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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 1/12/2024, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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Big Ten Weekly Women's Basketball Central - Jan. 12-15

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  • All 14 members of the Big Ten Conference will be in action this weekend. The nation will be treated to a Top 15 matchup Saturday when No. 14/13 Indiana and No. 3 Iowa face off at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. RV Michigan State heads to No. 17/16 Ohio State Sunday for a 4 p.m. ET showdown on the Big Ten Network. The remaining five games will be streamed live on B1G+ (visit for more information). In addition, Purdue is visiting Maryland for a makeup game on Sunday after last week’s initial contest was postponed.

  • The John R. Wooden Award presented by Principal Midseason Top 25 Watch List was released on Wednesday with Mackenzie Holmes (IND), Caitlin Clark (IOWA), Cotie McMahon (OSU) and Jacy Sheldon (OSU) representing the Big Ten. Ohio State is one of five schools to have a pair of players on the list, which is made up of student-athletes chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their performances during the 2023-24 season thus far.

  • Through seven games this week, five players have recorded double-doubles – Michigan State’s Julia Ayrault (20p, 10r), Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes (21p, 13r), Northwestern’s Caroline Lau (11p, 11r), Wisconsin’s Serah Williams (16p, 10r) and Nebraska’s Alexis Markowski (14p, 15r). Iowa’s Caitlin Clark had her second consecutive triple double, her fourth this season and 15th of her career, with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

  • Nebraska topped Illinois, 56-48, to improve to 4-1 in the Big Ten for the first time since its inaugural season in the conference (2011-12).

  • Iowa is off to its best start under head coach Lisa Bluder’s tenure at 16-1 overall. The last time the Hawkeyes started 16-1 was during the 1995-96 season. The squad also has a 5-0 mark in conference play for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.

  • Purdue hosted Iowa in front of 14,876 fans for its fourth sellout in program history and second in as many seasons, following a record attendance against Indiana last year.

  • Indiana is coming off a 75-67 win over Penn State to improve to 5-0 in Big Ten action for the second time in the last three seasons.

  • Caitlin Clark earned her 24th career Big Ten Player of the Week award on Monday to become the all-time leader in conference history. She received her sixth honor of the season after contributing 34.5 points, 7.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game during Iowa’s 2-0 week. Clark totaled 40 points and hit the game-winning three-pointer to push the Hawkeyes past Michigan State. She followed up that performance with a triple-double on 29 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against Rutgers. Clark swept this week’s national awards after being selected as one of five Ann Meyers Drysdale National Players of the Week by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), named Associated Press National Player of the Week, tabbed as the ESPN National Player of the Week and voted Jersey Mike’s Naismith Women’s College Player of the Week.

  • The Big Ten leads all Division I conferences with a remarkable eight schools among the top 40 in the latest NET rankings (including four in the top 20, second behind the Pac-12) – No. 6 Iowa, No. 12 Indiana, No. 17 Michigan State, No. 18 Ohio State, No. 28 Maryland, No. 29 Penn State, No. 31 Nebraska and No. 37 Minnesota. The NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) is the primary sorting tool used by the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee for determining NCAA Tournament teams.

  • The Big Ten has six teams making an appearance in this week’s Associated Press (AP) Top 25 poll. In the latest media survey, Iowa moved up to No. 3, Indiana remains at 14th and Ohio State gained three positions to sit at No. 17. Michigan State, Nebraska and Maryland are receiving votes.

  • The Big Ten has six programs in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today Top 25 poll. Iowa checks in at No. 3, Indiana is up to 13th and Ohio State rises to No. 16. Michigan, Michigan State and Maryland are receiving votes.

  • Offensive production continues to be the story for the Big Ten Conference as 10 different schools (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Penn State) have scored 100 points in at least one game this season. Six Big Ten teams are averaging more than 80 points per game to ensure six national top 25 scoring offenses reside in the Big Ten, led by Iowa (3rd – 90.9), Michigan State (4th – 89.9), Penn State (8th – 87.2), Ohio State (18th – 82.1), Indiana (22nd – 80.9) and Maryland (24th – 80.1).

  • The Big Ten currently leads all Division I conferences in scoring (77.0 ppg), three-point percentage (.351), free throw percentage (.738) and assists (16.6 apg), while ranking second in field goal percentage (.455) among Autonomy Five conferences.

  • As of Friday, the Big Ten features some of the best shooting teams in the country with four programs among the top 15, including three in the top 10, in field goal percentage. Indiana has the best percentage in the country at 51.5 percent, followed by Iowa (5th – .510), Penn State (7th – .506) and Michigan State (11th – .488). Penn State is also efficient from beyond the arc, ranking second in the nation with a 41.2 three-point percentage while Indiana checks in seventh at 39 percent.

  • Big Ten teams have been passing the rock quite well this season as five programs rank in the top 25 in the country in assists, led by Michigan State (6th – 20.3), Iowa (7th – 20.2), Indiana (14th – 19.3), Northwestern (19th – 18.6) and Penn State (22nd – 18.4). A quartet of Big Ten players rank among the top 25 nationally in assists – Iowa’s Caitlin Clark (2nd – 7.7 apg), Northwestern’s Caroline Lau (14th – 6.2 apg), Purdue’s Jeanae Terry (20th – 5.8 apg) and Minnesota’s Amaya Battle (23rd – 5.7 apg).

  • Individually, Caitlin Clark (IOWA) leads the country in points (527), points per game (31.0) and assists (131). Serah Williams (WIS) and Julia Ayrault (MSU) are fourth (3.31) and 15th (2.53), respectively, in blocks per game. Mackenzie Holmes (IND) is shooting 66.5 percent from the field to rank sixth in field goal percentage, followed by Hannah Stuelke (IOWA) with a 64.8 clip to stand 10th and Kendall Bostic (ILL) at 63.8 percent to rank 11th. Mara Braun (MINN) has the best free throw percentage (94.0) in the nation.

  • The Big Ten has consistently ranked among the top three conferences in women’s basketball attendance for the past three decades and that trend has continued into the 2023-24 season. Currently, 11 Big Ten schools rank among the top 50 in the nation in average attendance, including six in the top 20, with both figures leading all Division I conferences. Iowa is second nationally in attendance (14,998 fans per game), followed by Indiana (6th – 8,923), Maryland (10th – 6,871), Purdue (13th – 5,942), Nebraska (14th – 5,639) and Ohio State (16th – 5,453).

  • The Big Ten closed its non-conference slate with a combined 114-41 (.735) record. Among the 114 victories, five were over AP Top 25 opponents.

  • The 2023-24 schedule marks the most coverage on nationally distributed platforms in Big Ten women’s basketball history. Six Big Ten regular-season games will be televised on a broadcast platform, the most in conference history. NBC will televise its first-ever Big Ten women’s basketball game on Jan. 21 when Iowa visits Ohio State at 12 p.m. ET. Peacock carried its first Big Ten women’s basketball broadcast on Jan. 2, a thriller between Michigan State and Iowa.

  • No. 16/13 Ohio State claimed a landmark non-conference 78-58 win at No. 20/22 Tennessee. It was just the second time in Tennessee’s history that the Lady Vols have lost in Thompson-Boling Arena by at least 20 points. Ohio State is only the second Big Ten Conference program to defeat Tennessee in Knoxville, joining Indiana. It was the first time in conference history that the Big Ten has posted multiple wins over Tennessee in back-to-back years – Ohio State and Indiana both claimed victories over the Lady Vols during the 2022-23 season – and has won five of its last six matchups with Tennessee.

  • No. 21/19 Indiana secured an impressive non-conference 71-57 victory over No. 19/21 Tennessee on Nov. 23. It was the second time in as many years that the Hoosiers have bested the Lady Vols and the largest margin of victory (14) in the four-game all-time series. Last year’s Hoosier win was the first time a Big Ten Conference school defeated Tennessee in Thompson-Boling Arena. The matchup scored 1,118,000 viewers to rank as FOX’s most-watched women’s college basketball game ever and the most watched regular season women’s college basketball game on any network since last season’s 1,466,000 viewers for LSU vs. South Carolina on ESPN.