11/13/22 Murray State, Lasha Petree

Fifth-year guard Lasha Petree jumps up to score a basket against Murray State on Sunday. Petree led the Boilers in scoring with 23 points on 9-15 from the field – including 3-5 from 3-point range – and 2-2 from the line. Purdue beat Murray State 90-61.

Purdue improved to 2-0 on Saturday with a 29-point win over Murray State.

The defense locked down the Racers’ (1-1) top scorer and, on the other end, shot 69% from the field in the second half to surge ahead early. The Boilermakers went up by 22 at the start of the fourth quarter and never looked back, leading by a minimum of that margin for the rest of the game.

Lasha Petree led the Boilers in scoring with 23 and picked up four fouls along the way. In the game against Marshall on Thursday, the fifth-year guard had 13 points and racked up five fouls. Petree said she doesn’t normally have high foul numbers, and thinks it might have to do with how she plays in practice.

“I just have to adjust, I think it’s gonna take me a little (time),” Petree said. “Hopefully next game I won’t be in any type of foul trouble.”

Head coach Katie Gearlds said when they picked up Petree, they knew she was someone who could be relied on for a bucket. Although she’s still “learning the defensive system,” Petree has proved to be one of the Boiler’s most reliable assets on the court.

“She took some (shots) through the flow of offense,” Gearlds said. “I think that’s something that (Petree) has and nobody else really has on our offense or our team, in that she can go create and get her own (bucket) and we don’t want to take that away from her.

“Today I thought she did a really good job of picking and choosing her moments.”

The team was 9-21 from beyond the arc in the game, with Petree and junior guard Madison Layden each knocking down a trio of 3-pointers.

Senior guard Jeanae Terry picked up her second double-double this season and was just one point away from a triple-double. For the second time in school history, a Purdue player had a double-double without points. Terry did it for the first time ever in the game prior.

“Honestly, (Terry) is probably my favorite point guard I’ve ever played for,” Petree said. “She’s a true point guard, and she’s just got that energy that I don’t think a lot of people bring to the table.”

The Boilermaker defense limited Murray State’s scoring distribution to just a few players for most of the first half. Senior forwards Caitlyn Harper and Rickie Woltman held Murray State forward Katelyn Young, the team’s top scorer, to 0 until an and-one play just before the 19th minute of the half.

Young averaged over 20 points and eight rebounds per game last season and kicked this one off with 23 points against Christian Brothers on Thursday. Gearlds said the key to shutting her down started with “being physical and getting her off her spots.”

“I think (Woltman and Harper) did exactly what we asked them to do: be physical with (Young), always have contact with her, sit on her left hand on the perimeter and then take away her right shoulder inside,” Gearlds said.

The addition of Harper and Petree as scoring threats, paired with Layden and sophomore guard Jayla Smith’s ability to get points, means teams are looking ahead at a very balanced Purdue offense.

“I think our value (as a team) is, ‘How do you scout us? Who do you stop?’” Gearlds said. “Do you gameplan for Caitlyn? Because now (Petree and Layden) can get it going. Do you gameplan for (Petree) and (Smith) on the perimeter? Because now we’re gonna throw it into (Woltman) and (Harper) inside.”

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