No. 11 Purdue (19-10) vs. No. 11 St. John’s (22-8)
When: Thursday, March 16
Time: 7 PM
Radio: 95.3 BOB FM
Let the madness begin! Purdue Women’s basketball takes on St. John’s today with a chance to advance to Saturday in the NCAA tournament. After missing the big dance for the past six years, the Boilers finally got their number called for a play-in game.
I talked to the St. John’s SB Nation blog Rumble in the Garden earlier in the week to see what the Red Raiders had to do to win this game. They live by their defense and shut down top opponents like UCONN in February by controlling the tempo of the game.
What Purdue needs to do to win this game:
It’s going to be a defensive battle which bodes well for Purdue. We kept Iowa, the number offensive team in the country to 69 points during the BTT and shut down opponents like Ohio State and Illinois earlier in the season with our stifling defense.
While Purdue can slow down offenses we struggle with our shooting at times allowing the other team to go on runs. The Boilers must get Petree the ball and make sure she’s involved with the offense as our leading scorer. Players like Abbey Ellis and Cassidy Hardin have shown they can put up big numbers as well. Purdue must attack the paint and dish out to open teammates to get good looks against this St. John’s defense.
The Boilers also just need to play smart basketball. We’ve struggled with turnovers this season averaging nearly 16 a game; it’s hard to win when you’re not taking care of the basketball and allowing points in transition. If Purdue can be mindful with their passing, attack the offensive glass and hit their open shots I feel good about their chances tonight.
Winner of this matchup advances to Saturday to take on 6 seed North Carolina in Columbus.