March 20, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
WNIT Second Round - Illinois State (25-7, 16-2 MVC) at Purdue (15-16, 9-9)
Tipoff: Noon ET on Sunday, March 21
Location: West Lafayette, Ind. - Mackey Arena
Internet: live video web stream available at bigtennetwork.com
Live Stats: available via Gametracker at purduesports.com
Radio: live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM) with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and Jane Schott analysis.
The Series: Purdue is 3-4 vs. Illinois State
Rankings: both teams are unranked
Illinois State is coming off a 57-54 home win over Butler in the first round of the Postseason WNIT. The Redbirds are 25-7, won the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season title with a 16-2 conference record but lost to Northern Iowa in the semifinals of the MVC Tournament. Illinois State is led by 6-foot senior forward Ashleen Bracey, a first team All-MVC selection who leads the Redbirds in scoring (15.2 ppg), rebounding (7.8 rpg) and steals (38). Senior guard Maggie Krick (14.4 ppg and 3.8 apg) also was tabbed first team All-MVC and 6-foot-6 senior center Nicolle Lewis was named to the second team. She is averaging 11.8 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. Robin Pingeton is in her seventh year as the head coach at ISU and this season earned MVC and WBCA Regional Coach of the Year honors.
Illinois State holds a 4-3 series advantage over the Boilermakers, but the teams have not met in nearly 20 years. Purdue won the last three contests after dropping four in a row in the late 1970s. The most recent matchup occurred on Dec. 16, 1991, when the 10th ranked Boilermakers won 72-48 at Illinois State. The first meeting was a 78-53 Redbird home victory on Jan. 17, 1976. The two teams met in the now defunct postseason NWIT in Amarillo, Texas, and the Boilermakers came away with a 77-63 win on March 25, 1988, to advance to the championship contest. Purdue finished second to DePaul in that tournament.
The Postseason WNIT is a single-elimination tournament, so Purdue must continue to win to advance. If the Boilermakers win, they will play the winner of the Kansas vs. Creighton/Stephen F. Austin contest. The game date/time and location have yet to be determined, but it will be held on the campus of one of the two teams to advance.
The Last Time Out
Purdue (15-16, 9-9) ended a four-game losing streak by defeating Eastern Michigan 56-50 to advance to the second round of the Postseason WNIT. Brittany Rayburn came off the bench for just the third time this season and scored 17 second-half points to secure the win. Rayburn totaled 20 points, hitting 5 of 7 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Eastern Michigan got out to a quick start, mostly on the play of sophomore Tavelyn James. James scored nine of her team's first 12 points and finished with 28, the most this year by a Purdue opponent. Purdue trailed 23-14 in the first half, but went on a 13-0 run that spanned 10:28 beginning with 6:19 in the first half and the first 4:09 of the second to give the Boilermakers a 27-23 lead with 15:51 remaining. The Eagles would not go away and made a run of their own to take a 33-31 lead with 12:20 remaining. Purdue fought back thanks to a couple key stops and some big offensive rebounds by freshman Ashley Wilson. Rayburn put the Boilermakers up for good 41-40 with a jumper with 5:34 remaining.
Field Goal Attempts
The Boilermakers had just 38 field goal attempts in the win over Eastern Michigan, which ties the second fewest FG attempts in school history. It is the second time this season Purdue has gotten only 38 shots off in a 40 minute game - the first was at Virginia - and the fourth time overall. The Boilermakers are 2-2 when attempting just 38 shots.
Keys To Victory
In Purdue's 15 wins this season, some trends stand out. Brittany Rayburn's scoring average is 6.6 points higher in the Boilermaker victories - 18.0 ppg in wins vs. 11.4 ppg in losses. Purdue is averaging just 16.3 turnovers in the wins compared with 21.0 in losses and is outscoring opponents by nearly seven points a game from the free throw line in victories (16.9 made free throws to opponents 10.2) while making 12.3 free throws to opponents' 15.1 in losses.
Purdue In The Postseason WNIT
The Boilermakers are playing in the Postseason WNIT for the first time since its inception in 1998. Purdue played in the NWIT in 1988 and went 2-1, beating South Alabama and Illinois State before falling to DePaul.
The Boilermakers have extended their streak of postseason play to 17 seasons. The last time they missed out was in 1992-93. Purdue had made 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and this year is the first Postseason WNIT bid.
Purdue is in danger of posting its first losing season since going 12-16 in 1984-85 - Sharon Versyp's freshman year. The only time the Boilermakers have finished .500 on the season was in their inaugural campaign, with an 8-8 record in 1975-76.
Impressive Defensive Numbers
As of March 15, Purdue is ranked 30th nationally in three-point field goal percentage defense, allowing just 28.5 percent by opponents from long range. Purdue finished the regular season tops in the Big Ten in three-point field goal defense, second in steals and third in scoring defense. In the win against Ohio State, the Boilermakers limited the Buckeyes to 35.8 percent from the field - 11.8 percent below their season average. In Mackey Arena, Purdue has held opponents to an average of 34.7 percent from the field compared to 37.8 percent in all games.
Purdue has utilized 12 different starting lineups this season and all 10 players on the active roster have earned a start. FahKara Malone is the only player to have started every game this season, Chelsea Jones has started all but one, Brittany Rayburn and Jodi Howell all but three each. Samantha Woods has started 21 games, Ashley Wilson has earned six starts, KK Houser five, Alex Guyton three, Laura Garriga has started twice and Sam Ostarello once.