Bloomington, Ind. - For the second consecutive year, the Indiana women's basketball team is out to set a new home attendance record, and for the second consecutive year, breast cancer research will come out as the real winner.
The Hoosiers are teaming up with Vera Bradley Designs to attempt to draw more than 10,000 fans to Assembly Hall for Indiana's 2 p.m. game against Purdue on January 25.
In honor of IU women's basketball fans, Vera Bradley Designs will donate $10,000 for breast cancer research if the Hoosiers Pack the Hall with more than 10,000 people.
Indiana head coach Kathi Bennett donated $5,000 of her own money to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation last year after the Hoosiers established a new single-game attendance record by drawing 7,986 fans to their game against Wisconsin on January 24.
"It is an honor for us to be able to team up with Vera Bradley for such a great cause," Bennett said. "The research that they are doing and the strides that they are making are phenomenal and give hope that we are coming closer to finding a cure."
Tickets are available by calling the Indiana ticket office toll-free at 1-866-IUSPORTS or by visiting the official web site of Indiana athletics, www.iuhoosiers.com.
The Indiana-Purdue rivalry is one of the most heated in the Big Ten. The two teams squared off at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis last year, with the Boilermakers claiming a 53-51 win that wasn't sealed until Jenny DeMuth's layup attempt at the buzzer rimmed out. The game was played in front of an announced crowd of 32,055.
In addition, the Hoosiers and Boilers established a Big Ten Tournament single-game attendance record in 2002, with IU claiming a 55-41 win in front of 9,358 fans at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
Bennett's Hoosiers sit at 4-2 on the year after a pair of road victories at Virginia Commonwealth and Georgetown last weekend.
Purdue ranks seventh in the nation and has won five straight games. All-America candidate Shereka Wright averages 17.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game to lead the team, while last year's Indiana Miss Basketball Katie Gearlds (Beech Grove HS) comes off the bench to average 11.3 points and 3.3 assists per game.
Highland, Ind., native Jenny DeMuth leads the way for Indiana, averaging 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest. DeMuth was recognized as the Big Ten Player of the Week after scoring 30 points and grabbing 12 rebounds against North Texas in the championship game of the Indiana Classic on November 23. She also turned in a 27-point, 12-rebound effort at VCU.
Sophomore guard and Bloomington South HS graduate Cyndi Valentin is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 13.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Of Indiana's five leading scorers, three are native Hoosiers (DeMuth, Valentin and freshman Leah Enterline, a native of Monroeville who starred at Heritage HS). In addition, Bloomingdale native and former Turkey Run HS star Brigett Branson starts at power forward.
The two teams will compete for the Barn Burner Trophy, given to the winner of each year's Indiana-Purdue game.