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Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly 12.22.2020

by | Dec 22, 2020 | Basketball Blogs, Headlines | 0 comments

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly 12.22.2020

  • The last handful of non-conference games on the Big Ten women’s basketball schedule will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, with conference play beginning in earnest following the break for the Christmas holiday.
  • Rutgers swept this week’s Big Ten individual awards, with senior guard Arella Guirantes named Player of the Week and fellow guard Diamond Johnson selected as Freshman of the Week. Guirantes also was chosen as the espnW National Player of the Week, the second consecutive week a Big Ten student-athlete received that honor (Iowa’s Caitlin Clark earned the award on Dec. 14).
  • The Big Ten leads all conferences with six Top 25 teams in the Associated Press poll and five in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today poll, plus others receiving votes. This is the first time the Big Ten has had six Top 25 teams in the AP poll in a single week since Jan. 14, 2019.
  • The Big Ten has the nation’s third-highest non-conference winning percentage (against D-I opponents) this season, posting an .833 (40-8) mark to date. That includes three wins over Top 25 teams — Maryland 115-96 over No. 14 Arkansas on Nov. 29 (a Big Ten record for points against a ranked team); Michigan 76-66 at No. RV/23 Notre Dame on Dec. 3; Iowa 82-80 over No. RV/24 Iowa State on Dec. 9.
  • The Big Ten has been home to some of the nation’s top offensive programs this season, with five conference teams currently among the top 15 in the country in scoring offense. Maryland is No. 2 at 97.5 points per game, followed by Ohio State (4th – 96.2), Iowa (8th – 89.6), Michigan (14th – 87.8) and Rutgers (15th – 86.4). No other conference has more than two teams among the top 15 (or one in the top 10) in scoring offense as of Tuesday.
  • Maryland topped the 100-point mark for the third time in its last four games on Dec. 19 with a 101-59 win over James Madison in College Park. The Terrapins, who are the nation’s second-highest scoring team at 97.5 points per game, have three of the seven triple-digit games by Big Ten schools this season, with Ohio State reaching the century mark twice and Indiana and Iowa doing so once.
  • Rutgers’ success on offense is particularly noteworthy, as the Scarlet Knights are on pace to challenge their school record for scoring offense (86.2 ppg. in 1978-79). RU has also scored at least 80 points in its last three games, something the Scarlet Knights most recently did from Jan. 27-Feb. 2, 1994, two seasons before current Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer arrived in Piscataway.
  • The Big Ten also features five of the nation’s top 25 individual scorers from five different conference programs. Iowa’s Caitlin Clark leads the country in scoring at 29.8 points per game, with Michigan’s Naz Hillmon ranking 12th at 24.8 ppg. and Rutgers’ Arella Guirantes at No. 15 (24.2 ppg.). Also among the country’s top 25 scorers to date are Wisconsin’s Sydney Hilliard (19th – 23.0 ppg.) and Northwestern’s Veronica Burton (22nd – 22.7 ppg.). No other conference has more than three student-athletes among the top 25 in the country in scoring as of Tuesday.
  • Big Ten teams have found their shooting touch early on this season, with six conference programs among the nation’s top 20 (including four in the top 10) in field-goal percentage. Ohio State is No. 2 (.556), followed by Michigan (4th – .531), Iowa (7th – .506) and Maryland (9th – .500). Rutgers (12th – .495) and Northwestern (17th – .489) are also in the top 20 in field-goal percentage. No other conference has more than two schools in the top 20 nationally (and one in the top 10) in field-goal percentage as of Tuesday.
  • Three Big Ten schools lead the nation in various NCAA statistical categories. Michigan State is tops in assist/turnover ratio (1.88), Rutgers leads the way in steals (16.4 spg.) and Northwestern is first in turnover margin (+12.00). Maryland is second in the land in scoring offense (97.5 ppg.), while Ohio State is second in four categories — assist/turnover ratio (1.85), field-goal percentage (.556), scoring margin (+40.8 ppg.) and fewest turnovers (10.2 per game).
  • For just the second time, both of the Big Ten’s Michigan schools are off to 5-0 starts in the same season, with MSU improving to 6-0 (for the first time since 2012-13) following Sunday’s 82-70 win over Northern Illinois. The only other time the Wolverines and Spartans both opened their seasons with at least five consecutive wins was 1999-2000, when they each opened 7-0 — Michigan would go on to finish second in the Big Ten and reach the NCAA Tournament, while Michigan State tied for fifth in the conference race and advanced to the WNIT quarterfinals.
  • With its Dec. 9 victory over Iowa State, Iowa extended its home winning streak to 39 games, the second-longest active string in the nation behind Baylor (61). The Hawkeyes’ run began on Feb. 4, 2018, with a 92-84 win over Minnesota.
  • The Big Ten women’s basketball television schedule has been updated to include eight appearances on the ESPN family of networks during the remainder of the regular season. The most current schedule of Big Ten women’s basketball games on TV may be found online at bigten.org/B1GWBBTV.
  • 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.
  • On Oct. 23, the Big Ten Conference announced the launch of the ‘United As One’ social justice campaign. ‘United As One’ is among several conference-wide Equality Coalition initiatives dedicated to constructively and collectively recognizing and eliminating racism and hate in our society by creating resources for inclusion, empowerment and accountability.
  • The Big Ten Conference established the Equality Coalition in 2020 with 227 members including presidents and chancellors, directors of athletics, coaches, student-athletes, conference and school administrators, alumni, families and friends representing all 14 institutions.

Conference Games All Games Top Last
W-L PCT H A Streak W-L PCT H A N 25* 10 Stk
Michigan State 2-0 1.000 1-0 1-0 W2 6-0 1.000 5-0 1-0 0-0 0-0 6-0 W6
Northwestern 2-0 1.000 1-0 1-0 W2 3-0 1.000 2-0 1-0 0-0 0-0 3-0 W3
Maryland 1-0 1.000 0-0 1-0 W1 5-1 .833 2-0 1-0 2-1 1-1 5-1 W4
Indiana 1-0 1.000 1-0 0-0 W1 3-2 .600 3-1 0-1 0-0 0-2 3-2 W1
Iowa 1-1 .500 1-0 0-1 L1 4-1 .800 3-0 1-1 0-0 1-0 4-1 L1
Rutgers 1-1 .500 0-1 1-0 L1 4-1 .800 3-1 1-0 0-0 0-1 4-1 W2
Purdue 1-1 .500 0-1 1-0 W1 4-2 .667 3-2 1-0 0-0 0-1 4-2 W1
Nebraska 1-1 .500 1-0 0-1 L1 3-2 .600 3-0 0-2 0-0 0-1 3-2 L2
Michigan 0-0 — — — — 5-0 1.000 3-0 2-0 0-0 1-0 5-0 W5
Ohio State 0-0 — — — — 4-0 1.000 4-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 4-0 W4
Penn State 0-1 .000 0-1 0-0 L1 3-2 .600 3-1 0-1 0-0 0-1 3-2 L2
Illinois 0-1 .000 0-0 0-1 L1 2-2 .500 2-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 2-2 L1
Wisconsin 0-2 .000 0-1 0-1 L2 3-2 .600 3-1 0-1 0-0 0-0 3-2 W2
Minnesota 0-2 .000 0-1 0-1 L2 1-3 .250 1-2 0-1 0-0 0-1 1-3 L3