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The Box Score: Inside Iowa women's basketball statistics

BY JACOB SHEYKO | DECEMBER 19, 2013 5:00 AM

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Big Ten women’s basketball almost upon us. With most teams finishing out their few remaining nonconference matchups, the conference is shaping up to be — yet again — one of the elite conferences in the nation.

Each Big Ten team will enter conference play with a winning record — making it the only conference to do so. And while many teams still have a good portion of their schedule yet to play, we now have a better idea of how the year will play out.

Wins — Indiana, 11 (1st in the Big Ten)

It seems fitting to start this off with perhaps the simplest of stats — wins.

Indiana’s win total comes as somewhat of a surprise. At this point in the season, it has already matched its win total in the 2012-13 season.

But looking closer at the Hoosiers, one can also notice that they are not ranked or even receiving votes, despite their unblemished record. This is mainly because of their strength of schedule. Of their 11 victories, none of them have come against a ranked opponent.

If the Hoosiers can keep this pace during conference play when they face higher caliber teams, then one can certainly expect them to sneak into the top 25.

Field goal percentage — Minnesota, 48 percent (1st in the Big Ten)

Another somewhat surprising team off to a fast start is 9-2 Minnesota. Coming off an 18-win season last year, the Gophers have relied on two aspects in their fast start — defense and offensive efficiency.

Not only is Minnesota holding opponents to just 57.1 points per game, but it shoots 48 percent on the offensive end of the floor.

This stat is certainly helped by the Gophers having only attempted 133 3s so far this season — second fewest in the Big Ten, and while the 3-point shot is by no means a bad shot, it is typically a lower percentage shot that drives down the team’s overall percentage.

3-point percentage — Penn State, 27.8 percent (12th in the Big Ten)

Penn State is the Big Ten’s highest ranked team at No. 17. But one thing it has been far from elite in is 3-point shooting.

Last season, the Nittany Lions shot 39.2 percent from deep and posted a 14-2 conference record. That hasn’t translated well to this season.

Unfortunately for the Lions, there seems to be no easy fix for getting this number up. Instead, it appears that they simply lack enough shooters. Maggie Lucas, preseason Big Ten Player of the Year, is carrying her team in this category. Of Penn State’s 35 made 3s, 23 of them came from Lucas.

Points per game — Jordan Hooper (Nebraska), 19.9 (3rd in the Big Ten)   

If one had to declare a Big Ten Most Valuable Player in nonconference play, it would most likely go to Hooper. The senior is the only player in the Big Ten averaging a double-double, and she’s doing so while almost pouring in 20 points per game as well.

This doesn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who watched her last season, but it is nevertheless impressive.

If there is one aspect of her game that could improve, it would be efficiency. Hooper is shooting 41.8 percent from the floor this season. But considering the amount of work she has to put in for her team on a nightly basis, it seems like a pretty forgivable aspect.


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