With an 11-point first quarter lead and career-high 27 points from junior guard Dominique Oden, the Purdue women’s basketball team defeated No. 21 Miami, 74-63.
Purdue (6-2) played the Hurricanes (6-2) as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The win was Purdue's first victory over a ranked opponent this season.
While Oden had a career night, several other Boilermakers chipped in to help pull off the upset. Sophomore guard Karissa McLaughlin scored 18 points, grabbed three rebounds and seven assists. Junior forward Ae'Rianna Harris stepped up in the second half to finish with 12 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
"After our trip, after playing three games and maybe not having as many wins as we wanted, but getting back to it and playing against somebody else right off the bat and playing well was really important," Oden said, "and I was just one piece of the puzzle."
The Boilermakers just returned home from a trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands where they beat Ole Miss, but lost to St. Johns and No. 2 Connecticut. Despite a 46-point blowout to the perennial powerhouse Huskies, Purdue learned a lot about itself in the loss and used that as fuel for the upset tonight.
"I thought we grew in the offensive end, sharing the basketball. We were really clicking on all cylinders in the first half," head coach Sharon Versyp said. "And then getting down and playing defense. Defense is supposed to be Purdue's mentality and we're trying to figure that out."
For the Hurricanes, senior forward Emese Hof was the leading scorer with 25 points and 14 rebounds, but the double-double wasn't enough as Miami's next highest scorer, Laura Cornelius, only dropped in nine.
Defensively, Purdue played one of its best games of the season, giving up only two points off of 12 turnovers and staying almost even with Miami on rebounds, 32-30. The Boilers held a 5-point lead at half, but surged in the last 20 minutes, outscoring the Hurricanes, 34-28, to come away with the 11-point victory.
"We didn't back down," Versyp said. "I thought we were aggressive on both ends and we shot the ball very well."
Both teams shot 44 percent from the field, with Purdue going 23 of 52, while Miami went 25 of 57. The Boilers dominated from behind the arc – 12 of 18, 67 percent – while the Hurricanes only sank 4 of 15 for 27 percent.
The next time the Boilers will see action is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 as they take on Ohio in Athens.