The No. 1 seeded Lady Lions are set to take on No. 4 seeded Purdue this evening in the nightcap of the double header today at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.
This semifinal matchup is expected to be a good one as it pits the No. 1 scoring offense in the Big Ten against the No. 1 scoring defense. The Lady Lions are the top scoring team in the conference, averaging 75.8 points per game, while defeating opponents by an average of 15.1 points per contest. On the contrary, the Boilermakers counter with the conference’s best scoring defense at 57.9 points per game.
These two teams met only once this season, with the Lions coming out on top, 74-63, in West Lafayette, Ind. That win really helped the Lions put themselves in a position to win the regular season conference title and that’s exactly what happened.
What’s on the line tonight?
Ultimately a spot in the conference tournament final tomorrow evening at 4 on ESPN2.
Lady Lions: Searching for a ninth straight win and looking to win 14 of the last 15 games. Head coach Coquese Washington is also seeking to win her first Big Ten tournament title.
Boilermakers: Looking for a fourth straight win and momentum heading into the tournament. Hoping to send senior guard Brittany Rayburn out on top. Rayburn leads the team in points scored per game with 15.1 and was the squad’s leading scorer in 14 games this season, including their last four games.
Predictions for tonight:
Tim Gilbert: Lady Lions win 68-62. Watch for a similar game like the last time these two teams played.
Dan Norton: Lady Lions win by 11. Look for Lucas to make it rain from beyond the arc and put the crowd in a frenzy.
Aaron Dunlevy: The Lady Lions are going to need to come out hot have a very good half if they hope to make it to the finale tomorrow. Assuming they come out and play better than they did in yesterday’s quarterfinal game against Minnesota, I expect the Lions to win in a close ball game. I’m going to say that the Lions win 68-65 and Nikki Greene has a huge game finishing with 20-plus points and 10-plus rebounds.