March 29, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships did not end with the Boilermaker three-point shoot-out that Purdue fans were hoping for, but seniors Ryne Smith and Brittany Rayburn were great representatives of Boilermaker athletics at the event in New Orleans.
Smith advanced to the second round after scoring 16 points in his opening set. The Toledo, Ohio, native totaled 18 in the second stanza but was beaten out by Juan Fernandez' 19 points for the right to advance to the finals. In the final round, Northwestern's John Shurna made all five balls on the final rack to defeat Fernandez by one point for the men's title.
The State Farm Women's 3-Point Championship was next up and Rayburn and Michigan State's Taylor Alton were the first to compete on the women's side. Neither was able to advance to the second round as Rayburn scored 10 points and Alton totaled 12 points.
Southern California's Ashley Corral defeated Louisville's Becky Burke to win the women's title. Corral and Shurna then faced off and Shurna took the overall title with the high score of the night of 24 points.
ESPN announcer Brad Nessler picked Rayburn as his favorite to win the women's competition. Rayburn got involved in the Denny's Slam Dunk Contest by providing an assist off the shot clock to Clemson's Bryan Narcisse in the semifinals.
Smith was one of the nation's most lethal shooters from beyond the arc in 2011-12, leading the Boilermakers and ranking second in the Big Ten with an average of 2.5 three-point field goals per game. His 89 total treys on the year were second in the Big Ten only to Shurna, and ranked third on Purdue's single-season chart.
Rayburn finished her career second all-time in made three's at Purdue with 201 and as a senior tied an NCAA record by hitting 12 three-pointers at Minnesota. The Attica, Ind., native leaves Purdue having amassed 1,795 career points, 427 rebounds, 248 assists and 151 steals.
The event was held at Fogelman Arena on the campus of Tulane University.