Purdue vs. Duke
SI for Women's Trisha Lucey breaks down the championship game
Posted: Sunday March 28, 1999 01:39 PM
No. 1 Purdue (33-1) vs. No. 3 Duke (29-6)
Sunday, 9 p.m. ET, San Jose, Calif.
Coach: Carolyn Peck
How they can beat you: If All-America Stephanie White-McCarty isn't taking over the game, someone else is getting the job done. Ukari Figgs was that someone else on Friday night. The Boilermakers are talented at every position and it's tough for opponents to find a weakness.
How they can be beaten: White-McCarty and Figgs both played 40 minutes against the Lady Techsters, and Katie Douglas played 39. Fatigue could be a factor.
Player to watch: Camille Cooper must play well defensively against Michelle Van Gorp.
The X factor: Defense. Every Purdue player must take their defensive intensity up a notch.
Coach: Gail Goestenkors
How they can beat you: The Blue Devils have a fantastic inside-outside game. A team is tough to stop when an "inside" player like 6'6" Michelle Van Gorp steps outside and knocks down a three-pointer like she did in the second half against Georgia.
How they can be beaten: Purdue loves to go to the foul line -- the Boilermakers average close to 23 free throws per game -- and Duke must limit them to as few trips to the charity stripe as possible.
Player to watch: Michelle Van Gorp. She is a better, more experienced player than her Purdue counterpart. A strong offensive performance by Van Gorp will open up the court for Duke's perimeter shooters.
The X factor: Poise. Every possession will be precious. Duke must take care of the ball and make every shot count.
PREDICTION: If the NCAA gave the title to the team with the most determination, these two schools would share the trophy. However, Purdue's athletes are slightly more talented. The national championship will be won on the court by Purdue.
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