The Purdue women’s basketball team used an 11-point second quarter advantage to push it past Ole Miss, 70-59, Friday night in the Paradise Jam from the US Virgin Islands.
Purdue (5-1), which had a 22-19 lead after the first quarter, earned a 14-point margin at halftime, 38-24. The lead grew to as many as 22 points in the third quarter and dropped to as few as eight in the fourth, but Purdue was able to hold on to beat Mississippi (3-3).
The Boilermakers were led by Dominique Oden with 18 points, followed by Ae’Rianna Harris and Tamara Farquhar with 11 and 10 points respectively. Harris also led the team with seven rebounds.
The win comes after an opening round loss on Thursday night, 68-62, to St. John’s.
But Oden’s performance set the standard during Friday’s win. In addition to the 18 points, she had six assists, two steals and one turnover.
“That’s what we needed,” said Coach Sharon Versyp on her post-game radio show. “Dominque was very offensive minded, was real aggressive. Last night she didn’t even look to shoot and a player like that, she’s got to be ready to go all the time. She was able to score in layup fashion, jump shots, 3s – so she did some really good things.”
In the second quarter when Purdue held Ole Miss to 2 of 12 from the field. That led to a quarter where Purdue outscored the Rebels, 16-5. The Boilers added to the lead in the third quarter, but late in the fourth it was a different story.
With less than two minutes to go in the game, the lead was just eight.
“The fourth quarter obviously was just ugly,” Versyp said. “It got extremely physical. We had some hidden injuries and they got really irritated. We got totally stepped on and plowed over and (sophomore guard) Karissa (McLaughlin) got yanked quite a bit. I mean every kid got a fat lip. That’s how your play the game, but it really got totally out of control.”
Nonetheless, Versyp was pleased that her team got back on the right track on Friday.
“So, we were able to get up and down, do some things quite a bit,” she said. “We get to the foul line, we did some really good things and took care of the basketball. We shot well, we caused them some problems.”
Purdue will now face No. 2 Connecticut at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, in the Paradise Jam.