Jan. 13, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Purdue (8-8, 3-2) at Minnesota (10-6, 3-2)
Tip: Thursday at 7:30 p.m. ET in Williams Arena
Television: Big Ten Network. Craig Coshun will provide play-by-play and Mary Murphy will provide color analysis.
Internet Video: None.
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Sara White will provide analysis.
Rankings: both teams are unranked.
Live Stats: Gametracker available at purduesports.com.
Minnesota (10-6) is coming off a 64-62 loss at Illinois on Sunday and with a 3-2 conference record is in a four-way tie for second with the Illini, Penn State and Purdue. The Golden Gophers are led by sophomore guard Kiara Buford who is averaging 14.2 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. Also averaging double-digits is senior post player Ashley Ellis-Milan who contributes 10.6 points and a team-best 5.4 rebounds per game. In the loss to Purdue on Dec. 28, junior college transfer China Antoine scored a game-high 17 points, but Buford was held to seven points and Ellis-Milan contributed just one.
This marks the 53rd meeting between Purdue and Minnesota and the Boilermakers leading the series 36-16. The teams met once already this season with the Boilermakers earning a 51-43 victory on Dec. 28, in Mackey Arena. Last year, Purdue won both matchups, the first was a 56-43 victory on Jan. 22, in West Lafayette, and the second was a 55-40 win on Feb. 12, in Minneapolis. Purdue is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings with Minnesota and 14-6 in the last 20 matchups. The last Golden Gopher victory against Purdue in Williams Arena was on Dec. 30, 2007, by a score of 70-63. The Boilermakers currently have a four-game win streak against Minnesota.
The Boilermakers return to Mackey Arena and will take on Iowa on Sunday, Jan. 17 at 12 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. It is Purdue's fifth game on the Network this season and the Boilermakers sixth nationally televised game of the year.
The Last Time Out
In a hard fought game that featured four lead changes, it was the Boilermakers defense that helped lead them to victory, 53-42 over Northwestern. Purdue limited Northwestern to 25 percent shooting from the field (14 for 56) and 23 percent from beyond the arc (4 for 17) in the contest while forcing the Wildcats into 17 turnovers. The win was No. 200 for Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp. The Boilermakers were led by senior Jodi Howell and sophomore Brittany Rayburn, who finished with 12 points each. Howell hit 4 of 7 three-pointers and recorded four rebounds. The Wildcats were led by sophomore forward Brittany Orban, who scored a game-high 14 points. Orban also finished with a game-high nine rebounds, sharing rebounding honors with teammate Amy Jaeschke.
Head Coach Sharon Versyp
Versyp earned her 200th career victory with the win over Northwestern on Jan. 10. The former Boilermaker point guard, has a 83-40 record in her fourth season at Purdue and is 200-105 in her 10th season as a collegiate head coach. Versyp averaged 25 wins per season in her first three years at Purdue which is the second-best three-year average in school history. Kristy Curry averaged 26 wins in her first three campaigns. 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).
Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton has joined the Purdue coaching staff on a temporary basis. The former Boilermaker is filling in while assistant coach Martin Clapp is on a medical leave of absence. The 6-foot-2 Los Angeles Sparks forward had been playing professional basketball with Ravenna Esperides in Greece and her primary duties will include working with the post players. The 2009 Purdue graduate was selected last spring by the Sparks as the 13th overall pick in the first round of the WNBA draft. As a senior, Wisdom-Hylton led the Boilermakers in scoring, rebounding, blocked shots and field goal percentage. She holds the school record for rebounds and blocked shots and she was part of the five-member senior class that led the Boilermakers to a 25-11 record and the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. Wisdom-Hylton was named honorable mention All-American, first team All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten in her final year at Purdue.
Impressive Defensive Numbers
As of Jan. 11, Purdue is ranked No. 24 nationally in scoring defense, 15th in field goal percentage defense and 18th in three-point field goal percentage defense. Purdue is second in the conference in scoring defense, second in three-point field goal defense and third in field goal defense. On Jan. 7, Wisconsin hit 49.0 percent against Purdue and was the first team to shoot 40 percent or better from the field against the Boilermakers this season.
Sophomore Chantel Poston suffered an Achilles tendon injury on Oct. 1, tearing the tendon in her right foot during a conditioning drill. She had surgery in early Oct. and is expected to miss the season. Sophomore Alex Guyton missed the first 10 games with a stress fracture in her lower left leg, but has played in each game since Evansville.
Senior FahKara Malone is 18 steals away from setting the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native is currently fourth with 310 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 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 28th nationally with a season average of 2.9 steals per game. Malone is second in the conference in steals per game this season.
Sharing The Rock
From the second half of the Indiana game through the first half of the Wisconsin game, Purdue had 38 assists on 49 made field goals. The Boilermakers have assisted on 64.2 percent (214-333) of their made field goals this season. The Boilermakers are led by FahKara Malone's team-best 69 assists. 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, is the Big Ten's active assists leader and is ranked third in the conference this season.
Senior Jodi Howell holds the Big Ten and school record for career three-point field goal percentage (minimum of 100 attempts) at 42.6 percent (163-383). She has hit at least one three-pointer in 14 games this season and 76 times in her career. She hit four three-pointers against Northwestern, just one shy of the most she has made in a game this season.
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-high 22 points, marking her sixth 20+ point performance of the season. She leads the team in scoring with a 15.0 ppg average, good for eighth in the Big Ten.
Jones Coming Up Big
Since the holiday break, sophomore Chelsea Jones has stepped up her game. The 6-foot-4 center is averaging 9.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists while shooting 58.8 percent from the field and blocking seven shots in the last five games. Against Indiana she recorded her first career double-double with career highs of 14 points and 11 rebounds. The next game out, against Notre Dame she broke her career high with 16 points and dished out a personal best four assists to go along with six rebounds. The last time against Minnesota, Jones scored just seven points, but pulled down eight rebounds and helped hold Ashley Ellis-Milan without a field goal and just one point.
Free Throws Up
The Boilermakers made 89.7 percent (26 of 29) of their free throws in their last two games - Wisconsin and Northwestern. Coming into the Wisconsin game, Purdue was shooting just 65.2 percent from the charity stripe. Part of the improvement can be attributed to the fact that Brittany Rayburn had 18 of the 29 attempts in the two game span and hit all of them. She has an active streak of 19 made free throws and is shooting 84.6 percent on the season. Rayburn earlier this season had a streak of 38 consecutive free throws. Jodi Howell, Purdue's best free throw shooter at 91.3 percent, has an active streak of 15 made free throws, but did not go to the line in either of the last two games.
Freshman Sam Ostarello, from Fort Pierre, S.D., leads the Boilermakers in rebounding at 6.1 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 with career highs for points (17) and rebounds (14). It was Ostarello's third game with double-digit rebounds, having pulled down 12 boards against Western Illinois and at UC Riverside.