first two games this season by at least 30 points, the first time the Lady Lions have recorded back-to-back 30-point wins since Dec. 8 & 12, 2010, when they defeated Army West Point and Maine. It’s also the first time PSU has opened a season with consecutive 30-point victories in nearly 40 years, dating back to Dec. 2 & 5, 1980, when it started off with wins over Howard and Fairleigh Dickinson.
  • Four Big Ten student-athletes were named to the John R. Wooden Award Watch List on Tuesday, makng them prime candidates for national player-of-the-year honors. Indiana’s Ali Patberg, Michigan’s Naz Hillmon, Northwestern’s Lindsey Pulliam and Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes all were chosen for the watch list, adding to previous preseason watch list honors for the quartet and other Big Ten student-athletes (as noted on page 2 of the PDF version of this release).
  • On Monday, Michigan junior forward Naz Hillmon was named the first Big Ten Player of the Week this season, while Iowa’s Caitlin Clark and Maryland’s Angel Reese were chosen as the Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Week. A recap of their performances last week, as well as a look at the latest Big Ten Weekly Honor Roll, can be found by clicking here.
  • Led by a career-high 35 points from Hillmon, No. 25/24 Michigan rolled to its second straight 90-point performance, a 95-62 win at Oakland on Friday. It’s the first time the Wolverines have scored 90 points in back-to-back games since Nov. 11-18, 2016, when they opened the season with three consecutive 100-point outings.
  • Several Big Ten freshmen made a splash in their collegiate debuts last week. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark led the way with a game-high 27 points in the Hawkeyes’ Nov. 25 win over Northern Iowa. It is believed to be the most by a conference freshman in her first game since Dec. 1, 1992, when Illinois’ Robbyn Preacely scored 27 at Illinois State. Reese scored 20 points on Nov. 27 in the Terrapins’ season-opening win over Davidson, while Michigan State’s Kendall Bostic and Rutgers’ Diamond Johnson both scored 15 points on Nov. 27 in victories over Saint Francis (Pa.) and Monmouth, respectively.
  • Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes tied a Big Ten record on Nov. 25, going 13-for-13 from the field to help the No. 16/15 Hoosiers to a 100-51 win over visiting Eastern Kentucky. The only other Big Ten player to go 13-for-13 from the field was Iowa All-America center Megan Gustafson, who pulled off the feat on Nov. 13, 2018, at Western Kentucky.
  • Holmes’ teammate, Grace Berger, tallied the first triple-double in Indiana women’s basketball history on Nov. 25 with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Berger also recorded the 29th triple-double in Big Ten history and first since Jan. 23, 2018 (Illinois’ Alex Wittinger at Penn State).
  • Iowa scored 38 points in the third quarter of its 96-81 win over UNI on Nov. 25. It tied for the third-most (now fourth-most) points in a single quarter in Big Ten history (the quarter system was introduced in NCAA women’s basketball in 2015-16) and, at the time, it was the most by a conference team since Nov. 13, 2016, when Penn State scored a (then) conference-record 39 points in the first quarter of its 106-50 win over Saint Peter’s.
  • With its Nov. 25 win over UNI, Iowa extended its home winning streak to 37 games, the second-longest active string in the nation behind Baylor (57). The Hawkeyes’ run began on Feb. 4, 2018, with a 92-84 win over Minnesota.
  • Rutgers head coach C. Vivian Stringer began her 50th season and 26th at Rutgers on Nov. 27 when the Scarlet Knights downed Monmouth, 82-38. The Hall of Famer is the first NCAA women’s basketball coach ever to coach 50 seasons and the fourth men’s or women’s basketball coach in any NCAA division to reach that milestone — the others are Phog Allen (50 seasons at Kansas, Baker, Central Missouri and Haskell from 1906-56), Jim Smith (51 seasons at Division III Saint John’s-Minn. from 1965-2015) and Herb Magee, who is in his 54th season at Division II Jefferson, where he took over in 1967-68. Also of note, Harry Statham coached the men’s program at NAIA McKendree for 52 seasons (1966-2018).
  • On Nov. 23, the Big Ten released its 2020-21 conference schedule, which will see schools play 20 Big Ten games, up two from the previous two seasons. Schools will play seven opponents twice (home and away) and the other six once (three at home and three on the road). To account for the additional games and preserve flexibility in the schedule, the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament has been moved to March 9-13 and will continue to be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
  • For the 13th consecutive season, Big Ten women’s basketball honored more than 45 Academic All-Big Ten standouts as a record-setting 87 women’s basketball students were recognized in 2019-20.