Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook (Dec. 13)
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Missouri Valley Conference was nearly perfect in home contests last week, going 9-1 (.900) in non-conference competition.  The league is currently 26-15 in home games this season, with six of those losses coming at the hands of BCS conference teams.

The Home Stretch
Several league teams have just a pair of non-conference games remaining before Christmas. In fact, only 24 non-league games remain in the regular season. This week is a light week for MVC women’s basketball teams with just nine total games on the schedule.

What’s Left
Here’s a breakdown of the 24 total non-conference games remaining before Christmas in MVC women’s basketball:

Home: 7 (MVC is 26-15 at home this season);
Away: 14 (MVC is 16-21 in away games this season);
Neutral: 3 (MVC is 5-4 in neutral-site games this season);
BCS: 9 (MVC is 2-15 against BCS teams this season).

The RPI Report
The season’s second Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report has been released and the Missouri Valley Conference moved up two spots to the No. 11 position.  As a league, The Valley has the 23rd-best strength of schedule.

Inside the Numbers
Outside of the six BCS conferences (Big 12, Big East, Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC and ACC), just four other leagues – Colonial, West Coast, Atlantic 10 and America East – best the Valley in the latest RPI report (Dec. 11).  Among other key midwest conferences, the MVC ranks ahead of the Summit (12), Mid-American (15), Horizon (18) and Conference USA (22).

Three in the Top 100
Three Valley teams rank in the Top 100, led by Missouri State (66).  Creighton (82) and Illinois State (95) also represent the MVC among the nation’s top teams in the RPI.

Gainers
Six MVC teams saw increases in RPI numbers from the initial Collegiate Basketball News RPI Report.  Wichita State had the largest boost, jumping 61 spots, and are one of just nine schools in the nation to increase position by 60 or more.  Bradley (+56), UNI (+39), Southern Illinois (+11), Evansville (+8) and Creighton (+2) also saw RPI increases.

Schedule Boost
The Valley dropped from 17th to 23rd in the nation in schedule strength, but the MVC could get a boost this week with three games against teams that rank in the nation’s top-90 – Michigan (21), Iowa (72) and Morgan State (86).

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 three (Conference USA, Metro Atlantic and Ohio Valley).

Can’t Hang
The MVC holds an unblemished record in non-conference action against eight other leagues, including ACC (1-0), Big Sky (1-0), Big South (2-0), Great West (3-0), Mountain West (3-0), Southland (2-0), Sun Belt (4-0) and the WAC (1-0).

Time for Some Homework
The Missouri Valley Conference was nearly perfect in home contests last week, going 9-1 (.900) in non-conference competition.  The league is currently 26-15 in home games this season, with six of those losses coming at the hands of BCS conference teams.

Rank and File
So far this season, Missouri Valley Conference schools have yet to knock off a ranked opponent, combining for a 0-5 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 14 wins against teams that participated in either the NCAA, WNIT or WBI postseason events last season.  The 14 wins over postseason teams is just three shy of the league total of 17 postseason wins last season.  The Valley has contests against six postseason teams this week, listed below.

D16 Evansville @ UT-Martin (NCAA) 7 PM
D17 Indiana State @ Michigan (WNIT) 6 PM
D17 Iowa @ Bradley (NCAA) 7 PM
D18 Bowling Green @ Creighton (NCAA) 1:05 PM
D18 Morgan State @ MIssouri State (WNIT) 2:05 PM
D18 Southern Illinois @ UT-Martin (NCAA) 3 PM

Fancy Shootin’
Illinois State ranks second in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage, connecting on 43.0-percent of all attempts. 

Three Strikes
Southern Illinois’ Teri Oliver owns the nation’s fifth-most three-point field-goals per game, burying 3.5 shots each contest. 

Sharp Shooter
Creighton’s Sarah Nelson ranks sixth in the nation in field-goal percentage.  Her 62.9-percent leads the league by seven percentage points.

The Block is Hot
Southern Illinois’ CiCi Shannon owns the ninth-most blocks per game, swatting 3.3 shots each contest. 

From Long Range
Indiana State’s Anna Munn ranks 10th in the nation in three-point field-goal percentage, connecting on 50-percent of her shots from beyond the arc.