Boilers Return Home to Face Minnesota on Wednesday Night

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Terone Johnson leads the Boilermakers in scoring (12.8 ppg).
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Terone Johnson leads the Boilermakers in scoring (12.8 ppg).
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 4, 2014

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GAME 23 | PURDUE (13-9, 3-6) vs. MINNESOTA (15-7, 4-5)
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 | 8:30 PM (ET)
West Lafayette, Ind. | Mackey Arena (14,846)
Television:
Big Ten Network (Chris Denari, Shon Morris)
Radio: Purdue Sports Network (Larry Clisby, Ralph Taylor, Rob Blackman, Wes Scott - engineer)
Satellite Radio: Purdue Broadcast (SIRIUS 108, XM 190)
Gametracker: PurdueSports.com

The Game
After being on the road for the last week, the Purdue men's basketball team hopes that some home cooking on Wednesday can help reverse its fortunes as the Boilermakers wrap up the season series with Minnesota at 8:30 pm (ET) with Chris Denari and Shon Morris on the call for BTN. The Purdue Sports Network will handle the radio call with Larry Clisby, Ralph Taylor and Rob Blackman courtside, beginning with the pregame show at 7:30 pm (ET). The Boilermakers enter the game with a 13-9 overall record and a 3-6 mark in the Big Ten, while the Golden Gophers are 15-7 overall and 4-5 in the Big Ten standings.

Fans unable to attend the contest can watch online on BTN2GO.com and live stats will be provided on PurdueSports.com via Gametracker. As always, you can receive text messages through Twitter, available at @BoilerBall.

The Opponent
Minnesota enters the contest with a 15-7 overall record and is tied for fifth in the Big Ten with a 4-5 record, one-half game behind fourth-place Northwestern (5-5). The Golden Gophers have lost two straight games with a road setback at Nebraska (82-78) on Jan. 26 and a 55-54 loss to Northwestern at Williams Arena on Saturday. The Gophers own Big Ten wins over Purdue and Penn State by three points each, as well as victories over Ohio State (63-53) and Wisconsin at home (81-68). Minnesota is 1-3 on the road in Big Ten play.

The Gophers will likely be without leading scorer Andre Hollins (15.5 ppg; 17 in first meeting against Purdue) for the third straight games after suffering an ankle injury against Wisconsin. Hollins had made 37 three-pointers and was shooting 96-of-114 (.842) from the free throw line at the time of his injury. However, a more-balanced attack has developed for the Gophers, as three other players (Austin Hollins -- 11.7; DeAndre Mathieu -- 11.5; Malik Smith -- 10.6) all average in double figures. In Hollins' absence, Malik Smith has averaged 18.0 points per game, including a 29-point effort against Nebraska. In addition, center Elliott Eliason has recorded three double-doubles in nine Big Ten games, tied for the league lead.

As a team, Minnesota is averaging 74.5 points per game while shooting 44.7 percent from the field, 35.1 percent from three-point range and 74.6 percent from the free throw line (second in the league). Foes are averaging 67.8 points against the Gophers while shooting 42.2 percent from the field and 32.4 percent from long distance. Minnesota is outrebounding opponents by a 3.4-rebound advantage.

The Logjam
It is setting up to be quite a sprint for the top half of the Big Ten standings. After Michigan (8-1), Michigan State (8-1) and Iowa (6-3), there are eight teams within one-and-a-half games of each other in the standings. Northwestern (5-5) is currently in fourth in the standings, while Wisconsin, Ohio State, Minnesota and Indiana are half-a-game back (4-5). Nebraska is a full game back at (3-5), while Purdue and Penn State (3-6) are a game-and-a-half behind, which will undoubtedly create a wild finish to the Big Ten race over the last half of the season.

The Last Meeting
Purdue79
Minnesota82
January 5, 2014
Minneapolis, Minn.
Purdue Drops Road Game to Minnesota, 82-79
Terone Johnson put up 18 points, but the Boilermakers fell to Minnesota 82-79 on Sunday afternoon.

The Series
• Wednesday's contest marks the 180th meeting between the two teams, with Purdue owning a 98-81 advantage.
• The 179 previous meetings make it the eighth-most frequently-played rivalry among Big Ten teams.
• The 179 meetings make it the third-most frequently-played rivalry in Purdue's history (Indiana - 200; Illinois - 182).
• Purdue has won six straight games at Mackey Arena against the Gophers, dating back to the 2004-05 season.
• The margin of victory during the six-game run is 15.5 points. All six games have been decided by at least 12 points.
• The 72-55 win over the Gophers on Jan. 14, 2006, was Matt Painter's first Big Ten win as head coach at Purdue.
• In eight of the 14 previous meetings during the Painter era, Purdue has scored at least 70 points.

Boiling Points
• Just four teams (Oklahoma State, Butler, Minnesota, Michigan) have shot over 45.0 percent against Purdue.
• In the first seven Big Ten games, Purdue shot over 42.0 percent just once; has done so in each of last two games.
• Penn State became the first team since Eastern Michigan (Dec. 7) to outrebound the Boilers, a span of 12 games.
• In the last three games, Purdue has led for a grand total of 9:24 of a possible 120 minutes.
• Purdue's bench has outscored (or equaled) the opponent's bench in 12 straight games.
• Purdue's 73.6 points per game is its highest average since averaging 74.7 points per game in the 2000-01 season.
• Purdue is allowing 70.2 points per game, the most points allowed since the 2005-06 season (70.9 ppg).
• Purdue lost for the first time this year (vs. Penn State) after shooting a higher FG percentage than its foe (10-1).