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Purdue (10-6/1-1) vs. Penn State (11-4/1-2)
Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 / 2 p.m. ET / BTN Plus
Mackey Arena (14,804) / West Lafayette, Ind.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's basketball team picked up an impressive win last time out, topping visiting Michigan State on Wednesday 66-54, and looks to make it back-to-back Big Ten Conference wins Saturday, hosting Penn State at 2 p.m. ET in Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers got a huge lift from their seniors last time out and the pair has continued to try and set the tone for their team this season.
Ashley Morrissette and Bridget Perry combined for 41 of the Boilermakers' 66 points against the Spartans, and enter Saturday's game averaging a combined 25.3 points per game. Morrissette has led the way for the Boilermakers in seven games this season and averages a team-best 14.6 points per game, while Perry has come on strong over the last month, scoring in double figures in five straight games and pushing her season average to 10.7 points per game.
Morrissette has done the bulk of her work from the outside, draining 27 3's on the year and recently surpassing Purdue greats MaChelle Joseph and Kelly Komara on the career 3-point shooting list. Perry is a converted post player, moving inside to help the Boilermakers' with their shrinking depth chart in the post, and has made a mark inside, averaging 5.4 rebounds and 0.9 blocks per game.
The pair believe that it's their duty as seniors and team captains to "set the bar" for their younger teammates now that they're into conference play.
"We have to set the tone and show our younger teammates what it's all about," said Perry. "The captains came out with a high level of intensity Wednesday and our teammates matched it and that's why we were able to win."
"We have to bring intensity every night," added Morrissette. "We can't slack off certain nights and see what happens, we have to bring it every night because we only have 14 games left in B1G play and every one matters."
LAST TIME OUT
The Boilermakers earned their first Big Ten Conference victory, topping visiting Michigan State 66-54
Purdue is now 24-11 all-time in Big Ten home openers, including a 7-4 mark under head coach Sharon Versyp and a 3-1 record against Michigan State
The Boilermakers forced Michigan State into 20 turnovers, converting them into 23 points, while committing just 11 of their own
Purdue won for the second time this season when being outrebounded as MSU posted a 47-30 edge on the boards, the largest rebounding margin for an opponent this season
The Purdue seniors combined for 41 points in the win, including a 24-point showcase from Ashley Morrissette
HEAD COACH Sharon Versyp
Last game was Versyp's 350th game as the Boilermakers' head coach
In her 11th year as the Boilermakers' head coach, giving her the longest tenure of any coach in program history
Winningest Purdue women's basketball head coach, earning 224 to date and 341 for her career, and second in program history in Big Ten Conference wins with 101
Purdue's eight NCAA Tournament appearances under Versyp are the most under any head coach in program history
Starred for the Boilermakers from 1985-88, scoring the 13th-most points in program history and was the fourth-fastest player at Purdue to reach 1,000-career points (77 games)
One-of-2 Big Ten head coaches to lead her alma mater (Amy Williams, Nebraska)
One-of-2 former Boilermakers to serve as a head coach for a Big Ten team (Teri Moren, Indiana)
Purdue is even in Big Ten play at 1-1, tied with Indiana, Michigan State and Illinois for sixth in the conference standings
The Boilermakers are 5-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points, and 9-1 when holding their opponent to 60 points or fewer
Purdue ranks second in the conference at 29th in the NCAA in scoring defense, holding opponents to 55.6 points per game
The Boilermakers lead the conference and rank 19th nationally in fewest fouls per game, committing just 14.1 per contest
Purdue also holds top-50 NCAA rankings in turnovers per game (13.6), blocked shots per game (4.8) and assist-turnover ratio (1.13)
The Boilermakers are 8-3 when surpassing 30 points in the paint and 9-2 when topping their opponent on the inside
Purdue is 29-19 all-time against Penn State, including a 14-7 mark in Mackey Arena, and looks to extend its two-game win streak against the Lady Lions
Penn State comes to Mackey Arena at 11-4 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play, including a 71-58 win over Iowa on Tuesday
The Lady Lions are one of the top 3-point shooting teams in the Big Ten, ranking third in 3-point field goals (6.9 per game) and 3-point field goal percentage (.369)
Penn State sophomore Teniya Page is one of the conference's top scorers, ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 25th in the nation at 19.6 points per game
Page has been slowed in Big Ten play by an injury, missing the Lady Lions' game at Rutgers and playing in limited fashion against the Hawkeyes this week
Redshirt freshman Amari Carter ranks in the top-10 of the conference in assists per game (4.5) and assist-turnover ratio (2.96)