Dec. 29, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
MINNESOTA (8-6, 0-0) at No. 20/21 PURDUE (10-3, 0-0)
Tipoff: 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 30
Location: Mackey Arena - West Lafayette, Ind.
Internet: Live video web stream available on purduesports.com and BTN.com. Live stats are 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 Jane Schott analysis.
The Series: Purdue leads 37-17
The Rankings: Purdue is ranked No. 20 by the Associated Press and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Division I Coaches' Poll. Minnesota is not ranked.
The Golden Gophers (8-6) have three players averaging double-figure scoring, led by freshman Rachel Banham's 13.8 ppg average. Senior Kiara Buford contributes 13.7 ppg, while junior Katie Loberg averages 10.2 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game. Minnesota has won four of its last five contests, including most recently a 71-47 victory over NJIT on Dec. 23. Three Gophers scored in double-figures in that contest, led by Banham's 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Purdue holds a 37-17 series advantage against the Gophers and has won five of the last six matchups, including a 60-50 victory the last time these two teams met Feb. 17, 2011, in Minneapolis. The Boilermakers are 21-4 in Mackey Arena against Minnesota, including four-straight home wins. Purdue lost the first three home contests in the series against the Gophers and then did not drop another game in Mackey against Minnesota until a 71-49 setback on Jan. 13, 2005.
Purdue Vs. The Big Ten Conference
The Boilermakers are 382-213 all time against teams in the Big Ten Conference. Purdue has a winning record against every conference opponent except Ohio State (26-39, .400) and Nebraska (0-0). The Boilermakers have the highest winning percentage vs. Michigan (48-15, .762), followed by Illinois (46-16, .742) and Wisconsin (43-17, .717). Purdue is 42-19 (.689) against Northwestern, 37-17 (.685) versus the Gophers, 47-25 (.653) when taking on instate rival Indiana and 25-15 (.625) against Penn State. Purdue has identical records against Iowa and Michigan State at 34-25 (.576).
Big Ten Conference Openers
Friday's contest is the conference season-opener for both Purdue and Minnesota. The Boilermakers are 3-2 in conference openers under head coach Sharon Versyp, winning the first conference game of the season in her first three seasons and losing the opener the last two years. The Boilermakers are 16-13 in Big Ten openers since the inaugural Big Ten season in 1982-83.
Last Time Out
Courtney Moses scored 14 points to lead Purdue to a 73-36 victory over IPFW. Sam Ostarello added 13 points and eight rebounds, Brittany Rayburn had 11 points and four assists and Antionette Howard added 10 points and nine rebounds in the final non-conference game of the season. It was the first time this season that Purdue had four double-figure scorers in a game. The Mastodons shot 23 percent from the field and did not have a player reach double-figure scoring, while committing 22 turnovers. The Boilermakers committed just 12 turnovers, eight below their average coming into the game. IPFW's 36 points was a season-low for a Purdue opponent and the Mastodons 23.1 percent (12 of 52) shooting was the lowest by an opponent since Iowa shot 21.8 percent (12 of 55) in Mackey Arena last season.
The Boilermakers have their first conference road test at Illinois on Jan. 2 at 2 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. Purdue then returns home to take on Wisconsin on Thursday, Jan. 5 at 6 p.m. ET, also live on BTN.
By holding opponents to 36.6 percent from the field last season, the Boilermakers tied the second-lowest opponent season field goal percentage in school history. So far this season, Purdue has limited opponents to 32.7 percent from the floor which is second in the Big Ten. The Boilermakers have held opponents to an average of 51.5 points per game - tops in the conference and 25th nationally (Dec. 18) - and have held 10 opponents to 54 points or less this season, including a season-low 36 points by IPFW on Dec. 22. The most points Purdue has given up in a game was at Central Michigan, a 75-62 upset by the Chippewas. The Boilermakers have held six opponents below .299 from the field this season.
The Boilermakers are 8-0 when outrebounding their opponents this season and 1-0 when rebounding is equal. In the 64-53 loss at No. 7/6 Duke, Purdue was outrebounded 50-32. The last time Purdue gave up 50 rebounds or more was twice in the 2008-09 season, allowing 51 rebounds to No. 5 Stanford on Nov. 28 and 51 at home to Michigan State on Jan. 1. Both were overtime games.
Not only has senior Brittany Rayburn led Purdue in scoring the last two seasons with averages of 14.6 ppg (sophomore) and 14.4 ppg (junior), but with 1,477 points she also is second among active Big Ten players for career points, trailing only Ohio State's Preseason Player of the Year candidate Samantha Prahalis. Rayburn leads the Boilermakers in scoring so far this season with an average of 14.2 ppg and through 13 games, is shooting a career-best 41.5 percent (59-of-142) from the field. Rayburn has stepped up her rebounding in her senior campaign, is second on the team with a career-best 3.8 rpg average. The Attica, Ind., native has hit two or more threes in seven games this season. Against Tulane, Rayburn knocked down 5-of-8 three-pointers - her highest number of threes since the 2009-10 season - and she followed that up with five threes at Duke.
Moses Provides Scoring Punch
Sophomore guard Courtney Moses has led Purdue in scoring five times, tying Brittany Rayburn for most this season. Moses is Purdue's second leading scorer, averaging 10.2 points per game after averaging 11.7 ppg as the Boilermakers' starting point guard last season. Moses set Purdue's freshman record for three-pointers a year ago with 54, connecting on 40.9 percent of her attempts from long range and 42.3 percent overall from the field. The Sweetser, Ind., native has gotten off to a slower start from the field this season but made a season-high 4-of-7 three-pointers versus Oakland. She also hit 3-of-5 threes against Texas A&M en route to a game-high 15 points. Moses has started every game she has played this year, in fact, the only game in her career she has played but did not start was her very first one as a freshman. This season, Moses missed the Kansas State game due to concussion symptoms.
Not Just A Rebounder Anymore
Sam Ostarello led the Boilermakers in rebounding as a freshman with a 5.0 rpg average. As a junior, she has stepped up her game with a team-leading 7.2 rebounds per game. The Pierre, S.D., native has recorded double-digit rebounds in four games this season: 10 boards against Tulane, Kansas State and Oakland and a season-high 12 rebounds against Texas A&M. Ostarello's 10 rebounds in the win over Oakland went along with 16 points - two below her career-high - for her first double-double of the season and the second of her career. In Purdue's last two games, Ostarello has gotten off to a fast start offensively, scoring Purdue's first six points against Oakland and the first four points versus IPFW. She is the third leading scorer with an 8.2 ppg average, has the highest field goal percentage (min. 10 attempts) at .490, and is tied with Chelsea Jones for most blocked shots with 19 on the year.