8 p.m. vs. Purdue • BTN, 1500-AM
Making their first and only impression
Preview: The Gophers began the month winning three of four games and will look to return to their winning ways in their final home game this season. A weeklong break between games likely came at a good time for the Gophers, who lost 85-69 at Michigan State last Thursday to end a two-game winning streak and drop to 5-9 in conference play. The Gophers (14-13 overall) shot only 33.9 percent vs. the Spartans and had just 11 assists for the game. The team was 3-for-15 on three-pointers. Leading scorer Carlie Wagner made just one of her seven three-point attempts; she finished with 13 points. Junior center Jessie Edwards led the Gophers with 14 points. This is the only regular-season meeting between the Gophers and Purdue, which is 8-6 in the Big Ten and 17-11 overall. The Boilermakers have won two in a row and are 6-4 on the road.
Players to watch: Wagner needs five points to move into eighth place on the Gophers’ all-time scoring list and six three-pointers to move into fourth place all time. The junior guard has hit six or more three-pointers once this season in Big Ten play —Jan. 15 vs. Michigan she was 7-for-9. Senior guard Ashley Morrissette leads Purdue in scoring (16.0 ppg) and assists (4.6) — ranking her in the top 15 of each category in the Big Ten — and has averaged 20.3 points and 6.0 assists in her past three games.
Numbers: Two games remain in the regular season, leaving the Gophers little time to build up their postseason résumé. A trip to mighty Maryland follows the Purdue game, and then the Big Ten women’s tournament starts March 1 in Indianapolis. The Gophers need to keep winning to extend their season past Indy.
Senior night: The Gophers’ four seniors will be honored Thursday: Joanna Hedstrom, Whitney Tinjum, Allina Starr and Karley Barnes.