Women's Basketball Game Notes: at #14/15 Virginia

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM Senior Jodi Howell hit 5 of 9 three-pointers and scored 20 points in her last outing.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Senior Jodi Howell hit 5 of 9 three-pointers and scored 20 points in her last outing.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 2, 2009

Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

Tip: 7 p.m. ET
Television: None
Internet Video: None
Radio: WBPE 95.3 BOB-FM and purduesports.com. Tim Newton will provide play-by-play and Sara White will provide analysis.
Rankings: Purdue is receiving votes in the Associated Press poll and Virginia is ranked No. 14 in the AP poll and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Live Stats: live stats available at virginiasports.com.

The Opponent
No. 14/18 Virginia (5-1) is coming off a 78-66 victory over South Dakota State to win its division at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas. The Cavaliers also downed Indiana, 84-79 in the event. Virginia is led by preseason All-American Monica Wright who is contributing 19.3 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Also averaging double-figures is Chelsea Shine at 11.8 points and a team-best 7.3 rebounds per game. Paulisha Kellum chips in 10.0 points per game and 3.0 assists. The Cavaliers lone loss this season was to No. 6 Tennessee 77-63 in John Paul Jones Arena.

Next Up
The Boilermakers play their first Big Ten game of the season when they travel to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern (5-1) on Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. CT. It is the earliest conference game in Purdue history and has been designated by the Wildcats as Autism Awareness Day. Northwestern will play Clemson in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Dec. 3 at home before playing host to the Boilermakers on Sunday.

The Last Time Out
The Purdue women's basketball team suffered a 64-59 defeat at Pepperdine. The contest saw seven ties and 14 lead changes, most coming in the second half. Miranda Ayim captured the lead for the home team for good with two free throws just inside the final minute, while the Waves cashed in four more free throws down the stretch. Purdue's Jodi Howell finished with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 11 shooting, including five threes, while Wilson added a career-best 16 points and eight rebounds.

On The Air
The first episode of season two of the Sharon Versyp TV Show will debut tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. on the Big Ten Network and will be shown locally on WLFI-TV 18 on Saturday at noon. For the full season schedule, please click here.

Head Coach Sharon Versyp
Former Boilermaker point guard, Sharon Versyp is entering her fourth season as head coach at Purdue. She has a 78-35 record for a win percentage of 69.0 percent. The Mishawaka, Ind., native has a career mark of 195-100 and should reach the 200-win plateau this season, her 10th as a collegiate head coach. At Purdue, Versyp is averaging 25 wins per season, the second-best three-year average in school history. Kristy Curry averaged 26 wins in her first three years. Versyp has led the Boilermakers to two Big Ten Tournament championships (2007 and 2008) and to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight twice (2007 and 2009).

Impressive Defensive Numbers
Purdue is ranked No. 12 nationally in scoring defense, allowing an average of only 50.5 points per game. Additionally, the Boilermakers are 36th in field goal defense holding opponents to 34.1 percent and are 13th in three-point field goal percentage defense allowing just 21.6 percent from beyond the arc.

ACC Connections
There will be two Boilermakers on the bench on Thursday who are quite familiar with the Cavaliers. Juniors Drey Mingo and Antionette Howard are sitting out this season due to NCAA transfer rules, but both competed in the ACC prior to arriving at Purdue. Mingo played at Maryland and Howard at Florida State.

Injury Report
Sophomore Chantel Poston suffered an Achilles tendon injury on Oct. 1, that required surgery. She tore the tendon in her right foot during a conditioning drill and is expected to miss the season. Sophomore Alex Guyton, the most experienced post player for Purdue at just 5.9 minutes per game last year, has a stress fracture in her lower left leg and is unable to practice. Her status will be re-evaluated in early Dec.

Within Reach
Senior FahKara Malone is just 45 steals away from setting the Purdue career steals record. The Evansville, Ind., native is sixth with 281 career steals, while former two-time All-American Katie Douglas owns the record with 327. In her first three years, Malone has averaged 87.7 steals a season. She recorded 104 thefts as a freshman, 89 as a sophomore and had 70 steals as a junior - despite missing nine games due to injury. The 5-foot-3 point guard is the Big Ten's career steals leader among active players and is the active career assists leader with 417.

Three Ball
Senior Jodi Howell scored 20 points on Sunday at Pepperdine, and 15 of them came from beyond the three-point arc. The Alexandria, Ind., native set a Purdue season record for three-point field goal percentage in 2008-09, and it was the second-best season percentage in conference history. She connected on 59 of 125 threes for 47.2 percent, leading the team and the Big Ten in three-point field goal accuracy. The Alexandria, Ind., native currently holds the Big Ten and school record for career three-point field goal percentage (minimum of 100 attempts) at 42.9 percent (144-336).

Wilson Scores Season-High
Freshman Ashley Wilson contributed a season-high 16 points in Purdue's loss at Pepperdine. She kept the Boilermakers in the game in the first half, recording 10 of Purdue's 20 first half points, including six straight to close a 10-point deficit to four just before the end of the period. The 6-foot forward missed all of summer conditioning and most of preseason with a stress fracture in her lower leg. As her conditioning and understanding of the system has improved, so have her numbers. In addition to her 16 points, Wilson also pulled down eight rebounds. At UC Riverside Wilson scored nine points in 18 minutes of action.

Youth and Experience
Purdue has a talented and experienced perimeter with FahKara Malone, who is set to become the ninth four-year starter in Boilermaker history, senior Jodi Howell,the Big Ten's all-time leader in three-point field goal percentage and sophomore Brittany Rayburn, Big Ten Sixth Player of the Year as a freshman. What the Boilermakers are lacking is a returning post player with significant minutes logged. Chelsea Jones, Laura Garriga, Samantha Woods and freshmen Ashley Wilson and Sam Ostarello will need to help fill the void, especially on the boards where Purdue lost 72.8% of its rebounding to graduation.

South Dakota Hits The Boards
Freshman Sam Ostarello, from Fort Pierre, S.D., leads the Boilermakers in rebounding at 7.3 rebounds per game The 6-foot-2 forward has pulled down double-digit rebounds twice this season, recording 12 boards vs. Western Illinois and at UC Riverside. Ostarello is the first player from South Dakota to don the Old Gold and Black and she arrived at Purdue with numerous high school accolades, including being named WBCA/Nike All-American, South Dakota Miss Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year for her state.

Rayburn Looks To Get Back On Track
After starting the season with 23, 26 and 12 points in the first three games, sophomore Brittany Rayburn has suffered a bit of a scoring slump. She scored eight points vs. Georgetown, six at UC Riverside and five at Pepperdine. In that three-game stretch, Rayburn has hit 6 of 26 shots for 23.1 percent, including 3 of 15 (.200) from three-point range.

Going Deep
The Boilermakers have a 7-3 NCAA Tournament record under head coach Sharon Versyp while advancing to the Elite Eight twice in three years. Purdue is one of only nine teams that have earned a birth in the regional finals two of the last three seasons. Arizona State, Maryland, Stanford, Tennessee, North Carolina, Rutgers and LSU have advanced at least that far twice since 2006-07, and Connecticut has done it all three years. Advancing deep into the NCAA Tournament is a tradition for the Boilermakers and every four-year player since 1990 has been to a Sweet 16 and since 1994 has been to an Elite Eight. With 16 consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, Purdue has one of the longest active streaks in NCAA Division I women's basketball. Only Tennessee (28), Stanford (22) and Connecticut (21) have longer streaks going.