Tipoff: 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 5 Location: Devaney Center (13,595) - Lincoln, Neb. Television: CBS Sports with Dave Ryan providing play-by-play and Debbie Antonelli analyis Internet: Live stats available at huskers.com. Radio: Live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM) and purduesports.com with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and Sara White analysis. The Series: Even at 1-1 The Rankings: Purdue is ranked No. 14 in both the Associated Press and the USA Today Division I Coaches' Polls and Nebraska is ranked No. 25 in the AP Poll and No. 19 by the coaches.
The Last Meeting
March 4, 2012
No. 21 Purdue Captures Big Ten Tournament Title
KK Houser scored 19 points to help No. 21 Purdue defeat No. 24 Nebraska 74-70 in two overtimes in the Big Ten tournament final on Sunday. Houser, from Lincoln, Neb., also had five steals against her hometown team. Chantel Poston had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Sam Ostarello added eight points and 10 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers (24-8), who won the tournament for the eighth time in 17 years. Purdue's Brittany Rayburn, who scored nine points and hit the game winner in the semifinal victory against Penn State, was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
Sharon Versyp Radio Show
The Sharon Versyp Radio Show hosted by Tim Newton resumes Monday, Jan. 8 at 7:10 p.m. at BW3s on Brown Street in West Lafayette, Ind. The show is most Monday's at 7:10 p.m. and can be heard live on WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM. Fans can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The full schedule of radio shows can be found here.
The Cornhuskers are in their second season as members of the Big Ten Conference, having moved over from the Big 12. This season, Nebraska (11-3) started conference play with a 70-52 home victory over Wisconsin. The Huskers are led by junior Jordan Hooper who is sixth in the conference in scoring with a 19.1 ppg average and third in rebounding, pulling down 8.6 boards per game. Senior guard Lindsey Moore averages 15.8 points and 5.4 assists, while sophomore Emily Cady contributes 9.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game for Nebraska. The Huskers average 70.4 points per game while holding opponents to 59.6 points and are second in the Big Ten with an average of 6.5 threes a game.
The Series vs. Nebraska
This is the third meeting between Purdue and Nebraska and the series is tied at 1-1. It is the Boilermakers first trip to Lincoln, the hometown of Purdue starting point guard KK Houser. Both of last year's matchups were instant classics, with the 16th-ranked Huskers prevailing in Purdue's first triple overtime game in school history by a margin of 93-89 over No. 15 Purdue in Mackey Arena on Feb. 2, 2012. The second matchup was in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, when No. 21 Purdue got revenge with a 74-70 double-overtime victory against No. 24 Nebraska for the conference tournament title and the NCAA Tournament automatic bid.
Last Time vs. Nebraska KK Houser scored 19 points to help No. 21 Purdue defeat No. 24 Nebraska 74-70 in two overtimes in the Big Ten tournament final. The guard from Lincoln, Neb., also had five steals against her hometown team. Chantel Poston had 10 points and 11 rebounds and Sam Ostarello added eight points and 10 rebounds for the fourth-seeded Boilermakers, who won the tournament for the eighth time in 17 years. Lindsey Moore scored 27 points and Jordan Hooper added 25 for Nebraska. Purdue led 73-70 in the closing seconds of the second overtime and Nebraska had a chance to tie, but Moore missed everything on an off-balance fadeaway three-pointer that Poston rebounded. Poston made the second of two free throws to clinch the win for the Boilermakers. Purdue's bench outscored Nebraska's 26-2.
Purdue vs. The Big Ten Conference
The Boilermakers are 396-218 all time against teams in the Big Ten Conference. Purdue has a winning record against every conference opponent except Ohio State (26-40, .394) and Nebraska (1-1, .500). The Boilermakers have the highest winning percentage vs. Michigan (49-15, .766), followed by Illinois (49-16, .753) and Wisconsin (44-17, .721). Purdue is 39-17 (.696) versus the Gophers, 43-19 (.694) against Northwestern, 49-25 (.662) when taking on instate rival Indiana and 26-16 (.619) against Penn State. Purdue is 36-26 (.581) versus Michigan State and holds a 35-26 (.574) record versus Iowa.
The Boilermakers have a nine-day break before playing host to No. 23 Ohio State on Monday, Jan. 14. The game will be broadcast live on BTN.
With 12 conference schools and a 16-game Big Ten regular-season schedule, the Buckeyes and the Huskers are two of the six Big Ten teams that Purdue will face only once in the regular season. In addition to playing host to Ohio State, Purdue also faces Michigan and Northwestern in Mackey Arena only, while traveling to Nebraska, Penn State and Wisconsin.
Last Time Out Courtney Moses hit a short putback with three seconds left in overtime Wednesday, giving No. 14 Purdue a 67-66 victory over Illinois in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams. Alexis Smith's layup with 23 seconds to play had put Illinois ahead 66-65, but Moses, who scored 16 points, helped the Boilermakers pull out the road win. KK Houser led Purdue with 20 points but committed nine turnovers, and Sam Ostarello pulled down 12 rebounds and scored seven points. Adrienne GodBold had 20 points and 11 rebounds and Karisma Penn and Ivory Crawford scored 15 each for the Illini. Purdue was 5 of 14 from 3-point range Wednesday after going without at three-pointer for the first time since 2009 at Notre Dame on Saturday. It was the second-straight time that Moses hit the game winning shot at Illinois. In 2012, she nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 64-63 win.
Purdue vs. Ranked Opponents
The Boilermakers are 96-136 all time against ranked opponents, 80-81 against ranked opponents when also ranked and 51-26 when ranked higher than the ranked opponent.
Welcome Home KK Houser is playing in her hometown of Lincoln, Neb., for the first time in her collegiate career. Houser played AAU basketball with Nebraska sophomore Emily Cady. Last season, Houser stepped up against her hometown team, averaging team highs 17.0 ppg and 5.5 steals per game, along with 2.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 3.0 three-pointers and 100 percent from the free throw line (8-of-8).
At 12-2, the 14th-ranked Boilermakers are off to their best start since the 2006-07 season, when under first-year head coach Sharon Versyp, the Boilermakers got out to a 14-2 start to the year. The best record in school history was the national championship season in 1998-99 when Purdue went 34-1, including a 32-game win streak.
Speaking of Strong Starts
The Boilermakers have never trailed in six contests this year - at SIU Edwardsville, Bowling Green, Wake Forest, Central Michigan, at IPFW and versus IUPUI. Additionally, Purdue is 11-0 this season when leading at halftime.
Purdue's 34 turnovers against Illinois did not crack the top 10 for most in school history, but it was the most since committing 34 miscues against Arkansas on Nov. 25, 2004, a game No. 15 Purdue won 55-51. It was only the third time in head coach Sharon Versyp's seven-season tenure that Purdue has turned the ball over 30 or more times and is the first time the Boilermakers have done so since 2006-07 and still won. The previous high under Versyp was 32 turnovers at Minnesota on Jan. 14, 2010, a game Purdue lost 74-47. In the Boilermakers' next game, they turned the ball over just 12 times, against Iowa at home. Purdue committed 30 turnovers in a loss at Washington on Dec. 21, 2007.
Purdue responded 28 rebound deficit at Notre Dame, by outrebounding Illinois by 20 (49-29). The Boilermakers 49 rebounds at Illinois was a season high, as was their 33 defensive boards. Sam Ostarello led Purdue with 12 rebounds, her 11th game this season as Purdue's rebound leader, her sixth game this year with double-digit rebounds and the 25th of her career.
Purdue leads the Big Ten in free throw percentage. The Boilermakers are averaging 77.5 percent from the charity stripe, having made 227-of-293 free throws. If Courtney Moses shot enough free throws per game, she would rank second in the league in free throw percentage at 90.0 percent. As it stands, Drey Mingo is fourth at 86.0 percent and KK Houser is fifth, shooting 84.9 percent.