Purdue beat Western Illinois in its second home game of the season by capitalizing on taking shots in the paint.
The Boilermakers (3-0) had two players with double-doubles as Ae'Rianna Harris had 14 points and 17 rebounds while Tamara Farquhar had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Head coach Sharon Versyp started the game with the familiar line-up of junior guard Karissa McLaughlin and forward Farquhar; senior guard Dominique Oden, forward Harris and sophomore guard Kayana Traylor.
Harris took the tip for the Boilers and a shot from Farquhar in the paint gave them the initial lead growing off more 2-point shots. Purdue began making sloppy mistakes that the Bulldogs capitalized on.
Purdue fought to keep up as Western Illlinois (2-2) began catch up on the offensive end, while also blocking many of Purdue’s offensive attempts.
A 3-point shot from junior guard Lyndsey Whilby gave Purdue momentum as it was the team's first 3-pointer of the game and solidified Purdue’s 10-point lead in the second quarter.
Drives to the basket from Oden, Whilby and Farquhar kept Purdue in the lead. With 30 seconds left in the first half, Oden made a 3-point shot which ensured Purdue’s 33-24 lead at halftime.
Oden said she was determined to put Purdue in a good position when she made that play. She recounted her thoughts before making plays that gave the Boilers that leverage.
“I need to score for my team,” Oden said. “I need to stop overpassing cause overpassing is getting us turnovers. If they’re going to leave me open, I’m going to score because somebody has to do it.”
Blocks and rebounds from Harris kept the Bulldogs from bridging the gap on the scoreboard, and jumpers from Harris, McLaughlin and Oden kept the Boilers in the lead.
The Boilers began losing their lead as Bulldogs pounced on their mistakes, taking three steals in the first five minutes of the last quarter and completing their 3-point attempts.
The Bulldogs momentum didn’t last long as Purdue upped its rebound game. Harris and Farquhar lead Purdue’s rebounds finishing the game with 17 and 14 respectively. While keeping the Bulldogs score down, the Boilers continued driving to the basket.
“We’ve got to make 20 out of 24, not 16 out of 24,” Versyp said. “But when the three-balls aren’t going in you’ve got to get to the foul line, and you’ve got to tell them to just keep shooting the shot. We got the shots that we wanted.”
McLaughlin got the final point of the game on a free throw, ending the win at 66-59.