I haven't been able to write much about the women's team this year, and I know Michael has been very busy as an engineering student, so I apologize for their lack of coverage. I'll try to get something up here for the ladies in their NCAA games now that they are in the tournament.
Of course, our ladies did win the Big Ten Tournament for the eighth time in school history, which is twice the number of the team that has won it the next most times (Ohio State). The ladies got a four seed to the NCAAs, and get to play at Mackey Arena in the first two rounds before heading out to Fresno. Yesterday they took on the South Dakota St. Jackrabbits, and it was the Courtney Moses show.
Moses was simply outstanding, hitting an NCAA Tournament record nine three pointers on her way to 29 points in an 83-68 win. K.K. Houser and Brittany Rayburn each had 12 in the win, and Purdue was in pretty solid control throughout. this is not your typical 13 seed. South Dakota State is an experienced team that is a regular in the NCAAs, and they have been pretty dominant since moving up from Division II.
Purdue now moves on to face South Carolina tomorrow night, who rolled 80-48 over Eastern Michigan in the 5/12 game. South Carolina is a pretty tough team. Their highlight of the season was beating Tennessee for the first time in school history. In terms of common opponents, they beat Illinois, lost to Penn State by 5, and were a respectful 10-6 against a tough SEC. They also lost by 4 to Auburn, whom Purdue beat by 8.
Here is what Garnet and Black Attack had to say about the Gamecocks and their win over EMU:
Dawn Staley not only brought the Gamecocks back to the NCAA Tournament this year; she brought them back in style, with her team notching an 80-48 victory over the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The game featured a dominant performance by the Gamecocks defense, as usual. We were able to hold EMU's Tavelyn James, one of the country's leading scorers, to 11 points on 2-17 shooting. What was a bit more surprising about Carolina's performance, though, was that our offense played so well, and that we didn't over-rely on La'Keisha Sutton and Iesia Grant in the process. Carolina shot an impressive 53% from the field in the route, and it got its front line involved more than usual, with Charanee Stephens scoring 11 on 5-8 shooting.
Finally, I have made a big deal about the men's team winning its 14th straight opening round NCAA game. This was the 15th straight opening round NCAA game that the ladies have won. I am pretty sure it is not the longest active streak, as it probably belongs to Connecticut (like most other women's basketball streaks), but it is still quite impressive.
Tipoff tomorrow is at 7:20pm on ESPN2, so Let's go beat the Lady Cocks (I couldn't resist).