Dec. 16, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
BOILERMAKER BLOCKBUSTER: Auburn (4-5, 0-0 SEC) vs. Purdue (5-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
Tipoff: 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 18
Location: Indianapolis - Conseco Fieldhouse (18,345)
Radio: live on WBPE (95.3 BOB-FM) and purduesports.com with Tim Newton providing play-by-play and Jane Schott analysis.
The Series: is tied 1-1
The Rankings: both teams are unranked.
Upcoming Promotions: Monday, Dec. 20 vs. Southern Illinois
- Elementary School Night - $1 admission for elementary school students.
The 17th-ranked Purdue men's basketball team will take on Indiana State in the second game of the doubleheader at the Boilermaker BlockBuster. Tickets are still available and can be purchased at purduesports.com, the Purdue Athletics ticket office or the Conseco Fieldhouse box office.
Auburn is 4-5 and is coming off a 52-45 win at George Washington on Wednesday. The Tigers have played a challenging nonconference schedule and two of their five losses were to ranked opponents - No. 4 Duke and No. 15/14 Florida State. Auburn has two players averaging double-figure scoring, 5-foot-8 guard Alli Smalley at 12.9 ppg and Blanche Alverson at 10.1 ppg. Senior Jordan Greenleaf leads Auburn in rebounding with an average of 8.7 per game. Auburn head coach Nell Fortner is in her seventh season with the Tigers but is quite familiar with the Hoosier state. She spent one year as the Boilermakers' head coach before taking over as the U.S. National Team head coach. She also spent three seasons as the head coach of the Indiana Fever.
This is the third meeting between Purdue and Auburn and the series is tied at one win each. In the first matchup , the 11th-ranked Boilermakers defeated No. 5 Auburn 61-57 on Dec. 7, 1989, in Mackey Arena. The second and most-recent meeting was the following season and No. 7 Auburn triumphed over the No. 3 Purdue 75-65 on Jan. 5, 1991, at the Big Ten/SEC Challenge in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Boilermakers will play five games in 14 days during the holiday season. Purdue starts by playing host to Southern Illinois on Monday, Dec. 20 in a contest broadcast live on the Big Ten Network at 7:30 p.m. The Boilermakers follow that up with a game at Gardner-Webb on Dec. 22. The team will have a brief break for Christmas before hosting games in Mackey Arena on Dec. 28 (Western Illinois) and Dec. 30 (Wisconsin). Purdue will hit the road for the second Big Ten game of the season at Northwestern on Jan. 2.
Saturday's game is the 12th Purdue women's basketball game held in Indianapolis designated as the Boilermaker BlockBuster and the first since 2004, when the Boilermakers lost to Duke 66-48 on Dec. 18. Purdue's first Boilermaker BlockBuster game was Dec. 10, 1993, a 95-53 dismantling of Louisville. Current Purdue assistant coach Martin Clapp was an assistant coach on Louisville's staff at that time. The Boilermakers have a 7-3 record in Boilermaker BlockBuster games, plus in 1995-96, the BlockBuster game was an exhibition against the USA National Team which Purdue lost 90-50. Purdue's other past opponents have been DePaul, Old Dominion, Arizona, Louisiana Tech, Kentucky, LSU, UC Santa Barbara and UCLA.
Auburn has connections to both Purdue and Conseco Fieldhouse. Auburn head coach Nell Fortner was Purdue's head coach for one season, leading the Boilermakers to a 17-11 record and a tie for the Big Ten Conference regular-season championship with a 12-4 record in 1996-97. Purdue assistant Ukari Figgs was a sophomore on that team. Figgs and Auburn video coordinator, Kelly Komara were teammates on the 1999 national championship team. Auburn assistant coach Kerry Cremeans was a Boilermaker assistant coach during Purdue's title run, Figgs was a senior and Komara a freshman. Cremeans worked at Purdue for six years (1997 to 2003) and she and Komara returned to the Final Four in 2001, when Komara was a junior. Fortner has experience in Conseco Fieldhouse. She was the head coach of the Indiana Fever from 2001 to 2003, before taking over at Auburn.
Purdue In Conseco
The Boilermakers have a 23-7 record in Conseco Fieldhouse. Purdue is the designated home team for the Boilermaker BlockBuster but the game is the first neutral site contest for the Boilermakers this season. Purdue is 105-61 all time in neutral site games. Conseco Fieldhouse will be the site of the Big Ten Conference Women's Basketball Tournament for the 10th-consecutive year and the 11th time overall. Purdue is 20-5 in Big Ten Tournament games played in Conseco. The Boilermakers christened Conseco on Dec. 18, 1999, when they played Kentucky in the first-ever college basketball game in the venue. Purdue defeated the Wildcats 48-40 in that contest.
By The Numbers
Two keys to success for Purdue this season are rebounding and high-octane offense. Purdue is 5-0 when it outrebounds its opponents and is 3-0 when scoring 70 points or more.
Purdue is winding up its most challenging stretch of nonconference games. Including Saturday's matchup with Auburn, five of the Boilermakers' last six contests have come against BCS automatic qualifier conferences, with Murray State being the exception. Purdue split against Big East teams, defeating DePaul and losing at Notre Dame, lost by one to Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and lost at Texas A&M in the Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge. Auburn from the SEC is Purdue final nonconference opponent from a major conference.
Speaking Of The SEC
Purdue is 20-16 all time against SEC opponents, including a 1-1 record vs. Auburn. The Boilermakers are undefeated against Arkansas (2-0), Florida (3-0), Kentucky (2-0), Mississippi State (2-0) and South Carolina (2-0). Purdue has an even series record against Auburn, Georgia (1-1), LSU (2-2) and Mississippi (1-1). Purdue trails Tennessee (1-7) and Vanderbilt (3-4).
Record Setting Night
The Boilermakers set a school and Mackey Arena record by limiting Murray State to 12.2 percent from the field on Dec. 12. The Racers made just six field goals, also a record low for an opponent. The previous lows date back 34 years when Valparaiso hit 8 of 56 shots for 14.3 percent in an 81-22 loss to Purdue on Jan. 25, 1977, in Mackey Arena.
More Impressive Numbers
The Boilermakers held Murray State to 11 points in the second half, just one point shy of the school-record 10 second-half points by Minnesota in 2006. The Racers finished the game with only 25 points, the lowest point total by an opponent since Purdue defeated Savannah State 103-25 on Nov. 28, 2002. Murray State's 14 first-half points, 11 second-half and 25 point total are all season lows. The Boilermakers held the Racers to just two field goals in the second period .The 46-point margin of victory is the first 40+ point winning margin for Purdue since defeating Northwestern 72-30 on Jan. 25, 2007. The Boilermakers recorded a season-high 18 steals by forcing a season-high 28 turnovers by Murray State. Purdue also grabbed a season-high 31 defensive rebounds in the victory and tied a season high with eight blocked shots.
For the third time this season, Purdue had four players score in double-digits in the win over Murray State. Antionette Howard, Brittany Rayburn and Ashley Wilson - in her first start of the season - scored 11 points each and Alex Guyton contributed 10 points. Purdue has had five players in double-figures in one game this year, the 93-53 win against Austin Peay.
Scoring The Rock
The Boilermakers converted 65.5 percent of its field goals against Murray State in the second half, connecting on 19 of 29 shots. Purdue finished the game shooting 52.6 percent (30 of 57), despite making a season-low 1 of 12 three-pointers (8.3%). It is the third time this season that the Boilermakers have shot 50 percent or higher from the field.