INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -– State Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) will present the Purdue University men’s and women’s basketball teams today with Senate Concurrent Resolutions honoring their successful seasons.
The Boilermaker men made history with their first Big Ten Tournament Championship this year, beating Ohio State Buckeyes 65-61 after trailing by five at halftime. Purdue also defeated Penn State and Illinois on the way to the final game.
“This is one of the most determined teams I’ve seen out of West Lafayette,” Alting said. “Injuries, illness and a couple of bad games couldn’t keep these players down, so they were very deserving of the big win.”
This year’s championship played a role in helping Purdue enter the NCAA tournament as the number five seed in the West Regional, according to Alting. For the first time since 2000, the Boilermakers advanced in the national tournament to the Sweet Sixteen.
Men’s head coach Matt Painter is in his fourth season at Purdue and was named 2008 Big Ten Coach of the Year. Painter and his team contributed to Purdue’s claim on the record for most wins in the Big Ten Tournament Championship and becoming the only Big Ten School with winning records against every basketball program in the conference.
“Both the men and women’s teams showed the entire state what can happen when team work is the focus,” Alting said.
Women’s head coach Sharon Versyp is in her third season in Lafayette and she led her team to a second place finish in the Big Ten Tournament. Purdue’s Women’s Basketball team was one of only three Big Ten teams to move on to this year’s national tournament. The Boilermaker women advanced to the Elite Eight.
“Indiana is a state known for its love for basketball,” Alting said. “Purdue Boilermakers are carrying on a Hoosier tradition with both teams giving impressive showings on the national level.”