In a hard fought battle, Purdue lost to a disciplined and hot shooting IUPUI team on Wednesday in Mackey Arena with a noon tip-off. The Boilers came out slow to an early 6-0 deficit, but got hot in the second quarter to lead by nine at half-time.
Unfortunately, IUPUI came out hot with a 9-0 run to tie the score to start the second half, and it was a back and forth affair until IUPUI took the lead for good with less than 7 minutes left. The Jaguars, led by center Mikale Rogers, who finished with 24 points and 11 rebounds, shot 70% overall in the second half, while the Boilers struggled shooting throughout portions of the half.
Purdue finished only 3-8 from the free throw line and missed quite a few shots from point blank range throughout the game. So it was definitely a winnable game. Credit has to be given though to Jaguars coach and Purdue Alum Austin Parkinson. His team played a solid game on both sides of the ball, hitting shot after shot while playing solid defense, limiting the Boilers for the most part to highly contested shots.
After the superb game by Rogers, the Jaguars were lead by guard Danielle Lawrence who finished with 14 points and 8 rebounds. Purdue was led in scoring by Dominique Oden, who finished with 17 points and 4 rebounds. Oden has been quite the revelation as a freshman, already having been awarded Big Ten Freshman of the Week twice. Four other players chipped in with double figure scoring, with Perry at 12 points, Keys at 11 points, and Morrissette and freshman Ae’Rianna Harris with 10. Harris also contributed 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. However, a paltry 12 for 35 second half shooting percentage by the Boilers allowed the Jaguars the opportunity to flip the score and finish the game at the foul line.
Yes this was a hard loss to take. Purdue should beat a regional campus every time. However, credit must be given where it is due. IUPUI was the better team, especially down the stretch. Their defense was rock solid, they hit their shots, and played smart, all testaments to their coach Parkinson.
Now the team will have a break for the holidays, with the next game being at Northwestern on December 31 in Evanston. This will not be an easy game as Wildcat star Nia Coffey is playing lights out of late. Just maybe Purdue can come out of Northwestern with the upset, as happened last season. Hopefully reserve center Nora Keisler, who has been held out for concussion protocol, will be ready to go. The rest of the team will accept a 9-5 non-conference record which had a lot of good highlights and build on that for the conference season.