The Purdue women’s basketball team erupted for 31 third-quarter points to race past visiting Loyola University on Sunday 65-41 at Mackey Arena. The Boilermakers remain undefeated on their home floor this season, improving to 5-0 on Keady Court and 7-3 on the season as they snapped a four-game win streak for the Ramblers.
The Boilermakers entered Sunday’s matchup with a defensive focus, and that was evident in the opening half as they held Loyola to just 20 points on 34.7 percent shooting and forced eight turnovers. Purdue owned the glass, limiting Loyola to three offensive rebounds, while cashing in 11 second-chance points on six offensive boards of their own. However, the Boilermakers couldn’t get things going on the offensive end, shooting 35.4 percent and just one-of-six from 3-point range and taking a 24-20 edge into the locker room.
“At halftime we praised our defensive efforts,” said Purdue head coach Sharon Versyp. “We spent the majority of the last two days working on that end of the floor and it showed.”
“On offense we were getting good looks, but they just weren’t falling,” she continued. “We only got two shots from Dominique (Oden), and that had to change, but we just needed to believe in what we were doing and let the game come to us.”
And fall they did.
Oden exploded for 12 of her 16 points in the third, while sophomore Karissa McLaughlin added eight points as the Boilermakers opened the quarter on a 19-0 run and never looked back.
“We were just more aggressive in the third,” said Oden. “Coach told me to look for my shot at halftime and I did. I wasn’t passive and trying to run plays, I was trying to score.”
The recent 1,000-point scorer finished five-of-seven from the field and six-of-six at the charity stripe, marking her fifth straight game in double figures and ninth in 10 games this season. Oden added four rebounds and two steals in the win. McLaughlin led the Boilermakers with 19 points, hitting eight-of-16 from the floor, and junior Ae’Rianna Harris was just shy of a double-double with 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Freshman Kayana Traylor gave the Boilermakers a huge boost off the bench, flirting with a triple-double with nine points, a career-high eight assists and five rebounds in just 24 minutes of action.
Loyola fell to 6-3 with the loss, snapping a four-game win streak over the last two weeks. Purdue held the Ramblers without a double-figure scorer, as sophomore Abby O’Connor led her team with eight points and nine rebounds. Purdue held Loyola to 32 percent from the field and forced 21 turnovers which were converted into 21 points. The Boilermakers boasted a 21-5 advantage in points off turnovers, 30-16 in the paint, 19-9 on second-chance points and 13-0 on the fast break.
Purdue will take the week off from competition with final exams, but returns to action next Sunday, Dec. 16, with a 3 p.m. ET tip against No. 22 South Carolina. The 2017 NCAA Champions come to Mackey Arena for the first time since the 2012 NCAA Tournament, and tickets can be purchased for as low as $2.