Women's Basketball Game Notes: at #16/16 Notre Dame

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Junior Antionette Howard is averaging 10.6 points off the bench.

PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM
Junior Antionette Howard is averaging 10.6 points off the bench.
PURDUESPORTSDOTCOM

Dec. 4, 2010

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -

Purdue (4-1) at #16 Notre Dame (5-3)

Tipoff: 2 p.m. EST on Sunday, Dec. 5
Location: South Bend, Ind. - Joyce Center
Television: live on ESPN2 with Pam Ward providing play-by-play and Kara Lawson analysis.
Live Stats: available via Gametracker at purduesports.com
Radio: live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM) and purduesports.com with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and Sara White analysis.
The Series: Purdue leads 14-9
The Rankings: Notre Dame is ranked No. 16 in both the Associate Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Poll. Purdue is receiving votes in both polls.

The Opponent
Notre Dame (5-3) is ranked No. 16 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 76-65 loss at No. 2/3 Baylor on Dec. 1. Notre Dame had won three games prior to that against IUPUI, Wake Forest and Butler, while its other two losses were at No. 8/9 Kentucky and at home to No. 13/12 UCLA. The Irish are led by 5-foot-11 junior guard Natalie Novosel's 16.4 points and sophomore guard Skylar Diggins' 13.9 points, 4.9 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Head coach Muffet McGraw is in her 24th season at Notre Dame and has amassed a record of 530-206.

The Series
Purdue has a 14-9 lead in the series against Notre Dame. The Irish have a four-game win streak against the Boilermakers and are 5-4 against Purdue at home. The last Boilermaker victory in the series came on Dec. 7, 2005, by a 65-45 margin in Mackey Arena. The last Purdue win in South Bend was on Jan. 4, 2003, when the seventh-ranked Boilermakers defeated No. 13 Notre Dame 71-54. Last season, unranked Purdue lost 79-75 to No. 3 Notre Dame on Jan. 4. The most well-known matchup between the two teams occurred in the 2001 NCAA Tournament with the Irish earning the national championship with a 68-66 victory over Purdue in the title game.

Next Up
It does not get any easier for the Boilermakers, playing at No. 7/7 Texas A&M in the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge on Thursday, Dec. 9 in College Station, Texas.

Mingo On The Mend
Drey Mingo, a redshirt junior and Purdue's second-leading scorer, is out indefinitely while she recovers from bacterial meningitis. The 6-foot-2 forward was taken to the hospital Nov. 23 in critical condition. Her health has improved and she was released from the hospital Nov. 28. Mingo has some damage to her hearing/auditory system, the extent of which is still being investigated, treated and observed.

Offensive Production
After averaging 59.7 points per game with a season high of 81 points vs. Iowa last season, the Boilermakers are averaging 73.4 points per game, including a season-high 93 points against Austin Peay. Purdue did not shoot 50.0 or higher in a game last year, but hit 52.5 percent against Austin Peay and 54.7 percent in the win over South Dakota State. The Boilermakers are exhibiting unselfish play with 66 percent of their field goals coming from an assist by a teammate (81 assists on 123 field goals).

Defense Wins Games
The Boilermakers are holding opponents to 54.6 ppg (+18.8 scoring margin), 37.0 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from the three-point line. Purdue is forcing opponents into 21.0 turnovers per game with a +4.4 turnover margin, while averaging 10.6 steals and outrebounding opponents by 4.6 boards per game. The loss to Maryland was the first time this year that the Boilermakers were outrebounded (40-27). Purdue is averaging over 10 more free throw attempts per game that its opponents (20.0 to 9.8)

Guyton Chips In
Junior forward Alex Guyton helped filled the void created by Mingo by scoring a career-high 11 points and pulling down a season-high four rebounds against Maryland. She also had an assist, block and a steal.

Moses Leads The Way
Against Maryland, freshman point guard Courtney Moses led Purdue with 12 points and five assists. She was 3 of 3 from beyond the arc and also contributed two steals.

Balanced Scoring
The Boilermakers have three active players averaging double-figures: Brittany Rayburn (16.2), Courtney Moses (11.2) and Antionette Howard (10.6). Drey Mingo was averaging 17.3 ppg before her illness. Purdue has had at least three players score in double-figures in all four games this year, including four in double-digits against Maryland.

The Century Mark
Junior Brittany Rayburn made her 100th career three-pointer against South Dakota State and has made seven threes this season.

Records Watch
- Brittany Rayburn has scored 900 points in her career and needs 100 points to become the 26th member of Purdue's 1,000 Point Club.
- Rayburn is currently 13th in career made three-point field goals at Purdue with 102.
- Rayburn is 13th in career made free throws with 270 and is third in career free throw percentage, averaging 81.3 percent (270 of 332).
- Rayburn has scored in double-figures in seven-consecutive games, dating back to last season's 20-point performance against Eastern Michigan.

Wilson Returns
In early September, sophomore Ashley Wilson had a second surgery on her lower right leg but was recently cleared to play. Her first game of the season was against Maryland and she tallied three points, two steals and a rebound in eight minutes. Wilson had her initial surgery on March 23, 2010, to assist the healing of a stress fracture. Complications required a second surgery. The Wheeling, Ill., native played in all 32 games last season, starting six contests. She pulled down a team-best 57 offensive boards.

Head Coach Sharon Versyp
Former Purdue point guard, Sharon Versyp is in her fifth season as head coach of the Boilermakers. She has a 94-50 record at Purdue and a career mark of 211-115 in 11 seasons as a collegiate head coach. 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). In April 2010, Versyp was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Welcome Back
The Boilermakers are anxious to put last year's 15-17 season behind them, the first losing season in 25 years at Purdue. On the plus side, the Boilermakers welcome back three starters, including leading scorer Brittany Rayburn who averaged 14.6 ppg. Junior center Chelsea Jones tied for third-highest scoring average at 6.5 ppg and Samantha Woods averaged 5.1 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Purdue returns its top six rebounders led by sophomore Sam Ostarello's 5.0 rpg average.

Houser Out For Season
Sophomore starting point guard KK Houser has torn the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee and had surgery Dec. 1. Houser injured her knee at the 16:11 mark in the first half of Purdue's season opener against Austin Peay while attempting a fastbreak layup in traffic. The Lincoln, Neb., native was a starter in five of Purdue's 32 games last year. She averaged 5.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 19.0 minutes per game.

Complete game notes are above in PDF format.