Purdue Women Pick Up First Conference Win

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue lost to Northwestern before knocking off No. 14 Penn State for their first conference victory.

Purdue Women's Basketball team had and up and down week.  On Thursday they dropped a close decision with Northwestern 71-68, and on Sunday they upset No. 14 Penn State 84-74. The win over the Nittany Lions was the first conference win for the Lady Boilermakers. They currently stand at 1-2 in conference play and 11-4 overall.

In Evanston Purdue looked good at the start of the game. They held Northwestern without a basket for three minutes; meanwhile Camille Redmon jump started the Purdue offense scoring six of the first nine. At the five minute mark they were up 11-2. The lead stretched to 11 with 7:27 left but the Wildcats closed the gap and only trailed by two at the break, 33-31.

Northwestern wasted no time getting the lead in the second half. Purdue kept challenging them and even retook the lead momentarily, but a dry spell allowed Northwestern to up by 14. The Boilermakers kept fighting. Courtney Moses, KK  Houser, and April Wilson all hit three-pointers in the last three minutes to help the Boilers get within one. A Dee Dee Williams foul put Northwestern at the line where they hit one of two. With 15 seconds left Purdue took the ball down but Moses missed the lay-up with two seconds left and the Wildcats grabbed the rebound en route to securing the win.

One glaring weakness for Purdue against Northwestern was their shooting; they only hit 33% from the field and 54% from the line. Purdue did do well on the boards, though, out-rebounding Northwestern 52-36, securing 25 offensive rebounds. They offensive boards didn't translate to points; Purdue only had 13 second chance points.

Redmon finished the game with a double-double, 14 and 11. Moses had 14 also. Houser finished with 12 and Liza Clemons contributed 11.

In Happy Valley it was Penn State who had the good start. Penn State was up 7-0 then Courtney Moses got going. She got the Boilers within one, 9-8. Maggie Lucas answered and Penn State up by six. From there the teams traded baskets until a Moses three-pointer got Purdue the lead for good. Penn State would draw within one twice but Bridget Perry's six points helped Purdue close the half on a 10-2 run and go up 46-37.

Purdue continued to play well in the second half enjoying a double digit lead for most of the half, even extending the lead to 15. Penn State kept playing hard though and kept the game within reach. With seven minutes left they had drawn within two. Purdue went on a 6-0 run to end any chance of Penn State overtaking them. Penn State cut the lead to four later but that was as close as they would get down the stretch.

Purdue played much better Sunday. The Boilermakers rebounded from poor free-throw shooting against Northwestern to finish 24-28 against Penn State. They didn't shoot much better from the field (36%) but they took better care of the ball tying a season low of 13 turnovers. Maggie Lucas finished with 17 points for the Lady Lions but Purdue did keep her under her average of 21.

Courtney Moses finished the game with 25 points, she was 6-10 on three-pointers. KK Houser also had a good game 18 points, 7 boards, 5 assists. Whitney Bays controlled the boards bringing down 14 to go with 9 points. Liza Clemons put up 12.

Looking ahead Purdue will play three games in five days, two at home where the Boilermakers will look to stay undefeated this season. The first is against Michigan Wednesday night. Michigan is 2-1 in conference play and 11-5 overall despite returning only four players who saw game action last season. Purdue takes on IU Friday night. IU is vastly improved from last season; they've already surpassed last season's win total. They just fell out of the top 25 but they are 14-1. Their only loss was against Ohio State. Purdue finishes the week at Nebraska. The preseason conference favorite Huskers are 12-3, 2-1 in conference. Jordan Hooper paces Nebraska with 20 points per game and 10 rebounds per game.

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