Purdue women's basketball broke a two-game losing streak by beating Kent State, 77-64, on Sunday in Mackey Arena.
The Boilermakers (7-2) succeeded off of strong defense, accurate 3-point shooting range and aggressive attack in the paint.
The starting line-up for the Boilers was senior guard Dominique Oden, senior center Ae'Rianna Harris, junior guard Karissa McLaughlin, redshirt junior center Fatou Diagne and junior guard Tamara Farquhar.
McLaughlin dominated the court, scoring a team-high 34 points, four rebounds and four assists. She also made 6 3-pointers with team-high 60% shooting.
The game started on a very quick speed. Both team pushed their transition play with efficient passes. Both team has been tight up on their score since the game started.
McLaughlin had a very hot hand from the beginning, making two 3-pointers to give Purdue a strong opening. The Boilers used their height to press Golden Flashes’ (5-3) offense in the paint.
The Golden Flashes fouled three times within six minutes of the first quarter to disrupt the Boilers’ offense. By the end of the first quarter, the Boilers had committed six personal fouls and Kent State had racked up five.
McLaughlin made a half-court buzzer beater to close the first half and give the Boilers a 14-point lead. The shot lit up Mackey and brought up the energy heading into the second half.
The Boilers used quick transition to create empty 3-pointer opportunities for their teammates. The Golden Flashes could not find a good way to respond on their offensive plays. After the first half, the Boilers had shot 45%, compared to Kent State's 30% shooting.
The second half started tough for the Boilers. The team fouled three times within the first minutes of the third quarter. On the offensive side, the transition was interrupted by the Golden Flashes’ defense. Purdue's scoring dried out for 2 minutes at the beginning of the third quarter.
The Golden Flashes still struggled to score over the Boiler’s defense, but their shooting improved to 46.7% in the third quarter. The game started to get very slow, both teams were not able to move the ball in transition and shot very low percentages in the first five minutes. The Boilers still kept person-on-person defensive strategies to give no break for the Golden Flashes.
After the first timeout in the third quarter, the Boilers got their speed back. The team created mismatch opportunities and empty-court opportunities with smooth passing to score in the paint and maintain the first-half lead. Freshman forward Rickie Woltman scored 4 straight points in the paint by good passes through the whole transition.
Towards the end of the third quarter, the Golden Flashes began narrowing the lead and almost brought the score within 10 points. Here, McLaughlin stood out again and made her sixth 3-pointers to kept the team's lead in double digits.
In the fourth quarter, the Golden Flashes did not give up their hope to chase points. Sophomore guard Asiah Dingle scored a team-high 16 points in the second half.
Harris struggled to get minutes after earning her third foul in the first half. She came back right on time to protected the Boilers in the paint. She kept attack over multiple players from Kent State, and made very aggressive moves after being set on the bench for so long.
In the end, Kent State kept fouling on Purdue to chase back some points, but did not have enough time left to finish that side of the plan.
The Boilers kept high 3-point shooting percentage, shooting 44% on the game, Kent State only shot 33% through the entire game. On defensive side, the Boilers grabbed 25 offensive rebounds over Kent State's 19 rebounds.
The Boilers will return to the court at 2 p.m. on Dec. 15 at South Carolina.