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Purdue Women Defeat Ball State 73-63

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Excellent guard play by Purdue was too much for the Cardinals.

Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Purdue (8-2) took down a tough Ball State squad 73-63 Sunday afternoon. Boilers were led by guards April Wilson and Ashley Morrissette who both poured in 20 points.

Purdue brought the defensive pressure, but Ball State did themselves no favors in the first quarter turning the ball over nine times. Purdue opened with a three pointer after Purdue secured two offensive rebounds. Nathalie Fontaine answered for Ball State with two baskets to put Ball State out in front. Down 4-3 Purdue went on an 8-0 run. In the last minute BSU got back to back baskets from Renee Bennett. April Wilson put in one free throw for Purdue to put the Boilers up 12-8 at the end of the period. The Boilers scored seven points off turnovers but it should have been more. Three times Purdue committed turnovers after they gained possession from Ball State, and poor shooting, 26%, in the period further prevented Purdue from capitalizing on the Cardinals mistakes.

Ball State opened the second quarter with two turnovers and 0-for-6 shooting as Purdue scored seven straight to go up 19-8. Fontaine scored twice drawing the Cardinals within seven. From then on the two teams traded scores. Hayden Hamby pushed the margin to 10 with a triple, but BSU answered with one of their own. On the next possession Nora Kiesler hit one of two free throws allowing Ball State to cut the margin to six, 25-19, on a Bennett jumper. At the end of the half Purdue was up 29-23.

Three minutes into the third quarter April Wilson jumpstarted a 14-5 run for Purdue with back to back three pointers. Ashley Morrissette and Dominque McBryde both added three-point plays as Purdue enjoyed their largest lead of the game, 45-33.  Ball State got right back in the game with a 10-2 run. Morrissette struck with a triple and her and Hayden Hamby hit two free throws each to help Purdue end the half with a comfortable 10-point margin, 54-44.

Ball State fought hard in the fourth quarter, but Purdue was able to match their intensity through the whole period. Purdue was perfect from the line, 7-for-7, and shot 50% from the field. Ball State was 8-for-12 from the field. Purdue had zero turnovers, BSU had three. Ball State cut the lead to eight three times, but each time Purdue scored on the ensuing possession. At game's end Purdue was in the lead 73-63.

Nathalie Fontaine led the Cardinals with 26 points and nine rebounds. Renee Bennett was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field finishing with 12 points and six rebounds. Carmen Grande had seven assists. Ball State shot 49% from the field, 20% from three-point range and 57% from the line. The Cardinals finished with 20 turnovers and 33 rebounds.

April Wilson and Ashley Morrissette both finished with 20 points for the Boilers. Wilson shot 8-for-15 to go with four rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Morrissette shot 50% from the field, 7-for-7 from the line, and pulled down seven rebounds to go with three assists, two blocks, and two steals. Purdue recovered after the first quarter to finish the night shooting 41%. Boilers shot 33% from behind the arc and 91% from the free-throw line. Purdue committed only nine turnovers and had 27 rebounds.

Lucky for Purdue half of their core four; Wilson, Morrissette, Bridget Perry, and Andreonna Keys; were able to produce at a high level. Perry was in foul trouble for much of the game but managed seven points, two assists, and two steals. Keys didn't come alive til the fourth quarter and she did most of her scoring from the charity stripe going 5-for-5. Keys scored seven of her nine points in the final period.

Purdue will take the week off for finals then be back in action next Monday night hosting the Maine Black Bears.