Jan. 20, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Purdue (9-9, 4-3) at Michigan State (11-7, 2-5)
Tip: Thursday, Jan. 21, at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Television: Big Ten Network. Mark Neely will provide play-by-play and Mary Murphy will provide color analysis.
Internet Video: None.
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM, Purdue Radio Network and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Sara White will provide analysis.
Rankings: Purdue is unranked and Michigan State is receiving votes in both polls.
Live Stats: Gametracker available at msuspartans.com.
Michigan State (11-7, 2-5) extended its losing streak to three with a 68-60 loss to Penn State in Happy Valley. The Spartans are led by 6-foot-9 senior Allyssa DeHaan, who is averaging 12.3 ppg, followed by sophomore forward Lykendra Johnson at 9.7 ppg and junior forward Kalisha Keene with 9.1 ppg. Johnson leads the way in the rebounding department grabbing 8.6 rpg. Spartans sophomore guard Courtney Schiffauer was leading the team in points, rebounds and assists after the first two games, however she tore her ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Michigan State features unusual scoring depth as seven players are currently averaging over 6.4 ppg. Suzy Merchant's Spartans are currently fourth in the nation in blocked shots per game, averaging 7.1, behind DeHaan's 3.1 bpg average.
This marks the 57th meeting between Purdue and Michigan State with the Boilermakers leading the series 34-22. The series has been an equal match over the last ten meetings as each team has won five games. The Spartans have a 17-11 advantage in the Breslin Center. Purdue's last win in East Lansing was on Jan. 11, 2007, by a 70-60 margin. The last meeting was on March 1, 2009, when Michigan State played host to the Boilermakers and came away with a 57-55 victory. The Spartans also won the matchup last season in overtime in West Lafayette, 68-62. It was in overtime that Purdue point guard FahKara Malone suffered an open dislocation of her right ring finger that caused her to miss nine games.
The Boilermakers will play host to No. 5/4 Ohio State in a Big Monday matchup on ESPN2 on Jan. 25. Purdue has a four-game losing streak against the Buckeyes, with the last win coming on Feb. 7, 2008, 68-67 in Mackey Arena.
The Last Time Out
Purdue rebounded nicely from a disappointing effort at Minnesota to dominate Iowa 81-59 on Sunday. The Boilermakers were led by Brittany Rayburn's career high 28 points. FahKara Malone chipped in 10 points and Sam Ostarello contributed nine points off the bench. Purdue's tough defense limited the Hawkeyes to 37.7 percent shooting, well below Purdue's own 48.2 percent. The Boilermakers dished out 18 assists to finish the game with a plus-six assist to turnover ratio. The Boilers took command from the very first basket, rushing to a 30-10 lead halfway through the first half. Rayburn had 19 points in the first period, connecting on her first four three-point attempts. At halftime, Purdue led 44-23, surpassing its season best for first half offensive production.
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 84-41 record in her fourth season at Purdue and is 201-106 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, behind Kristy Curry's 26 win average. 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). She will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in April.
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 L.A. Sparks forward had been playing professional basketball with Ravenna Esperides in Greece. Her primary duties will include working with the post players. The 2009 Purdue graduate was selected by the Sparks as the 13th overall pick in the first round of the 2009 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. 17, Purdue is ranked No. 27 nationally in scoring defense, 27th in field goal percentage defense and 12th in three-point field goal percentage defense. Purdue is tops in the conference in three-point field goal defense, second in the conference in scoring defense and fourth in field goal defense. On Jan. 7, Wisconsin hit 49.0 percent against Purdue and was the first team this season to shoot 40 percent or better against the Boilermakers. Minnesota fired 47.3 percent in its 74-47 win.
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 every game since the Evansville contest.
Senior FahKara Malone is 15 steals away from setting the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native is currently fourth with 313 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 40th nationally with a season average of 2.8 steals per game. Malone is currently second in the conference in steals per game.
Sharing The Rock
The Boilermakers have assisted on 64.5 percent (244-378) of their made field goals this season. The Boilermakers are led by FahKara Malone's team-best 76 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 42.3 percent (164-388). She has hit at least one three-pointer in 15 games this season and 77 times in her career. Howell's 164 made threes rank her fourth all time at Purdue.
Rayburn Putting Up Big Numbers
Sophomore Brittany Rayburn, the 2009 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year as a freshman, scored a career-high 28 points en route to the Boilermakers best offensive production of the season, an 81-59 win over Iowa. It was her seventh 20+ point performance of the season and two points better than her previous high of 26 points which she had achieved three times this season. Rayburn leads the team in scoring at 15.2 ppg average, good for seventh in the Big Ten.
Jones Coming Up Big
Since the holiday break, sophomore Chelsea Jones has stepped up her game. 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. On Dec. 28 vs. Minnesota, Jones scored only seven points, but pulled down eight rebounds and helped hold Ashley Ellis-Milan to just one point. Jones has led Purdue in rebounding in six of the last seven contests.
In their last four games, the Boilermakers have hit 52 of 63 free throws for 82.5 percent. Before those games, 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 28 of the 63 attempts and hit all but one. She had a streak of 22 made free throws during this run and is shooting 85.3 percent on the season. Rayburn earlier this season had a streak of 38 consecutive free throws, but isn't even Purdue's best free throw shooter. Jodi Howell leads the team at 92.0 percent and has an active streak of 17 made free throws.