Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Nov. 29)
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To date, MVC teams have six wins against teams that participated in either the NCAA, WNIT or WBI postseason events last season.  The six wins over postseason teams in the season’s first two weeks is already more than one-third of the league total of 17 postseason wins last season.  The Valley has a chance at 10 more wins over postseason teams in matchups this week.

Captain of the Mid-Majors
In the most recent CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 poll (Nov. 22), the Missouri Valley Conference is one of two leagues to have at least two teams mentioned in the top-15.  UNI (10) and Missouri State (13) are listed among the top-15 “mid-major” institutions.  The Colonial League also has two teams in the top-15, including Delaware (4) and James Madison (6).

Majority Rules
In addition to having two league teams in the Nov. 22 edition of the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top-25 poll, an additional four conference schools are listed in the “Others Receiving Votes” category - Illinois State (93), Creighton (65), Bradley (16) and Wichita State (14) - for a total of six MVC schools recognized.  The Valley is the ONLY mid-major conference to have more than 50-percent of its teams listed in the poll.

Against the Field
The MVC holds a winning record against 11 leagues in non-conference play (ACC, Big Sky, Big South, Great West, Horizon, Mid-American, Mountain West, Southland, Summit, Sun Belt and WAC) and at least a .500 mark against another one (Metro Atlantic).

Can’t Hang
The MVC holds an unblemished record in non-conference action against nine other leagues, including ACC (1-0), Big Sky (1-0), Big South (2-0), Great West (2-0), Mid-American (3-0), Mountain West (2-0), Southland (1-0), Sun Belt (1-0) and the WAC (1-0).

Rank and File
So far this season, Missouri Valley Conference schools have yet to knock off a ranked opponent, combining for a 0-3 mark against top-25 teams. The last time a league school took down a ranked opponent was in 2009, when Drake topped No. 24 Iowa State, 78-75, on Nov. 22, 2009.

Topping Postseason Teams
To date, MVC teams have six wins against teams that participated in either the NCAA, WNIT or WBI postseason events last season.  The six wins over postseason teams in the season’s first two weeks is already more than one-third of the league total of 17 postseason wins last season.  Here’s a look at the Valley’s results against post-season teams from 2010-11:

N11 Missouri State @ Lousiana Tech (NCAA) W, 78-65
N12 Northern Colorado @ Bradley (WBI) W, 59-49
N13 Louisville @ Missouri State (NCAA) L, 64-73
N13 Indiana State @ Notre Dame (NCAA) L, 34-99
N14 UNI at Chicago State (WBI) W, 88-54
N15 Iowa State @ Drake (NCAA) L, 64-71
N15 Eastern Illinois @ Bradley (WBI) L, 58-59
N16 Creighton @ Kansas (WNIT) L, 59-73
N17 Illinois State @ Northwestern (WNIT) L, 62-69
N17 Wichita State @ Arizona (WNIT) L, 60-74
N18 Missouri State @ Kansas State (NCAA) L, 63-65
N19 Iowa @ UNI (NCAA) L, 74-78
N19 Bradley vs. Stetson (NCAA) L, 63-73
N20 Chicago State @ Southern Illinois (WBI) W, 76-54
N20 Evansville @ Bowling Green (NCAA) L, 54-71
N20 Wichita State @ UC Davis (NCAA) L, 47-62
N21 Illinois State @ Eastern Illinois (WBI) L, 69-83
N22 South Dakota @ Creighton (WBI) L, 53-56 (OT)
N24 Drake vs. Marist (NCAA) L, 47-50
N25 UNI vs. Wyoming (WNIT) W, 60-46
N26 Missouri State @ Oral Roberts (WNIT) W, 85-79

vs. NCAA Teams 1-9
vs. WNIT Teams 2-3
vs. WBI Teams 3-3
Home  2-5
Road  3-8
Neutral 1-2

Total vs. Postseason Teams 6-15

Objects in the Rearview Mirror
The Valley’s 20-24 non-conference record is a bit deceiving with over 40-percent  (10) of those defeats coming at the hands of five BCS conferences – the Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC – leagues with composite winning percentages above .766. 

Taking Care of the Ball
Bradley tied a season low with 13 turnovers Wednesday in the victory at Northern Illinois, marking the fourth consecutive game the Braves had less than 20 turnovers.  BU averaged 25.0 turnovers in the first two games of the season and finished the 2010-11 season averaging 21.6 turnovers per outing.  Since a 23-turnover game against Eastern Illinois, Bradley has averaged 15.3 turnovers per game over the last four tilts.  In fact, BU had not had four consecutive games with 20 or fewer turnovers since January 2008.

Cleaning the Glass
Sarah Nelson had the best rebounding game by a Bluejay since 2003 on Nov. 22 when she pulled down 17 rebounds against South Dakota.  The 17 boards were not only a career-high, but they were also a D.J. Sokol Arena record.  The 17 caroms were the most by a Bluejay since two-time MVC Player of the Year Christy Neneman snagged 17 rebounds against Indiana State on Feb. 27, 2003.  The 17 rebounds are tied for the 10th-most in a single game in school history.

Climbing the Ladder
Senior Rachael Hackbarth moved up two spots on the all-time Drake scoring list during her two games in Cancun last week. Hackbarth passed Brandy Dahir (1,080 points – 2004-08) and Jody Busing (1,081 points – 1975-79) to crack Drake’s top-20. The senior currently has 1,102 career points, 27 short of assistant coach Linda Sayavongchanh (1,129 – 2002-06) at 19th place.

Epps’ First Win
First-year head coach Oties Epps earned his first career victory Saturday, leading the Aces to a 59-49 win over Troy.  Epps is the 10th head coach in the 42-year history of women’s basketball at the University of Evansville.

Enough to Go Around
Jamie Russell set a career-high nine assists in ISU’s 77-56 victory over Illinois-Chicago. She leads the team with 27 assists through five games, which averges out to 5.4 assists per game.  If Russell maintains 5.4 assists per game, she will end the regular season with 162 assists it would place her in the top-10 season assist leaders.

From Long-Range
After hitting three 3-pointers on Sunday against Belmont, senior guard Brittany Schoen is within three treys from moving into the top three on the ISU career record book.  Schoen has tallied 211 career three-pointers in a Sycamore uniform, three behind Lisa Verhoff, who hit 214 from 2002-06. She is also just 52 away from the ISU three-point record.

Knocking On the Door
Senior center Shannon Thomas is knocking on the door of breaking the 1,000 point barrier at Indiana State.  With her 17 points against Belmont, Thomas now has 925 career points and is just 75 away from the milestone.  Thomas is also just seven rebounds away from moving into ninth place on the ISU career rebound list.

Roberson Reaches 1,000 Points
Senior guard Jaleshia Roberson took little time to score the four points she needed to reach 1,000 at Oral Roberts on Saturday, sinking two quick three-pointers on the way to a 12-point afternoon that ended with 1,008 career points.

From Downtown
Through five games this season, UNI is one of the top three-point shooting teams in the nation. The Panthers are tied for sixth in the country with an average of 9.2 three-pointers made per game. Seniors Katelin Oney and Rachel Madrigal lead the team with 14 and 13 three-pointers made, respectively.

From the Line
The Panthers have started the season shooting 61-of-77 (79.2 percent) from the free throw line – a mark that ranks them No. 14 in the nation. UNI finished the 2010-11 season ranked No. 13 in the country with a 76.2 percent clip at the line.

Good Start
UNI is off to its best start since opening the 2005-06 season with a 5-1 record.

Putting Points on the Board
Southern’s 89 points against Tennessee State marked the highest offensive output for the Salukis since scoring 95 against Indiana State on Jan. 3, 2008. SIU hadn’t scored in the 80s since scoring 80 against Drake on Jan. 14, 2010.

Starting a Streak
SIU’s win over Tennessee State helped Southern match its win total from last year just four games into the season. It also marked the first time the Salukis have won consecutive games since the 2008-09 season. A win Tuesday against Northern Illinois would mark SIU’s first three-game winning streak since the 2007-08 season.

Salukis Near Records
Two Saluki players are on the verge of setting new SIU career records and both could conceivably hit the new milestones this week. Junior Teri Oliver needs to make just three 3-pointers to set a new SIU record for career three-pointers made while CiCi Shannon is just eight blocks shy of setting a new Saluki career blocks record.

Jody Adams recorded her 50th career victory at Wichita State with WSU’s 71-69 victory over Winthrop on Wednesday.  Adams is fifth on the Shockers all-time victories list and needs 11 more wins to pass Darryl Smith for fourth.  She will attempt to win her 75th game overall as a head coach when the Shockers face Central Michigan Wednesday at Charles Koch Arena.