Women's Hoops Enters Big Ten Tourney As No. 3 Seed

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM First-year head coach Kristy Curry and her team earned a No. 3 seed and a first round bye in the Big Ten Tourney.
First-year head coach Kristy Curry and her team earned a No. 3 seed and a first round bye in the Big Ten Tourney.

March 1, 2000

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2000 Big Ten Tournament
Indianapolis, Ind.
Conseco Fieldhouse
March 2-5

A Look At The Boilermakers: The 18th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers (19-7, 11-5 Big Ten), under first-year head coach Kristy Curry, own the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Tournament and will face the winner of the Wisconsin vs. Minnesota game March 3 in Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse. The quarterfinal game will be televised live by Fox Sports Chicago at approximately 8:30 p.m.

Tournament Schedule

Thursday, March 2
Game 1: #8 Indiana vs. #9 Ohio State, 4 p.m.
Game 2: #7 Iowa vs. #10 Northwestern, 6 p.m.
Game 3: #6 Wisconsin vs. #11 Minnesota, 8 p.m.

Friday, March 3 - Quarterfinals
Game 4: #4 Illinois vs. #5 Michigan State, noon (Fox Sports Chicago
Game 5: #1 Penn State vs. Game 1 winner, 2:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Chicago)
Game 6: #2 Michigan vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m. (Fox Sports Chicago)
Game 7: #3 Purdue vs. Game 3 winner, 8:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Chicago)

Saturday, March 4 - Semifinals
Game 8: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m. (Fox Sports Chicago)
Game 9: Game 6 winner vs. Game 7 winner, 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Chicago)

Sunday, March 5 - Championship
Game 8 winner vs. Game 9 winner, 7 p.m. (espn2)

Head Coach Kristy Curry: Kristy Curry is in her first season at Purdue and as a collegiate head coach. She was hired April 2, 1999, replacing Carolyn Peck, now the head coach and general manager of the WNBA's Orlando Miracle. Curry has spent time as an assistant at Tulane (1991-93), Stephen F. Austin (1993-94), Texas A&M (1994-96) and Louisiana Tech (1996-99). Now 19-7 as a head coach, Curry owned a 179-91 record as an assistant. Her three-year stint with the Lady Techsters was her most prodigious tenure, producing a 92-11 record and two NCAA Women's Final Four appearances. Curry, 33, is the youngest head coach in the Big Ten Conference and is the first in NCAA women's basketball history (since sanctioned championships began in 1982) to inherit a national champion team.

In The Polls: Purdue, after achieving a ranking as high as 11th (AP, Dec. 30), is currently ranked 18th by the Associated Press and 20th by USA Today/ESPN. The Boilermakers were ranked 23rd in the preseason AP poll, the lowest ranking ever for a defending national champion team, and were ranked 19th in the preseason USA Today/ESPN poll.

Vs. Ranked Teams: Purdue has played six ranked teams this season (all higher), falling by six (66-72) at No. 3 Tennessee, upsetting No. 7 Notre Dame 71-61, bowing 62-94 at No. 3 Louisiana Tech, losing 50-55 to No. 6 Penn State, picking off No. 13 Illinois 73-55 and losing 67-78 at No. 6 Penn State.

Back In Indy: Purdue is 1-0 in Indianapolis and 1-0 in Conseco Fieldhouse this season. In fact, the Boilermakers christened Conseco on Dec. 18, 1999, when they defeated Kentucky 48-40 in the first collegiate game ever to be played in the facility. Purdue has won its last eight games in the capital city, including six in a row in the Big Ten Tournament.

Back To Back: Purdue has won the last two Big Ten Tournament titles. Last season, the Boilermakers won as the top seed. In 1998, Purdue won as the No. 4 seed.

One Away: The Boilermakers enter the Big Ten Tournament one win shy of 20 for the season. Purdue has reached the 20-win plateau in 10 of the last 12 years, falling short in 1992-93 (16-11) and 1996-97 (17-11). Former Purdue coaches Lin Dunn and Carolyn Peck both recorded 20-win seasons in their inaugural Boilermaker campaigns.

Top Three: Purdue has finished no lower than third in the Big Ten regular season standings in each of the last four years. The Boilermakers finished below third just twice in the 1990s, winning five conference titles (1991, 1994, 1995, 1997 and 1999) in the last decade.

Now A Big Ten Power: Prior to the 1987-88 season, the Boilermakers had a 47-99 record (.322) against Big Ten opponents. Since then they are 180-56 (.763) with winning records against all 10 schools (23-3 vs. Indiana, 21-2 vs. Illinois, 22-2 vs. Minnesota, 19-3 vs. Michigan, 19-5 vs. Michigan State, 21-5 vs. Northwestern, 17-5 vs. Wisconsin, 14-10 vs. Iowa, 14-12 vs. Ohio State and 10-9 vs. Penn State).

Streak Stopped At 36: Purdue won its first four games of the 1999-2000 season, pushing its conseuctive game winning streak to 36. Though the streak was stopped by No. 3 Tennessee on Dec. 2, the victory string was long enough to rank fourth in NCAA history. The top five follow:

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Getting Ahead: Purdue is 17-0 this season when leading at the half (2-7 when trailing). The Boilermakers were 29-0 when ahead at intermission last year. Since the 1995-96 season, Purdue is 78-9 when leading after the first 20 minutes

Holding On: The Boilermakers are 15-2 when committing the same amount or less turnovers than their opponents this season. On the flip side, Purdue is 4-5 when committing more turnovers than its opposition. The Boilermakers' season low is eight, set at Penn State on Feb. 13. Their season high is 28, set vs. Kentucky on Dec. 18.

Safe At 70: Purdue has not lost this season when it has reached the 70-point mark. The Boilermakers have hit for 70 or more nine times this season (eight times in the Big Ten). On the flip side, Purdue is 0-5 when allowing 70 or more points. Here are Purdue's records when it scores: in the 40s - 1-0, 50s - 1-2, 60s - 6-5, 70s - 9-0, 80s - 1-0, 90s - 1-0.

Defense Wins Championships: The Boilermakers are getting the job done defensively this season, holding their Big Ten opponents to less than 60 points per game (58.4) to rank second in the conference. Purdue also ranks second in field goal percentage defense, with its opponents hitting at a .395 clip (331-for-837). The Boilermakers trail only Penn State in both categories.

Take That: The Boilermakers have come up with double-digit steals 14 times this season. They have produced at least 10 steals in nine of their last 12 games, including a season-high 17 against Northwestern on Jan. 30. Purdue averaged 10.4 steals per game in the Big Ten to rank second in the conference

The Big Five: Purdue has counted on its starters to do most of its work this season. The starters (Camille Cooper, Katie Douglas, Michelle Duhart, Kelly Komara and Shinika Parks) have accounted for 85.5 percent of Purdue's scoring and 82.3 percent of its rebounds.

Minute Women: Four of Purdue's five starters are playing more than 33 minutes per game. Camille Cooper, the one who is not, is averaging 28.3 minutes. The Boilermakers, who go up to nine-deep, are getting the most reserve minutes from redshirt freshman Mary Jo Noon (12.0).

Completely: Kristy Curry has had to rely on her major players to contribute key minutes. Leading the way is Katie Douglas, who has played 10 complete games, including an overtime contest at Indiana on Jan. 23. She has played at least 33 minutes in all but two games. Michelle Duhart has played four complete games this season.

Katie's Court: Junior Katie Douglas may be the nation's most versatile player. The 1999-2000 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year, Douglas leads Purdue in points (21.2 ppg), assists (4.6 apg), steals (2.6) and minutes (37.1 mpg) and ranks third in rebounds (6.4 rpg). Douglas, a 6-1 guard/forward who can play at the 1, 2, 3 and 4 positions, is shooting 44.0 percent from the field (171-for-389) and 82.7 percent from the free throw line (162-for-196). She opened her junior season by scoring a career-high 31 points at Dayton on Nov. 19, and hit a game-winning buzzer-beater to give the Boilermakers a 60-58 victory against the Flyers. A Naismith Award finalist, Douglas recorded a career-high eight steals to go along with 21 points and seven assists in Purdue's 71-61 upset of Notre Dame (Dec. 8). She tallied a career-high 15 rebounds with 24 points, five assists and four steals in 45 minutes in a 71-65 overtime win at Indiana (Jan. 23). Douglas, the Big Ten Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 23, has totaled three double-doubles this season (at Louisiana Tech, vs. Minnesota and at Indiana) and has five in her career.

Joining The Club: With two rebounds in the first half at Michigan State on Feb. 17, junior guard/forward Katie Douglas became the third player in Purdue history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 assists and 200 steals in a career. She joined former Boilermakers Lisa Jahner (1985-88) and Stephanie White-McCarty (1996-99) as the only Purdue players to accomplish the feat. It is an elite club, but what makes Douglas' membership more impressive is that she entered in her junior year, despite not starting as a freshman (Jahner and White-McCarty were both four-year starters and entered the club as seniors).

Naismith Award: Purdue's Katie Douglas was named one of 15 finalists for the prestigious Naismith College Player of the Year Award, sponsored by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The finalists were chosen by the Naismith Board of Selectors, which includes some of the country's leading basketball coaches, journalists and administrators. The winner, selected by Naismith's National Advisory Board members, NCAA Division I coaches, former Naismith winners, NCAA Division I conference commissioners and media members, will be presented with the award April 8 in Atlanta.

30-Plus: Katie Douglas has scored 30 or more points in four games this season. She erupted for a career-high 31 at Dayton in the season opener Nov. 19, then hit for 31 again vs. Florida (Nov. 26) and vs. Ohio State (Feb. 3). Douglas recorded 30 at Michigan on Jan. 8. The four 30-plus performances place her second on Purdue's single season list and tied for second on the all-time list. MaChelle Joseph leads the season list with five (recorded over a six-game period in her sophomore campaign) and the all-time list with eight in her career from 1989-92. Douglas is the only player to record more than two 30-plus games as a junior.

Make 'Em Pay: Speaking of scoring, Douglas has done a good portion of hers from the free throw line, as she has gotten to the stripe more frequently than anyone else in the Big Ten. Douglas has attempted 196 charity tosses this season (an average of 7.8 trips to the line per game), knocking down 162 of those (6.5 per game). An 82.7 percent free throw shooter this year, Douglas ranks second all-time at 80.5 percent (375-for-466). She is on pace to break Stephanie White's season records of 168 free throws made and 199 free throws attempted, set in the 1997-98 season.

Sweet Charity: As a team, Purdue routinely gets to the free throw line more often than its opponents. But when the Boilermakers' foes make more trips to the charity stripe, Purdue has paid the price to the tune of a 1-4 record (win vs. Indiana). The Boilermakers have lost three times when attempting more foul shots than their opponents (at Louisiana Tech, at Ohio State and at Michigan State). They have won twice, though, when making the same amount of trips to the line (at Dayton and at North Texas).

Karma Camille-eon: Junior Camille Cooper is proving she score, rebound and defend. Purdue's leader in season and career field goal percentage, the 6-4 center shot 64.2 percent (149-for-232) in 1998-99, and now owns a career percentage of 60.2 percent (388-for-644). Cooper has done a job on the boards this season, averaging a team-high 7.5. She hauled down a career-high 15 rebounds to go along with 17 points in a career-high 40 minutes at Indiana on Jan. 23. She has recorded double-doubles in points and rebounds vs. Indiana State, at No. 3 Tennessee, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern and at No. 6 Penn State, as well. To top it off, Cooper is averaging a team-high 1.2 blocks per game this year.

Our Kelly: Sophomore Kelly Komara has gotten the starting nod this season after serving as an understudy during the 1998-99 campaign. A 5-7 guard, Komara hit 41.3 percent (26-for-62) from behind the arc a year ago, good for fifth on the school season list. Komara, who has hit 31 treys this season (including 4-for-4 at North Texas, 4-for-5 vs. Illinois and 5-for-6 at Michigan State), now ranks tied fourth on the career three-point field goal percentage list at 36.5 percent (57-for-156). She is averaging 10.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game.

Dutiful Duhart: Senior Michelle Duhart provides a wealth of services for the Boilermakers. The 6-0 forward is Purdue's top post defender and leading offensive rebounder. Duhart is averaging 6.6 rebounds per game, including 3.1 per game on the offensive glass. She pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds three times so far in 1999-2000: vs. Vanderbilt, vs. Ohio State and vs. Indiana. In that same contest against the Hoosiers, Duhart grabbed seven offensive rebounds. Against Michigan State on Feb. 24, Duhart picked off a career-high nine steals, one shy of the school record. She ranks sixth on the all-time steals list with 214 and eighth on Purdue's all-time rebounds list with 634. She is averaging 5.0 points and 2.3 steals per game as one of the nation's best defenders.

Parks Drives: Junior college transfer Shinika Parks jump-started herself into a starting position with the Boilermakers this season. A national champion at Trinity Valley Community College last year, Parks is averaging 7.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game for the Old Gold and Black. A dangerous penetrator and playmaker, not to mention rebounder, Parks averaged 15.8 points and 7.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game for the Lady Cardinals in their undefeated (36-0) 1998-99 campaign.

Game Winners: In games that come down to the wire, look for the Boilermakers to get the ball into the hands of Katie Douglas. The junior has hit four game-winning shots in her career, including one in this year's season opener at Dayton. She also provided heroics in a Big Ten Tournament semifinal victory over Iowa her freshman year, when she hit a lay-in with six seconds left to give Purdue a 61-60 victory.

Come Watch Us Play: A record number of Boilermaker fans have purchased season tickets for the 1999-2000 campaign. According to the Purdue Athletic Ticket Office, more than 8,000 season tickets have been sold, including Gold Rush cards (season tickets to all sports except men's basketball). Last year, the Boilermakers averaged a school-record 9,681 fans per game to rank third in the nation behind Tennessee (17,512) and Connecticut (11,072). Purdue has recorded a capacity crowd (14,123) in each of the last two seasons.

Class of 2004: Purdue coach Kristy Curry signed a sensational recruiting class in the early-signing period from Nov. 10-Nov. 17. The class, comprised of Cherrise Graham (5-7, G, Conshohocken, Pa.), Lindsey Hicks (6-1, F, Lebanon, Ohio), Shalicia Hurns (6-3, F, Indianapolis, Ind.), Beth Jones (5-9, G, Mason, Ohio), Erika Valek (5-6, G, Lubbock, Texas) and Shereka Wright (6-0, F, Copperas Cove, Texas), was ranked No. 2 by All-Star Girls Report.