Feb. 13, 2010
Game Notes in PDF Format
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
WBCA Pink Zone - Penn State (15-9, 7-7) at Purdue (13-12, 8-6)
Tip: Sunday, Feb. 14, at 2 p.m. ET.
Internet Video: live video web stream at bigtennetwork.com for $2.99.
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Jane Schott will provide analysis.
Rankings: Both teams are unranked.
Live Stats: Gametracker available at purduesports.com.
Penn State (15-9, 7-7) was ranked No. 23 and on a six-game win streak prior to losing 80-76 in overtime to Purdue on Jan. 28. That loss started a five-game slide that includes the Lady Lions most recent loss, 59-52 at home to Minnesota. Senior Tyra Grant leads her team and is second in the conference in scoring with a 19.0 ppg average. She also contributes 2.1 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Indianapolis native Alex Bentley contributes 11.8 ppg and 4.0 assists per contest. The 5-foot-7 freshman scored a career-high 27 points in the teams first matchup this season.
Sunday is the 37th meeting between Purdue and Penn State and the Boilermakers hold a 22-14 series advantage. Purdue has an eight-game win streak against the Lady Lions with the last Penn State victory coming on an. 20, 2005, 77-54 in the Bryce Jordan Center. The last Lady Lion victory in West Lafayette, was on Jan. 2, 2004, 47-42. The Boilermakers have won 9 of the last 10 meetings and hold a 16-7 record in the last 23 matchups.
The Boilermakers have a bye this week and will return to action Sunday, Feb. 21 at Illinois.
Purdue's Pink Zone event for the Penn State game will feature a health information fair in the Mackey Arena concourse starting when the gates open an hour before tipoff. Fans can donate money for a pink tennis ball toss at halftime, there will be a silent auction of Purdue's pink and white Nike jerseys and pink t-shirts will be on sale with a $1 going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and $1 to the Purdue Cancer Center. Cancer survivors will be recognized on the court at halftime. Several Purdue players will sign autographs after the game.
The Last Time Out
No. 7/9 Ohio State held Purdue scoreless for more than 12 minutes in a 75-45 victory. Jantel Lavender had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Buckeyes. KK Houser had nine points for Purdue (13-12, 8-6). The Boilermakers went 12:20 without scoring over one span and didn't have a field goal for almost 14 minutes in the middle of the game. Purdue shot just 23 percent from the field and had 19 turnovers. The Buckeyes shot 52 percent from the field after hitting 11 of their first 13 to build up the big lead. After Purdue's top scorer, Brittany Rayburn, who sat out much of the first half with three fouls, hit a 15-foot jumper to tie it at 2, Ohio State ran off the next nine points. Two baskets by Houser got the Boilermakers as close as 28-16 at the 8:43 mark, but they didn't score again--missing their final 11 shots to go with four turnovers.
For the second time this season, Purdue failed to have a player reach double-figure scoring. At Ohio State, KK Houser scored a team-high nine points in the loss. Houser was also Purdue's leading scorer the last time it happened, contributing eight points in the loss at Minnesota.
Keys To Victory
In Purdue's 13 wins this season, some trends stand out. Brittany Rayburn's scoring average is seven points higher in the Boilermaker victories - 18.3 ppg in wins vs. 11.3 ppg in 12 losses. Purdue is averaging just 15.8 turnovers in the wins compared to 22.2 in losses and is outscoring opponents by an average of four points a game from the free throw line in victories (15.6 made free throws to opponents 11.6) while making 11.3 free throws to opponents 14.7 in defeat.
Impressive Defensive Numbers
As of Feb. 12, Purdue is ranked 15th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing just 27.1 from long range. Purdue is second in the conference in three-point field goal defense and in scoring defense. In the win at home over No. 5/4 Ohio State, the Boilermakers limited the Buckeyes to 35.8 percent from the field - 11.8 percent below their season average.
Sharing The Rock
The Boilermakers are led by FahKara Malone's team-best 101 assists. The Evansville, Ind., native passed the century mark for the season with six assists vs. Wisconsin, the fourth year in a row that she has dished out 100 or more assists. She becomes just the fourth Boilermaker to accomplish that feat. 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 fifth at Purdue on the career assist charts (486), is the Big Ten's active assists leader and is tied for fourth in the conference this season.
Senior Jodi Howell hit her first four three-point attempts in the first half against Illinois, finishing 4 of 9 from long range with a team-high 12 points in the win. Howell holds the Big Ten record (minimum of 100 made) and is second in school history for career three-point field goal percentage at 41.8 percent (175 of 419). She has hit at least one three-pointer in 22 games this season and 84 times in her career. Howell's 175 made threes moved her past assistant coach Ukari Figgs for third all time at Purdue.
In the final second of the first half vs. Wisconsin, FahKara Malone set the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native finished the game with three steals and currently has 330 career steals. She passed former two-time All-American Katie Douglas' mark of 327 career steals. Malone is just the fourth player in school history to record 300 or more steals. The 5-foot-3 point guard is the Big Ten's career steals leader among active players, is ranked 40th nationally with a season average of 2.7 steals per game and is second in the conference behind Illinois' Lacey Simpson.
Houser Coming Into Her Own
Nebraska native KK Houser scored 10 points in the win vs. Wisconsin. In back-to-back upset victories over ranked opponents, Houser recorded a career-best 18 points in each. Against Ohio State, Houser's 18 points were a game-high and she recorded five rebounds, four assists and a steal while hitting 8 of 8 free throws. Her 18 points at No. 23 Penn State came with six rebounds, two assists, two steals and 13 of 13 free throws, including two with five seconds left in overtime to seal the victory. In the loss at Iowa, Houser pulled down a career and team-high eight rebounds.
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, in an 81-59 win over Iowa on Jan. 17. In the 80-76 overtime victory at Penn State, Rayburn recorded a team-high 26 points, marking the fourth time this season she has tallied that total and the eighth game this season with 20 or more points. Rayburn leads the team in scoring at 14.9 ppg average, the eighth-best average in the Big Ten.