Led by senior Ae’Rianna Harris, the Boilermakers had a huge performance to pick up a 81-68 conference win against Penn State inside Mackey Arena today.
Sharon Versyp’s team is now on a two game winning streak after losing four of five in Big Ten play. Purdue is hitting their stride at the right time and although Penn State is just 7-13 on the season, the team can use this as momentum to keep climbing the standings to improve their NCAA Tournament seed.
Both teams kept the game close throughout the first half as Purdue held just a 5 point advantage heading into halftime. The Boilers hit the ground running to start the third quarter by going on a 15-2 run to begin the second half. Penn State worked hard to get back but the tandem of Dominique Oden and Ae’Rianna Harris was just too much the Lady Lions as Purdue won easily.
Penn State was out-rebounded by 16 and Purdue had a 23-11 advantage in assists, both of which were big reasons the Boilermakers had a lot of success today.
Purdue’s “Big 3” of McLaughlin, Harris and Oden had another outstanding outing as they combined for 63 of the 81 total points for the team.
Oden had her best game of the season leading the team in scoring with a career high 28 points on 13-20 shooting from the field to go along with four offensive rebounds and 8 assists. Harris had a double-double with 21 points on 10-14 shooting and 12 rebounds. This duo has been on a tear as of late coming up big in the last two games and will look to continue their success going forward.
Karissa McLaughlin also had a solid game putting up 14 points on 6-13 shooting, 6 assists and 3 steals. She put up 9 early points in the first quarter that really got the Boilermakers going and gave the team momentum to come out with a home win.
With the victory, Purdue moves to 14-7 on the season and 5-4 in Big Ten play which places them tied for sixth place in the conference. The team will travel to East Lansing on Thursday when they take on Michigan State who are 11-8 overall and 4-4 in the conference and are playing #19 Iowa today. The Boilermakers will look to steal a win on the road before a huge game at home against Indiana next weekend.