Purdue scored a season-high tonight to snap a three game losing skid which included loses to Rutgers, Indiana and Northwestern with a win at Mackey against Illinois by a score of 81-67.
After shooting poorly in their last 3 games the Boilers came out of the gates shooting well connecting on a 66% clip of their field goals in the first quarter while the Fighting Illini struggled to keep up. Although the scoring slowed down a bit for Purdue in the second quarter, they extended the lead to 11 at the break with smothering defense. The solid shooting picked back up to start the third quarter as the Boilermakers went on a 10-2 run on their way to taking a 53-33 lead with 5:31 left in the third. The Illini worked hard to fight back and cut the lead to 7 late in the game but Purdue was just too much for Illinois and were able to come away with the win.
A large rebounding advantage and good free throw shooting for Purdue played a big part in the win as they held a 49-31 lead over Illinois in rebounding and made 14-19 free throw attempts while the Illini went just 6-15.
The Boilermakers had all 5 starters in double figures in what was one of their best offensive performances of the season. They tied their season-high for points with 81, the other game they scored that many was against Bowling Green in late December.
Karissa McLaughlin led the team in scoring with 23 points on 8-15 shooting, hitting 2-6 shots from deep and going 5-6 from the charity stripe. She contributed in all aspects of the game not just scoring as she added 6 rebounds and 5 assists while also working very hard on the defensive end of the court.
Ae’Rianna Harris and Jenelle Grant played extremely well together with Harris scoring 13 points, grabbing 10 boards and dishing out 5 assists and Grant putting up 11 points to go along with 7 rebounds. Grant has done a solid job in the three games she has started after taking over for the injured Tamara Farquhar.
The two other starters who were in double figures for the Boilers were Kayana Traylor with 15 on 5-9 shooting and senior Dominique Oden who dropped 12 points and had 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
Purdue played tremendous defense in the win holding their opponent to just 34% shooting from the field and 16% from behind the arc. On the flip side, Purdue shot lights out at home with a 55% mark from the field
With the Boilers getting back to their winning ways, the victory brings them to 12-6 overall and .500 in Big Ten play at 3-3. They will look to start another winning streak against a Minnesota team that is playing #22 Iowa tonight. The Golden Gophers are 11-5 on the season but have struggled mightily in conference play going 1-4 with the only win being against Penn State who is just 7-10 on the season. The game will be Sunday January 19th at 2:00 pm inside Mackey Arena.