March 7, 2014
By Tom Schott
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Senior Dani Bunch was named Big Ten Field Athlete of the Year after winning all 13 regular-season competitions and then winning the weight throw and finishing second in the shot put at the conference championships.
Meanwhile, junior Raheem Mostert was named Big Ten Track Athlete of the Championships after winning both the 60- and 200-meter dashes. He set the school record in the 60 with a time of 6.63 seconds and just over an hour later set the Big Ten Championships record in the 200 with a time of 20.73 seconds.
Both teams finished fifth at the championship meet and currently are ranked 21st in the nation. Bunch (shot put and weight throw), Mostert (60 and 200 meters), sophomore Cierra Brown (triple jump) and sophomore Chukwuebuka Enekwechi (shot put and weight throw) will compete at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on March 14 and 15 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Women's Basketball Faces Iowa in Big Ten Tournament
No. 17 women's basketball (21-7, 11-5 Big Ten) is the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and takes on No. 5 seed and 23rd-ranked Iowa (24-7, 11-5) at 2:30 p.m. today at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The Boilermakers defeated the Hawkeyes 74-73 in the lone regular-season meeting Feb. 16, rallying from an 18-point first-half deficit.
The winner of today's game plays in the tournament semifinals at 3:30 p.m. tomorrow. The championship game is 1 p.m. Sunday.
Purdue owns the most impressive Big Ten Tournament resume, winning a conference-best nine championships, including three straight from 1998 to 2000 and back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
Four Boilermakers received Big Ten honors earlier this week: senior guard Courtney Moses (first team all-conference), junior forward Whitney Bays (Sixth Player of the Year), senior guard KK Houser (second team all-conference) and sophomore guard April Wilson (honorable mention all-conference).
Wrestling at Big Ten Championships
Eight Purdue wrestlers earned a preliminary seed for the 100th Big Ten Championships, which run tomorrow and Sunday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. The octet is junior Braden Atwood (No. 4 at 197), senior Cashé Quiroga (No. 4 at 133), senior Camden Eppert (No. 7 at 125), sophomore Danny Sabatello (No. 7 at 141), junior Brandon Nelsen (No. 8 at 149), redshirt freshman Alex Griffin (No. 9 at 157), junior Pat Robinson (No. 9 at 165) and senior Alex White (No. 11 at 285).
Women Swimmers NCAA-Bound
Seven Purdue women's swimmers will have an opportunity to represent the Boilermakers at the NCAA Championships from March 20 to 22 in Minneapolis. They are senior Carly Mercer (50 free, 100 free and 200 free), junior Francesca Marr (100 breast and 200 breast) and junior Rhiannon Sheets (first overall alternate - 200 free and 200 fly) as individuals and sophomore Allie Davis, sophomore Nika Karlina Petric, junior Kylie Vogel and freshman Grace Hernandez (pending Sheets' alternate status) in the 400 and 800 freestyle relays.
Divers earn their NCAA berths based on their performances at the Zone Championships, and Purdue is competing at the Zone C meet March 13 to 15 in Columbus, Ohio.
National championship meet invitations for men's swimmers will be announced next week.
Records Fall for Men's Golf
The 36th-ranked men's golf team set school records for best round and best 54-hole tournament to finish tied for fourth at the USF Invitational. The Boilermakers shot 270 (-18) on the final day, seven strokes better than the previous school standard, and 840 (-24) for the tournament, smashing the previous low of 848.
Once again, senior Adam Schenk paced Purdue, finishing tied for second. One week after tying the second-best round in school history with an 11-under par 205, Schenk bettered that total with a 15-under par 201 on rounds of 65-70-66. His 201 is merely one shot off the school-record 200. Over the last two tournaments, Schenk has shot a combined 26-under par, registering 33 birdies, 70 pars and just five holes of bogey or worse.
For the second straight week, Schenk was named the Big Ten Golfer of the Week, this time sharing the honor with Illinois' Brian Campbell.
Men's Tennis Open Big Ten Play
No. 54 men's tennis, which sports a snappy 6-1 non-conference record and has won five matches in a row, opens Big Ten play at 4 p.m. today against No. 23 Northwestern (10-6, 0-1) at the Schwartz Tennis Center. The Boilermakers' lone loss came on the road at the hands of seventh-ranked Baylor. Purdue is 5-0 at home. On Sunday, the Boilermakers play at Illinois (7-4, 1-0).
Baseball, Softball Continue Early Road Games
After picking up its first win of the season last weekend, the baseball team (1-7) continues its challenging early-season road schedule with a three-game series at No. 4/7 LSU today through Sunday.
The softball team (6-10-1) travels to Athens, Ga., for the Georgia Classic and will play five games, two against both the 18th-ranked Bulldogs and Tennessee Tech and one against Kent State.
Construction has begun on Purdue's new softball stadium. Click here to see photos and video shot earlier this week.
Simpson's Basketball Career Comes to an Early End
Men's basketball head coach Matt Painter announced Tuesday that redshirt freshman Jay Simpson's career is over due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Hank Gathers, Reggie Lewis, Kevin Duckworth and Jason Collier all died from the same heart condition.
Simpson is on course to graduate in May of 2016 and will remain on scholarship at Purdue.
The Boilermakers (15-15, 5-12) conclude the regular season Sunday at noon against Northwestern (12-18, 5-12). After the game, the team will honor its four seniors: center Travis Carroll, guard Sterling Carter, guard Terone Johnson and forward Errick Peck.
The Big Ten Tournament is March 13 to 16 in Indianapolis.
Freshman Andjela Djokovic was named Big Ten Athlete of the Week for women's tennis after defeating 97th-ranked Maddie Lipp (6-3, 6-2) of Northwestern at No. 6 singles. The 29th-ranked Boilermakers (4-4, 0-1 Big Ten) play host to No. 36 Illinois (6-4, 0-0) at noon Sunday at the Schwartz Tennis Center ... Football conducted the first of its 15 spring practices yesterday in the Mollenkopf Athletic Center. Many of the workouts are open to the public. Click here for the details ... Purdue's official online store is continuing its annual spring clearance sale through March 16, marking down products that are already 20 percent off an additional 40 percent ... Tracking the Boilermakers will return March 21.