Feb. 18, 2014
Tipoff: 7 p.m. (CT) on Thursday, Feb. 20
Location: Williams Arena – Minneapolis, Minn.
Internet: Big Ten Digital Network (http://video.btn.com/allaccess/)
Radio: Live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM) and purduesports.com with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and analysis.
The Series: Purdue owns a 41-17 advantage over Minnesota, including an 18-12 edge at Williams Arena and five in a row over the Golden Gophers. Three of the last five meetings have been on Minnesota’s home turf and Purdue have won by an average of 13 points, including last year’s 75-63 victory.
The Rankings: Purdue is ranked 21st by the Associated Press and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Division I Coaches’ Poll. Minnesota is unranked.
Minnesota enters Thursday’s matchup at 17-9 overall and 6-6 in conference play, riding a four-game Big Ten win streak. After beginning conference action 2-6, the Golden Gophers have earned road wins at Michigan, Wisconsin and Northwestern and a home victory over Illinois. Junior Rachel Banham leads Minnesota and is one of the Big Ten’s most dynamic scorers, averaging a conference-best 22.5 points per game and shooting 45 percent from the floor. The preseason All-Big Ten pick and Naismith Trophy Award semifinalist ranks 12th in the NCAA in scoring and eighth in the nation in three-point percentage at 46.1 percent. The Golden Gophers also feature one of the nation’s best freshman in 6’5” Amanda Zahui, who is top-five among NCAA freshmen in rebounding (11.0 per game) and blocks (3.0 per game), and 16th among national freshman in scoring (15.2 points per game). Zahui was named the Big Ten Player of the Week on Dec. 9, and has been the Big Ten Freshman of the Week six times, including the last two weeks.
More Honor Roll
The Boilermakers secured another spot on the Big Ten Player of the Week Honor Roll on Monday as Courtney Moses was recognized after her 25-point performance against Iowa. Moses was seven-of-10 from three and sank a pair of game-winning free throws with 6.9 seconds left in regulation. She has been on the conference honor roll three times this season, while junior Whitney Bays has been honored twice.
With 1,564 career points, Moses is just one-point shy of tying head coach Sharon Versyp for 13th on Purdue's all-time scoring list. After her 11th career game with at least six three-point field goals, her 225 career triples are just nine shy of a spot on the Big Ten's all-time top-10 list (234, Katie Voigt, Wisconsin), and 13 shy of matching Katie Gearlds for the Boilermakers' career record.
Bays has double-doubles in each of her last two games, finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds at Michigan and posting 10 points and 10 boards against Iowa. The accomplishment marks one of 39 times in Purdue’s history an individual has secured consecutive double-doubles, while the run has been stretched to three straight just six times. Sam Ostarello was the most recent to post three straight, doing it last season against Nebraska, Ohio State and Minnesota.
With seven assists against Iowa, April Wilson became just the ninth sophomore in Purdue history to dish out 100 assists in a season. She ranks eighth in the Big Ten with 4.2 assists per game and is fourth in assist/turnover ratio at 1.7.
Purdue's last two games have been two of the biggest comebacks in school history. The Boilermakers trailed by 14 at Michigan before finishing a 65-56 win, and rebounded from a 18-point deficit against Iowa to earn a 74-73 victory.
- This is the 39th season in Purdue Women’s Basketball history. The Boilermakers are 765-405 all-time.
- Purdue is 179-86 under head coach Sharon Versyp, who is in her eighth season with the Boilermakers. She has a career record of 296-151.
- The Boilermakers are 358-181 all-time against Big Ten Conference opponents.
- Purdue is ranked for the 90th time in their last 93 games, sitting 21st in the AP Poll and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
- Purdue is 245-217 all-time on the road, including a 152-118 mark against Big Ten opponents.
- The Boilermakers are 165-115 all-time in the month of February, including a 63-66 record on the road and an 8-3 mark on Feb. 20.
- Purdue is 20-14 all-time in its 26th game of the season.
- The Boilermakers are 41-17 all-time against Minnesota, including an 18-12 record at Williams Arena.