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Purdue Women's Basketball Wins Conference Opener

After winning the BTI Invitational Purdue took on Illinois to open conference play.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue Women's Basketball (8-4, 1-0) is on a roll as of late. The Boilers won the BTI Invitational and opened conference play with a road win over Illinois.

The first team Purdue faced in the BTI Invitational was UC Irvine. The Anteaters played one of their best halves of basketball during the first half, but it was Purdue who led 31-27 at the break. UC Irvine took the lead back early in the second half but it was short lived. Purdue answered with a 21-2 run that any chance of an upset. Purdue won 69-44.

Whitney Bays led four Boilermakers in double figures with 13 points. April Wilson scored 11 points, dished five assists and collected three steals. Ashley Morrissette also had three steals to go with 10 points.

Next Purdue faced Denver. Purdue won despite a poor shooting performance. The Boilers ended the first half up 28-24 having shot only 28% from the field. Purdue hit six of their first nine shots in the second to buoy them to a 15 point lead. Denver later was able to cut the Purdue lead to nine with 12 minutes left but they were never able to get any closer. The final score was Purdue 65, Denver 51.

Bridget Perry led Purdue with 17 points and nine rebounds. Whitney Bays did a lot of things for Purdue turning in a double-double with 12 and 11 in addition to six steals, four assists, and two blocks. Liza Clemons contributed 10 points. Ashley Morrissette had four assists.

Purdue used lock down defense to get past Wright State and win the BTI Invitational. Purdue limited the Warriors to 22% shooting. Five minutes into the game the score was tied at six. Purdue then went on a 15-2 run to go up 13. When the half came to an end Purdue led 31-16. Wright State's struggles continued in the second half. Eventually the Purdue lead was 26 points. As it was at the end the margin was 24, 70-46.

Whitney Bays led the Boilers with a double-double, 16 points and 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals, and three blocks. Liza Clemons finished with 11 points and four blocks. Ashley Morrissette also posted 11 points to go with four assists. Andreona Keys added 12 points. April Wilson dished eight assists.

The Raiders were led by Tay'ler Mingo's 23 points. Tayler Stanton pulled down 19 rebounds.

Bays was the BTI Invitational MVP. Liza Clemons was also on the All-Tournament Team.

Purdue played tough defense and hit their free throws in their win over Illinois. Both teams had cold spells during the first half but Purdue was able to get to the line to keep their lead. Purdue led 28-18 at the break. Illinois started to put the ball in the basket with more regularity in the second half. Illinois kept pace with Purdue and eventually caught up with the Boilers with six minutes left. Illinois took the lead with 5:30 left but they couldn't keep it. Ashley Morrissette hit two three-pointers and Illinois went cold from the field and the line to help Purdue to a 62-55 win.

Bridget Perry led Purdue in points, 19, and was one of three Boilers to record a double-double. Perry pulled down 12 rebounds. Liza Clemons tallied 11 points, 14 rebounds, and five blocks. Whitney Bays added 11 points and 12 rebounds. April Wilson also reached double figures with 10 points to go with four assists.

Next Purdue will take on Minnesota at home on New Year's Day.