The Purdue women's basketball used a clean second half to pull away to a 70-58 win at Illinois on Sunday afternoon at the State Farm Center.
The Boilermakers opened up an 18-point lead in the fourth to improve to 17-10 and 8-7 in Big Ten Conference play.
Purdue put a quartet in double figures, led by the senior tandem of Ae'Rianna Harris and Dominique Oden with 16 points each. The duo also led the Boilermakers in rebounding, evenly splitting 18 boards. Cassidy Hardindropped a career-high 15 points on five 3-pointers, while Traylor chipped in 11.
The Boilermakers could not quite find its rhythm offensively in the first half, committing 14 turnovers that turned into 10 points. Down by one after the first quarter, the Boilermakers sprinted out on a 9-0 to start the second with four points from Oden, but Illinois (11-14, 2-12) responded with a 9-0 run of its own to regain the lead.
Hardin and Lyndsey Whilby gave the visitors a five-point advantage at the break with back-to-back triples, as Purdue went 5-for-11 from distance in the opening 20 minutes.
Purdue hit its stride in the second half with a 60.9% shooting clip. Traylor notched all 11 of her points over the final 20 minutes. The big run came over the first 7:44 of the third, when the Boilermakers opened a 12-point lead on a 13-6 run. Purdue's second-half success came from just seven giveaways in the last two frames.
The Boilermakers dominated on the glass, outrebounding the Fighting Illini 42-19. The 19 rebounds set a new program record for the fewest allowed in a game, passing the 20 by Iowa on Jan. 24, 2016.
MAKING A SPLASH
The Boilermakers matched their season high with nine 3-pointers at a 45% clip. Hardin was 5-of-8 from distance. Traylor knocked down a pair from outside and Whilby added another. Sunday was the fifth time the Boilermakers hit nine triples this season.
Head coach Sharon Versyp after the game…
When you win on the road, it's always very important to us. Getting back-to-back road wins shows that we're continuing to grow as a team. Players are stepping up when presented with opportunities. It just builds that confidence. We're having fun. The team has a bunch of energy. We shot well, which was key today. Also, Cass going 5-of-8 from 3 didn't hurt.
• The Boilermakers lead the all-time series against 61-17, winning the last seven straight games in Champaign.
• Purdue dished out 19 assists, its sixth game with at least 15 dimes in conference play.
• Oden led the team with six assists. Purdue is 8-0 when she dishes out at least five helpers.
• Purdue is 5-1 when putting four players in doubles figures this year.
• The Boilermakers tallied their 12th win with at least 15 turnovers.
• Purdue has held opponents under 60 points 10 times this season.
• Harris and Fatou Diagne each hauled down three offensive rebounds.
• Illinois scored just four second-chance points, the third fewest allowed by Purdue this season.
• Every player who entered the game for the Boilermakers grabbed at least two rebounds.