WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Purdue Sports) - The Purdue women’s basketball team and the Big Ten Conference unveiled the Boilermakers’ full 2014-15 schedule Thursday night, announcing the dates and opponents for the 18-game conference slate. Head coach Sharon Versyp and the Boilermakers open the season on Friday, Nov. 14, at Ball State, while the Big Ten slate opens Sunday, Dec. 28, at Illinois.
The Big Ten returns to an 18-game women’s basketball conference schedule for the first time since 2009-10, adding two games to the schedule with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. The Boilermakers will play a pair of games against Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Ohio State and Rutgers, while playing the rest of the conference just once. Purdue hosts Wisconsin, Penn State, Northwestern and Michigan State, while playing road games at Maryland, Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan.
The Boilermakers tied for fourth in the conference standings in 2013-14, matching Iowa with an 11-5 Big Ten record, and have had a winning conference record in 20 of the last 21 years. Purdue owns an all-time winning record against 11 of the 13 other teams in the conference, bearing a record of 424-233 against Big Ten opponents and a winning percentage of .645.
After opening at the Fighting Illini’s newly renovated State Farm Center on Dec. 28, the Boilermakers return to Mackey Arena for the conference home opener on New Year’s Day against Minnesota. Purdue is a combined 12-0 against Illinois and Minnesota over the past four seasons, looking to keep those streaks intact and start the conference slate on the right foot.
The Boilermakers host archrival Indiana on Jan. 4, welcoming Boilermaker alumna and new Hoosier head coach Teri Moren back to Mackey Arena, before heading on the road for a pair of tough ones at Maryland and Iowa. The Boilermakers and Terrapins have met just five times in series history, but have yet to do battle on Maryland’s home turf. It will be the first game in Purdue history in the Old Line State.
A home contest against Wisconsin breaks up the road trip on Jan. 15, but Purdue heads right back out on Jan. 19 and 22 for tilts at Nebraska and Minnesota. Three of the six all-time contests against the Cornhuskers have gone into overtime, both teams have been ranked each time they have met and Purdue rides a five-game win streak into the 2015 matchup.
The Boilermakers play four of their next five at home, starting Jan. 25 with a game against Ohio State and followed by the first-ever meeting between Purdue and Rutgers in Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers and Scarlet Knights have played just twice in school history, both coming on neutral courts and both resulting in Purdue victories. The annual battle for the Barn Burner Trophy interrupts the home stand as Purdue heads south to play Indiana on its home floor on Feb. 2, but the Boilermakers return to the confines of Mackey Arena on Feb. 8 and 11 for key matchups with Penn State and Northwestern.
Purdue’s second contest with Rutgers, and the first game in school history in New Jersey, is set for Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), followed by a road game at Ohio State on Feb. 17. Two of the last three for the Boilermakers are scheduled for home as the finish up by hosting Illinois on Feb. 21, heading to Ann Arbor, Mich., to face the Wolverines on Feb. 24, and welcoming Michigan State to town for senior night on Feb. 28.
Sixteen of Purdue’s 29 regular season games are set for Mackey Arena, in addition to the home exhibition contest against Findlay University on Nov. 9.