This week was a big one all around in the women's game from the rematch of Ohio State and Maryland to Minnesota Lady Gopher Rachel Banham setting the Big Ten record while tying the all-time single game mark with 60 points on Sunday at Northwestern. There were also a few upsets on the slate for this past week, including Purdue losing on the road to Wisconsin and Michigan State losing at home to a struggling Penn State team.
With all that taken into consideration, here are the Week 14 Women's Big Ten Power Rankings.
Week 14 Big Ten Women's Power Rankings
#1 - Ohio State Buckeyes: (20-4, 12-1)
Coming off their huge win against Maryland to build on their Big Ten lead, Ohio State could have been in trouble on Thursday night going to Carver-Hawkeye Arena to face Iowa. With Iowa hanging around in the lower half of the pack in the conference, it was a classic scenario for a bit of a let down. However, the Buckeyes would allow no such thing to happen, jumping on top early en route to a 17 point road victory to follow up on their big win.
#2 - Maryland Terrapins: (22-3, 11-2)
After a disappointing loss with revenge on their minds against Ohio State, Maryland rebounded nicely with a home win over a Purdue team still searching for a signature win for their season. Having lost both games on the year to Ohio State, Maryland will have to play very well down the stretch and get some help from their fellow Big Ten teams to have a shot at the regular season crown in the conference.
#3 - Minnesota Golden Gophers: (17-7, 9-4)
After Rachel Banham dropped 60 points in a double overtime win on the road against Northwestern, she turned right around on Thursday and scored 32 more for the Golden Gophers in a dominant 110-73 thrashing of Nebraska. A three game winning streak has them sitting at 9-4 in the conference and fourth place in the Big Ten. However, with Banham chasing the Big Ten Women's Player of the Year award, it's difficult to find many players in America leading their teams better than she is right now.
#4 - Michigan State Spartans: (18-6, 9-4):
The Lady Spartans went 1-2 this past week, with losses against Maryland and Penn State with a win against Iowa sandwiched in between. As Aerial Powers goes, so go the Spartans. At 9-4 in the conference, any hope of winning the conference is virtually gone, but this team has the talent to make some noise both in the conference tournament and the NCAA's. However, a recent slide and an inexcusable home loss to Penn State leave them searching for a few answers.
#5 - Indiana Hoosiers: (16-9, 8-5)
The Hoosiers have won three in a row and 6 of their last 7, though many of those wins have come against teams in the lower half of the conference. A big test approaches for the Hoosiers next week as they host Rachel Banham and the Golden Gophers next Thursday with a chance to build on their recent momentum. There's a possibility for a trap game before that, though, as they host Wisconsin on Sunday. A 2-0 week next week could go a long way in helping the Lady Hoosiers get things going into the end of the year.
#6 - Nebraska Cornhuskers: (16-8, 7-6)
While the Cornhuskers went 0-2 last week, they had two tough tests on the road against both Indiana and Minnesota. With those teams being on the runs that they've been on, it would be tough for any team in the conference to go into their buildings and hope to come away with a victory. While the margins in some of their games have been lopsided on occasion, the Cornhuskers don't have any losses that stand out as being a 'bad loss'. They've got a tough week coming up, hosting Michigan State before going to Columbus to take on Ohio State.
#7 - Purdue Boilermakers: (16-8, 7-6)
Purdue went 0-3 this past week, but two of those games were against Maryland. While they would've liked to have stolen one of those games, that isn't what killed them this week. Losing to Wisconsin, though it was on the road, had to have been a backbreaking loss for this team. The Boilers don't exactly have the hardest schedule coming down the stretch, giving them a chance to climb back up the conference ladder.
#8 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights: (15-10, 6-7)
Rutgers rebounded nicely from a 4 game losing streak in the earlier part of conference play, winning 3 of their last 4 to claw their way back towards .500 in conference. There's potential for a bit of an upset in a trap game scenario as they travel to Illinois before returning home on the 18th to host Michigan State.
#9 - Michigan Wolverines: (14-10, 6-7)
The Wolverines took care of business this past week, beating the two teams at the bottom of the conference standings in Wisconsin and Illinois to move closer to .500 in conference. This coming week presents a much tougher challenge for this team, traveling to Purdue to play a team that is surely angry about their recent play before heading to Maryland to play a team that is one of the best in the country.
#10 - Iowa Hawkeyes: (15-10, 5-8)
The Hawkeyes had two chances for signature wins to spark a team that is searching for something to get them rolling. In home games against both Michigan State and Ohio State, the Hawkeyes came up short on both occasions, extending a losing streak to three games. With games on the road against Minnesota before returning home to play Purdue, there's a real chance to put things back together for this team.
#11 - Penn State Nittany Lions: (9-15, 4-9)
For a team that has, for the most part, struggled mightily this season to pull out a road win against Michigan State speaks volumes about the level of mental toughness they're starting to develop. With only two seniors on the roster, developing that mental toughness could be huge for the future of Penn State women's basketball. That toughness is going to be put to the test on a massive scale on Sunday against Ohio State.
#12 - Northwestern Wildcats: (14-11, 3-10)
Northwestern has proven to be a bit of an enigma. They've proven that they can play with anybody, beating Ohio State on one occasion and playing them to within one possession in their second meeting. As of late, though, they've shown the other half of that equation. They weren't given any favors against Minnesota when Banham scored 60 points and handed them a double overtime home loss. They followed that up with a good effort that simply came up short on the road against Rutgers, 61-59. They've got a chance to prove once again they can play with anybody on Sunday at home against Maryland.
#13 - Wisconsin Badgers: (7-16, 3-10)
To put it simply, this year has been a struggle for Wisconsin. Though they managed to post a good win at home against Purdue this week, it does little to mask the disappointment that the 2015-16 season has been for them. They revisit one of their three conference wins, going to Indiana on Sunday before hosting Illinois on Wednesday night this coming week.
#14 - Illinois Fighting Illini: (8-16, 1-12)
While the nonconference didn't treat Illinois too poorly, conference play has been a different story entirely. They've lost seven in a row to be at 1-12 and their lone win came against fellow bottom dweller Wisconsin at home 71-65. The Fighting Illini host Rutgers this week before heading to Wisconsin to try and get the best of the Lady Badgers for the second time this season.