Paradise Jam Preview

Nov. 20, 2007

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands -

Purdue vs. Duke at the Paradise Jam

Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
Date: November 22, 2007
Arena: UVI Sports and Fitness Center (3,000)
Location: St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Television: None
Radio: WLFF, 95.3 FM, Tim Newton (play-by-play) and Sara White (color commentary)

Internet: All games can be heard here. Access to the radio broadcast of the game does require a subscription with Yahoo.

Live video streaming is available here.

Rankings: Purdue is ranked 22nd in the Associated Press and 20th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Duke is ranked ninth in the AP and eighth in the USA Today/ESPN poll.

Series: The series is tied 3-3. Duke has won the last two meetings. The last Purdue win was a 62-45 victory March 28, 1999, for the NCAA championship.

Purdue -
Sharon Versyp (Purdue '89) is 33-6 in her second year at Purdue and 150-71 in her eighth season overall.

Duke- Joanne P. McCallie (Northwestern '87) is 3-0 in her first year at Duke and 319-148 in her sixteenth year overall. McCallie left Michigan State to take over the Blue Devil program.

Purdue vs. Duke
The No. 22/20 Boilermakers (2-0) had a close call in the season opener, scratching out a 65-62 win over Valparaiso on Nov. 12 and followed that up with a 69-53 win over Butler at home on Nov. 17. In the off-season Purdue lost two of its three returning starters to injuries, senior Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton and junior Jodi Howell. The Boilermakers are a young, relatively inexperienced team. Purdue's two active seniors, Brittany Dildine and Kalika France, each have only half a season with the Boilermakers. Dildine joined the team in Dec. 2006, after completing her career with Purdue's volleyball team, and France arrived in Jan. 2007, after graduating from Maryland with eligibility remaining. The lone returning starter is sophomore FahKara Malone, a member of both the 2006 Big Ten All-Defensive Team and the Big Ten All-Freshmen Team who averaged 8.4 points last season and led the Big Ten in steals with 2.8 per game. The Boilermakers will rely on junior post players Danielle Campbell and Natasha Bogdanova, as well as junior forward Lakisha Freeman. Campbell recorded the second triple-double in Purdue history with a 12 point, 11 rebound and 11 block effort against Butler. The 11 blocks set a single-game mark for the Boilermakers. Freeman is leading the team in scoring with a 15.5 point average. Malone is second in scoring at 14.0 points per game and Bogdanova and freshman Samantha Woods are both averaging 10.5 points per game. Purdue has a tough stretch of games beginning with the Paradise Jam, as head coach Sharon Versyp and her Boilermakers will face at least two, possibly three, top 10 teams in the next four contests.



The No. 9/8 Blue Devils arrive in the U.S. Virgin Islands with a 3-0 record and a first-year head coach that is familiar to Purdue. Coach Joanne P. McCallie left Big Ten Conference foe, Michigan State, to take over the Blue Devil program this season. Duke has used a different starting lineup in each of its three games, due in part to injuries. The Blue Devil's leading scorer, junior Abby Waner has missed the last two games due to a high ankle sprain, while senior Wanisha Smith suffered a sprained right wrist in the South Florida game and did not play in Duke's 84-39 victory over UNC-Greensboro on Nov. 18. Defense and rebounding have been constants so far this season, as the Blue Devils are averaging 48.7 rebounds per game, while holding their opponents to an average of 33 boards per game. Duke has forced the opposition into an average of 28 turnovers per game, while blocking 7.7 shots, creating 17.7 steals and limiting their opponents to .261 percent field goal shooting.

A Boilermaker Win Would...
- give them a 4-3 series advantage over Duke.
- make them 3-0 in 2007-08
- bring Coach Versyp's record to 34-6 at Purdue and 151-71 all-time
- improve them to 620-325 all-time

Previous Meetings
This is the seventh meeting between the two teams and the fifth at a neutral site. The series is knotted at three wins apiece, with Duke winning 66-48 on Dec. 18, 2004, the last time the two teams met. The first time the teams faced each other was on Dec. 30, 1987, and Duke won 76-71. The Boilermakers won the next three, including a 62-45 victory on March 28, 1999, that earned Purdue its first national championship.

Purdue Vs. The Atlantic Coast Conference
The Boilermakers are 16-12 against ACC schools, included an even mark of 3-3 against the Blue Devils. Purdue is undefeated against Boston College (3-0), Georgia Tech (1-0), N.C. State (1-0) and Virginia Tech (1-0). The Boilermakers have a winning record against Miami (3-2) and Wake Forest (1-2) and losing records against Florida State (0-1), Maryland (1-2) and North Carolina (1-3). Purdue played three ACC teams last season, defeating N.C. State 68-38 in the Preseason WNIT, beating Georgia Tech 76-63 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and falling 64-72 to North Carolina in the Elite Eight.

Versyp Gets Win No. 150
Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp recorded her 150th career win with the 69-53 victory over Butler on Nov. 17 in Mackey Arena. Versyp is 33-6 in her second season at Purdue and 150-71 overall. At the conclusion of the 2006-07 season, Versyp had moved into the top-50 of active Division I coaches by winning percentage, ranking 44th with a career percentage of .676. Her winning percentage is currently .679 percent.

Campbell Makes History
Junior Danielle Campbell rebounded, literally, from a dismal 0 for 8 night from the field in Purdue's opener against Valparaiso. The 6-foot-4 center recorded a triple-double against Butler with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. It is only the second triple-double in Purdue history and the first since All-American Stephanie White accomplished the feat with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Jan. 22, 1999, against Indiana. Campbell's 11 blocked shots set a school single-game mark for blocks and her 12 points tied her career-high.

Freeman Provides Consistency
Lakisha Freeman leads the Boilermakers in scoring after two games, with an average of 15.5 points per game. She also leads the team in field goal percentage, averaging .522 percent on 12 of 23 shooting from the field and is a perfect 7 of 7 from the free throw line.

Strong Second Half
Redshirt junior Natasha Bogdanova has returned to the court after sitting out the 2006-07 season with an ACL injury. The 6-foot-4 forward has started both games this season and is averaging 10.5 points and 5.0 rebounds. Bogdanova was scoreless in the first half against Butler, but her 16 second-half points included three three-pointers, tying her career-high for threes, and tying her with FahKara Malone for game-high points honors.

Speaking of Malone
Purdue's sophomore point guard, FahKara Malone, tied a career-high with 16 points against the Butler Bulldogs. She also contributed a team-high six assists and five steals in the game. The 2006 Big Ten All-Defensive Team member finished the 2006-07 season with a conference-best average of 2.8 steals per game, ranking her 25th in the nation in that category. This season she is averaging 4.5 steals per game.

Woods With Outstanding Debut
Freshman Samantha Woods had an impressive debut for the Boilermakers, leading the team in scoring and rebounding with 17 points and seven boards in the 65-62 win over Valparaiso. The 6-foot-3 native of Bolingbrook, Ill., was 5 of 11 from the field and 7 of 12 from the free throw line in 25 minutes of play.

Injury Update
The Boilermakers will be without the services of senior Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton this season. Wisdom-Hylton, the 2007 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and an All-America candidate, would have been the top returning scorer and rebounder, averaging 14.8 points and 8.2 rebounds last season. She injured her knee July 7, while playing for the USA Basketball U21 World Championship Team in the FIBA U21 World Championship in Moscow. The injury occurred in the first half of the semifinal matchup against Russia. She plans to apply for a medical redshirt for the season.

Junior Jodi Howell is out after undergoing shoulder surgery on Sept. 20, and is not expected to return until the end of Dec., if at all this season. Howell first injured her left shoulder in Purdue's 78-65 win against Georgia during the 2007 NCAA Tournament Dallas Regional. Howell started every game last year, except the final contest against North Carolina. She averaged 6.8 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 46.6 percent from the field. Howell led the team in three-point field goal percentage at 40.6 percent, ranking her third in the Big Ten. Howell was second on the team in made three-pointers, connecting on 56 of 138 threes.

Coach Versyp Radio Show Begins Next Tuesday
The Sharon Versyp Radio Show will make its season debut Nov. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Cary Knight Spot in Cary Quad on the Purdue campus. Tim Newton, the voice of the Boilermakers, will serve as host of the hour-long program broadcast live on WLFF (95.3 FM). Most shows are slated to run from 7:10 to 8:10 p.m., following the Matt Painter Call-In Show (6 to 7 p.m.). Versyp's show will air primarily on Mondays and the first seven shows will be held at the Cary Knight Spot, followed by seven at the Harrison Grill. Come out to join other Purdue women's basketball fans and get your opportunity to ask coach Versyp your questions.

Purdue Inks Top 10 Recruiting Class
Four of the country's top high school student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Purdue beginning in the fall of 2008. Alex Guyton, a 6-3 forward from Bloomington, Ind., (Bloomington North High School), rated No. 13 position/No. 37 overall by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, No. 67 by Blue Star and No. 20 position/No. 83 overall by All-Star Girls Report; Chelsea Jones, a 6-4 center from Fort Smith, Ark., (Fort Smith Southside High School), rated No. 16 position/No. 56 by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, No. 44 by Blue Star and No. 15 position/No. 60 overall by All-Star Girls Report; Chantel Poston, a 5-10 guard from Milan, Tenn., (Milan High School), rated No. 23 position/No. 99 overall by Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, No. 113 by Blue Star and No. 22 position/No. 130 by All-Star Girls Report; and Brittany Rayburn, a 5-11 guard from Attica, Ind., (Attica High School), rated No. 3 position/No. 16 Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, No. 28 by Blue Star and No. 3 position/No. 26 by All-Star Girls Report, all made their official commitments to the Boilermakers during the early signing period. All four student-athletes are rated among the top 100 players in the country by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and the signing class is ranked No. 7 by the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report and No. 8 by Blue Star.

Next Up
Regardless of the outcome of Thursday's game, the Boilermakers will face Temple on Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. ET in the second game of the Paradise Jam. The final game of the tournament will pit Purdue against Connecticut, Old Dominion or Stanford. Game time and opponent are dependent on the rankings of teams on each side of the bracket after pool play.


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