After a lopsided loss to Northwestern in Purdue’s Big Ten opener, the Boilermakers rebounded in a big way with a win on the road against Penn State by a score of 91-87.
The story coming into the game was the unexpected return of Karissa McLaughlin. She had offseason foot surgery and was thought to be out for the entire season, but was clearly well ahead of schedule as she suited up for today’s game. She played just 5 minutes but to start getting her back into things will be huge for Purdue.
Purdue started the game on absolute fire as they jumped out to a commanding 40-29 lead midway through the second quarter, then Penn State started to make a run to keep the ball game close.
Penn State actually took a 5 point lead with 8:37 left in the ball game after Makenna Marisa made a jumper, then Purdue responded with a 10-1 run and never looked back as they held off the Nittany Lions for a huge win.
The duo of Kayana Traylor and Brooke Moore was huge today as they combined for 47 points on 60% (17/28) from the field and four three point makes. They also shared the ball extremely well with Traylor dishing out 5 assists while Moore had 6. These two are going to be what keeps Purdue going if they can contribute similarly to their performances today.
Senior Fatou Diagne also had a great game grabbing 9 rebounds and scoring 13 points on 4-8 shooting from the field. Sharon Versyp also got nice contributions from Madison Layden and Cassidy Hardin who scored 9 apiece along with Tamara Farquhar who put up 9 points.
This was by far Purdue’s best offensive performance of the short season thus far, but turnovers allowed Penn State to get back in this game as the Boilermakers’ turned it over 19 times. Purdue led most all of the other categories over Penn State.
A win like this and all around great performances even over a middle of the pack Penn State team could be huge for this team as they look to improve on their early season struggles thus far.
Traylor, Moore and a healthy Karissa McLaughlin is a scary trio to deal with for the rest of the Big Ten and it could be a reality here very soon.
Purdue moves to 4-2 on the season and will be off for three days before they take on Nebraska at home this Wednesday, December 23rd.