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Purdue (11-6/2-1) at Wisconsin (5-11/0-3)
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017 / 8 p.m. ET / BTN Plus
Kohl Center (17,122) / Madison, Wis.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women’s basketball team aims to improve to 3-1 in Big Ten play Wednesday, heading back on the road to face Wisconsin at the Kohl Center for an 8 p.m. ET tip off. The Boilermakers have been known for outstanding conference schedule starts under head coach Sharon Versyp, opening at 3-1 or better in seven of her first 10 seasons at Purdue.
After stumbling in the Big Ten opener for just the third time under Versyp, the Boilermakers have rebounded well with victories over Michigan State and Penn State last week. Purdue topped a previously 11-3 Spartan squad Wednesday 66-54 behind an outstanding performance from its senior class, and followed up with a 64-51 victory over an 11-4 Penn State team Saturday with a boost from one of its standout freshman. Rookie Dominique Oden fell one triple shy of the Boilermakers’ freshman single-game record, hitting five 3-pointers and finishing with 17 points in the win.
How are the Boilermakers finding success with their depleted bench and up-and-down non-conference record? Versyp has turned their focus to four things: defense, rebounding, transition and waiting on screens.
“That’s what our identity really is,” said Versyp. “We want to run, and that starts with great defense and rebounding, and then in the half-court on offense we have to focus on the details and do all the little things.”
“Those things have always been a part of the overall package that we teach,” continued Versyp. “When you lose a few games, you start looking at film a little closer and those were the areas we felt would affect the outcome of some games.”
The Boilermakers will look to get their first conference win on the road Wednesday, aiming for a win in a place that has brought mixed results. Purdue is 8-5 all-time at the Kohl Center, including a disappointing 64-57 loss last season, the Boilermakers’ first in Madison since 2013. Purdue won five in a row in Madison from 2003 to 2009, but has since gone 1-3 in the building with the lone win coming in 2013.
LAST TIME OUT
• The Boilermakers won their second straight Saturday, topping visiting Penn State 64-51 in Mackey Arena
• Purdue won the rebounding battle 44-36, including 18 offensive boards, coverting its offensive efforts into 20 second-chance points
• The Boilermakers were outscored in the paint 30-28, winning for just the second time this season when being bested inside
• Purdue had four players score in double figures, led by freshman Dominique Oden with 17, marking the sixth time this season at least four Boilermakers have hit the mark
HEAD COACH Sharon Versyp
• 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 225 to date and 342 for her career, and second in program history in Big Ten Conference wins with 103
• 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 tied for third in Big Ten play at 2-1, square with Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Illinois
• The Boilermakers are 5-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points, and 10-1 when holding their opponent to 60 points or fewer
• Purdue leads the conference and ranks 24th in the NCAA in scoring defense, holding opponents to 55.4 ppg
• The Boilermakers lead the Big Ten and rank 18th nationally in fewest fouls, committing just 14.1 per contest
• Purdue also holds top-50 NCAA rankings in turnovers per game (13.8), blocked shots per game (4.8) and assist-turnover ratio (1.11)
• The Boilermakers are 8-3 when surpassing 30 points in the paint and 9-2 when topping their opponent on the inside
• Purdue has held its last two opponents to a combined 5-33 (.152) from behind the 3-point line
• Ashley Morrissette grabbed three steals in each of the last two games and has seven games this season with at least three
• Andreona Keys has held her last two defensive assignments to season-low marks (Jankoska, MSU • 16, Page, PSU • 6)
• Dominique Oden posted the fourth-best single-game 3-point total by a freshman in program history, draining five against Penn State
• Bridget Perry scored in double figures in six consecutive games, including 14 points Wednesday vs. Penn State
• Ae’Rianna Harris is already ranked eighth on Purdue’s freshman blocked shots record list already with 27 this season, while her 1.6 per game average is second all-time behind assistant coach Lindsey Wisdom-Hylton
• Wisconsin heads into Wednesday’s matchup at 5-11 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten play, falling at Minnesota on Saturday, 88-60
• The Badgers are led by first-year head coach Jonathan Tsiptis, who came to Madison from George Washington
• Junior Cayla McMorris leads Wisconsin in scoring at 14.1 points per game, and has been to the free throw line 95 times this season already (5.9 per game), good for 20th in the NCAA
• Senior Avyanna Young is eighth in the Big Ten in rebounding, hauling in 7.7 boards per game
• Purdue is 49-19 all-time against the Badgers, including a 16-13 mark in Madison
• Wednesday marks just Purdue’s second game at the Kohl Center since the 2013 season, where they are just 8-5 all-time