On the surface this looks like a blowout in Purdue's favor. Wisconsin has lost 7 consecutive games and comes into this game with a 6-15 record. However, those who read my posts know that I don't believe any conference game is a sure thing this season.
Coached by Bobby Kelsey, the Badgers just have not wowed anyone in a long time. They've been competitive and beat some good teams over the years, but they just don't ever seem to make it over the hump. I'm not sure why, as Wisky always seems to have good football and men's basketball teams. I don't think Coach Kelsey is a bad coach, but perhaps a subpar recruiter. They recruit solid players, but for the most part not enough ranked recruits. Ranking of course can be a crapshoot but in the women's game, if you are not getting players in the top 50 Hoopgurlz rated players, generally your team will be average at best. That is one reason Purdue is on the upswing with top 50 recruits Dominique McBryde and Tiara Murphy this year, and Ae'Rianna Harris next year at number 20.
Wisconsin could win this game if Purdue does not come to play and the Bad Boilers show up for too much of the game. However, so far this season, even if the team has played a bad half, they have not played an entire bad game, even in losses to Ohio State and Maryland. Those two are just that good. Shooting has been on and off, but overall better than expected. Quite a few games scoring more than 80 points, which used to almost never happen for long stretches.
Senior Nicole Baumann is their team leader and best player for the Badgers. She averages 16.2 ppg, and does a little of everything. That is about the same scoring average as April Wilson. Dakota Whyte and Michala Johnson also average in double figures. Tessa Cichy is a big body who can do some damage in the post. Purdue leads Wisky in most statistical categories except 3 point shooting percent. Their average is .370 which I believe leads the Big Ten. Definitely the Boilers will need to get out on their shooters. I haven't seen them play, but suspect from the stats that their defense is not very good. And we all know our Boilers can play some great defense. So even if Purdue has some off shooting, I would expect the defense to lead to a win.
The game will be televised on Monday evening at 7 PM on BTN, while the Uconn-South Carolina game is on. So probably only die hard Purdue or Wisky fans will probably watch on TV. In short this is one of those games where we must win to keep pace, but if we lose it seriously hurts the resume come post season time. It would take more or less a meltdown for Purdue to lose this game, but after watching the Purdue men do just that in the second half of the Maryland game, I don't feel 100% confident. That being said, our women's team seems to be making better adjustments on both sides of the ball at the moment than the men's team. However that may be apples and oranges, I don't know. Look for McBryde and Perry to do some serious damage, and Wilson and Morrissette to lead the team to victory, and Keys do be the solid utility player. It is hard to get too excited about this game, but it better be a W.
Prediction: Purdue 80 - Wisconsin 65.
Note: Horrocks is questionable with a knee injury. First I heard torn MCL then sprained MCL. Most likely she will sit this game out.