Purdue extends their winning streak to three with a win in East Lansing tonight defeating Michigan State by a score of 76-66.
The Spartans shot well and jumped out to a 12-3 lead midway through the first quarter it what looked might be a lopsided game, then the Boilers got hot themselves and started hitting. Dominique Oden brought Purdue back into the game with 13 first half points to help the team outscore Michigan State by 10 in the second quarter to take a 36-29 lead going into the break. The Boilermakers came out in the second half shooting very well and continued an outstanding defensive effort in the third quarter holding the Spartans to just 13 in the quarter. Michigan State made a small run in the final quarter but McLaughlin and the crew had an answer for everything that was thrown at them to come out of Breslin with the win.
Sharon Versyp’s “Big 3” shined once again as they combined for 62 of the 76 total points for the Boilermakers. The trio of McLaughlin, Harris and Oden have been instrumental over the last three games to guide the team to its longest winning streak since they won four games in a row over Western Kentucky, Bowling Green, Ohio State and Wisconsin.
Karissa McLaughlin led the way for Purdue scoring a game high 24 points on 8-15 shooting which included a 7-11 mark from deep. She also dished out 5 assists while only having one turnover. McLaughlin is averaging 19 points per game during the Boilers winning streak.
After starting the game slow, senior Ae’Rianna Harris came on in the second half on her way to putting up 16 points and grabbing 9 rebounds. After being named Big Ten Player of the Week and passing Joe Barry Carroll on the all time Purdue basketball blocks list, tonight she became the first player in Big Ten Women’s Basketball history to have 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 300 blocks during her career and she still has half a season left.
The last of the Boilermakers Big 3, Dominique Oden, continued her stellar play putting up 22 points on 6-8 shooting from the field and added 8 rebounds to her line. She has averaged 21.3 points over her last three games and tonight she moved into 10th place in Purdue women’s basketball career scoring in what has been a stellar career.
On their way to shooting 52% from the field and hitting 8 of 17 threes for the game, Purdue also got contributions from Cassidy Hardin and Jenelle Grant scoring 5 and 6 points respectively.
This win puts the Boilers at 15-7 overall and 6-4 during Big Ten play and sets up a huge game in a rematch with Indiana in Mackey Arena on Monday, February 3rd. The Hoosiers won a tough game against Wisconsin tonight in OT to put themselves at 6-3 in conference and just a half game ahead of Purdue. With a win on Monday the Boilers will push their way up to 5th in the standings and essentially clinch their NCAA Tournament bid. The game will be at 6:00pm on BTN.