The pairings for the 2019 Gulf Coast Showcase were announced this week, pitting the Purdue women's basketball team against Drake University in the opening round, set to tip at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29 at Hertz Arena in Estero, Florida.
The meeting will be the first-ever between the Boilermakers and Bulldogs, according to a news release, marking Purdue's ninth all-time opponent from the Missouri Valley Conference.
Drake is coming off a 27-7 season in 2018-19, winning the MVC with a 17-1 conference record, and earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The 10th-seeded Bulldogs fell in an overtime thriller in the opening round to No. 7 seed Missouri 77-76.
Rising as high as No. 21 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Polls, Drake returns four starters from last year's squad, including leading scorers Becca Hittner and Sara Rhine, and finished 10th in the NCAA in scoring in 2018-19 at 80.5 points per game.
Purdue is making its second trip to the Gulf Coast Showcase, finishing second at the tournament in 2015. The Boilermakers topped LSU and No. 22 Louisville in the first two rounds before falling to No. 13 Stanford in overtime in the championship game 71-65. Ashley Morrissette earned all-tournament honors, averaging 16.0 points over the three games to lead the Boilermakers.
The release of the Gulf Coast Showcase brackets completes the non-conference schedule for the Boilermakers, who will face either Arizona State or Maine in the second round before taking on one of the four teams from the other side of the bracket on the final day: Auburn, Middle Tennessee, Gonzaga or Dayton.