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B1G WBB Week 10: Indiana and Maryland battle, Ohio State shines in award predictions

The non-Buckeyes news you need from across Big Ten women’s basketball

Indiana Hoosiers guard Yarden Garzon (12) and Indiana... Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It’s easy to get into an Ohio State bubble but there’s a lot going on around the Big Ten, especially this season in women’s basketball. The conference has the most teams in the AP Top-25 poll and features a wide array of talented seniors who are destined for the professional level.

Last week, two teams with those types of players were on display. Also, with the end of the season approaching, it’s time to predict some awards.

Indiana and Maryland Battle

Thursday, Jan. 12, it was a top-10 showdown between the No. 6 Indiana Hoosiers and No. 9 Maryland Terrapins. It was Indiana’s dynamic duo of center Mackenzie Holmes and guard Grace Berger versus soon-to-be WNBA lottery pick in Maryland’s star guard Diamond Miller.

Played at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana, the Hoosiers’ fans witnessed a physical game. In Maryland’s starting five, four players picked up at least three fouls with three starters grabbing four apiece.

The Terrapins picked up 20 overall. Miraculously, nobody fouled out and Maryland kept it a close game for three of four quarters.

Indiana’s halfcourt defense held Maryland to 61 points, but the quarter that hurt the Terrapins the most was the second. The Hoosiers held Miller and her side to 27.3% from the field, compared to the best shooting quarter of the game for either team by Indiana, shooting 63.6%.

Leading Indiana in that category was Indiana native and Oregon Ducks transfer Sydney Parrish. The guard notched a team-high 18 points for Indiana. That performance plus freshman Yarden Garzon going 3-for-5 from deep was the difference in the 68-61 victory.

Indiana Hoosiers guard Sydney Parrish (33) plays against...
Maryland guard Diamond Miller (left) guarding Sydney Parrish (right) in a physical game on Thursday, Jan. 12.
Photo by Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

On Maryland’s side, Miller still played an impressive game, scoring 19 points and six rebounds. Unfortunately for the Terrapins, only one of her teammates, substitute guard Brinae Alexander, contributed more than 10 points and they couldn’t match an even scoring day for the Hoosiers in the 68-61 Indiana victory.

Unfortunately for fans of the conference, the two sides don’t meet again in the regular season. Hopefully, there’s a Big Ten tournament rematch between the two sides with even more on the line.

Predicting Conference Awards

Land-Grant Holy Land doesn’t have a media vote in any of the postseason awards, so consider this a draft of what we could potentially send to the Big Ten come season’s end. There’s still time for players to make an impact but with 10 weeks of the season down, it’s a good time to take a guess at the individual awards.

Player of the Year: Caitlin Clark, Iowa Hawkeyes

Duh. Iowa guard Caitlin Clark is having the best scoring season of her career, which is saying a lot. It’s not in the total points per game, that’s slightly down, but the Naismith Player of the Year contender is shooting 1.5% higher than last season, shooting 46.7%. With South Carolina Gamecocks center Aaliyah Boston getting more attention on defense and playing under her normal game-shattering impact, Clark is a good pick to win not only B1G Player of the Year but the Naismith award too.

Freshman of the Year: Cotie McMahon, Ohio State Buckeyes

This one is a close between McMahon, Minnesota Guard Mara Braun, Indiana’s Garzon, and Rutgers guard Kaylene Smikle but McMahon edges them out. The freshman forward might not have the same scoring numbers as Braun, but in-game impact McMahon’s becoming a key piece of the No. 2 team in the country, which says a lot.

Defensive Player of the Year: Diamond Miller, Maryland Terrapins

Now that Northwestern Wildcat forward Veronica Burton is out of college, it’s someone else’s turn to win Defensive Player of the Year. Miller’s ability to cover the best player on the court, steal, block, and rebound are unmatched. With Clark the surefire pick for Player of the Year, it seems fair that Miller wins the Defensive Player of the Year Award for her incredible play.

Sixth Player of the Year: Rikki Harris, Ohio State Buckeyes

Sixth player is normally the player who consistently comes off the bench first for a team and impacts the game. Now, Harris has started due to injuries, but the guard’s ability to play four out of five positions on the court, and even the move to starting point guard, shows versatility. The Indiana native’s part of the reason the Buckeyes are undefeated. If guard Jacy Sheldon returns, Harris moves back to that traditional sixth player but starting shouldn’t punish the redshirt junior for her accolades in the Big Ten.

Coach of the Year: Shauna Green, Illinois Fighting Illini

We know, we know. Buckeyes’ head coach Kevin McGuff is leading a surprise Ohio State side to their best season ever. That’s great, and in any other year he’s a lock for Coach of the Year, but what Green’s done is incomparable in the Big Ten.

2022 Big Ten Basketball Media Days
Illinois Fighting Illini coach Shauna Green at Big Ten media day on Oct. 11, 2022.

The former Dayton Flyers coach came to a seven-win Illinois team who returned only five players. Through a combination of former Dayton players, other transfers, and impact players within those five returners, the Illini are playing their best season in program history. Illinois already doubled their wins from last season and are back in the top-25 AP poll for the first time since 2000.

If you have your own picks, share them on the Land-Grant Holy Land Twitter page or in the comments below.

Elsewhere Around the B1G

  • The Michigan Wolverines had a week showing they’re not out of the running yet, beating the Purdue Boilermakers convincingly and a 15-point win over in-state rivals, the Michigan State Spartans. Maize & Blue is still a team to watch in the Big Ten.
  • Clark and the Hawkeyes showed no mercy against the Penn State Nittany Lions. Iowa beat the visitors 108-67, with Clark playing well into the fourth quarter.
  • Still no conference wins for the Northwestern Wildcats, losing to Purdue and Iowa.
  • Wisconsin’s comeback from a tough start to the season to win two conference games in a row, with an overtime win over the Spartans, led by forward Serah Williams who had 31 points and 13 rebounds.

Conference Standings

B1G WBB Standings

Position Team B1G Record Overall Games Back
Position Team B1G Record Overall Games Back
1 Ohio State 7-0 18-0 -
2 Indiana 6-1 16-1 1
3 Iowa 6-1 14-4 1
4 Illinois 5-2 15-3 2
5 Michigan 5-2 15-3 2
6 Maryland 5-2 14-4 2
7 Purdue 3-4 12-5 4
8 Nebraska 3-4 11-7 4
9 Penn State 2-5 11-7 5
10 Wisconsin 2-5 10-8 5
11 Michigan State 2-5 8-11 5
12 Rutgers 2-5 6-12 5
13 Minnesota 1-6 8-10 6
14 Northwestern 0-7 6-11 7

AP Poll

The same six teams represent the Big Ten in the most recent AP poll, but the Hawkeyes jump the Terrapins for a spot in the top 10.

2 - Ohio State (+1)
6 - Indiana (NC)
10 - Iowa (+2)
11 - Maryland (-2)
14 - Michigan (+3)
21 - Illinois (+3)

Conference Schedule

Here’s what the rest of the conference schedule looks like in week 11, plus the first day of Week 12 because, just look at it.

Wednesday, Jan. 18

  • No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes at Michigan State Spartans - 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Nebraska Cornhuskers at Purdue Boilermakers - 7:00 p.m. ET
  • Minnesota Golden Gophers at Penn State Nittany Lions - 7:00 p.m. ET
  • No. 6 Indiana Hoosiers at No. 21 Illinois Fighting Illini - 8:00 p.m ET

Thursday, Jan. 19

  • Northwestern Wildcats at No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes - 6:30 p.m. ET
  • No. 11 Maryland Terrapins at Wisconsin Badgers - 7:30 p.m. ET
  • No. 14 Michigan Wolverines at Rutgers Scarlet Knights - 8:30 p.m. ET

Saturday, Jan 22

  • Minnesota Golden Gophers at Purdue Boilermakers - 2:00 p.m. ET

Sunday, Jan. 23

  • No. 11 Maryland Terrapins at Nebraska Cornhuskers - 2:00 p.m. ET
  • No. 21 Illinois Fighting Illini at Northwestern Wildcats - 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan State Spartans - 3:00 p.m. ET
  • Wisconsin Badgers at Penn State Nittany Lions - 5:00 p.m. ET

Monday, Jan. 24

  • No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes at No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes - 7:00 p.m. ET
  • No. 6 Indiana Hoosiers at No. 14 Michigan Wolverines - 8:00 p.m. ET

Home Stretch

There are 39 days until the Big Ten regular season ends. Week 11, and the spillover into Week 12, shows how the schedule was put together with a purpose. The top teams are starting to play.

While this week won’t decide who wins the conference, Indiana’s two ranked opponents and Iowa’s trip to Columbus on Monday will start to separate teams or bring the pack even closer together.