PENN STATE (15-4, 4-1 Big Ten) at PURDUE (12-6, 3-3 Big Ten)
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Jan. 20 Location: West Lafayette, Ind. - Mackey Arena (14,123) Television: none Web Stream: available live on bigtennetwork.com Live Stats: available via Gametracker at purduesports.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: Purdue leads 23-14 Promotions: Greek Organizations Night and Chamber of Commerce Night
Penn State (15-4, 4-1) is tied with Michigan State for first place in the Big Ten after an 83-62 win at home against Illinois. The Lady Lions are tops in the NCAA in three-point field goal percentage at 45.3 percent and rank 11th in scoring with an average of 81.6 points per game. Freshman Maggie Lucas leads Penn State with a 16.8 ppg average, while sophomore Alex Bentley contributes 14.7 points, Zhaque Gray 11.1 ppg and Mia Nickson 10.1 ppg. Nikki Greene has team highs of 7.1 rebounds per game and 2.3 blocked shots.
This is the 38th meeting between Purdue and Penn State, with the Boilermakers holding a 23-14 series advantage overall and 13-4 record in Mackey Arena. Purdue has a nine-game win streak against the Lady Lions, dating back to the 2004-05 season. The last time Penn State won in West Lafayette was on Jan. 2, 2004, in a low-scoring affair, 47-42. The last time the two teams faced off in Mackey Arena was on Feb. 14, 2010, with Purdue earning a 63-59 victory. Purdue's sole road win in conference last season came in overtime at No. 23 Penn State, 80-76 on Jan. 28, 2010.
Purdue plays a third Big Ten opponent for a second time when the Boilermakers travel to Ann Arbor to face Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m. ET.
Former Ben Davis H.S. teammates, Purdue freshman Dee Dee Williams and Penn State sophomore Alex Bentley will play against one another for the first time at the collegiate level. The two helped lead Ben Davis to a 30-0 record in 2008-09, that included a state championship and recognition as high school national champions.
Last Time Out - Northwestern
- Purdue held Northwestern without a field goal for the first 9:13 of the game and limited the Wildcats to an opponent season low of 7.1 percent (1 of 14) from three-point range in the Boilermakers' 54-43 victory.
- Purdue's 11-point margin was its largest margin of victory in a conference game this season.
- The Boilermakers outrebounded Northwestern 45-31, including 19-7 on the offensive boards. It is the 13th time this season that Purdue has outrebounded its opponent.
- Drey Mingo recorded her second double-double of the season with game highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Mingo hit 6 of 10 shots, including 1 of 1 three-pointers.
- Brittany Rayburn was the only other Boilermaker in double-figures with 11 points.
- Courtney Moses was Purdue's second-leading rebounder with six boards. She also contributed nine points and a team-high three assists.
The Boilermakers are second in the Big Ten in scoring defense and third in field goal percentage defense holding teams to an average of 56.9 points per game and 37.1 percent from the field. Purdue leads the Big Ten in rebounding defense by limiting opponents to and average of 33.2 rebounds per game. Murray State scored only 25 points and shot 12.2 percent against Purdue on Dec. 12. Both totals are the lowest this season by an opponent. Purdue held Southern Illinois to 36 total points and 27.5 percent from the field. The Boilermakers have only allowed one opponent to reach 50.0 percent from the field - Notre Dame (31 of 62; 50.0%). Purdue has held 11 teams under 40 percent field goal percentage and nine teams to 56 points or less.
By The Numbers
Purdue is 11-2 when it outrebounds its opponents, is 4-0 when shooting 50 percent from the field or better and is 7-0 when scoring 70 points or more.
Keeping It Close
The Boilermakers have had their share of close games and are 3-2 in games decided by five points or less.
Mingo Returning To Form
In Purdue's last three games, redshirt junior Drey Mingo is averaging a team-best 13.0 ppg, having reached double-digit scoring in all three contests, including game highs of 17 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Northwestern. It was Mingo's second double-double of the season and her best game since scoring 21 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the win against DePaul in the championship of the Preseason WNIT. Right after the DePaul game, Mingo was stricken with bacterial meningitis. She was hospitalized for five days and early in her diagnosis was given a 50 percent chance of survival. Purdue canceled its Thanksgiving trip to Cancun and Mingo missed four games before returning for two minutes against Auburn on Dec. 18. The Atlanta, Ga., native has continued to improve, gaining back her strength and endurance. Mingo does have hearing loss as a result of her illness, the permanence of which will not be known for some time.
Not At Full Strength
Junior Brittany Rayburn injured her sciatic nerve at Gardner-Webb on Dec. 22 and aggravated the injury late in the game against Wisconsin on Dec. 30. Since then, Rayburn has struggled to hit shots, averaging just 9.0 ppg in the last five games while shooting 18.0 percent from the field on 11 of 61 shooting, including just 1 of 24 three-pointers (4.2%). Rayburn's free throw shooting has helped her achieve double-figures in three of the five contests. She has connected on a team-high 22 of 26 (84.6%) in that stretch. Fortunately for Purdue, freshman Courtney Moses has helped fill the void. She is averaging 15.2 ppg in the last five games, shooting 44.6 percent (25 of 56), including 50.0 percent (18 of 36) from beyond the arc.
Freshman Of The Week Courtney Moses picked up her fourth-consecutive and fifth overall Big Ten Freshman of the Week Award on Jan. 10. The starting point guard averaged 15.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists as Purdue went 2-0 in conference action. In the one-point win over Michigan, she drained six three-point shots and finished with 22 points, five rebounds and three steals. In the Boilermakers' contest against Indiana, Moses recorded nine points, five assists, four rebounds, four steals and a block, which came in the final seconds to deny a potential game-tying three-pointer. Only Penn State's Maggie Lucas has won more conference freshman weekly awards.
Rayburn Among Big Ten's Best
Preseason All-Big Ten selection Brittany Rayburn is living up to that mantle. She is 11th in the league in scoring with a 14.4 ppg average and leads the Big Ten in free throw percentage. She has scored in double figures in 14 games this season and has had four games of 20 or more points, including a career-high 30 at Gardner-Webb. Rayburn has hit two game-winning shots for Purdue on the year, at Gardner-Webb and against Michigan.
Moses Continues To Grow
In the first contest against Wisconsin, Courtney Moses tied for game-high rebounding honors with a career-high eight boards. She had five rebounds against Michigan to go along with three assists and just one turnover. The Sweetser, Ind., native has led Purdue in scoring seven times this year and is the second leading scorer among freshmen in the Big Ten. Moses is in the top 15 in the conference in six categories - 13th for FG% (.471), 14th for assists (3.0), 2nd for 3FG% (.471), tied for 8th in threes per game (1.8), 11th assist/turnover ratio (1.0) and is 15th in the Big Ten in scoring at 12.8 ppg.
Ice At The Line Brittany Rayburn leads the Big Ten and is ranked eighth nationally for free throw percentage, making 96 of 105 for 91.4 percent on the season. Purdue is tops in the league and 12th in the NCAA from the charity stripe at 76.7 percent. Purdue is on pace for a school record for free throw percentage; the previous best was 75.8 percent in 2002-03.
- Brittany Rayburn has scored 1,078 points in her career, ranking 21st all time at Purdue.
- Rayburn is 11th in career scoring average at 12.5 points per game.
- Rayburn is currently 11th in career made three-point field goals at Purdue with 116.
- Rayburn is ninth in career made free throws with 336 and is third in career free throw percentage, averaging 83.2 percent (336 of 404).