LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WLFI) - Purdue women's basketball team sat and watched on Sunday as Louisville beat Middle Tennessee State by 25 points.
The Boilermakers noticed that the Cardinals press defense forced MTSU in to a staggering 24 turnovers, while Louisville took care of the ball with only eight turnovers.
If Purdue wants to make the sweet 16, it has to take care of the ball.
"They really get after it," said Purdue senior forward Sam Ostarello. "They have a 1-2-2 kind of press. They really capitalize off of turnovers. Once you break that press then you have a better chance of scoring easy buckets because they are so far up."
"Their trapping press gets them lots of steals," said Purdue freshman forward Taylor Manuel. "So, we need to make sure we are very smart with the basketball."
"The biggest thing is that we take care of the basketball," said Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp. "We need to beat their press and be able to attack it."
The Boilers will also have to handle playing on the Cardinals home court. A crowd of nearly six thousand fans watched their home team advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
"I am going to imagine their crowd is cheering for us each time that they get hyped," said Purdue junior guard KK Houser. "It is always fun to play in an environment like this. It is great for women's basketball in general. So, I am excited to play in front of this crowd."
"We have been in these positions before," said Purdue senior guard Chantel Poston. "We have played in hostile environments. It is kind of the same thing that we just have to have the us against the world mentality."
The Boilers are a hungry team though. They believe they can account for Louisville's press defense and earn a trip to the sweet 16.
"We are very hungry," said Houser. "We didn't make it last year when we were at home. We didn't take care of business. This year it is all about taking care of business."
"We are all very hungry for a sweet 16," said Ostarello. "We are excited for this opportunity and we are so close. We know our destiny is in our own hands. So, we are going to just go out there and take it."
Purdue's game against Louisville tips-off at 7:10 on Tuesday at the KFC Yum! Center.
Louisville's team shared its thoughts on the Purdue Boilermakers.
"We are looking forward to a great ball game tomorrow night," said Louisville head coach Jeff Walz. "Purdue is a very good basketball team that is playing very good basketball right now. We are quite aware that we are going to have our hands full. They are a four seed for a reason and we are a five seed for a reason. It is going to be a basketball game that both teams are excited to play in. I truly believe that it will come down to who can make big plays at crunch time."
"They are very good and their guards are very quick," said Louisville sophomore forward Sara Hammond. "They pressured the heck out of the Liberty guards in the game on Sunday. Their post players are big threats on their team. They look for each other and they can go inside and out. So, like I said I think that it is going to be a great ball game and we are going to have our hands full."
Louisville head coach Jeff Walz originally recruited Purdue senior Drey Mingo, when he worked at Maryland. He left his position at Maryland to go to Louisville before Mingo joined the Maryland team. Walz shared his thoughts on the player that Mingo is.
"I don't think she played as much as a freshman as she would have liked," said Walz. "I know when she made her decision to transfer we (Louisville) contacted here. Then she ended up at Purdue and I know she has been through a lot. It's really neat to see the success that she has had."
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