The Katie Gearlds era of Purdue women’s basketball has commenced this afternoon with the Boilermakers taking care of business against Findlay by a score of 89-64 in their exhibition contest prior to the opener Wednesday against Western Kentucky.
In a new chapter of the program’s history, the first without Sharon Versyp in almost two decades, Purdue fans were anxious to see how the new-look squad performed. If this exhibition game was any precursor, then the Boilermakers should have much success this season.
Katie Gearlds had to replace the likes of Karissa McLaughin, Tamara Farquhar, Fatou Diagne, and others from last season’s squad. This included four new starters, two of which not with the program previously.
Against Findlay Purdue controlled the game from tip to the final buzzer, which is expected given the disparity between the two programs’ statuses.
Rising sophomore Madison Layden led the way with 22 points on 8-16 shooting from the field, adding in 9 rebounds and 4 assists as well. Although this is her second season with the Boilermakers, she is the clear leader of this team. A lot of the team’s success will run through Layden this season.
Two other Boilermakers hit double-digits on the day, Cassidy Hardin and Jeanae Terry. Hardin struggled with her shot last season but connected on 6-12 three-pointers on her way to 18 points on the day. Terry posted the squad’s only double-double, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win. An impressive debut for the transfer from Big Ten rival Illinois to start her Boilermaker career.
Other newcomers Abbey Ellis, Jayla Smith, and Mide Oriyomi all scored 7 points apiece this afternoon as well.
Overall, the Boilermakers played their most complete game in well over a year. In almost every single statistical category, Purdue dominated Findlay and did not look back. You cannot put a ton of emphasis on exhibition games, but this is a step in the right direction for the program.
Purdue will officially begin their season on Wednesday evening against Western Kentucky at 7 pm down in Bowling Green, Kentucky.