Women's Basketball Ranked No. 23 In Preseason Poll

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM FahKara Malone and Jodi Howell are the two returning starters for Purdue.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
FahKara Malone and Jodi Howell are the two returning starters for Purdue.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 5, 2009

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue women's basketball team will start the season ranked No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. This is familiar territory for the Boilermakers who spent the first five weeks of the 2008-09 season ranked in the Associated Press top 25 and finished the year with a No. 16 ranking in the coaches' poll.

This season, both polls had 2009 NCAA Tournament champion Connecticut as the top-ranked team, while Stanford was No. 2 and Ohio State was third in both polls. Purdue joins Ohio State and No. 10/10 Michigan State as the only Big Ten teams ranked in the preseason top 25. Michigan and Minnesota were the only other Big Ten schools to receive votes.

The Boilermakers will likely face their first ranked opponent when they play at No. 14/18 Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 3, in Charlottesville, Va. Purdue will have a matchup against No. 4/7 Notre Dame on Jan. 4, before getting into the thick of conference play.

Purdue does not shy away from tough competition. Last year the Boilermakers played nine games against ranked teams, including an upset victory over No. 4 Texas on Jan. 5, in Mackey Arena.

Purdue plays host to Lindsey Wilson College in an exhibition matchup on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Returning starters Jodi Howell and FahKara Malone lead a talented backcourt that includes sophomore Brittany Rayburn, the 2009 Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year.

The Boilermakers will begin regular season play against Western Illinois on Nov. 15, at 1 p.m. in Mackey Arena.