March 20, 2014
Tipoff: 1:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, March 22
Location: Mackey Arena – West Lafayette, Ind.
Television: ESPN2 with Jimmy Dykes providing play-by-play and Melissa Lee providing analysis.
Internet: ESPN3.com or WatchESPN app
Radio: Live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM) and purduesports.com with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and Jane Schott providing analysis.
The Series: Saturday will be the first-ever meeting between Purdue and Akron, marking the 30th time in school history a series premiere will happen in the NCAA Tournament. The Boilermakers are 23-6 in these meetings.
The Rankings: Purdue is ranked 17th by the Associated Press and 19th in the ESPN/USA Today Division I Coaches’ Poll. Akron is unranked.
Akron comes to Mackey Arena at 23-9 overall after earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by winning the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Tournament title. The Zips are the nation’s No. 9 scoring team, pouring in 82.8 points per game this season, led by the senior duo of Hanna Luburgh and Rachel Tecca. Luburgh is the NCAA’s No. 9 scorer, averaging 22.7 points per game, while Tecca is tied for 13th in the NCAA in scoring at 22.2 points per game. Akron’s lineup also features senior point guard Kacie Cassell, who ranks 14th in the NCAA in assists at 6.3 per game.
Akron will be Purdue’s fifth MAC opponent of the season, following Ball State, Toledo, Bowling Green and Central Michigan. The Boilermakers are 4-0 this season and 57-17 all-time against the conference.
Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp looks to earn career victory No. 300 on Saturday, heading into the weekend at 299-152 for her career. She became Purdue’s second-most winningest coach in school history at Minnesota on Feb. 20 with her 180th win on the Boilermaker sidelines, and is 24 wins shy of school record holder Lin Dunn.
Home Court Advantage
The Boilermakers are set to host an NCAA event for the 17th time in school history, owning a 19-7 record on their home court in tournament play and a 10-0 mark in the first round. Purdue was 11-2 at home this season, holding opponents to 63.6 points per game and winning by an average of 12.9 points.
Defense vs. Offense
The Boilermakers are 16-1 this season when holding opponents under 70 points, while Akron is the NCAA's No. 9 scoring team at 82.8 points per game. Purdue is 8-1 this year when cracking the 80-point mark.
Courtney Moses is averaging 18.3 points per game in NCAA First-Round games in her career, including 29 points vs. South Dakota State in 2012 and 21 vs. Liberty in 2013. She owns the second-best NCAA Tournament three-point percentage in Purdue history at .500 (15-30), and is just three three’s short of breaking the Purdue career three-point field goal record.
- This is the 39th season in Purdue Women’s Basketball history. The Boilermakers are 768-406 all-time.
- Purdue is 182-87 under head coach Sharon Versyp, who is in her eighth season with the Boilermakers. She has a career record of 299-152.
- The Boilermakers are 45-22 (.672) in 23 NCAA Tournament appearances, including a mark of 19-1 in the first round of tournament play.
- Versyp is 10-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 10-6 mark in six appearances at Purdue.
- Purdue is 402-123 all-time in Mackey Arena, including a 19-7 record in the NCAA Tournament and a 195-60 mark against non-conference opponents.
- The Boilermakers are 120-59 all-time in the month of March, including a 39-15 mark in Mackey Arena and a 4-3 mark on March 22.
- Purdue is 15-10 all-time in its 30th game of the season.
- Saturday's first-round game will be the first-ever meeting between Purdue and Akron.
- The Boilermakers are 358-179 all-time against non-conference opponents and 57-17 against the Mid-American Conference. The Zips are Purdue's fifth MAC opponent of the season.