No. 18 PURDUE (18-5, 7-3) at WISCONSIN (11-13, 3-8)
Tipoff: 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 14 Location: Kohl Center - Madison, Wis. Television: None Internet: Live video web stream available on purduesports.com/allaccess. Live stats available via Gametracker at purduesports.com. Radio: Live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM), the Purdue Radio Network and purduesports.com with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and Sara White analysis. The Series: Purdue leads 44-17 The Rankings: Purdue is ranked No. 18 in both the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today Division I Coaches' Poll. Upcoming Promotions: Sunday, Feb. 17 is the annual Play 4Kay breast cancer awareness game. The Boilermakers will play host to Iowa at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Purdue's white game jerseys with pink trim will be auctioned off along with two autographed basketballs. Donations will be accepted and fans are asked to wear pink or periwinkle (in support of Terry Kix's battle with stomach cancer) to Mackey Arena. Proceeds will go to the American Cancer Society.
Wisconsin (11-13) is coming off a 65-53 victory at home against Indiana on Sunday. The Badgers are 3-8 in the Big Ten, and are the only conference team to have defeated Penn State, earning a 63-61 victory at home on Jan. 31. Wisconsin has two players averaging double-figures. Sophomore Morgan Paige has a 17.2 ppg scoring average while sophomore Jacki Gulczynski contributes 12.4 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Junior Cassie Rochel is the team's leading rebounder, averaging 8.3 boards per game and she is tied for second in the Big Ten for blocks, averaging 2.3 per game. Wisconsin is led by second-year head coach Bobbi Kelsey who has the Badgers holding teams to 59.7 ppg while scoring an average of 59.4 ppg.
This is the 66th meeting in women's basketball between the Boilermakers and the Badgers. Purdue has a 44-17 series advantage, but is just 2-4 in the last six games. The Badgers ended a 22-game losing streak in Mackey Arena with 68-66 victory on Dec. 30, 2010. The last time the two teams met in the Kohl Center, Wisconsin edged Purdue 60-46 (Jan. 13, 2011). The Boilermakers have not won at the Kohl Center since a 52-51 decision on Jan. 29, 2009. Purdue is 15-12 all time in Madison and head coach Sharon Versyp is 8-4 versus the Badgers.
Last Time vs. Wisconsin KK Houser scored 17 points and played shutdown defense against Wisconsin's Taylor Wurtz to help No. 18 Purdue beat Wisconsin 63-52 on Jan. 5. Houser also had five steals and four assists as the Boilermakers won their sixth straight game. She also was the primary defender against Wurtz. One of the conference's top scorers at 16.1 points per game, Wurtz was held scoreless on 0-for-10 shooting. Sam Ostarello had 12 points and 13 rebounds and Antionette Howard added 12 points for the Boilermakers. Anya Covington tied a career high with 19 points and Jade Davis added 10 for the Badgers. Purdue shot 57 percent in the first half to lead 36-25 at the break. Baskets by Ostarello and Brittany Rayburn and two free throws by Ostarello pushed the lead to 42-29. A basket by Ostarello a few minutes later increased the advantage to 16. The game turned when Alex Guyton was called for a flagrant foul for elbowing Wisconsin's Cassie Rochel in the face. Purdue led 47-32 at that point, but Wisconsin rallied. Covington scored six points in a run that cut Purdue's lead to single digits. Covington's three-point play and Davis' layup trimmed the Boilermakers' advantage to 50-44. Purdue led 54-47 before holding the Badgers scoreless for more than six minutes to put the game out of reach.
Purdue vs. The Big Ten Conference
The Boilermakers are 402-221 all time against teams in the Big Ten Conference, including 347-173 in league games. Purdue has the highest winning percentage vs. Michigan (49-16, .754), followed by Illinois (49-16, .753) and Wisconsin (44-17, .721). Purdue is 40-17 (.702) versus the Gophers, 44-19 (.698) against Northwestern, 2-1 (.667) when playing Nebraska, 50-25 (.667) when taking on instate rival Indiana and 26-17 (.605) against Penn State. Purdue is 37-26 (.587) versus Michigan State and holds a 35-27 (.565) record versus Iowa. Purdue has a winning record against every conference opponent except Ohio State (27-40, .403).
The Boilermakers play Sunday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. ET against Iowa. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and is the annual Play 4Kay contest for breast cancer awareness. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, or periwinkle in support of Supervisor of Basketball Operations, Terry Kix's battle against stomach cancer.
Last Time Out
Kate Thompson scored 22 points, hitting six three-pointers to set Michigan's single-season record, as the Wolverines upended cold-shooting No. 13 Purdue 67-56 Sunday. Nya Jordan added 16 points and 11 rebounds for Michigan. The Wolverines outshot Purdue 45.7 percent (21 of 46) to 38.2 percent (21 of 55). Michigan hit 9 of 17 three-pointers; the Boilermakers just 2 of 19. Michigan led 17-4 early, but Purdue responded with a 16-2 spurt. They exchanged the lead until the Wolverines pulled ahead 50-49 on Thompson's three with 8:12 left. After the Boilermakers got within 58-54 with 1:27 left, Michigan hit 9 of 10 free throws. Courtney Moses and April Wilson scored 12 each to lead Purdue. Wilson's 12 points tied her career high.
Mingo Named Senior CLASS Award Finalist
For the second-consecutive season and the third time under head coach Sharon Versyp, a member of the Purdue women's basketball team is a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award. Drey Mingo is one of the final 10 women's basketball players for this year's prestigious honor. An acronym for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Fans can vote once a day until March 25 at SeniorCLASSAward.com and at the Senior CLASS Award Facebook fan page. Fan votes will be combined with media and NCAA Division I head coaches' votes to determine the winner, with the announcement being made at the NCAA Women's Final Four in New Orleans April 7 and 9.
Figuring It Out April Wilson tied her season high and tied for team-high scoring honors with 12 points against Michigan. The freshman guard was 5-of-10 from the field, hit her only free throw, had two assists and one steal in 25 minutes. In the last five games, Wilson is averaging 8.0 points while classmate Taylor Manuel is third on the team in scoring in that stretch with an average of 10.6 points per game.
Moses Plays Big
Junior guard Courtney Moses has stepped up in most of Purdue's biggest games this season. Against ranked opponents, Moses is averaging a team-high 16.6 points per game, including two 20 point games (24 vs. UConn and 21 at Penn State). In those five games, the Sweetser, Ind., native is shooting 50.0 from the field, including 48.3 percent from three-point range while averaging 2.8 made threes per game. Moses also has hit 89.5 percent of her free throws against ranked opponents. Moses has four 20 point games on the season, recording a season-high 26 against Northwestern and tying her then-season high with 24 in the win over Ohio State. Moses is sixth nationally in free throw percentage, hitting 92.1 percent of her attempts this season.