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Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekend Roundup: Maryland does the nation a favor

But struggles across the conference—what’s up with Indiana?

NCAA Womens Basketball: Sweet Sixteen-Texas at Maryland Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I forgot to get my Big Ten women’s hoops recaps into the last thread—mea culpa. So here’s what happened this weekend:

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekend Roundup

Rutgers Scarlet Knights 68, Harvard Crimson 65 (OT)

Worth mentioning that Rutgers needed a 25-7 fourth quarter to force overtime—they got beat 21-8 in the third themselves.

Whatever allowing 1-3 Harvard to take you to overtime says, I’m sure it’s not good.

Bradley Braves 64, Wisconsin Badgers 57

I’ll be honest—the last thing I remember about wisconsin women’s hoops, Jolene Anderson was there.

How long’s it been?

The badgers have now lost to NJIT and Bradley, which can’t be good (though the Braves are a respectable Missouri Valley program overshadowed by Missouri State). New HC Marisa Moseley (HC at Boston U, asst to Auriemma at UConn) has her work cut out for her—guards Julie Pospisilova of the Czech Republic and Sydney Hilliard of some boring town in wisconsin are bearing the load as volume shooters, and it hasn’t worked out just yet.

#13 Michigan Wolverines 69, Central Michigan Chippewas 45

Sure. The Wolverines were doubling up the Chips at half and emptied the bench in a laugher. 6’3” F Emily Kiser has been strong on the boards for a Wolverines club that scuffled in an overtime opened over IUPUI but has cruised against a soft schedule so far.

A date with Oakland today, then the Wolverines get into the meat of their schedule over the weekend with ranked Oregon State.

Nebraska Cornhuskers 113, North Carolina Central Eagles 58

I have even less to say about this one other than Huskers G Jaz Shelley netted a triple-double: 14 points, 10 boards, 10 assists. Congrats, Jaz!

Dayton Flyers 78, Purdue Boilermakers 62

...oops.

Boilers C Ra Shaya Kyle had a helluva game with 20 points, 8 boards, and 3 blocks, but Purdue dropped a home game to consensus A-10 front-runner Dayton, who benefited from the 26 points of G Erin Whalen and a 15/36 offensive rebounding rate led by C Tenin Magassa, who had no points but 11 boards.

Tough to make much of Purdue’s fortunes thus far—in the wake of the Versyp resignation and Katie Gearlds being thrust into the role a year early, you can take it for the rebuilding project it is. But on the docket? A St. Petersburg tournament where they’ll open with #22 West Virginia, and after that it’s #18 Georgia Tech, #21 Ohio State, and #3 Maryland.

So. Uh.

#4 Indiana Hoosiers 67, Quinnipiac Bobcats 59

Indiana trailed all the way until there was just a minute to go in the third quarter, with cold shooting the culprit—until the Hoosiers buried their first four shots of the fourth quarter and got 5 points in thirty seconds from Grace Berger (17 points on 7/17 shooting) to ice it. Not a terribly convincing win, but a road win that’s in the rearview now.

#3 Maryland Terrapins 79, #6 Baylor Bears 76

Honestly, I’d forgotten crypt-keeper Kim Mulkey was no longer at Baylor, but it’s still nice to see the Bears lose, nonetheless.

A 25-14 second quarter helped the Terps open up a lead with which they’d keep Baylor at arm’s length most of the second half...until a Jordan Lewis three (her only triple—she had 30 points on 14/25 shooting and 15 rebounds) and NaLyssa Smith layup cut it to three.

Enter Angel Reese.

Ashley Owusu had a team-high 24, but it was Reese’s and-one with just over a minute remaining—the last of her 17 points—that gave the Terps their final total. Of course, that left Baylor a minute to make up the 6-point deficit, which they also did, getting a look at a tying three. But a Reese board—her ninth—wrapped it up for Maryland.

They’ll get very little rest—dates with #5 NC State and #7 Stanford loom this week, while #1 South Carolina is on the docket for mid-December.

DePaul Blue Demons 78, Northwestern Wildcats 75

Ugh.

After digging themselves a 32-13 hole in a turnover-plagued first quarter, Northwestern clawed their way back behind 15 from Veronica Burton—who also had 9 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals in the Blizzard defense—and a career-high 16 from frosh G Jillian Brown. It’s always got to be a methodical comeback with these ‘Cats, though: issues with the three ball came up again (3/18 from distance), and down the stretch in a wild fourth quarter Northwestern couldn’t make shots.

Not a crippling loss—DePaul is a good bet to be NCAA Tournament-bound—but a chance for a great road win juuuust slips out of Northwestern’s hands.

Michigan State Spartans 100, Bryant Bulldogs 60
Fordham Rams 71, Michigan State Spartans 68

Fine, a comfortable win over an undersized Bulldogs team where the Spartans grabbed 14 of a possible 32 offensive boards...

And then...oof. For a deep and experienced team like the Spartans, this one’s bad. Nia Clouden balled out yet again, with 22 on a 3/5 night from deep. But 18 turnovers, very few assists, and a rough night on the glass spelled doom for Sparty in Rose Hill.

UConn Huskies 88, Minnesota Gophers 58
Minnesota 70, Syracuse Orange 63

If you can figure out Lindsay Whalen’s Minnesota teams, please drop me a line. The Gophers were cannon-fodder for UConn in a star-studded Battle 4 Atlantis opener (#1 South Carolina, #2 UConn, #9 Oregon, and #23 South Florida are all there), but the Gophers handled a rebuilding Syracuse in the consolation bracket. They’ll get Oklahoma today at 4pm.

Illinois Fighting Illini 86, UC Riverside Highlanders 82

All Illini women’s hoops wins are noteworthy.

Clemson Tigers 67, Penn State Nittany Lions 64

I’ll admit to not having been following Carolyn Kieger’s team closely since she jumped ship at Marquette for Happy Valley, but this one’s a setback if the Lions are to make the jump into the second tier of the conference this year. Makenna Marisa has been lights out for the Lions and had 29 to go with 8 assists, but Penn State struggled with the size and playmaking of Delicia Washington (15 points, 12 boards) throughout.

Three looks at a layup in the last 10 seconds, and Penn State bricked ‘em all. A tough loss, but a road loss to a power conference team is one that’s forgivable.

Canceled: Drake Bulldogs at #8 Iowa Hawkeyes

Once again, Hawkeyes ducking the best team in Iowa.

What’s up next?

Lots, bold heading gal! We’ll get you some previews and thoughts as we get closer to the bigger games. Here’s the schedule:

Of note to Michigan State fans: You can download NEC Front Row on Roku or just watch it on your laptop—very free, very easy to do, very gloriously bad basketball.

Happy hoops, folks.