Coach Versyp offered a challenge her team heading into their match-up with the Akron Zips. She challenged her team to hold the Zips to under 60 points. Akron came into the game averaging 82.8 points a game. Safe to say the challenge was accepted and beat, Purdue won 84-55.
After having two weeks off the Lady Boilermakers wasted no time asserting themselves. Purdue had a 20-2 lead only four and half minutes into the game. Courtney Moses hit two three's and Dee Dee Williams hit another during the run. Akron made adjustments and was able to eventually jumpstart their offense but they never made a full recovery. They were able to draw within 10 midway through half and again towards the close, but never got any closer. Every Akron run was answered by a Purdue run. At the half Purdue was up 46-34.
Things didn't get any better for the Zips in the second half. Purdue went on a 19-4 run spanning 10 minutes that stretched their lead to 29. Whitney Bays played a major role in the run scoring eleven points and dishing out two assists.
Purdue's defense limited Akron to only 31% shooting from the field and 16% from behind the arc. Rachel Tecca and Hanna Luburgh who both averaged 22ppg heading into Saturday scored 18 and 9 points respectively. Purdue also managed to pull down 50 rebounds. Akron only managed 28. Purdue turned those rebounds into 19 second chance points.
Purdue shot 53% from the field and 40% from three. Whitney Bays was the leading scorer coming off the bench to score 20 points and grabbed 13 boards. Courtney Moses and April Wilson poured in 12 points. Wilson also dished out 9 assists. Dee Dee Williams finished with 11 points, 5 assists, and 3 blocked shots.
The game featured two milestones. It was Coach Versyp's 300th career win and Courtney Moses tied the school record for career three point field goals. She hit her first two attempts to bring herself into a tie with Katie Geralds at 238. Moses didn't hit a three the rest of the game but will have a chance to break the record when Purdue plays Oklahoma State Monday. The game will be played at 9:00.
Oklahoma State barely made it to the second round edging out Florida Gulf Coast by one in overtime. FGCU held the lead in the second half til Oklahoma State hit two free throws with 54 seconds left. FGCU tied the game with 35 seconds left but neither team scored before the final buzzer. There wasn't a lot of scoring in overtime. With 41 seconds left Tiffany Bias hit her first field goal of the game to give OSU a one point lead. Florida Gulf Coast missed their next shot. After grabbing the rebound OSU's Liz Donohoe was fouled and proceeded to miss the free throw with three seconds left. After an Eagles timeout Brittney Martin picked off the inbounds. Once she was fouled she too missed her free throw. With only a second left Florida Gulf Coast wasn't able to get off a shot off after grabbing the rebound.
The game Monday will be a defensive battle. Oklahoma State limited FGCU to only 31% shooting. Purdue does seem to have a more offensive firepower. Moses will likely have a big game in her Mackey farewell. Whitney Bays seems to be peaking and has become a reliable post player. I look for Purdue to advance to South Bend for the regional semifinal.