Jan. 3, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
No. 3/3 Notre Dame (12-0, 0-0) at Purdue (7-6, 2-1)
Tip: Monday, Jan. 4 at 7 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena.
Television: ESPN2. Bob Wischusen will provide play-by-play, Kara Lawson will provide analysis and Rebecca Lobo will serve as the sideline reporter.
Internet Video: None
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Jane Schott will provide analysis.
Rankings: Purdue is unranked while Notre Dame is ranked third in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll.
Live Stats: Gametracker available at purduesports.com.
The Boilermakers will face No. 3/3 Notre Dame (12-0, 0-0) on Monday at 7 p.m. in Mackey Arena. The Fighting Irish have five players averaging double-figure scoring and are led by freshman phenom Skylar Diggins at 12.9 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.7 apg and 2.3 spg. Senior guard Ashley Barlow contributes 12.0 ppg and a team-best 2.6 spg, senior Lindsay Schrader averages 11.2 ppg and a team-high 7.8 rpg, reserve guard Brittany Mallory contributes 10.3 ppg and junior forward Becca Bruszewski chips in 10.1 points and 4.3 rebounds. Notre Dame averages 82.9 points per game, a scoring margin of +25.3 while ripping down an average of 44.2 rebounds per game to outrebound opponents by 8.5 per contest.
This is the 23rd meeting between Purdue and Notre Dame. The Boilermakers hold a 14-8 advantage but fourth-year head coach Sharon Versyp, a native of Mishawaka, Ind., is looking for her first win over the Irish as Purdue's head coach. Last season, No. 11/8 Notre Dame won 62-51 in South Bend. The Boilermakers' last win against the Irish was a 65-54 decision on Dec. 7, 2005. Notre Dame is enjoying its longest winning streak against the Boilermakers at three games, while Purdue has held a six game win streak (1984-1996) against the Irish. Purdue is 8-1 in Mackey Arena, with the lone victory coming on Dec. 8, 2007, by a 61-48 margin. Monday's game is the second of the season for Purdue against a Big East team and the Boilermakers are 33-20 all time against Big East opponents.
Purdue will return to conference action when it travels to Wisconsin on Jan. 7 for a 6:30 p.m. CT tipoff. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network and the Purdue Radio Network. The Boilermakers have a 42-13 series advantage over the Badgers that includes a 13-game win streak. Last season, Purdue escaped with Kohl Center with a 52-51 victory on Jan. 29, 2009, defeated the Badgers 66-49 on Feb. 8, in Mackey Arena and advanced to the championship of the Big Ten Tournament with a 70-56 win against Wisconsin.
The Last Time Out
In a game that featured 13 lead changes and three ties, Purdue defeated Indiana 76-66 on New Year's Day to retain possession of the Barn Burner Trophy. The victory in the only meeting between the two schools in the regular season was Purdue's fourth in its last five games. The Boilermakers overcame a three-point halftime deficit, outscoring the Hoosiers 41-28 in the second half. Purdue shot 43 percent from the field after the break, including 4 of 9 from behind the three-point line, while limiting IU to just 8 of 30 shooting (27 percent). The Boilers forced Indiana into a season-high 24 turnovers and scored 21 points off the Hoosier miscues. Individually, sophomore Brittany Rayburn led all scorers with 22 points and finished the game with four of Purdue's season-high nine three-pointers. Rayburn scored Purdue's first 11 points of the game. Sophomore Chelsea Jones recorded Purdue's third double-double of the season, finishing with career-highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Jodi Howell added 11 points, including three three-pointers, FahKara Malone finished with nine points, seven assists, three steals and just one turnover in 34 minutes and freshman Sam Ostarello had six points and eight rebounds for the Boilers in the win.
With the 76-66 win over Indiana, the Boilermakers regained possession of the Barn Burner Trophy, winning it for the 14th time in 17 seasons. Purdue set several season highs in the contest - points (76), made-three-pointers (9), free throws attempted (37) and tied season highs in four other categories - three-pointers attempted (23), rebounds (41), assists (18) and fouls (21). The Boilermakers committed a season-low 10 turnovers while forcing IU into 24.
Head Coach Sharon Versyp
Former Boilermaker point guard, Sharon Versyp is in her fourth season as head coach at Purdue. She has an 82-38 record for a win percentage of 68.3 percent. The Mishawaka, Ind., native has a career mark of 199-103 and is just one win away from the 200-win plateau in her 10th season as a collegiate head coach. At Purdue, Versyp has averaged 25 wins per season, the second-best three-year average in school history. Kristy Curry averaged 26 wins in her first three years. Versyp has led the Boilermakers to two Big Ten Tournament championships (2007 and 2008) and to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight twice (2007 and 2009).
As of Dec. 21, Purdue is ranked No. 12 nationally in scoring defense, 16th in field goal defense and fourth in three-point field goal percentage defense. Purdue is tops in the conference in scoring defense and three-point field goal defense and third in field goal defense.
Sixty Is The Magic Number
Defense has been the Boilermakers strength this season, but on offense the 60-point plateau has been a key in Purdue victories. The Boilermakers are 6-0 when scoring 60 or more points. The only Purdue victory when scoring less than 60 points occurred against Minnesota on Dec. 28, with a 51-43 win over the Golden Gophers. On the season, Purdue is 1-6 when scoring 59 points or less.
The Boilermakers have won four of their last five contests with the lone loss a 56-55 heartbreaker to Gardner-Webb on Dec. 21. In that stretch, Purdue is averaging 65.2 points while holding opponents to 54.2 points and sophomore Brittany Rayburn is averaging 20.8 ppg.
Sophomore Chantel Poston suffered an Achilles tendon injury on Oct. 1, that required surgery. She tore the tendon in her right foot during a conditioning drill and is expected to miss the season. Sophomore Alex Guyton missed the first 10 games of the season with a stress fracture in her lower left leg, but has played in the last three contests.
Senior FahKara Malone is 27 steals away from setting the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native is fourth with 301 career steals, while former two-time All-American Katie Douglas owns the record with 327. Malone is just the fourth player in school history to record 300 or more steals. In her first three years, Malone has averaged 87.7 steals a season. She recorded 104 thefts as a freshman, 89 as a sophomore and had 70 steals as a junior - despite missing nine games due to injury. The 5-foot-3 point guard is the Big Ten's career steals leader among active players and is ranked 40th nationally with a season average of 2.9 steals per game.
Sharing The Rock
Against Indiana, Purdue tied a season high with 18 assists on 23 field goals, including 10 assists on 12 made field goals in the second half. The Boilermakers are led by senior point guard FahKara Malone who has a team-best 61 assists this year. Malone tied her career high for assists by dishing out 10 at Northwestern while contributing 11 points to record the first double-double of her career. Malone is sixth at Purdue on the career assist charts and is the Big Ten's active assists leader. Malone is second in the conference in both assists (4.7) and in steals (2.9).
Senior Jodi Howell led the Boilermakers in scoring with 13 points in the win against Minnesota, nailing three three-pointers in the effort. The Alexandria, Ind., native currently holds the Big Ten and school record for career three-point field goal percentage (minimum of 100 attempts) at 42.5 percent (156-367). She has hit at least one three-pointer in 11 games this season and 73 times in her career.
Rayburn Putting Up Big Numbers
Sophomore Brittany Rayburn, the 2009 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year as a freshman, was reinserted into the starting lineup at Oakland. She responded by scoring 26 points, tying her career high. The outing included a career-best 12 of 12 performance from the free throw line. Against Gardner-Webb, the Attica, Ind., native equaled her career best with 26 points. Against Indiana, she tallied a game-high22 points, marking her sixth 20+ point performance of the season. She leads the team in scoring with a 16.2 ppg average, good for sixth in the Big Ten.
The Boilermaker post players are an inexperienced group, with sophomore Alex Guyton the most veteran after averaging 5.9 minutes per game in 2008-09. They came up big versus Indiana however, with sophomores Chelsea Jones, Samantha Woods, Guyton and freshman Sam Ostarello combining for 24 points and 26 rebounds. Jones recorded career highs with 14 points and 11 rebounds for her first career double-double. Purdue outscored the Hoosiers 22 to 10 in points in the paint.
Freshman Sam Ostarello, from Fort Pierre, S.D., leads the Boilermakers in rebounding at 6.4 rebounds despite averaging just under 18 minutes per game. She had her best outing of the season against Evansville, tallying her first career double-double while setting career highs for points and rebounds with 17 and 14. The 6-foot-2 forward also had two assists, three blocks and two steals. It was Ostarello's third game with double-digit rebounds, having pulled down 12 boards against Western Illinois and at UC Riverside.
Against No. 3
Purdue has a 3-10 record against teams ranked No. 3. The last Boilermaker win over a third-ranked team was March 26, 1999, when top-ranked Purdue defeated No. 3 Louisiana Tech, 77-63 in the semifinal game of the Final Four in San Jose, Calif., enroute to a national championship.