Women's Basketball Plays Host to Valparaiso

November 24, 1998

#4 Purdue Boilermakers (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Valparaiso Crusaders (1-1)
Mackey Arena (14,123)
West Lafayette, Indiana
November 25, 1998 - 5:30 p.m. EST

ALL-TIME RECORD: 375-268 (.583)
BIG TEN RECORD: 171-109 (.611)

RADIO: WAZY (1410 AM) / Purdue Sports Radio Network Tim Newton (play-by-play), Jane Schott (color commentary)

A LOOK AT THE BOILERMAKERS: The No. 4-ranked Purdue women's basketball team, under second-year head coach Carolyn Peck, plays host to Valparaiso out of the Mid-Continent Conference on Wednesday, Nov. 25. The Boilermakers are coming off a Pac-10 Conference road trip in which they defeated Arizona 65-58 on Nov. 19 and lost to Stanford 73-72 on Nov. 22. Purdue opened the 1997-98 season with a convincing and thrilling 78-68 victory over three-time defending national champion and No. 1 Tennessee in the State Farm Women's Tipoff Classic in West Lafayette on Nov. 15. Last season the Boilermakers finished 23-10 overall and 10-6 in the Big Ten Conference (third-place tie with Indiana and Michigan). They won the Big Ten Tournament, advanced to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight and were ranked No. 11 in the final ESPN/USA Today poll and No. 23 by the Associated Press.

HEAD COACH CAROLYN PECK: Carolyn Peck is in her second season at Purdue and as a collegiate head coach with a 25-11 record (.694 winning percentage). Last year she became just the second coach in the 23-year history of the Purdue program to record 20 wins in a season (Lin Dunn accomplished the feat eight times in nine campaigns from 1988-96) and just the third head coach in NCAA Division I history to reach the Elite Eight in her first season, along with Winthrop McGriff (Cheyney) in 1984 and Cheryl Miller (USC) in 1994. Peck was one of two head coaches for the WBCA Honda All-Star Challenge (senior all-star game) at the 1998 Women's Final Four in Kansas City, Mo.


Pos.No. Player                  Yr.   Ht.     Hometown               ppg   rpg   apg
F   22  Stephanie White-McCarty Sr.   5-11    West Lebanon, Ind.    23.7   5.7   4.3
F   33  Michelle Duhart         Jr.   6-0     Arlington, Va.         4.7   8.0   1.3
C   42  Camille Cooper          So.   6-4     Georgetown, Ky.       10.0   4.0   0.3
G    5  Ukari Figgs             Sr.   5-9     Georgetown, Ky.       11.3   3.7   4.3
G   32  Katie Douglas           So.   6-1     Indianapolis, Ind.    11.0   4.0   1.7 

OFF THE BENCH Pos.No. Player Yr. Ht. Hometown ppg rpg apg G 3 Kelly Komara Fr. 5-8 St. John, Ind. 8.0 2.3 1.7 G 15 Danielle Bird Jr. 5-7 Fort Wayne, Ind. G 21 Shayla Potter Jr. 5-6 Inglewood, Calif. G 23 Tiffany Young Jr. 5-11 Hillsboro, Ala. 0.0 0.0 0.0 F 24 Beth Lapaich So. 6-0 La Porte, Ind. C 25 Mackenzie Curless Jr. 6-1 Martinsville, Ind. 0.3 0.3 0.0 F 31 Candi Crawford So. 6-1 Fort Wayne, Ind. 2.7 1.7 0.0 F 40 Connie Murdock So. 6-2 South Bend, Ind. 0.0 0.0 0.0 F 41 Mo-nique Langston So. 5-11 Bakersfield, Calif. F 52 Amy Shaffer Jr. 6-0 Hillsdale, Mich. C 55 Mary Jo Noon Fr. 6-5 Clarksville, Ind.

PURDUE EARNS FIRST-EVER NO. 1 RANKING: The Boilermakers were ranked No. 1 in the nation for the first time in school history in the Nov. 16, 1998, Associated Press poll. They received 18 first-place votes and 987 points to edge Connecticut (17 first-place votes) by a single point. Purdue's previous highest AP ranking was No. 2 in the 1994-95 preseason poll. The last Purdue team to be ranked No. 1 was the football squad during the 1968 season (the weeks of Sept. 16, Sept. 23, Sept. 30 and Oct. 6).

BOILERMAKERS END TENNESSEE'S 46-GAME WINNING STREAK: Purdue put an end to three-time defending national champion Tennessee's 46-game winning streak with a 78-68 victory at home Nov. 15, 1998. The No. 1 Lady Vols' last loss was a 61-59 setback to Auburn in the semifinalsof the Southeastern Conference Tournament on March 2, 1997. Purdue now is 2-6 all-time against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation, previously having defeated Penn State 57-54 at home Feb. 11, 1994.

WHITE-MCCARTY NAMED BIG TEN PLAYER-OF-THE-WEEK: Senior guard/forward Stephanie White-McCarty has been named the Big Ten Player-of-the-Week for the week ending Nov. 15, 1998. White-McCarty finished with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals while playing all 40 minutes in the Boilermakers' 78-68 upset of three-time defending national champion and No. 1 Tennessee on Nov. 15. It marks the third time White-McCarty has received the Big Ten's weekly honor (also twice during the 1997-98 season). MaChelle Joseph (1989-92) has the most Big Ten Player-of-the-Week honors in school history with seven. Joy Holmes (1988-91), Leslie Johnson (1994-95) and Jannon Roland (1994-97) also were recognized on three occasions.

GAME 2 RECAP (PURDUE 65, ARIZONA 58): In their first game as the nation's No. 1-ranked team, the Boilermakers came up huge down the stretch to earn a 65-58 win over Arizona before 3,076 fans at the McKale Center in Tucson on Nov. 19. The game was tied 54-all when freshman guard Kelly Komara drained a three-pointer with 3:29 left to give Purdue the lead for good. Arizona led the game early at 14-6 before the Boilermakers rallied to take a 34-32 advantage at halftime. Senior guard/forward Stephanie White-McCarty paced Purdue with 23 points and four steals, while Komara scored 12 points and senior guard Ukari Figgs added 10 points. Figgs also dished out five assists. Junior forward Michelle Duhart pulled down 10 rebounds to go with seven points and two steals. The Boilermakers shot 37.5 percent from the field (21-for-56) and 65.2 percent from the free throw line (15-for-23), while the Wildcats finished 20-for-49 from the field (40.8 percent) and 15-for-20 from the line (75 percent). Purdue held a 40-33 rebounding advantage and committed 17 turnovers to 19 for Arizona.

GAME 3 RECAP (STANFORD 73, PURDUE 72): Purdue never led but nearly pulled out an amazing comeback before falling 73-72 to Stanford before a crowd of 4,553 at Maples Pavilion in Palo Alto on Nov. 22. The Cardinal led 21-8 in the first half, 35-28 at halftime and 65-55 with five minutes left when the Boilermakers rallied and ultimately tied the score at 72-all on a driving layup by sophomore guard/forward Katie Douglas with 18 seconds remaining. Stanford missed a layup in the final seconds, but the Boilermakers were called for a questionable foul on the rebound attempt with one second to go and Regan Freuen hit the first free throw to squeeze out the victory. Senior guard/forward Stephanie White-McCarty paced Purdue with 24 points and six assists, while Douglas scored a career-high 19 points to go with seven rebounds and three steals in a career-high 40 minutes of action. Senior guard Ukari Figgs added 14 points, six rebounds and four assists. Purdue shot 45.1 percent from the field (23-for-51) and 88 percent from the free throw line (22-for-25), while the Cardinal finished 26-for-48 from the field (54.2 percent) and 16-for-23 from the line (69.6 percent). Stanford won the battle of the boards 32-24 but committed 18 turnovers to just 11 for the Boilermakers.

PRESEASON PICKS: The Boilermakers were tabbed to win the 1999 Big Ten championship in preseason polls by both the conference coaches and media. In the coaches' poll Purdue received nine of 11 first-place votes (one school did not participate) and a total of 52 points. Penn State (one first-place vote) was picked second with 39 points, followed by Wisconsin (17 points), Michigan (15) and Ohio State (14). In the media poll Purdue received 53 first-place votes and 175 points, followed by Illinois (nine first-place votes) with 72 points and Penn State with 52 points. Senior guard Ukari Figgs and senior guard/forward Stephanie White-McCarty were named to both preseason All-Big Ten teams. White-McCarty was picked preseason Player-of-the-Year.

POLLING PLACE: The Boilermakers have been ranked in the Associated Press poll for 141 weeks in their history and have been in the top 10 for 56 weeks (40 percent of their ranked weeks).

HISTORY 101: ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Purdue and Valparaiso have met twice previously with the Boilermakers winning both games. Purdue won 83-50 in Valparaiso on Jan. 21, 1976, and 81-22 in West Lafayette on Jan. 25, 1977. The 22 points are the fewest allowed by Purdue in its history. The Boilermakers have a 15-6 record against schools currently in the Mid-Continent Conference (1-1 vs. Cleveland State, 5-3 vs. Eastern Illinois, 2-2 vs. Illinois-Chicago, 2-0 vs. Valparaiso and 5-0 vs. Western Illinois).

MACKEY MAGIC: The Boilermakers boast a 203-85 all-time record (.705 winning percentage) at home in the friendly confines of Mackey Arena. They are 129-23 (.849) at home over the last 12 seasons (1-0 in 1998-99), including 78-17 (.821) in Big Ten games. Purdue has a 13-2 record (.867) in non-conference home games over the last six seasons, losing only to No. 12 Vanderbilt 72-52 on Nov. 25, 1994, and to No. 2 Tennessee 82-68 on Dec. 8,1995.

THAT'S THE TICKET: Purdue averaged a school-record 7,641 fans per home game during the 1997-98 season. That figure ranked second in the Big Ten and sixth in the nation behind Tennessee (14,969), Connecticut (10,744), Wisconsin (10,455), Texas Tech (7,946) and Southwest Missouri State (7,751). A total of 208,056 fans saw the Boilermakers play a year ago (home, road, neutral), the third-most in the nation behind Tennessee (386,713) and Connecticut (290,776). Purdue also ranked sixth in the nation in home attendance during the 1996-97 season.

NOW A BIG TEN POWER: Prior to the 1987-88 season, the Boilermakers had a 47-99 record (.322) against Big Ten opponents. Since then they are 150-51 (.746) with winning records against nine schools (19-3 vs. Indiana, 18-2 vs. Illinois, 18-2 vs. Michigan, 18-2 vs. Minnesota, 17-4 vs. Michigan State, 15-5 vs. Northwestern, 15-5 vs. Wisconsin, 12-10 vs. Iowa and 8-7 vs. Penn State).

THE MAGIC NUMBERS ARE 60 AND 80: Purdue is 143-5 (11-0 in 1997-98) when holding its opponent to 60 or fewer points over the last 11 years. The Boilermakers are 110-3 (7-0 in 1997-98) when scoring 80 or more points during the same period.

BACKCOURT BONANZA: It's no secret that Ukari Figgs and Stephanie White were the leaders of the 1997-98 Boilermakers. White topped the team in scoring (20.6), rebounds (6.1), assists (4.8) and steals (79) and ranked second in three-point field goals (45) and blocked shots (16), while Figgs led the way in three-point field goals (school-record 56), ranked second in scoring (15.5), was third in rebounds (5.1) and assists (3.7) and was fourth in blocked shots (12) and steals (61).

SHARP SHOOTERS: Ukari Figgs and Stephanie White-McCarty rank 1-2 on Purdue's season and career free throw percentage lists. Figgs was at 85.9 percent for the 1997-98 season (134-for-156) and is at 82.5 percent for her career (208-for-252), while White was at 84.4 percent for the 1997-98 season (168-for-199) and is at 80.6 percent for her career (374-for-464). White set season standards for free throws made and attempted, as well.

PASS MASTERS: Purdue had three players dish off 100-plus assists for the first time in school history a year ago: Stephanie White (160), Katie Douglas (123) and Ukari Figgs (121). Five teams have had two players reach the century mark in the same season.

KATIE BAR THE DOOR: Katie Douglas tied the school freshman record for steals last season (62, also Stephanie White in 1995-96) and ranked third in assists (123) and 10th in blocked shots (14). She is the only first-year player in school history to rank in the top 10 in each of those categories. Douglas ranked second on the team in assists (3.7) and third in scoring (8.6), free throw percentage (.765), blocked shots and steals.

3-D (DOUBLE-DUTY DUHART): After being primarily a defensive specialist as a freshman, Michelle Duhart became more of an offensive threat last season. She averaged 5.2 points per game (173 total) in 1997-98 after averaging 2.0 (54 total) in 1996-97. Duhart ranked second on the team in rebounds (5.4) and steals (63). Tom Schott




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