Coming off of a season best game in defeating Northwestern on the road, the Lady Boilers look to extend their winning streak to 8 games in a home game against in-state rival IU on Sunday. IU comes in at 9-6 overall and 1-2 in conference play, while Purdue has a 12-2 overall record with a perfect 3-0 record in conference play.
In short, Purdue better not lose this game. However, in this topsy-turvy conference, it is still possible outside of Maryland and Ohio State, for any team to beat any other team. Therefore, Purdue is still going to have to earn this one just like all the other conference games. IU has already lost this season to DePaul, Ohio University, Miami U., West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. Certainly Ohio State and DePaul have excellent teams this season. Wisconsin does not, and I don't know much about the other teams. One would not expect a Big Ten team to lose to Ohio University. IU does have a home win over Michigan, who gave Purdue a struggle where we needed a game winning shot to pull out the win.
Under second year coach Terry Moran, IU has some talent. Tyra Buss is their clear leader, averaging over 19 points per game. She is 5th in the country in free throws made and 3rd in free throws attempted. So guarding her tight without fouling will be a priority. Amanda Cahill has 3 double-doubles in their past 4 games, including 17-10 in their loss to Ohio State. Alexis Gassion is also averaging in double figures.
We can expect our defense to frustrate the IU shooters as well as disrupt their entire offense. Purdue has simply not let up defensively this entire season, except for a couple of 4th quarter lapses against Northwestern and Illinois. That means the game will most likely rest on how well the Boilers shoot the ball. If the Northwestern game is any indication, that will not be a problem either. But Purdue cannot just take this game for granted. Our Boilers got whipped at Assembly Hall last February and that should not be forgotten. It is vengeance time, and this is Indiana University we are playing.
Head Coach Sharon Versyp is looking to become the all time leader in wins, as she is currently tied with Lynn Dunn at 206. It is also Katie Douglas bobble head day, honoring one of the all time great players at Purdue, who played in two national championship games and had a stellar WNBA career.
Expect Purdue to dominate defensively and make enough shots to put away the Hoosiers.
Prediction: Purdue 75 - IU 62.