Jan. 22, 2010
No. 5/4 Ohio State (20-1, 8-0 Big Ten) at Purdue (9-10, 4-4 Big Ten)
Tip: Monday, Jan. 25, at 7 p.m. ET.
Television: ESPN2. Bob Wischusen will provide play-by-play, Carolyn Peck will provide color analysis and Rebecca Lobo will report.
Internet Video: None.
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM, Purdue Radio Network and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Jane Schott will provide analysis.
Rankings: Purdue is unranked and Ohio State is ranked fifth in AP and fourth in the coaches poll.
Live Stats: Gametracker available at purduesports.com.
Big Ten-leading No. 5/4 Ohio State (20-1, 8-0) extended its winning streak to 12 straight games with a hard-fought 58-56 win over rival Michigan in Ann Arbor last Thursday. The 58 points scored against the Wolverines were the fewest in a contest for the Buckeyes this season and were 22.4 points below their scoring average of 80.4. OSU's only loss was a 83-67 setback against No. 11 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Dec. 3. Individually, the Buckeyes are led by 6-foot-4 junior center Jantel Lavender, who is averaging a double-double this season with 21.3 ppg and 10.3 rpg, and is followed by sophomore guard Samantha Prahalis' 15.8 ppg, 7.8 apg and 1.7 spg. In addition to her point/rebound numbers, Lavendar is posting another monster year by shooting 53.2 percent from the field (177 for 333) and averaging 1.2 blocks per game. OSU's starting five averages 8.1 ppg per game or better, and have accounted for 77.5 percent of the Buckeyes' points this season (1,309 of 1,689).
This marks the 61st meeting between Purdue and Ohio State, with the Buckeyes leading the series 36-25. Ohio State is the only Big Ten school to own a winning record against the Boilermakers which is due in large part to a 20-game winning streak from 1976-90. The Buckeyes have enjoyed the most recent success in the series, winning four straight and seven of the last 10 games, but the two schools are an even 10-10 in the last 20 contests . OSU holds a 15-12 advantage over Purdue in Mackey Arena, including 71-60 victory in West Lafayette last season. Purdue's last win over Ohio State was a 67-66 decision on Feb. 7, 2008, in Mackey. The two schools met three times last season with OSU taking all three games, including a 67-66 win over the Boilers in the Big Ten Tournament championship game.
The Boilermakers head out to the Keystone State for a meeting with Penn State in University Park on Jan. 28. Purdue will look to extend a program-best seven-game winning streak over the Lions.
The Last Time Out
The effort was there for the Boilermakers at Michigan State on Thursday, but the end result was not favorable as Purdue falls to the Spartans 72-54. For the first time this season the Boilermakers allowed an opponent to shoot 50 percent from the field and that was due in large part to a plethora of transition baskets by Michigan State. The Spartans held a 14-0 advantage in fast break points and outscored Purdue 40-14 in the paint. In contrast, the Boilermakers shot just 29.7 percent from the field. They had 10 more shot attempts in the game, but hit just 19 of 64 from the field. Brittany Rayburn led Purdue with 11 points while freshman guard KK Houser contributed 10 points, five assists and three steals. Freshman Ashley Wilson pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and while recording five points and two steals.
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 84-42 record in her fourth season at Purdue and is 201-107 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 13 steals away from setting the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native is currently third with 315 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 2.7 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 (265-397) of their made field goals this season. The Boilermakers are led by FahKara Malone's team-best 78 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 (465), 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 42.0 percent (165-393). She has hit at least one three-pointer in 16 games this season and 78 times in her career. Howell's 165 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 15.0 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 10 contests.
Free Throws Up
In their last five games, the Boilermakers have hit 61 of 77 free throws for 79.2 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 has 31 of the 77 attempts and hit all but two. She had a streak of 22 straight made free throws during this run and is shooting 85.0 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 92.9 percent and has an active streak of 20 made free throws, including 3 of 3 against Michigan State last Thursday.
Freshman Sam Ostarello, from Fort Pierre, S.D., leads the Boilermakers in rebounding at 5.4 rebounds despite averaging less than 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. Classmate Ashley Wilson has gotten into the double-digit act as well, hauling in a career-high 11 boards against Virginia on Dec. 3 and 10 more against Michigan State last Thursday. Wilson is averaging 4.3 rpg in just over 18 minutes per game.
Wilson Steps Up At Wisconsin
Freshman Ashley Wilson made her third career start in the Iowa game and scored the first bucket to give Purdue a lead it never relinquished. She got in foul trouble in the first half, but was 3 of 3 from the field for six points, three rebounds and an assists. At Wisconsin, Wilson was 3 of 3 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free throw line to record eight points, three rebounds and three steal. It was the best performance for the Wheeling, Ill., native since scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds at Northwestern. She followed that up with six points, three rebounds, an assist and three steals at Minnesota.
Close, But No Cigar
Five Boilermaker losses this season have been by five points or less, including a four-point loss to No. 3 Notre Dame. Dayton won by three points, Pepperdine by five, at Northwestern by two and to Gardner-Webb by one point on a deep three-pointer with less than 15 seconds to play.
Big Time in the Big Ten at Home
The Boilermakers are a perfect 4-0 in Big Ten games in Mackey Arena this season. Purdue is averaging 65.2 ppg, outscoring Big Ten opposition by 12.7 points and limiting the league foes to a .318 shooting percentage in conference contests at home.
No. 5/4 Ohio State will be the third ranked opponent Purdue has squared off against this season, and if the previous two contests are any harbinger the Buckeyes should expect the Boilers' best effort. Purdue outscored No. 14 Virginia 35-30 in the second half on Dec. 3 in a 56-49 loss in Charlottesville, and narrowly missed knocking off undefeated No. 3 Notre Dame in 79-75 loss on Jan. 4 in Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers have a 7-3 NCAA Tournament record under head coach Sharon Versyp while advancing to the Elite Eight twice in three years. Purdue is one of only nine teams that have earned a birth in the regional finals two of the last three seasons. Arizona State, Maryland, Stanford, Tennessee, North Carolina, Rutgers and LSU have advanced at least that far twice since 2006-07, and Connecticut has done it all three years. Advancing deep into the NCAA Tournament is a tradition for the Boilermakers and every four-year player since 1990 has been to a Sweet 16 and since 1994 has been to an Elite Eight. With 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, Purdue has one of the longest active streaks in NCAA Division I women's basketball. Only Tennessee (28), Stanford (22) and Connecticut (21) have longer streaks going.
Among Nation's Best In Attendance
Purdue fans' loyal support makes Mackey Arena a tough place to play and has placed the Boilermakers in the top 10 in national attendance for 14-straight seasons. Purdue has finished No. 5 each of the last two years and in 2008-09, the Boilermakers averaged 8,971 fans a game. Purdue welcomed fan No. 2,000,000 on Dec. 21 vs. Gardner-Webb.
The three seniors, Laura Garriga, Jodi Howell and FahKara Malone were chosen as team captains.
Speed, Strength and Conditioning
Freshman Ashley Wilson owns the all-time bench press record at 180 pounds, while FahKara Malone and transfer Drey Mingo are tied for second at 170 lbs. Sophomores Chelsea Jones and Samantha Woods made the greatest gains in the offseason. Jones increased her bench press by 12 lbs. to 120 lbs., her power clean by 7 kg (15.4 lbs.) to 67 kg and her squat by 10 lbs. to 170 lbs. Woods moved her bench press up 15 lbs. to 120 lbs., her power clean 5 kg (11 lbs.) to 67.5 kg and her squat increased 20 lbs. to 240 lbs. Woods won the Golden Hammer Award and Jones was tabbed Purdue's Summer Warrior.
Boilermakers Ink Top-Five Recruiting Class
Each of her four years at Purdue, Sharon Versyp has signed a top-15 recruiting class. The Boilermakers signed two instate stars, point guard Courtney Moses and forward Dee Dee Williams, who, along with transfers Antionette Howard and Drey Mingo, give Purdue the No. 5 national ranking according to Collegiate Girls Basketball Report. All-Star Girls Report rated the class No. 13 nationally. Last season, both Moses (Oak Hill H.S.) and Williams (Ben Davis H.S.) led their teams to the Indiana girls basketball state tournament title game, with Williams and the Giants capping off a perfect 30-0 season as state and national champions. The duo are considered leading candidates for Indiana's Miss Basketball and both are ranked in the top 100 by multiple scouting services.