The last handful of non-conference games on the Big Ten women’s basketball schedule will be played Tuesday and Wednesday, with conference play beginning in earnest following the break for the Christmas holiday. Rutgers swept this week’s Big Ten individual awards , with senior guard Arella Guirantes named Player of the Week and fellow guard Diamond Johnson selected as Freshman of the Week. Guirantes also was chosen as the espnW National Player of the Week , the second consecutive week a Big Ten student-athlete received that honor (Iowa’s Caitlin Clark earned the award on Dec. 14). The Big Ten leads all conferences with six Top 25 teams in the Associated Press poll and five in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/ USA Today poll , plus others receiving votes. This is the first time the Big Ten has had six Top 25 teams in the AP poll in a single week since Jan. 14, 2019. The Big Ten has the nation’s third-highest non-conference winning percentage (against D-I opponents) this season, posting an .833 (40-8) mark to date. That includes three wins over Top 25 teams — Maryland 115-96 over No. 14 Arkansas on Nov. 29 (a Big Ten record for points against a ranked team); Michigan 76-66 at No. RV/23 Notre Dame on Dec. 3; Iowa 82-80 over No. RV/24 Iowa State on Dec. 9. The Big Ten has been home to some of the nation’s top offensive programs this season, with five conference teams currently among the top 15 […]